The experts featured in this guide market a seriously diverse mix of products—pet supplies, newspapers
and magazines, vitamins, cosmetics, food, data analytics services, mattresses. But they share
at least one essential-to-success philosophy: it’s always and entirely about the customer. You grow your
business by developing products that customers want to buy, engaging them with content they care about,
encouraging them with incentives they value, and continually delivering experiences that delight them.
To this end, these executives have developed successful strategies to use their data for maximum positive
But their success has not come without challenges. How do you integrate legacy data and protect sensitive
information? How do you personalize at scale? How do you identify “moments that matter” in the customer
journey? See how each business uses a customer data platform to overcome these challenges. I trust you’ll
find their experiences informative.
We’ve built our own company around helping organizations use data to deliver the best-possible customer
experience. Our customer-journey orchestration features, for example, enable macro journey planning to
give businesses more power to influence pivotal touchpoints and move customers forward to make more
purchases and develop loyalty. Like the marketing executives you’ll meet in these essays, we strive to develop
products that deliver value to our customers. When they thrive, we thrive.
Founder and CEO of Treasure Data
VP and General Manager, Data Business, Arm Treasure Data
Arm Treasure Data Customer Data
Platform (CDP) empowers companies
by delivering rich customer insights
that drive outstanding customer
experiences. Built on a strong data
management foundation, our CDP
enables brands to securely unify
customer data across silos at scale
so they can better identify, engage
and acquire customers. The highly
configurable platform evolves with your
existing technology stack to future-
proof all customer data initiatives.
Arm Treasure Data is fully owned
by Arm and has more than 400
customers including Fortune 500
and Global 2000 enterprises.
4. MEET OUR EXPERTS
Chief Experience Officer,
EVP, Chief Marketing Officer,
Serta Simmons Bedding,
PATRICIA ARAGÓN LEÓN
CDO LATAM for Luxe Division,
Vice President, General
The Vitamin Shoppe,
VP of Product,
Arm Treasure Data,
Digital Product Management,
Operations and Marketing
Leading US Retailers (Various),
Chief Digital Officer &
Senior Vice President of Digital,
5. How Will You Reach Them Now?
Everything you thought you understood about your customers is changing.
You need up-to-the-minute data NOW to know what your customers need
and how they want to engage.
Let Arm Treasure Data’s award-winning Customer Data Platform (CDP) help you:
Eﬃciently ﬁnd and
with relevant oﬀers
Resolve data complexity
at enterprise scale
“We work with a third-party partner to help us pull in
different data types and connect the dots. They can tell
us, for example, these four data points are 98% likely
to be customer X.”
Using Customer Data to Find Those Moments That Matter
For Sherif Mityas, chief experience officer at TGI Fridays, making sense of
tremendous amounts of customer data requires understanding the customer
journey. “The key is to really understand customer journeys,” he explains. “Are they
in their car or at home? Are they scrolling through OpenTable or UberEats? What are
they doing, where are they, and what time are they doing that?”
By viewing all customer data through the customer journey lens, Mityas can identify
“moments that matter.” These are key decision points that can influence someone
to take an action like making a reservation, ordering food to-go, or driving to the
restaurant. Those are opportunities for communicating real-time incentives, such
as an offer to prepare a to-go order based on previous buying patterns, made just in
time to trigger a decision.
But if understanding the customer journey is key to analyzing customer data,
where does that customer journey knowledge come from? As it turns out, that
knowledge also comes from customer data.
The challenge becomes using customer data to build an understanding of the
journey, which is then used to further interpret new data.
To do that, Mityas collects data from all customer touchpoints and determines
which data is the most valuable for defining those “moments that matter.”
Sherif Mityas, the chief experience officer for
TGI Fridays, is responsible for the brand’s global
strategy and digital and technology efforts.
Before joining the restaurant chain, Mityas was
the managing partner at JS Consulting and the
CEO of Hollywood Video/Movie Gallery. Mityas
received a BS degree in aerospace engineering
from Boston University, an MS in mechanical
engineering from Rensselaer Polytechnic
Institute, and an MBA from Northwestern’s
Kellogg School of Management.
Chief Experience Officer,
“We gather information from customers
who eat in our restaurants and through
WiFi in the restaurants, as well as those
who connect through our phone app or
website to get food to-go,” Mityas notes.
