6 must-have capabilities for your customer data platform | Sponsored Content

This article was contributed and sponsored by PwC.

Customers in every industry are demanding a consistent, personalized experience, however they choose to interact with a brand. In fact, they’re willing to pay more—on average, 16% more—for products or services when they feel known and appreciated, according to PwC research.

Yet 76% of companies say they lack the ability to transform raw data into actionable insights that could improve customer experiences. Customer data platforms (CDPs) can dramatically improve marketing experiences by helping manage customer data. Let’s examine six key capabilities various CDPs offer.

1. Customer data management

Companies have online data coming in continually from website and ecommerce applications, social media channel monitoring, and other sources. They also have offline data, including customer purchase and payment history. Some CDPs can bring together data from all these sources, but many can’t. This requires companies to be clear about what types of data they need for the purpose they have in mind for each CDP.

2. Identity resolution

Today’s customers expect to be known and treated as individuals. It’s critically important to be able to resolve any confusion about customer identity. Confusion can arise for a variety of reasons, including data being entered inconsistently in legacy systems or incompletely in forms and other online identity capture applications. Using a CDP that can efficiently clean up customer identities can be immensely useful.

3. Identity matching

Once a customer’s identity has been clearly identified, companies still need to match the customer across interaction channels and internal customer data applications. Failing to correctly resolve customer identities can cause a flood of duplicate, costly, potentially irrelevant, and irritating offers. Understanding the capabilities of a CDP and how they map to a company’s existing customer data structures helps avoid frustrating and incomplete identity resolution.

4. Customer behavior description

Companies need to understand customer preferences for specific products and price points, as well as which channels they favor, what influences their decisions, and when they’re most likely to act. Being able to track customer behavior across channels, at specific moments, and over time is essential.

5. Customer analytics

So much can be gained from using AI, machine learning, and other forms of analytics to identify a customer’s preferences, propensity to purchase, recency, frequency, net promoter score (NPS), and most importantly, where they stand on their customer journey. Investigate how well a CDP can run AI and machine learning models and if it can do real-time activation. The CDP should be able to create the models and audiences and activate them on screen to allow marketers to easily interpret, interact with, and tweak.

6. Orchestration

Marketers know all too well how time-consuming orchestrating all the elements needed for customer nurturing can be, causing many companies to fall back on customer interaction schedules dictated by the limitations of their technology stack. Very few CDPs have orchestration capabilities, but CDPs with such capabilities can often process some information in real time, enabling quick reactions to customer behaviors or other events to drive new offers or adjust campaigns.

A CDP can be an important strategic investment for a brand or a business enterprise. But success depends on more than the choice and implementation of technology. Customer Link, PwC’s customer analytics product, provides a 360-degree view of your customers that can help you use customer data as a foundation for better customer relationships and a profitable future.