We all know that today’s customer experience is more fragmented than ever. This is mainly due to customer interaction through various platforms such as Twitter, emails, and other customer support avenues. Therefore, the need for different ways to coordinate those interactions and experiences has become extremely relevant. However, this coordination isn’t as easy as it may seem.
This is where a customer data management (CDM) strategy comes in. By carefully collecting and analyzing all forms of customer data, CDM systems help businesses keep their customers hooked with them. We will expand further upon what a CDM is, and why marketers must use it, its key elements, and much more. So keep reading!
What is Customer Data Management (CDM)?
Customer Data Management (CDM) refers to the practice of collecting, organizing, and managing customer data throughout the customer lifecycle. The CDM typically uses customer relationship management (CRM) systems to store and manage customer data.
CDM Technology Platforms
CDM can be done through various technologies, each aimed at a better customer experience. Here are the top technologies which can be used for effectively aligning businesses with CDM:
1. Customer data platform (CDP) as a Tool for CDM
The best way to coordinate customer interactions is through a customer data platform (CDP), the primary tool for a CDM. A CDP is a customer data management platform that uses several processes to connect to different data sources and link data in real-time to customer profiles.
Acquia is one of the leading customer data platforms in the market, powering customer experiences and data-driven insights with its comprehensive suite of products.
Through a CDP, businesses collect and bring reliable customer data to teams, which is then deployed to other tools for improving customer experience. The sole purpose of this process is to keep things simple for the customers and help them benefit from the products and services hassle-free.
2. Data management platforms (DMP) as a Tool for CDM
Then comes the DMPs, centralized software platforms focused on storing and managing large customer data from discrete sources. One of the simplest DMPs could be a NoSQL database management system, which ensures that marketers have access to the most up-to-date data consistently.
Most of this data comes from first-party data platforms such as an organization’s official site or systems. But there is also a huge pool of data coming from second-party platforms, and a portion of data from third-party platforms is used to fill the gap between first and second-party platforms’ data.
3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM) as a Tool for CDM
A CRM is a complete solution for collecting, managing and analyzing customer data for any organization. Its main focus is to use this data to resolve customer issues, cater to their requirements, and meet their hopes. This eventually leads to higher customer retention and better sales.
Now a CRM stores the data customers share while communicating with the brand through either social media or any other medium of interaction. This data is then used for optimizing customer journeys for customers and ensuring that a business doesn’t lose any customers.
4. Digital Experience Platforms (DXP) as a Tool for CDM
Lastly, a DXP is a collection of all the technologies businesses use to create and manage platforms where customers can engage with them. A DXP typically includes capabilities such as content management, e-commerce, personalization, analytics, and integration with other systems.
In addition to providing a centralized location for customer data, DXPs can help businesses manage and deliver content across multiple channels and devices. This can include websites, mobile apps, social media, email, and other digital touchpoints. DXPs can then be used to deliver personalized content and experiences at each stage of the journey, improving customer satisfaction and loyalty.
Why do Marketers Need to Prioritize CDM?
Using CDM systems and tools can help marketers keep their customers hooked and make more money. Some of the benefits of using a CDM include
1. Improved customer engagement:
Another reason that makes a CDM relevant for marketers is improved customer engagement. CDM helps marketers understand customer engagement patterns with the brand through different platforms such as social media, email, etc. These insights allow them to optimize each customer’s journey, thus ensuring higher customer engagement.
2. Increased efficiency:
Businesses can streamline operations and improve efficiency by centralizing customer data in one place. They can use the data to identify patterns, trends, and insights to help them make better decisions and optimize their processes.
3. Better decision-making:
With access to accurate and up-to-date customer data, businesses can make informed decisions about product development, pricing, and marketing strategies. They can identify growth areas, target new markets, and optimize their sales and marketing efforts.
4. Enhanced security:
A CDM system can help businesses ensure the security and privacy of customer data. By implementing robust security measures, businesses can protect customer data from unauthorized access, theft, or misuse.
5. Improved collaboration:
A CDM system can facilitate collaboration among different teams within a business. By sharing customer data across departments, teams can work together to improve the customer experience, increase efficiency, and make better decisions.
Elements of a CDM Strategy
Several elements make a CDM successful for businesses. Some of them include
1. Data Collection:
This involves gathering relevant customer data from different sources, such as social media, website traffic, sales records, surveys, and customer feedback.
2. Data Cleansing:
Once data is collected, it must be cleansed and normalized to remove duplicates, incomplete records, and errors. This process ensures the accuracy and consistency of customer data.
3. Data Integration:
CDM involves integrating customer data from multiple sources to create a unified view of the customer. This allows businesses to understand their customers, preferences, and behavior comprehensively.
4. Data Analysis:
With integrated and cleansed customer data, businesses can perform analytics to uncover patterns and trends in customer behavior. This helps businesses to make informed decisions about product development, marketing strategies, and customer service.
5. Data Governance:
CDM requires a framework for managing customer data throughout its lifecycle. This includes defining policies, procedures, and standards for data management and ensuring compliance with legal and regulatory requirements.
In sum, customer satisfaction and loyalty are all that make a business successful. Therefore, the focus on the customer experience cannot be overstated. Different businesses use different techniques for collecting customer data to improve customer experience. Customer data management is a very powerful tool in this regard.
CDM systems use different platforms and tools to ensure marketers have the right data for designing and managing digital marketing campaigns. All of this helps improve customer engagement and smooth customer journeys.