Sarah is a 30 year old customer from Mumbai. She emailed a refund request for a tummy trimmer she recently purchased from Fitness Forever. She mentions in the email that she does not wish to interact over the phone regarding this issue and prefers email correspondence. This is recorded in Fitness Forever’s compliance management software. But the company’s customer service agent is unaware and calls Sarah on her phone, much to her annoyance. So much so that she stops buying from the company. A few weeks later, Sarah is bombarded with Fitness Forever ads on social media, based on her previous social interactions with the brand. Now those ads don’t stop because Fitness Forever’s social media team doesn’t know that Sarah is no longer a customer of the company.

What we have is a disgruntled customer who wants nothing to do with the brand anymore. This could have been avoided if Fitness Forever’s customer service agent and social media team had had access to Sarah’s privacy preferences and purchase history.

This is not a situation unique to Fitness Forever. Scenarios like this are more common than companies like to acknowledge. This happens because customer information exists in silos, across the applications they use, and is generally not accessible to everyone in the company. Customer data exists in tools such as:

lead management Web/mobile analytics Content marketing Paid Advertising Social networks
A marketing event Customer service RCMP Commercial Eve Compliance and Privacy

This is how data exists in silos.

Management of customer data from different sources

What if these applications could communicate with each other so that customer data from all touchpoints could be merged into a single source accessible to all customer service and communication departments? Wouldn’t that solve Fitness Forever’s problem and that of many other companies? It would, and that’s exactly what a CDP (customer data platform) does.

Today’s customer interacts with brands across multiple platforms and apps, leaving behind a trail of invaluable information. Now, each of these platforms is connected to a particular tool in the company’s technology stack, and each tool gathers tons of customer data. For example, the social media management platform collects data on social interactions, likes and dislikes of the customer. The company’s customer service software collects data about customer complaints and resolutions, while compliance software stores details about the customer’s privacy preferences.

Tracking disparate data types in different formats, across different platforms, can be a cumbersome task. This is where a CDP comes in. It collects and collates customer data from multiple sources, such as business intelligence platform, CRM (customer relationship management), event marketing, social media, compliance management and mobile analytics and merges them to create a unified customer profile of each customer.

Simply put, CDP is a complete suite of customer data that acts as a single source of truth, which is available for all platforms in the technology stack and can be used by any application in the integration chain. of the CDP.

The best part of CDP is that it promotes two-way integration. This means that any platform in the stack can not only access data from the CDP, but also feed data into it, so that the customer profile is enriched and updated at every stage of the customer journey. This will help companies like Fitness Forever get to know their customers better and improve customer interactions.

Customer engagement management across all channels

Neha is a 20-year-old consumer from Bengaluru who loves shopping for affordable fashion jewelry. She does most of her shopping on her smartphone. She actively searches for discounts and buys fashion jewelry almost every week. Oddly enough, she continues to receive messages from retailer Brands Bazaar about cookware. That’s because his first purchase at Brands Bazaar was a knife. But Neha is no longer interested in kitchenware and wants Brands Bazaar to send her promotional materials and deals on fashion jewelry.

This is a classic case of retailers failing to understand customers and what they want. This type of problem is automatically identified and resolved by a CEP (Customer Engagement Platform).

The platform’s intelligent analytics allow businesses to pre-emptively categorize their customers based on their personality, preferences and behavior so that relevant information and communications can be sent to them, based on their needs and preferences. their interests. For example, discount seekers can be identified and targeted with price drop campaigns and discounts. Customers who are likely to drop out can be identified and renewed accordingly. Businesses can also recognize followers and reward them appropriately.

Once customers are segmented, the next question is: what platform should brands use to communicate with customers? This is also supported by CEP, which automatically identifies a customer’s preferred communication channel (email/SMS/push notifications, etc.), the best and most convenient time to send messages, and the best variation of communication to be sent to a customer segment.

Deploying a separate tool to manage each mode of communication can get quite confusing and is also a wasted effort in terms of time and resources. With CEP, retailers and brands can communicate with customers across multiple channels from one place. A smart CEP breaks down the barriers between analytics, marketing automation, and customer engagement and accelerates business growth.

For example, using a CEP will not only help Brands Bazaar take note of Neha’s preferred product category and price, but will also help the retailer understand their preferred shopping method and communication channel and the times of the day when it is most active. , so messages can be personalized and sent during these times.

CEP and CDP: a winning combination

CDP or CEP? This is the question that marketers ask themselves. Well, is that the question marketers should be asking themselves? The short answer is no.

The long answer would be this. CDP and CEP help brands navigate the world of tech-driven marketing. And both must exist and coexist for brands to optimize the best of both worlds. CDP and CEP solve different problems that companies face. While CDP consolidates customer data from multiple tools and sources, CEP helps brands engage with customers in meaningful ways.

Can brands properly interact with customers without knowing anything about them? And is simple data enough if intelligent information is not drawn from it? Thus, companies need a combination of CDP and CEP and should not choose between the two.

Thanks to CDP, the brand’s CEP platform is populated with valuable customer data points. Using this data, CEP intelligently segments customers and engages with them accordingly, on their preferred channel. It also sends insights from the data and the customer’s response to the communication back to the CDP, closing the loop.

This two-way integration benefits everyone: applications integrated with the CDP, the CEP, the enterprise and, most importantly, the customer!

The Global customer engagement solutions market was valued at $15.52 billion in 2020. It is expected to reach $30.92 billion by 2026, at a CAGR of 12.65% during the period 2021-2026. The global customer data platform the market size is expected to grow from $1,122.16 million in 2019 to $4,117.87 million by 2025, at a CAGR of 24.19%. India, in particular, is expected to experience a high CDP growth rate over this period, driven by its vibrant population of young users who frequently access the Internet.

Today, the importance of personalization and meaningful customer engagement cannot be overstated, and the benefits they can bring to consumer businesses. The more information brands and retailers have about their customers, the better their personalization efforts. And the better the personalization, the happier the customer. This leads to better customer retention and conversion and ultimately results in better business results.

Both CDP and CEP are essential cogs closely tied to this personalization strategy and companies that implement this dual stack are sure to be ahead of the game.

(The author is CEO and co-founder of MoEngage and the opinions expressed in this article are his own)