Customer Data (Action) Platforms: Forging A New Path

 In Customer Centricity

Author: Joe Christopher, Analytics Director, Blast Analytics & Marketing

Digital Velocity San Francisco is just around the corner, and we’re thrilled to welcome back Blast Analytics & Marketing to our Partner Pavilion this year. Blast is a long-standing Tealium certified consulting partner, and has been trusted to implement Tealium iQ Tag Management and AudienceStream on some of the best-known sites across the world. Check out our DV partner spotlight to learn more about how their team of certified and experienced professionals helps organizations of all sizes and industries to solve unique business challenges and achieve shared client success. 

How do you take action on your data?

Do you have a room full of analysts looking at the data who then meet, make decisions, create action plans, and then implement marketing changes? Perhaps they use the data to build a segment for remarketing, or have a testing hypothesis that seems promising.

How quickly does this entire process happen?

My guess is that a lot of great things come out of this process for your organization — it is great to hear that you are taking action on your data because your competitor probably isn’t even to that point yet!

What if you could speed up the path towards action by a significant factor, connect more data sources, and also interact with more of your marketing tools in a more powerful manner?

Moving Beyond Tag Management

Tag Management Systems (TMS) solve an incredibly important problem: build a data layer one time and then use a web-based interface to quickly deploy and control the marketing technologies across your website. They do what they should do in a very effective manner.

When you stop and think about tag management tools, you’ll realize that they have access to the most important information about your business (note that most tag management tools do not collect data themselves).

Many of the tag management vendors are starting the shift towards capitalizing on this data by building Customer Data Platforms — a collection of data used to build unified customer profiles that can then be shared with other marketing tools.

Tealium’s Customer Data Platform

Tealium’s Customer Data Platform is comprised of three products:

Tealium iQ

Tealium iQ enterprise tag management system is the foundation of the Customer Data Platform. Your robust data layer (link) enables quick and easy marketing tag integrations.

Tealium AudienceStream

Tealium AudienceStream: The real-time segmentation and action engine. More on this tool below.

Tealium DataAccess

Tealium DataAccess: Gain direct, real-time access to the data behind Tealium iQ and AudienceStream and place it into your current technologies (your data warehouse, your visualization tools, etc). This includes the multi-channel interaction and visitor profile data.

These three solutions work so nicely with each other and you’ll see below how they turn data into action — which is why I call this a ‘Customer Data Action Platform’. While CDAP may never catch on, CDP (Customer Data Platform) likely will become a more prevalent term. It probably isn’t a very good Customer Data Platform (CDP) if it doesn’t enable taking action on data.

So personally, I’ll keep calling it a CDAP.

Tealium AudienceStream – Path to Action

You have your robust data layer set up as part of Tealium iQ.  You collect the right data at the right time. For example, you know when a customer is logged in and you know when and which product they’ve added to their shopping cart. Tealium iQ uses a special tag called Tealium Collect that stores this data (in real-time) for Tealium AudienceStream and Tealium DataAccess products to make use of.

Using What You Already Have

Let’s say that you decide to start using Brontowhich is an Email Marketing Platform. This vendor supports a lot of great features such as cart-abandonment remarketing, precise segmentation, post-purchase campaigns, and much more.  Honestly though, when you take a look at the implementation documents for Bronto, it can be overwhelming for your IT team. You are likely already collecting much of the right data on your website through Tealium.  AudienceStream enables a quick and accurate path towards integration with Bronto.

In addition to Bronto, you also decide to implement Optimizely Personalization for your ecommerce site. Again, you could go through an implementation phase to get the right data into the Optimizely platform, but you are likely collecting the right data today in Tealium.

Most likely, your business already advertises or runs remarketing campaigns via display networks, like Google DoubleClick. Most companies face the challenge of how to be more precise in these efforts and ensure they’re not wasting time, and marketing spend, on the wrong audiences. With Tealium AudienceStream, you can create granular custom audiences which can be targeted in DoubleClick at precise moments along the customer journey. If you do decide to use display in a unified cross-channel campaign effort, to ensure a positive customer engagement with your brand, it is paramount that you turn off display campaigns in real-time for users who take the desired action.

Now think about the next several marketing technologies that need to be implemented. You can reduce your path towards a full implementation and even gain special features like real-time by leveraging AudienceStream, which serves as the connector of your data, in real-time, to enable action.

AudienceStream collects data from various data sources and  has very granular audiences that can be defined based on actions that occur. These audiences are then shared, based on rules, to virtually any 3rd party marketing technology.

Let’s Take Action – A Use Case

In the scenario described above, we’ve selected Bronto for Email Marketing and Optimizely Personalization to create personalized experiences on the site. In addition to the data collected from the website, we’ve also decided to upload omnichannel data into AudienceStream — this is data such as:

  • Transactional
  • CRM
  • Retail POS
  • any other data sources that can be connected to each other through common keys.

The omnichannel data further enriches what we can do in AudienceStream. For example, if we have transactional data, we know a lot about the customer’s past and current purchasing behaviors. If we connect CRM data, we may know data such as whether they are shopping online on their birthday (or close to it).

If we connect brick-and-mortar retail POS data to a loyalty ID, we can connect their web visit to the brick-and-mortar purchases made.

The possibilities are exciting, even overwhelming perhaps, and so I suggest starting small with a simple and practical use case.

Cart Abandonment is an effective method to re-engage your customer and get them back to complete their purchase. By leveraging Tealium AudienceStream connected with your website data, Bronto for Email Marketing, and Optimizely Personalization, you can achieve the following:

  • Immediately put the abandoner in a display campaign for their abandoned product (e.g. via DoubleClick). If no conversion occurs, automatically start the following email campaign one hour later. Whenever the conversion occurs, turn off all channel efforts in.
  • Develop a series of emails personalized towards the products they intended to purchase. Perhaps the first email is sent an hour after the abandonment and that email doesn’t contain any type of promotion — it is a reminder.
  • Then, if they don’t come back within 24 hours, you send them one final email reminding them and this one contains a 10% promotional discount, or free shipping.
  • When they come into the site from the email, Optimizely Personalization already has them in the proper segments so that they will see personalized content that promotes what they did not purchase, as well as reinforcing any type of discount or special offer to entice them to take action and convert.

When you layer on retail brick-and-mortar data, you may in fact find that they already purchased the items they abandoned. You can use this data to remove them from the abandonment segment so that you aren’t annoying your customers. This is truly intelligent marketing in a completely automated fashion!

When you start to connect other marketing technologies, you can better ensure that the tools are all working together instead of by themselves. For example, you connect DoubleClick to AudienceStream and are able to quickly remove them from remarketing segments as soon as you capture data about a conversion — in turn saving you money from your marketing budget.

You may be struggling with getting your brick-and-mortar conversion data into Adobe Analytics or Google Analytics 360. Tealium AudienceStream enables real-time streaming of data to these tools (via server-side communication) when certain events occur.

Customer Data (Action) Platform

While we’ve showcased a specific vendor’s technology that accelerates the ability to take action, there are other ways to achieve this with other technologies (with varying degrees of effort).

Marketing technologies need to be connected and they need to have access to ALL data so that they operate more efficiently and accurately. From this, you’ll be able to be more impactful with your actions and increase increase your organization’s revenue— you’ll make your mark on your organization in no time!

See you in San Francisco!

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