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Customer Data Platform: How We Use Our CDP to Create Amazing Experiences

Shivkumar M Shivkumar M has over 20 years of experience shaping technology product and GTM strategy. With B2B SaaS expertise across industries, he leads product launches, adoption, and GTM as Director of Product Marketing.
Customer Data Platform: How We Use Our CDP to Create Amazing Experiences

A 360-degree view of every customer is a concept that has eluded organizations for decades. Breaking data silos and delivering a consistent customer experience remain a priority. But very few brands have been able to put it into practice.
According to a survey by Forbes*, it takes 47% of marketers more than a week to analyze and measure the success of their marketing campaigns. Another 47% take between 3 to 5 days. That’s a huge window of lost opportunity for improving a customer’s experience immediately.
What’s missing? The ability to make customer data actionable so marketers can send out the most compelling offers. They need a complete picture of the customer journey and a way to make that insight available for analysis.

What is a Customer Data Platform?

A customer data platform (CDP) seeks to unify customer data into a single database that is persistent and shareable with other systems, according to the CDP Institute.
This allows organizations to create a 360-degree view of customers and create better customer experiences.
The current challenge that a ton of companies face with their customer database is that the data is stored in separate (often siloed) systems across functional departments. And more often than not, the data cannot be accessed when needed for more strategic campaigns. According to Forrester, 39% of marketers struggle to integrate offline and online data. And according to Researchscape, 31% of marketers say that “access to data” is a major obstacle to making personalization a greater priority.

What is a CDP Made Of?

A CDP is part of a unified customer data management system which is comprised of 3 core layers: data, decisions, and delivery.

Image by David Raab on his blog
An increasing number of organizations are prioritizing CDP as their top marketing investment. In a Forbes study, 78% of the companies surveyed either have, or are developing, a customer data platform.*
According to the CDP Institute, more companies are putting systems in place to unify data. 52% of the 2020 survey respondents say they connect their data sources to a unified customer database or marketing automation or CRM platform. This number is up from 37% in 2017.*

The Benefits of a CDP

A full service CDP provides numerous benefits:

  1. Data-driven Customer Engagement: The right CDP helps marketers access previously inaccessible data. This helps improve their audience segmentation and personalization strategy.
  2. Campaign Measurability: With a 360-degree view of the customer journey, growth marketing teams are able to build the right metrics for acquisition, conversion, and customer churn. It helps them identify ways in which they can improve their marketing campaigns.
  3. Improved ROI and Competitiveness: Being able to determine the most preferred action, channel, and time to reach customers gives marketers that edge to remain competitive. They can budget better, and optimize on costs for improved ROI on campaigns.

What Makes CleverTap a CDP for Consumer Enterprises

CleverTap is designed to give you the benefits of a CDP along with a delivery system on a single platform. We unify data, decision, and delivery systems to help growth teams:

  1. Understand their users better
  2. Segment them effectively, and
  3. Reach users with contextual messaging in real time.

By bringing these capabilities into a single platform, we reduce your tech stack complexity, remove data silos, reduce moving parts, and give growth and retention teams complete control over their process – from hypothesis to testing to measurement to calibration.
In this section, we discuss what makes our CDP integral to the martech stacks of future-looking brands seeking to create an end-to-end customer experience.

1. Data System:

  • a) Ingest Data From Online and Offline Sources

    Our system ingests user data in real time from any number of online and offline applications. The data sources can be one or more of the following:

    1. Native SDK Integration on Client-side: We offer our own SDK to track user actions across devices and channels. This includes individual level data from websites, mobile browsers and mobile apps. A user profile may include any number of custom fields and event-level behavioral fields that are specific to one’s business. For example, a ride hailing service can create custom profile fields like app launched, ride booking initiated, and payment successful.
    2. Public REST API: Our open API allows customers to push user profile and event data from any source into our system. This may include data from all online and offline applications such as data warehouses, CRM systems, data lakes, point-of-sale, payment, fraud detection, customer support, and other systems. This user level data can be demographic, geolocation, psychographic, etc. Transactional data such as payments or purchases, behavioral data such as recency and frequency of visits can be easily stored as well.
    3. Third Party Applications: These are partner integrations that include platforms for attribution, acquisition, communication, and customer experiences. A technical integration with our system enables you to send relevant user information right into a dashboard. You will be able to see all your data in one place. Over 25+ pre-built integrations enable app developers to track, segment, and engage their users. With server side APIs and webhooks, our customers set up numerous customer integrations with Slack, internal CRMs, and more.
  • b) Create Persistent, Unified User Profiles

