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Customer Data - Your Strategic Advantage

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

Salesforce Customer Data Platform
Salesforce Customer Data Platform

by Shannan Hearne, Summit Technologies Marketing Specialist

Information is the engine that powers much of our modern economy. Superior data analysis confers a competitive advantage. You may have lots of customer data, but if it’s siloed and unorganized, it’s not working for you.

Here is an example of a super-engaged customer that is sneaking around your company because you don’t have a 360 degree customer view.

I visit your website. Pardot tracks me - and on website visit two I fill out a form or a form handler on your site. Now you know my address and you know I have interacted with you and you have my email address. You send me an email through Pardot. Alas, I don’t open or click the email. What you don’t know is that I’ve been receiving your emails through your legacy email system for years at a different email address.

But wait, it gets worse.

I also exist in your customer data because I ordered items for my mother with her email address and credit card number and had them shipped to her home. Now I exist in your legacy system. What if my mother called customer support and used still another email address? Now you have a super engaged customer who shops, shares your information with family and friends, and has had at least one negative experience. Yet you don’t know we are connected.

Without a 360 degree customer view you have no way of connecting the dots from one siloed piece of data to another and no way to connect the data to fully understand how I relate to your company and how you can best relate AND MARKET to me.

In the same scenario above with Salesforce’s Customer Data Platform you can pull all the siloed data together in one place. Make your customer interactions smarter, easier, and more efficient and turn customer data into your strategic advantage.

Bringing all your customer data into a single source of truth with Salesforce’s CDP (customer data platform) lets you connect with your customers providing personalization and a more thorough understanding of who they are, what they want, and how you can meet their needs. CDPs are not a new technology. They are the latest evolution of CRMs designed to extend the power of Salesforce beyond sales and marketing, launching your business into a state of transformation where customer data becomes your leverage for industry advantage.

Combine Salesforce CDP and your Pardot or Marketing Cloud Platforms with your customer data repositories and you have all your data in one place. Even if you market to your leads and customers with SMS texting, emails, direct mail, and an active call center the information about the real customer is all in one, single 360 degree view.

Add Mulesoft Anypoint and Salesforce’s connectors for Tableau (Salesforce’s CRM Analytics) intelligent artificial intelligence via Einstein Analytics turns your once segmented data into actionable insights to give you a full view of who people are and what they are looking for.

Summit Technologies can help you design and implement a custom Salesforce solution that removes data silos and solves your business challenges.

Customer data platforms solve three challenges for your business: incomplete customer identities, scattered segmentation, and disconnected data.

Identify and privacy management of customer data are a necessity to providing a quality customer experience and staying compliant in sending digital communications. When data sources have customer IDs that are not mapped to one another you do not have a complete customer view or profile.

Data can be your strategic advantage but not if it is missing or incomplete or unavailable in one or more systems in your company. Customer profiles that are incomplete, inaccurate, or just delayed in updating completely skew your analytics and your predictive models. Without a customer data platform your single source of truth is still scattered and that makes segmentation for marketing impossible.

Disconnected data prevents you from fully connecting with your customers, eliminating your strategic advantage. Salesforce’s most recent State of Marketing research discovered that the number of data sources used by marketers has grown by 50% since 2019. That is a lot of places to have to search to pull together the customer data that gives you a strategic advantage.

More than ever, with a shrinking expendable income among consumers and highly competitive landscape in nearly every industry, unified customer data is the strategic advantage you need to stay ahead.

I predict soon it won’t be enough just to connect your own data but companies will be looking across their partner or potential partner landscape and combining and leveraging customer data to provide even more personalized and unified messaging. Are you laying the groundwork to capture your customer data for a strategic advantage? Summit Technologies can help you look at the lay of the land and re-align your data silos for success.

Before I go, here is one example of how aligned customer data gave a pizza chain a strategic advantage. Casey’s is famous in 16 states with 2200 locations for comfort food and friendly service. With that many locations it was a challenge for the chain to have a 360 degree view of their customers. Casey’s launched a loyalty program in January of 2020 offering active customers special benefits while pulling their siloed customer data into a CDP for more personalized engagement and awe inspiring emails.

Customer experiences cannot be improved if the data about the customers resides in disconnected systems. By implementing a loyalty program and Salesforce’s CDP Casey’s had a 16% lift in conversion rates on pizza alone. Connecting disconnected data about customers and improving customer data management created a great lift in the middle of the pandemic!

What can a customer data platform do for your business?

It can be your strategic advantage.

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