“We capture customer information from folks who engage with us on social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook. We know who
talks to us through voice-assisted devices like Alexa and Google Home. We know who calls our guest reservations line, as well as those
who are part of our 8 million member loyalty program, which is a major source of customer data.”
All this data goes into a data lake where Mityas uses artificial intelligence and machine learning to define those moments that matter
for customers at an individual, personalized level. “Because of the huge volume of data, we have AI tools that help us do that type of
personalization at scale.”
Doing this kind of analysis on so much data from disparate sources requires expertise Mityas does not have in-house. “We’re not a
technology company,” he says. “We sell beer and ribs. So we work with a third-party partner to help us pull in different data types and
connect the dots. They can tell us, for example, these four data points are 98% likely to be customer X.”
Having these capabilities lays the foundation for being able to process even more data inputs in the future and gain more opportunity to
affect experience as it is happening. Mityas explains, “There’s going to be a proliferation of voice data in the future.
People are talking to their cars and their refrigerators. We see that continuing to proliferate, even in our restaurants. It’s still a little bit out
there. But it’s the next frontier that will help us have less of a lag between capturing the data and using it to create a better experience for
The real value in all this is what it does for the business. It can be significant, as Mityas notes: “If an average guest comes to the
restaurant four times a year, just improving that to five times a year gives you a 20% lift. That’s a massive growth trajectory. It would
pay for any investment that we’ve made 10 times over.” But to realize that, he emphasizes the solution needs to be relevant to the
customer journey. “It must always come back to the customer,” he says. “New data technologies are cool and shiny. But at the end of
the day, if it doesn’t impact the guest in a positive way and drive a return on investment, it doesn’t matter.”
“If an average guest comes to the restaurant four times a year,
just improving that to five times a year gives you a 20% lift.
That’s a massive growth trajectory.”
The challenge is collecting different types of data from many
sources into one data resource and then being able to analyze
that at scale to identify key decision points at an individual
What ultimately matters is that the data you collect and the actions
you take affect your customers in a positive way that drives
business and a return on investment.
Chief Experience Officer,
“The biggest challenge is ‘info-besity’—incalculable
amounts of data, but not enough bandwidth or time
to digest it.”
Customer Data Without a Purpose Is Meaningless
How is the customer data you collect going to be used to meet a business
objective? That is the first question you must ask, says Patricia Aragón León, chief
digital officer at one of the world’s largest cosmetics companies. And the reason
that question is so important is that today we are drowning in data. “We finally have
more than enough data to play with,” says Aragón León. “That creates its own sets
of new challenges. The biggest challenge is ‘info-besity’—incalculable amounts of
data, but not enough bandwidth or time to digest it.”
To address this challenge and to be sure you are spending your resources on
the data that is relevant to your business processes, Aragón León recommends
building these three best practices into the way you collect and use data:
Ask the right business questions: Data comes from many sources, such as points
of sale, ecommerce websites, email, social media, customer care data, ratings or
reviews, and third-party data. But data is not magic. “Each platform has a role and
purpose to fulfil, and consumers behave differently on each of them,” says Aragón
Without key business questions and objectives to provide context for the data
those platforms generate, the data will have no meaning. It just becomes channel
data without a purpose.
With over 10 years of marketing, digital,
e-commerce, content production, data &
analytics, social & traditional media management,
Patricia is an award-winning executive and
recognized thought-leader with a background in
driving brands ranging from the Global Fortune
500’s to private organizations across the retail
and luxury landscape. Patricia is a data-driven,
technology-loving marketing leader, driving digital
transformation in global
and regional markets.
Patricia Aragón León
CDO LATAM for Luxe Division,
Defining business objectives for that
information gives it the context you need
to gain insights from the data.
Listen to what the data is telling you:
Aragón León notes: “The data that will bring value to you depends on what consumer signals are relevant to answering your business
questions.” The purpose of having first-party data, third-party data, brand mentions, followers, consumer databases, or any type of
audience and consumer data is to understand the consumers. With that understanding, you can then add value to their experience and
Activate your insights: This requires putting together the right teams, tools, and processes that will enable you to motivate customers
to take the actions you want them to take to improve business outcomes and meet business objectives. You are pulling all your data into
one place so you can clean and enrich it. Aragón León astutely points out that, “An insight is not viable if you are not able to act on it.”