    CDPs not only store user profile data but also keep the user identity intact when they bring data from numerous channels. Our system creates one profile for a user across all of their devices.
    Our customers can specifically identify user profiles using a database ID or other unique identifier captured or generated by the customer. Using the same identifier across devices allows for user/device aggregation in our CDP. For unknown visitors, we assign a unique anonymous device ID to each device.
    Our user profiles are persistent in that we store every single snapshot of user data. You can track every pattern or change in customer behavior and attributes over time, and across all channels. User profiles are stored in a persistent state in our proprietary database for as long as our customer desires.
    Any changes in a profile are normalized and maintained regardless of whether they continue to remain present in the source systems. For example, this could be demographic attributes such as address and email or more behavioral attributes such as search history, purchase trends, or interests. This allows us to deliver industry-leading segmentation and personalization use cases that leverage all of a user’s profile attributes.

2. Decision System: Real-time Customer Analytics, Segmentation and Personalization

A key reason enterprises benefit from our CDP is the fact that it is an in-memory database. This database stores and accesses the most recent snapshot of user data. Any changes that happen to it in real time are rendered to customers in real time.
This custom built in-memory database also allows us to query millions of user profiles in real time, making it an advanced analytics and segmentation tool for growth marketers. We provide answers for queries that span millions of data points in near real time without any pre-computation.
The architecture provides the flexibility of breaking larger data sets into smaller shards spread over multiple physical servers in order to scale limitlessly. Today, we serve multiple apps with more than 100M downloads and send millions of messages concurrently.
Our platform also has a Message Delivery Service (MDS) that greatly complements its CDP capability. MDS is an end-to-end, omnichannel orchestration and marketing automation system. It makes insight from the analytics and segmentation engine actionable.
What makes it exciting is that a lot of the segmentation and orchestration capabilities are automated. Powered by AI and machine learning, we enable marketers to define granular user segments and send omnichannel engagement campaigns in real time.
Customers are able to send campaigns across a number of channels on the web, email, mobile, and desktop as well as perform targeted remarketing on Facebook and Google Adwords.

3. Delivery System: Make User Data Shareable and Accessible to Other Systems

CDPs enable organizations to access customer insights across external systems. Our open API allows growth marketers to send the insights to CRMs like Salesforce, BI tools like Microstrategy, data visualization tools like Grafana, communication channels like Slack, customer support systems, project management tools, and many others.
As a result, we enable enterprises to resolve differences in cross-channel efforts and bring more certainty to their analyses. The REST API provides endpoints, webhooks, server-side SDKs, and error handling that supports the most complex use cases, including:

  1. Enriching external systems with user data and metrics from CleverTap (e.g., updating a customer account in your CRM with the customer’s purchase history)
  2. Triggering campaigns in external systems based on real-time events tracked in CleverTap (e.g., sending a checkout reminder to users who have abandoned an item in their cart)
  3. Sending user data and metrics from external systems into CleverTap (e.g., updating a user profile with support tickets from your issue management system)
  4. Creating campaigns based on external events, in real time (e.g., sending a campaign with price drop alerts when a customer views a certain product)

Data Privacy and Integrity

We keep a current view of the customer to maintain the accuracy of the user profile. We process personally identifiable information (PII) strictly based on instructions from our customer. Customer data is stored in an encoded format optimized for performance, rather than stored in a traditional file system or a database. Customers own all rights to their data and can choose to download it via an API or delete it from our systems, if they need to.

Final Thoughts

Customer data has been growing at an exponential rate. We built CleverTap to meet the volume, variety, velocity and veracity needs of the future.
Check out our product page for more information on our CDP capabilities or feel free to contact if you have questions.

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Last updated on March 22, 2024