Delivering the experiences your customers deserve with a Data Management Platform

This article is the first in a series explaining how DMPs enable brands to take control of the experiences they deliver to their customers

We all know that customer experience is critical. Nowadays it’s the experience that often differentiates one organisation from its competitors.

This isn’t (or shouldn’t be) news to anyone. Being able to actually deliver good customer experiences is another matter entirely. It’s a difficult challenge to overcome – mostly because there are so many facets and issues that need to be considered.

It’s with this in mind that I’m writing this series of articles on customer experience in relation to Data Management Platforms (DMPs) because as more interaction with brands are digital I believe that in many ways a DMP is the best solution to the many challenges I see clients battling with.

Experience is king – the pillars of good experience

First off – it’s important to understand why experience is so important. We’ve covered this in multiple other articles (check out this article by my colleague Matthew Dunn) so I’ll be brief here.

Good customer experience is expected in today’s world. People are always on, always connected. They jump across devices and platforms and they expect brands to keep up with them. Equally, they expect a brand to be personal and understand where they are coming from. When customers give a brand their data there is an expectation that it will be used to their benefit – and in the modern regulatory environment that’s exactly what they should be doing.

Finally, today’s customers are far more vocal than ever before if they are not getting the experience they deserve. Social media and a ‘review culture’ means brands that don’t deliver get called out.

Digital experiences come with their own challenges

The dynamic of customer experience has shifted in recent years as the sheer number of touchpoints has increased. More touchpoints mean more individual interactions. Now, the key to a good experience is the ability to be flexible and to tailor the message or action based on the individual. However, it’s only possible to do this – delivering a relevant and personal interaction – based on data and insight on that individual (or information about the type of person they are likely to be) and this comes with its own challenges.

The current regulatory environment means that brands have to be honest and transparent with their usage of data. Using it to deliver value and only when strictly necessary. Equally – and seemingly, conversely – the quality and thoroughness of the data used will define how tailored an experience it is possible to deliver. If you don’t have information on an individual, it will not be possible to deliver a personalised experience.

All these are challenges that we have to overcome.

How a DMP provides the best framework to deliver the experiences your customers deserve

A Data Management Platform is the critical piece of the puzzle when it comes to pulling together a coherent customer experience. It provides the framework to build customer journeys, using data and insight to power the right decisions based on all the information you have at your disposal.

Over the next few blog posts I will be more thoroughly spelling out all the steps you need to take to build that framework (so watch this space and check back soon) but for now I will provide a brief overview including why a DMP is the key to unlock a lot of potential.

1. Do your analysis

There is simply so much to do. That’s a fact. So an important aspect of the process is the planning and prioritisation.  And only with a sensible analysis of your situation will you be able to create a manageable, realistic yet beneficial road map. Mapping out your most important customer journeys is a key step to identifying any so-called ‘low hanging fruit’.

2. Build on strong foundations

Much of your ability to operate effectively in any element of marketing relies on data and using it effectively. Data is the starting point – your first party behavioural data, offline CRM data and what you purchase from a third party and enrichment perspective. If you don’t have reliable, compliant or up to date data from the outset you are always going to struggle. So stage two is get your data in order to enable you to define the relevant audiences around which to tailor your experiences.

3. Check your tech

While the data is key, the right technology plays an important role. Many organisations will have an offline single customer view the more advanced supplementing these with a ‘Big Data Lake’ in which to store web behavioural data, however without the ability to activate insights across multiple channels both on and off your own inventory the customer experience remains fragmented despite your best endeavours.

4. Deliver your experiences

This is where we will get to the real meaty part of the series and what I’m sure you will be keenest to hear. In order to deliver good experiences, you need to, of course, have considered points 1-3, but how you then implement those experiences is equally crucial. In future posts I will talk you through the three main ways to break your experiences down into manageable chunks:

  1. Minimise bad experiences
  2. Personalise to give good experiences to drive value
  3. Delivering relevancy to non-customers

So, I hope you’re looking forward to this series. If you have any questions about DMPs or customer experience in general, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. Otherwise, check back soon for the next update.