In addition to info-besity, there is a parallel challenge that impacts the way companies collect and use data, that is today’s regulatory
environment, which limits what you can track and how you use what you collect. “In today’s world, you have more data privacy and
more rules of engagement,” says Aragón León. “That makes it harder than ever before for marketing to leverage and use the data they
That is why it is so important to make sure that whenever consumers are willing to give you a piece of their data, even if it is through
a third party, or even if you send an email from a purchasing point of sales, you need to keep it relevant. It also puts a premium on
building and maintaining close relationships with consumers.
The overall driver behind personalization will continue to be underlying business objectives. Aragón León says, “any innovation or
transformation in terms of data use and data technology depends first on the purpose of the data and second on the process you will
need to apply to understand the data and act on it.”
“The data that will bring value to you depends on what consumer
signals are relevant to answering your business questions.”
Without key business objectives to provide context for the data
different platforms generate, the data will have no meaning.
It just becomes channel data without a purpose. Defining business
objectives gives the context you need to gain insights from the data.
Activation requires putting together the right teams, tools,
and processes that will enable you to motivate customers to take
the actions you want them to take to improve business outcomes
and meet business objectives.
Patricia Aragón León,
CDO LATAM for Luxe Division,
“Digital-native companies have elevated consumer
expectations, and the entire world has to follow
Pankaj Tibrewal is the VP of Product at
Arm Treasure Data. Previously, Pankaj
was at Anaplan where he oversaw product
management and product partnerships.
Pankaj came to Anaplan when Chartcube, a
collaborative BI company Pankaj founded, was
acquired by Anaplan. Prior to this, Pankaj ran
a $350M clothing retail chain where he took
the company through digital transformation
and set it up for a 35%+ growth trajectory.
Previously, Pankaj consulted for McKinsey &
Company where he advised several Fortune
500 companies. Pankaj has an MBA from
Kellogg and MS from UT Austin.
VP of Product,
Arm Treasure Data
Why a Customer Data Platform Matters
Many large enterprises today are challenged to deliver the level of personalized
engagement their customers want. Digitally native companies such as Facebook,
Netflix, and Uber have transformed consumer expectations. Netflix, for
example, tracks viewing habits and uses that data to recommend shows. Uber
uses customer-movement data to predict where cars will be needed and then
preposition them to reduce customer wait times.
Pankaj Tibrewal, VP of product at Arm Treasure Data, says, “Digital-native
companies have elevated consumer expectations, and the entire world has
to follow that trend.” To develop that kind of personalized approach to their
customers, enterprises must be able to collect large amounts of different data
types from many different sources, put all that data in one place, and then make it
actionable. Tibrewal says there are two aspects of this process that are particularly
challenging for many large enterprises:
1. Scale of data. “These are companies with tens or hundreds of millions of
customers,” he explains, “and they can have many thousands of customer
touch points. This kind of undertaking generates huge amounts of data.” So a
fundamental requirement is a data platform with tremendous capacity to scale.
2. Complexity of data. Large enterprises
provide different products and brands
through multiple channels in various
geographies. Brands often have their
own business units, their own customer
engagement strategies, and their own customer touch points. Typically, multiple business units within a large enterprise will engage
and collect different kinds of data on the same customers. “You need a platform that can handle that complexity,” says Tibrewal. The
challenges include being able to share data from different business units to provide a more holistic customer experience across all
brands and to accommodate different regulatory jurisdictions across geographies. Tibrewal points out, “A large company may have
hundreds of teams that could be empowered with this data and insight in hundreds of countries. The complexity of managing data use
across the enterprise is huge. So again, you need a platform that allows you to do that.”
What kind of data platform is the right one to address these challenges? Many business units within the enterprise use email
management platforms or CRM applications to consolidate data and data activation strategies. But these tools lack the capacity and
analytical depth that is needed to create real-time intelligence out of large data flows. “You need a true customer data platform (CDP)
to be able to do that,” Tibrewal says. “You want to create intelligence where all your data resides.
Where you keep all your customer data and where you create the intelligence are super important, and you need a true CDP to do that.”
Only then will the enterprise be able to effectively resolve the identities of customers who may be engaging through hundreds of
different touch points. Without that ID resolution, the enterprise will not be able to offer personalized engagement that is timely and
relevant. It is the only way to break down enterprise data silos to operationalize more sophisticated segmentation strategies and
effective programmatic advertising. Tibrewal notes that, “This is a big data problem that needs a big data platform solution.”
