The Importance of High-Quality Customer Data

CDP|7 Minute Read

The Importance of High-Quality Customer Data

A 2019 Nielsen survey found just 28% of brands deem customer data quality a top priority.

And yet, many companies polled noted quality customer data is vital to marketing success.

Sense something (big) amiss here? So do we.

Recognizing the importance of high-quality customer data to one’s marketing strategy, but then doing nothing to improve said data quality is a rather self-defeating mindset to have.

Here’s the simple truth about modern marketing:

The only way to effectively connect with both individuals and target segments today is through engaging, relevant, well-timed marketing across channels based on unified, accurate, accessible, and actionable data.

Specifically, marketing based on first-party data that lives in a central system of record everyday marketers at enterprise organizations can own and operate with ease.

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Ensuring high customer data quality now critical for enterprise marketing teams

As we’ve discussed in the past, customer data management is a practice — not a technology. That’s something the most successful enterprise companies understand today.

More precisely, business leaders for said brands know the value of supplying their marketing teams with clean, always up-to-date consumer data and customer information.

(That is, not just endless amounts of big data associated with contacts in their martech ecosystem, which only undermines attempts to build and cultivate a data-driven culture.)

Thankfully, more enterprise executives — particularly CMOs — are starting to recognize the value of providing high-quality, fully accessible data for their marketing organizations.

Forrester VP, Principal Analyst Lori Wizdo detailed how, in light of COVID-19 and subsequent changes to the business landscape, many marketing leaders are placing a renewed focus on data quality — particularly investments in more powerful martech to ensure their teams have better-quality customer data with which to work:

“With so much engagement shifting to digital marketing … marketers are asking ‘If we don’t now, will we ever?’ as they realize how important it is to have quality data and to have the capacities to turn that data into insights that can drive targeted, personalized engagement.”

Of course, not every large-scale business is the same. Some CMOs will have no choice but to eliminate marketing tools from their stacks to weather the storm that is 2020.

Having said that, Gartner VP Analyst Ewan McIntyre indicated there are three essential marketing technologies enterprise brands are least likely to cut as they navigate the new normal (and maintain a focus on the post-pandemic business climate):

“CMOs believe technology will help them navigate through difficult times and recover faster, and thus will continue to shield these investments — like customer data platforms, mobile marketing platforms and digital commerce — from further cost efficiencies.”

It’s the first technology McIntyre listed that’s arguably the most crucial one enterprise marketing leaders and their teams need to both withstand the ‘down’ period (a.k.a. 2020) and come out the other side (2021 and beyond) stronger than ever.

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Many requirements for marketers to meet to boost their customer data quality

‘Flawless’ customer data is a myth. But as a 2019 Forrester survey notes, marketers can build more useful personal data sets by ensuring said data meets certain requirements:

“Attaining ‘perfect’ data is neither realistic nor necessary. Marketers should instead prioritize seven key quality dimensions: timeliness, completeness, consistency, relevance, transparency, accuracy, and representativeness.”

Despite this sensible recommendation, only 9% of marketers polled said they had substantial confidence in their customer data, as it pertained to all these qualities.

That’s a giant problem for the overwhelming majority. Why? Because each requirement outlined in the report is essential to marketers when it comes realizing better outcomes from their integrated communications — whether through campaigns or lifecycle orchestration:

  • Timeliness: The whole point of real-time marketing is to gain and maintain real-time access to all data sources and, preferably, in a single, centralized database. Without constant and instant access to all types of real-time data, marketers’ work is hindered.
  • Completeness: The single customer view is the Holy Grail for marketers. Some, though, appear fine with mostly complete customer data collection in legacy systems. However, this only leads an inability to gain valuable insights regarding customers.
  • Consistency: Identity resolution is also a top objective for today’s marketers. With siloed solutions providing different IDs, it becomes imperative for marketers to resolve them and create a single identity to streamline their activities and save time.
  • Relevance: Personalized recommendations of products or services to specific contacts or segments helps marketing acquire, upsell, and cross-sell. But weak data that doesn’t reflect holistic customer journeys deters relevant communications and conversions.
  • Transparency: Protecting customers’ personal data is paramount. But so too is crafting a consent management strategy that offers clear opt-in and -out language and states how you’ll use existing and prospective customers’ behavioral data.
  • Accuracy: One-fifth of enterprise employees think their customer data is inaccurate, per Experian. What’s the point of unifying audience data — and ideally, creating a single source of truth — for eventual analysis and cross-channel activation if it’s not reliable?
  • Representativeness: Lookalike modeling for retargeting remains a vital tactic for enterprise marketers’ customer acquisition efforts. But poor data collection — and, thereby, poor data quality — can impede advertising success and lead to wasted spend.

The solution to these marketers’ pressing customer data quality management issues (and one that can help them check off each of these requirement)? The customer data platform.

what is customer data platform

Improving quality of customer data and leveraging data impossible without CDP

“Marketers don’t simply want all of their data in one place,” BlueConic COO Cory Munchbach recently explained to AdExchanger. “They want it there for a reason, so they can do things like create cross-functional data segments and have the ability to distribute those segments to the systems they care about.”

In other words? Marketing needs much more than a system that centralizes customer data from all tech and channels syncs and provides the aforementioned single customer view.

Rather, enterprise marketing teams need a way to easily and efficiently analyze, segment, and model that data so they can more capably liberate it in messaging to target audiences.

The high quality of unified customer profile data synced into the CDP accounts for everything today’s marketers need to realize this approach: from individuals’ up-to-the-minute consent statuses to the ability to resolve their identities in real time.

And these critical CDP capabilities are all in support of the most important marketing activities for brands like yours — including and especially customer lifecycle orchestration, audience data analysis, multi-dimensional segmentation, and predictive modeling.

Just ask BlueConic customers who leverage their high-quality customer data stored in our CDP to execute their principal business use cases and accelerate their marketing ROI:

  • Advantage Rent A Car: A newly established first-party customer data set enabled the well-known car rental brand to identify both known and anonymous website visitors and, subsequently, deliver bespoke customer experiences (e.g., hyper-personalized on-site messaging) to drive more direct bookings from those individuals. The result: A 25% increase in its direct bookings conversion rate.
  • Planet Blue: Leveraging POS and behavioral data as well as CLV and RFM models helped the popular retail company build more intricate (i.e., better-quality) segments that now fuel its omnichannel marketing: The result: Greater operational efficiency across the business and ability to reach the right customers at the best times to convert new shoppers and retain previous buyers’ business.
  • goba Sports Group: Siloed customer data across its martech stack prior to adopting BlueConic led to inefficiencies with goba’s marketing program. But its advertising ROI went through the roof after onboarding our pure-play CDP, thanks to the ability to newfound ability to build complete customer profiles: The result: Its CPA fell by 24%, while its ROAS jumped by 59% for its U.S. audience.

Regardless of the volume or variety of customer data relevant for your business model or in your industry, the CDP is the technology that can rectify persistent customer data quality challenges in your marketing strategy: from understanding where your prospects and buyers are in their respective journeys to knowing the exact messaging to send to them in each stage of the customer lifecycle.

With a CDP, you’ll never have to worry about losing a customer due to incomplete or inaccurate data. When your marketing is orchestrated around high-quality customer data and the requisite activation systems to properly utilize and benefit from that data, you can rest assured no revenue will be left on the table.

Watch our webinar to discover the (sizable) ROI enterprises realize with a CDP and the always-accurate single customer view it provides their marketing teams.

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