You don’t need to know all the customer data platform (CDP) use cases you’ll ever want to execute immediately after implementing the business technology for your organization.
However, you do need the right data sources and sets imported into your customer data platform tenant for your initial set of use cases with the solution.
Specifically, data science, analytics, and marketing (among other growth-focused teams who will/may use the tech) need ‘minimum viable data’ (MVD) for your prospects and customers.
Why defining the minimum viable data for your first CDP use cases is critical
That is, growth teams need unified, actionable customer data that offers both confidence and utility whenever and wherever they need it to succeed today. But there’s a caveat:
- The exact customer data they need depends entirely on the use cases they intend to implement following CDP adoption.
Identifying your most vital first-party data (e.g., engagement, interest, purchase, and behavioral data) is a must to employ your desired CDP use cases, realize efficiencies throughout the organization, and achieve your desired return on investment.
Put another way? You don’t need all info associated with prospects and customers that is stored across your entire tech stack to carry out your preferred CDP use cases.
Accumulating big data from across systems, channels, and touchpoints, then syncing said data into unified, persistent profiles to create a single customer view is certainly beneficial.
(And a core capability of all true pure-play CDPs.)
But the most successful data-driven strategies today have one thing in common: They utilize the most relevant, timely first-party data — not all data — to deliver bespoke experiences across all touchpoints and in every customer lifecycle stage.
For instance, many retailers that use BlueConic start by distinguishing buyers from non-buyers. They also identify shoppers’ product category preferences so they can influence future purchases through targeted, individualized and personalized promotions.
Over time, this transactional data and the distinct customer segments retailers create based on this data can inform other use cases (e.g., membership and loyalty program promotions).
These companies recognize having a ‘base level’ of data (i.e., MVD) allows them to:
- 1) Launch key use cases more quickly and confidently, knowing they have the ‘right’ data
- 2) Achieve larger business goals (e.g., increase speed-to-market, coordinate workflows)
With that in mind, let’s explore how one BlueConic customer defined its minimum viable data set for its first CDP use cases. And, specifically, how doing so set the company on the right path, so to speak, in terms of extracting value from our platform.
How one BlueConic customer leverages MVD for its initial CDP use cases
Working with BlueConic’s customer success team, the company in question adopted the mantra of “importing with purpose” when defining its minimum viable data.
The business recognized it had a sizable big-data set for its prospects and customers. So, determining the MVD for its initial CDP use cases became top priority.
That presented a (seemingly) daunting challenge for the company, though: deciding which first-party data to bring into BlueConic for eventual utilization.
The BlueConic team worked in tandem with the customer’s CDP implementation team (the personnel of which will vary from one business to the next, depending on which teams require CDP access) to address this issue by following a couple best practices.
1) Identify the core first-party customer data to import.
The first step was to determine what data was needed to create the visitor profile. The team defined this as all identification keys the business uses to ID visitors in marketing initiatives.
At this point, a visual diagram was created to help the company understand where all this identity-based customer data came from.
This ultimately helped resolve multiple known and anonymous visitor identities from across systems into a single, consolidated customer identity in BlueConic.
In turn, the customer gained a true single customer view for all its growth-focused teams.
Once the business was confident in its ability to identify its visitors, we refocused our efforts on defining the specific MVD around the company’s CDP use case roadmap.
Each use case was mapped to the customer data needed to complete each one. (More on this roadmap shortly.)
After the first use cases were defined by key stakeholders, we helped them gauge which ones were ideal to start with. Specifically, they were prioritized based on four key values:
- 1) Importance to business growth: Will it generate short- or long-term ROI?
- 2) Difficulty in terms of set-up: How much time and resources does this need?
- 3) The amount of data required: Which customer data is essential to execute?
- 4) Interdependencies among teams: Who needs to work together closely?
Some of its use cases were moved up or back after accounting for the above criteria.
But this reshuffling ultimately allowed the customer to complete a few smaller, low-hanging-fruit CDP use cases while we sourced and loaded the MVD it needed for larger use cases.
2) Develop the marketing strategy and specific tactics.
With its minimum viable data determined and subsequently imported into BlueConic, the customer could now focus on implementing its initial customer data platform use cases.
The overarching objective of all of the organization’s CDP use cases?:
- “Facilitate prospects’ journeys through the lead funnel by focusing on creating a personalized experience for each individual and increasing customer autonomy.”
From here, we helped the customer break down that high-level goal into more digestible use cases. These essentially revolved around each touchpoint or internal process the customer wanted to improve, but they were still a bit abstract.
For instance, one of the priority CDP use cases for the customer was:
- “Leverage personalized information to create a high-quality CX at the top of the lead funnel (e.g., first email to prospect).”
We then broke down these broad marketing-oriented use cases into specific engagement tactics — ones that were far more tangible and actionable. One example was:
- “Define the specific parameters for capturing lead interest and other important customer attributes, then build a trigger to send this data to an email connection.”
Ultimately, the company incorporated its CDP use case roadmap (and the specific tactics and tasks to be carried out to execute each one) into its existing marketing program.
With its MVD defined, the BlueConic customer can move forward on its first set of use cases and, in turn, get well on its way to realizing its desired business growth.
And, to reiterate: These are just the initial CDP use cases the business put into play.
Once the growth-focused teams who use BlueConic become more familiar with our CDP and learn how the platform can help them generate more revenue and increase operational efficiency, they can both refine their existing use cases and try out new ones.
And these teams can all become more agile and flexible in the process.
Delivering bespoke experiences and driving growth with your CDP use cases
Share personalized, cross-channel recommendations with individuals. Leverage machine learning and artificial intelligence to predict customer scores and behavior. Identify high-value segments to prioritize in your marketing program.
There are many CDP use cases you can implement today — ones that contribute to growth and transformation. But, as BlueConic COO Cory Munchbach wrote for CMSWire:
- “The most successful [companies] not only carefully plan and prioritize their [CDP] use cases to guide vendor selection and implementation, but continue to review those use cases on an ongoing basis.”
Translation? It’s ideal to define MVD to get going with your top-priority use cases following CDP implementation. But that’s just the start of your transformation journey.
Your use cases should evolve and expand over time. And, as they do, you can transition from channel-centric to customer-centric marketing (see: lifecycle orchestration).
Not just to improve your tactical metrics, but also to realize your company’s strategic vision — the one that led you to get a customer data platform in the first place.
Organizations invest in CDPs today to help them achieve a variety of business goals.
Whatever reason you decided to (or plan to) invest in the platform, just know your growth-focused teams will get the most out of the tech when they utilize the most pertinent, real-time customer data — not all data unified in customers’ profiles.
Watch our CDP use cases webinar today to discover how companies use BlueConic to better engage with their customers and improve marketing and business outcomes.