The challenge will only grow as more data sources, such as connected devices, provide even more granular information about
customers. This requires scalability in collecting, analyzing, and activating customer data. “Today companies capture consumer data
at websites. Tomorrow they may be getting it from their cars. To remain competitive, enterprises need to future-proof how they capture
and use customer data.”
“You want to create intelligence where all your data resides.
Where you keep all your customer data and where you create the
intelligence are super important, and you need a true CDP to do that.”
To develop a personalized approach to their customers, enterprises
must be able to collect large amounts of different data types
from many sources, put all that data in one place,
and then make it actionable.
A CDP is the only way to resolve customer identities across
a complex enterprise with hundreds of teams. It is the only way to
break down data silos and operationalize real-time personalization
strategies. This is a big data problem that needs
a big data platform solution.
VP of Product,
Arm Treasure Data
“If you don’t have clean data, you make a lot of mistakes
when you send things to individuals who aren’t real.”
At The Vitamin Shoppe, Nadina oversees
marketing initiatives including CRM and
advertising, in addition to the company’s
loyalty program and pricing/promotion efforts.
Previously, Nadina launched and scaled best-
in-class brand and customer experiences for
Fortune 500 companies including Estee Lauder,
L’Oréal, and Pfizer. She also held executive
positions within advertising and PR agencies
working with brands such as Unilever, Microsoft,
Target, Kohl’s, and CVS.
Vice President, General Manager,
The Vitamin Shoppe
You Must Clean Your Data Frequently and Rigorously
Customer data is the fuel that drives retailing. Unlike consumer brands that sell
through retail outlets, direct selling retailers are ideally situated to collect and
retain ownership of their customer data, but getting the most value out of that data
requires a lot of work. “We consolidate our data on a weekly basis,” explains Nadina
Guglielmetti, vice president, GM, marketing at The Vitamin Shoppe. “Every week we
go through a process where we scrub all our data to make sure the information we
have is accurate and not duplicative.”
Data cleansing is critically important for The Vitamin Shoppe. With customer
engagement and transactions occurring in more than 700 store locations as well as
the website and through a mobile app, plus data gathered through email campaigns
that help drive sales and loyalty program membership, these customer touch
points continuously generate enormous amounts of new data. “We have tens of
millions of customer records in our database,” Guglielmetti says. “85% to 90% of our
customers are signed up for a loyalty program.”
Having this data in a robust CRM system enables The Vitamin Shoppe to keep
track of customer preferences at an individual level and provide them with more
“We track what customers buy from us
and their purchasing behavior, which
gives us critical information about what
interests them,” says Guglielmetti.
With so many touchpoints and so many ways for customers to engage, frequent and rigorous data cleaning is necessary to prevent
the customer database from accumulating a lot of false information that would increase marketing costs and reduce the effectiveness
of campaigns. For example, it’s not uncommon for people to have multiple email addresses and to give different emails in different
engagement channels. Or, people change their email and physical addresses. Guglielmetti says, “If you don’t have clean data, you make
a lot of mistakes when you send things to individuals who aren’t real.” That is why she places such emphasis on maintaining the quality
of customer data.
Weekly data deduping is done with the help of a third-party partner who goes through all the customer data and deduplicates customer
records. Additionally, bi-monthly reverse data appends and frequent demographic appends are part of the data hygiene process.
In addition to maintaining data quality, detailed weekly reports provide key insights into customer trends that affect sales and marketing
strategies. Guglielmetti describes what they look for in their reports: “We track how many customers are cleansed on a weekly basis.
We also report new customers acquired every week because we have an acquisition plan that we try to adhere to, and a goal for the
year. Filling our funnel with customers is critical. We look at lapsed customers and how many customers are activated in our business
every week. We have a rich loyalty program, and we have customer retention goals that we try to stick to, so we look closely at loyalty
program data every week.”
Weekly reports also include activity data, such as average order value, trends in lifetime customer value, trends in online and offline
channel usage, and other analytics. “We have plans for online, offline, and pretty much everywhere we have a mode of selling. So every
week our partner works with us to go through our active and new customers,” says Guglielmetti.
Having this view of customer data has enabled The Vitamin Shoppe to be flexible in its response to market-changing events, such as
the coronavirus, which has affected how shoppers behave and resulted in new operating rules that vary from state to state. “We’re
lucky. We have great vendor partners that help us make very quick changes when necessary,” notes Guglielmetti. “Our goal is really to
help keep our customers informed about what’s going on with us so they can get the things they need.”
