Using data better to deliver personalized experiences – by MoEngage’s Raviteja Dodda 

MoEngage's CEO & co-founder Raviteja Dodda writes on how blending unified customer data and meaningful user engagement, leads to improved business outcomes

In the digital era, consumers interact with brands across multiple platforms and applications. Each of these platforms is connected to tools in a company’s tech stack that congregates data on consumer habits. For example, the social media management tool gathers data on how customers interact with posts on Facebook or Instagram. Similarly, the CRM tool stores information about the customer’s company, email address, billing, etc. The email marketing tool stores data about how the customer interacts with emails, whether they open promotional emails, move discount mails to spam, or respond regularly.

However, analyzing this data collectively across different platforms and channels can be daunting for many brands. One of the challenges brands face is that information relating to the customer exists in silos, across the apps they use, and is not commonly accessible to everyone in the organization.

Middle Eastern brands need to combine Customer data platforms (CDPs) with customer engagement platforms (CEPs) to navigate the world of technology-driven marketing

Customer data platforms (CDPs) collect customer information from multiple brand channels and combine everything to create a single customer profile. Having access to this information enables a brand to trace customer journeys, send them customized messages, and interact and engage with their customers effectively. 

While customer data platforms are a useful tool to collate customer information, brands should also utilize customer engagement platforms (CEPs) that automatically identify customers’ preferred modes of communication. Let’s take an example to illustrate. Ria is a young consumer, who enjoys shopping for her clothes online. She actively hunts for discounts and makes a purchase almost every week. She also enjoys reading promotional messages from the company, but there’s an issue here. She keeps receiving emails for books because that was the first item she searched on the company website. But she’s no longer interested in books and wishes the company would instead send her discounts for her apparel shopping. This mismatch of expectations is automatically identified and solved by a CEP.

A CEP analyzes Ria’s behaviour and segments her into the discount-seeker category for clothing. It identifies that Ria never responds to communication about books and removes her from the book purchase segment. The CEP also recognizes that mobile messages are Ria’s preferred mode of communication and sends her text messages when she is most likely to respond.

In summary, a CEP centralizes, analyzes, stores, and optimizes every interaction across several touchpoints throughout the customer journey. It helps brands to offer personalized and delightful experiences to the customer and streamlines account-based revenue teams by improving efficiency across acquisition, retention, upselling, and cross-selling. A CEP can help businesses occupy customer mindshare, build awareness, and drive inbound growth if adequately implemented.

The more information brands have about the customer, the better is the personalization. For example, once a company knows that someone is interacting well with its brand on social media, it can send them targeted messaging that mimics their online behaviour. If a customer is comfortable sharing their search history, brands can show them targeted messaging related to what they’re searching for.

A CDP helps collect different types of information about the customer and passes this information on to the CEP. The CEP can then use this data to personalize communication, making every interaction meaningful. Once the CEP analyzes how the customer responds to these targeted campaigns, it can send this data back to the CDP, so that the other tools connected to the CDP can use this information as well. Thus, all teams and functions in the CDP-CEP chain benefit from the information available on the stack and engage with the customer accordingly.

This is why brands must implement both CEP and CDP for the best experience. A CDP-plus-CEP tech stack is a winning combination crucial to the company’s engagement with customers and, ultimately, its business outcomes.