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How Companies Move from Data Chaos to Marketing Agility and Customer Velocity

It's time to tame the chaos, become more agile, and grow revenue

That we generate reams and reams of data as a species today is well-known. Less recognized is the extent to which data for marketing teams has grown.

A decade ago, they could focus on data from CRMs, websites, and emails. Today, marketers must now consider those sources plus additional data from the sales, digital, and back office teams. From sales teams, there are analytics on account engagement (think 6Sense here) and in-store purchases to consider. From finance teams, you’ve got returns to factor in. From digital teams, you’ve got mobile data to fold in.

What’s challenging is that the data isn’t gathered in a single repository. Instead, it’s stored, managed, and evaluated in departmental silos. Of course, marketers want to connect those silos, but doing so is difficult, and the budget for connecting them can be hard to find.

That inaction can come at a cost, reports McKinsey, because companies that make good use of their data — particularly customer analytics — outperform competitors 186% more in terms of sales growth. When businesses don’t optimize their data, money sits on the table.

It’s time to improve ROI and leave the data chaos behind.

Data here, there, and everywhere

Yet chaotic data environments are more prevalent than you may think. Let’s look at a few  companies where the situation resulted in numerous missed opportunities, and ask yourself:  Does your organization share similar pain points experienced by these well-known brands?

Clarks

This popular shoe merchant suffered from a common problem we mentioned earlier: siloed data housed in various channels. Disconnected technology prevented the company from having a 360° view of each of its customers. For example, its point-of-sale (POS) system couldn’t connect with its e-commerce order management system (OMS). Without a unified customer view, Clarks relied on batch-and-blast campaigns devoid of personalization.

GODIVA

For this chocolatier, the disconnect was most evident in its customer experience (CX). Lacking a unified view of the customer, the company found it difficult to create a seamless experience between its brick-and-mortar locations and its digital properties. Then, in the midst of GODIVA’s digital transformation, the coronavirus pandemic hit, putting greater pressure on the company’s e-commerce site. GODIVA needed advanced analytics that would help it understand what  messaging, content, and offerings would best drive sales.

lululemon

Most organizations would kill for the amount of data this athletic apparel company regularly gathers from its many active communities, but for lululemon, the volume was overwhelming. Not only was there a lot of it, but it was separated from lululemon’s digital engagement operations. In fact, the company’s digital and in-store teams were also siloed, belying the promise of a cross-channel lifestyle brand. It needed a technological lynchpin that could marry on- and offline customer experiences, as well as predictive analytics that could help lululemon better plan ahead.

Discovering marketing agility through CDPs

Each of the businesses we called out above stabilized their chaotic data environments by turning to a customer data platform (CDP) — ours, in fact. The powerful enterprise software collects zero-, first-, and third-party data to produce unified customer profiles that update in real time. 

A central source of truth that anyone with the right permission settings can access, the platform also breaks down data silos, as well as departmental silos. Your development team might use it to draw up their product roadmap, while your business operations team can use it to decide where they should expand their brick-and-mortar locations. And, of course, your marketing team can use it to craft more personalized campaigns that take advantage of a CDP’s machine learning (ML) capabilities to identify which customers are more likely to respond to discounts emailed to them. (That is, if your CDP has ML functionality. Be sure to ask about this critical differentiator when shopping for CDPs.)

In short, CDPs arm organizations with the business intelligence they need to grow sales, retain customers, nurture brand loyalty, and make data-driven, strategic decisions that best position them for the future.

We see such outcomes mirrored in the success of our clients. Clarks, for example, used the holistic customer view that Acquia CDP produced to learn which of its customers responded positively to discounts. So, instead of sending discounted offers to everyone, the company could tailor its content to customer behaviors. 

GODIVA, on the other hand, used Acquia CDP to convert in-store shoppers to online buyers when the pandemic began. By targeting retail-only buyers but suppressing those who bought items only available in-store, the company almost doubled its average email open rate and boosted its web traffic by 63%.

And lululemon used Acquia CDP to cut through their data noise to decode their audience’s preferred activities and then mold personalized campaigns around those insights. For instance, by knowing which customers attended its in-store yoga sessions or which preferred the gym over running outdoors, lululemon could create customized online and offline campaigns and offers.

We call the flexibility to parse data and tailor campaigns “marketing agility.”

Increasing revenue velocity

Well and good, you say, but do any of those results move the needle financially?

They do, or we wouldn’t waste our breath.

Clarks, for example, realized $1.4 million in revenue from a $500,000 campaign, while online retailer Moosejaw saw revenue per email rise by 9%. Lids, another retailer, also counted $250,000 in revenue from a win-back campaign, and GODIVA saw a whopping 621% return on advertising spend (ROAS) from a Mother’s Day campaign. And lululemon? The apparel maker welcomed a 10–15% increase in the baseline revenue of its digital marketing campaigns.

Powered by Acquia CDP, these were real, quantifiable outcomes that resulted from taming data chaos to consistently access unified customer profiles and other data insights. This stable data foundation further supports businesses’ marketing agility, allowing them to personalize outreach and shape campaigns with the help of predictive analytics.

But this agility isn’t limited to marketers. The C-suite can use a CDP to make critical business decisions, product teams can use it to inform development priorities, e-commerce managers can use it to improve product listings, and so on. The boost that CDPs lend to companies is a competitive advantage that CMOs, CTOs, CIOs — really, anyone in leadership — would be remiss to overlook.

Need further proof? Check out our free e-book for examples chock-full of convincing figures and relatable scenarios — The Power of a CDP: Success Stories from the Field.

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