“We have plans for online, offline, and pretty much everywhere we
have a mode of selling. So every week our partner works with us
to go through our active and new customers.”
Frequent data scrubbing maintains data quality. It also provides
regular reports on key trends such as new customer acquisition,
customer retention, channel trends, and purchasing trends.
These are essential insights for meeting business goals.
Having deep insight into actionable customer data increases
flexibility in responding quickly to market-changing events.
Vice President, General Manager, Marketing,
The Vitamin Shoppe
“We will be able to see indicators that a customer is in
the market, and we will be able to re-engage with them
at appropriate moments in their journey.”
Melanie Huet is the EVP, Chief Marketing Officer
at Serta Simmons Bedding. Melanie directs
the Marketing, Innovation, Insights and Trade
Marketing divisions focused on delivering
breakthrough innovation, strengthening
the house of brands and growing portfolio
revenue. In just one-year Melanie has helped
lead the transformation into a consumer led
organization identifying top consumer needs
and launching products designed to motivate
and delight consumers. Melanie has over 20
years of experience in CPG leading turnarounds
on billion dollar brands for Kimberly-Clark, Kraft
Heinz and Unilever.
EVP, Chief Marketing Officer,
Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC
Legacy Data Systems Limit the Value You Can Extract
Transitioning a legacy enterprise data management system is not an easy process,
but for Melanie Huet, executive VP and chief marketing officer at Serta Simmons
Bedding, it is necessary to gain greater efficiencies and flexibility in executing
Serta Simmons sells its major brands through retail outlets. Huet explains, “We
don’t have the sell-through data. We don’t really see the retailer POS data that
would help us understand how our products are performing compared to other
products in the marketplace.” Yet she recognizes the need for developing those
deeper insights, and that is a driving force behind their IT roadmap for modernizing
their customer data platform. “I came out of the consumer products world where
we had much better data and a full understanding of how we were doing so we
could react more quickly,” she says.
Huet notes that they currently collect quite a lot of data from different sources,
including data from market surveys and market research, email marketing, website
data that includes what is being viewed and what devices are being used to view it,
demographic and segmentation data, and social media data.
They now have a direct-to-consumer brand that sells through its website,
and a couple of the big established
brands are just beginning to do some
direct sales. The direct sales activities
provide more individualized customer
Although they have a lot of data to work with, legacy data systems stand in the way of getting maximum value from that data. “Some
things are sitting in a data lake, but we are not mining the data lake as well as we could,” Huet says. “We also have plug-ins for some
of the other business process systems, and the email program, where we have customers who have opted in for email, stores its data
in the data lake, but that is managed independently.” These data silos limit how the data can be used, and they can make resolving
customer identity from different touch points difficult. Huet adds, “It depends on how the customers come to us. If they come in via
certain methods, we can resolve their identity, but we can’t necessarily track it across all the touchpoints. One obstacle is that our
legacy brands are on a different system than our direct-to-customer brand. We have some systems integration work to do.”
Huet notes they are actively developing a more robust customer data platform. “We are rolling out several phases,” she says. “One of the
first things is to get the legacy brands on a better platform. Once we’re on that platform, right away we’ll be able to do a lot more.”
Huet believes updating their customer data platform will enable them to do a better job of understanding the lifetime value of a
customer and engaging the customer more effectively. “The purchase cycle is quite long in this product category,” she notes. “We will
be able to see indicators that a customer is in the market, and we will be able to re-engage with them at appropriate moments in their
She also sees a more effective use of their marketing tools and resources. “We believe better use of our data will help us optimize our
media and marketing to understand the most effective tools based on the call to action we’re trying to drive,” she explains. “It could be
that we really focus on lower-funnel marketing to convert to purchase, or it could be that we use the analytics to AB copy test and put
our strongest creative out there. Also, we’ve had a lot of discussion around contextually relevant advertising.” Speed of marketing action
is another important objective. “A better data platform would help us quickly get new content up and running,” says Huet. “From a cost
standpoint, there would be a huge efficiency if we could generate more content in-house and then more quickly measure it, cut what’s
not working, and do more of what is working.”
Huet is convinced that the more data they have, the more effective they will be at charting a successful path. Being able to do that
begins with having a solid customer data platform.
“From a cost standpoint, there would be a huge efficiency if we
could generate more content in-house and then more quickly
measure it, cut what’s not working, and do more of what is working.”
