Data strategyAugust 12, 2020

Preparing customer data to help you meet your marketing goals

Your marketing campaigns will only be as effective as the customer data that you use to power them, especially if leveraging AI/ML. Check out these tips and tricks to get your customer data in the best shape possible and begin accelerating your marketing strategy.

Your first-party customer data is the key to beating your marketing goals, delighting customers, and so much more. Increasingly, marketers are seeing the value in collecting as much ethically obtained, first-party data as possible — but that’s only 1 phase on the path to 1:1 marketing. Is your data ready to be used against AI to power intelligent customer journeys? For many marketers, the answer isn’t clear. Let’s explore how the right technology can turn your raw customer data into actionable insights for your marketing team.

Let’s get organized and unified

The first step to getting a holistic view of your customers comes from feeding data into a single source. Not just demographic data into a CRM. Not just messaging records from an ESP. We mean any and everything there is to know about a customer. 

Tools like the Customer Data Platform (CDP) have become a popular way to pipe data from any source (and in any state) and unify it into customer profiles for easy access and understanding. It’s important to pull in CRM, transactional and behavioral data from across systems, but also to ingest data from less recognized touchpoints like customer service channels. Having every possible method of data collection accounted for is arguably the most important foundational piece for crafting relevant messaging later down the line.

This ongoing process of data collection and unification also frees marketers from the constant back and forth with their data science teams, or even stepping into pseudo-data science roles themselves. With a CDP in place, the information marketers need to thrive is right at their fingertips and always accurate and up-to-date.

Steer clear of dodgy data

Quick reminder — the experiences created using your customer data will only be as good as the data you start with. One of the biggest turn-offs as a consumer is being messaged without your permission (if your data was obtained through a 3rd-party source without consent). It feels creepy and deeply in-authentic, and it can violate regulations like GDPR and CCPA. Yet, 42% of marketers admit to still using these kinds of lists in their marketing efforts. 

In all honesty, 3rd-party data is on its way out — is even being deprecated by large players like Google, it’s important to make the most of the 1st-party data you own.

Leverage your data, intelligently

Now that you have your data consolidated, you’re one step closer to the dream of 1:1 messaging, but you’ll need a little help to get there. Luckily, marketers don’t have to handwrite messaging for millions — Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning are here to fill in the gaps. 

In layman’s terms, AI can process and make sense of your vast sea of customer data, while machine learning makes meaningful connections through analyzing millions of customer’s data and behavior. Leveraging data-science tools may be the only way to meet growing customer expectations going forward. 

But, be forewarned. Many solutions have attempted tacking on AI, or rules disguised as AI, to capitalize on the buzz. The best advice we can give is to bring your data scientists into your sales processes to truly determine if a platform is AI-first or just AI-added.

Optimize execution for enhanced customer experiences

Now that all the behind the scenes work has been taken care of, marketers can get to what’s always been most important: delivering exceptional customer experiences. The best way to go about this is to find a platform that’s an all-in-one. 

For example, Blueshift runs customer data (from CDPs, like mParticle) through AI/ML algorithms, maps out self-driving customer journeys, sends messaging off to the proper channels, and collects feedback all in one single platform. It has quite literally become a one-stop-shop for marketers, at businesses of all sizes, who want to dream up an ideal campaign (filled with personalization) and execute upon it as quickly as possible. The information Blueshift collects can then be routed back into your CDP, which in turn makes your marketing smarter. 

Ready to learn more about AI-driven 1:1 personalization? Check out Blueshift’s study of over 14 billion messages, and how AI, triggers, and other strategies impact marketing across every vertical in their 2020 Benchmark Report.

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