Legacy data systems limit the value of the data you collect
by making it difficult to share data from different brands,
resolve identities across touch points, and use the data
to track true customer journeys.
A customer data platform with good analytics enables more
flexible marketing strategies that focus on particular aspects
of the journey, use real-time testing to optimize engagement,
and develop contextualized advertising.
EVP, Chief Marketing Officer,
Serta Simmons Bedding, LLC
“Building a centralized data repository to store more than
three billion records of customer information was our most
Mark Chiles is the Chief Digital Officer & Senior
Vice President of Digital for Hart Energy.
As Hart’s chief digital officer, Mark coordinates
and leads key digital functions across the
company’s portfolio of world-class brands, while
defining growth areas and entering new markets.
He currently manages information technology,
software engineering, audience development,
digital business development, data intelligence
and new product strategy. New e-commerce,
online marketing, social media, transformative
platforms and cutting edge technology are
just some of the redefining media components
Mark is embracing to continue Hart Energy’s
leadership in providing oil and gas information.
Chief Digital Officer &
Senior Vice President of Digital,
A Centralized Data Repository Is the Key
Many companies whose business models generate large amounts of customer
data understand their data contains intelligence that can help the business. The
real challenge is how to consolidate that data into a useful resource and what tools
to apply to give you the actionable intelligence you need.
For Mark Chiles, senior vice president and chief digital officer at Hart Energy,
the first step was putting all the data in one place. “Before we implemented our
customer data platform (CDP), our data was scattered across probably a dozen
systems from nearly as many vendors,” Chiles explains. “Our first priority was
to create a data lake that could serve as a historical platform to prevent loss of
valuable data. One of our major digital-marketing vendors notified us of their
intentions to begin retaining only 90 days of data. We expect that the costs of
storage and increasingly stringent regulatory requirements related to personally
identifiable information (PII) may lead other vendors to follow suit. So building a
centralized data repository to store more than three billion records of customer
information was our most pressing task.”
Putting all this data into one centralized repository led to the next challenge,
which was how to process and analyze all that data. Hart Energy’s customer data
platform could now protect historical data and interconnect data sources and
marketing tools in a way that scaled
to handle the volume and pace of data
collection. The current database holds
80 tables of data with some data imports
updating daily, and others as frequently
as every hour. “Our marketers use these data sets to develop strategies for promoting a diverse mix of products to equally diverse
audiences,” Chiles says.
The old tools would no longer work with such large, interconnected data sets. “Prior to implementing the CDP, marketers had to rely
heavily on spreadsheets, pivot tables, and institutional knowledge, sifting through large pivot tables and huge spreadsheets to make
sense of information,” Chiles notes. “One table we maintained held more than 370 columns of data. Obviously, it’s nearly impossible to
develop any kind of meaningful rationale from a table that size—spreadsheets are simply no way to run a business.”
Chiles describes use cases enabled by CDP. “We’re now able to track and analyze the subscriber journey across websites and content.
Cross-referencing data from multiple systems helps us identify new opportunities to influence renewals. For example, we can create
detailed usage reports for our corporate subscribers. By showing them more of the reader’s journey, including activities across both
paid-subscription publications and free newsletter content, we can reveal the true value of our content and help businesses make
appropriate renewal decisions. We can also provide similar reports to advertisers.
“In another application, we’re developing a workflow that uses conference-attendee data imported into the repository to activate a
chat feature that allows conference attendees to talk directly with each other. The app accesses the integrated multichannel data
(including event confirmation numbers) and then pushes the appropriate information back out via our web-hosting system to enable
authentication and the networking that allows attendees to communicate with each other. Without the data repository and connectors,
development and maintenance of this app would have been much more complex.”
Analytical tools built into the CDP platform and the platform’s support for customized machine learning algorithms make deeper
analysis possible. Chiles explains how these capabilities have transformed their ability to derive intelligence from their data: “Today we
can take advantage of much more sophisticated audience segmentation. Previously we could only run rudimentary searches to identify
potential campaign targets. If, for example, you wanted to reach out to top management, you had to search for a specific title such
as ‘CEO.’ Today we can quickly query for the full gamut of possible titles—general manager, founder, owner, principal, etc.—that might
identify the top position in a company.” This has opened the door to more sophisticated analysis such as affinity modeling that helps
Hart Energy more effectively promote its portfolio of information and data products across the company’s customer base.
“Overall, we’re gaining a deeper understanding of how our audiences
cross over and expect to use affinity analysis
to create new promotion and sales opportunities.”
23. Chiles explains how the CDP is changing the way they approach their marketing challenges: “Overall, we’re gaining a deeper
understanding of how our audiences cross over and expect to use affinity analysis to create new promotion and sales opportunities.
And we’re continuing to expand our use of the CDP functionality to better understand the customer journey. We expect that predictive
scoring, for example, will help us quantify churn propensity.”
Chiles is also using the CDP platform to support greater personalization strategies in their online customer engagement. He says,
“We’re using a profiles API in our development of a new app that will dynamically populate website content and make personalized
recommendations for site visitors.”
Marketers sift through huge spreadsheets to make sense of information. This approach
becomes unworkable for large databases. Analytical tools built into a CDP platform and
support for customized machine learning algorithms make deeper analysis possible.
The CDP platform can support greater personalization strategies, such as dynamically
populating website content and making personalized recommendations for site visitors.
Chief Digital Officer & Senior Vice President of Digital,
“Data can come from a number of different sources
and systems within the enterprise. You have to make
sure you have a process to aggregate information.”
Kiran Kumar has spent the past 15 years in
a range of customer-facing roles in large and
complex retail businesses. He has significant
experience in the thoughtful use of data for
analytics, finance and loyalty programs, as
well as for the operations and development of
consumer facing applications.
Digital Product Management,
Operations and Marketing in Retail,
Leading US Retailers (Various)
Making Customer Data Actionable
Personalized marketing has become an essential strategy for many businesses
working to raise the quality and value of their customer engagements. With his
long experience in digital product management and marketing, Kiran Kumar
points out: “The moment you personalize a campaign, you will see improvements
in customer engagement which can manifest itself in transaction increases,
positive customer feedback and improved loyalty. Personalization improves ROI for
marketing in general.”
Achieving high marketing ROI requires proficiency in managing and
operationalizing data. Operationalizing data is not just about how you deploy
marketing campaigns. “The ability to take action based on data is critical,” says
Kumar. “Data by itself is not useful.” To operationalize data, you must develop an
end-to-end process that includes data collection, hygiene, analytics and activation.
Kumar explains: “If you think about this process as a pipeline, you need to have all
the components of the pipeline working well for anything to flow through.
The data needs to be accessible, you need analytical tools to derive meaning from
the data, and you need tools to take action on what the data tells you. Also, all
these components need to be integrated seamlessly.”
Kumar sees a few essential steps to
preparing customer data so that you can
derive actionable meaning from it. These
1. Making sure the data is complete and readily accessible. The data you collect needs to contain the basic elements you require
to achieve your goals. This is fundamental, because the higher the quality of your data and the more data you have, the greater
opportunity you will have to act on it. Data can come from a number of different sources and systems within the enterprise. “You have
to make sure you have a process to aggregate information,” Kumar says. At the same time, he recognizes the challenges of integrating
data that often resides in many places and comes from different sources. He notes, “A lot of companies already have a multitude of
data platforms. Some have a master customer data management platform. The big question is how do you put something together
that will integrate with everything you are doing.”
2. Exercising good data hygiene practices. “This is critical,” says Kumar, “because data elements are often not consistent even though
they are nominally representing the same attributes, or they’re capturing the same behavior differently.” Good data hygiene involves
having the ability to perform quality checks on incoming data and flagging or correcting invalid records. You also need the ability
to merge or link customer accounts, and to make sure that when customers engage, the associated data is directed to an existing
account rather than put into new accounts. A proliferation of records related to each customer makes it more difficult to connect the
dots in the backend, and it increases the future data management burden.
Kumar advises having these data management capabilities before investing heavily in downstream analytical and activation tools.
Platforms with solid data management features and analytical capabilities can help. “A third party platform can get you to market faster
with more features,” Kumar says, “but you will still have to integrate that with in-house platforms.”
“A third party platform can get you to market faster with more
features, but you will still have to integrate that with in-house
Operationalizing data is not just about how you deploy marketing
campaigns. To operationalize data, you must develop
an end-to-end process that includes data collection,
hygiene, analytics and activation.
Good data hygiene involves having the ability to perform quality
checks on incoming data and flagging or correcting invalid records.
You also need the ability to merge or link customer accounts,
and to make sure that when customers engage, the associated data
is directed to an existing account rather than put into new accounts.
Digital Product Management, Operations and Marketing in Retail,
Leading US Retailers (Various)