While oil was once the epicenter of our economy, the digital age in which we operate through GAFAM is completely supplanting these former leaders. The biggest companies are no longer Exxon Mobil or PetroChina but Google, Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Microsoft. The reason being quite simple, these giants have understood the importance and value of customer data in our current economy. While all of these companies are at the forefront of technology, their exponential success lies in their innovative business model which is built around the collection, analysis and redistribution of data. You have to see data as a commodity like fuel, it’s a wealth that all companies have. These can be sold to a third party, within the limits of legality, or used as an economic lever and a factor of innovation within a company.
The importance of data
There are different types of data:
- Quantitative data is generally raw and concrete data such as a transactional report or an inventory;
- Qualitative data takes the form of opinion and opinion which is useful for understanding customer motivations and impressions;
- Identity data such as name, address or telephone number;
- Descriptive data that is more related to an individual’s lifestyle such as their career or marital status;
It is estimated that companies process a thousand times more data than 10 years ago. Between the issues of storing and protecting said data, the level of complexity is higher than ever. Compared to oil or gold, it is extremely complex to value data since there is no reference unit or associated price. The value of data is therefore extremely volatile over time and varies depending on its quality, its rarity, and many other factors. Data only takes on its value when contextualized with other metadata, so while collection is extremely important, so is exploitation. Do you have difficulty managing your data on a daily basis? Are your data management processes long, redundant and non-automated? Do you have the right tool to help you centralize your data to facilitate the analysis of your business needs?
Data: one of the greatest business opportunities
It goes without saying that data is now essential to a company, however without governance it can become a handicap. What would you prefer between an up-to-date, reliable and accurate database of 1,000 clients or a database of 100,000 clients filled with duplicates and incomplete or incorrect information? All companies prefer to have more data than less, yet the value of customer data lies in its accuracy, its rarity, and not just the quantity possessed.
Take the example of a large clothing chain, such as Old Navy, Simons or Frank and Oak. Imagine that the head office wants to create a new concept where the in-store inventory available would be much smaller, but the customers would have the possibility to visualize the clothes with the technology of virtual reality. Lots of factors come into play. Do people have an interest in this kind of store? What would be the location of the first store? Is the concept viable? A giant like Old Navy or Simons has a huge amount of data. It is therefore imperative to analyze them to answer the questions raised and to properly plan this innovation. Each location has a large amount of quantitative data such as their sales report or inventory as well as a large amount of identity data such as email address. The online store has an incredible amount of identity data as well. Employees in stores and social medias can certainly represent an excellent source of qualitative data. The intersection of all these analytical universes is necessary to draw conclusions that are representative of the entire reality of the company. It then becomes essential, both for a giant like Old Navy or Simons and other smaller companies to have a tool that automates data governance, because without organization, this agility would be impossible.
Imagine a tool that automates the collection of data from each store locations, the transactional websites, all social medias, the newsletters, and all others internal or external sources. This is precisely what a Customer Data Platform “CDP” offers. It is a tool for centralizing unified data.
CDP: Customer data platform
A customer data platform allows all types and sources of customer data to be connected, whether internal or external, structured or not, in batches or continuously. Which is creating a permanent and unified customer database that is accessible by other systems thus giving marketers a much more complete view.
CDP’s unique infrastructure offers several great benefits for businesses of all sizes. Some of the benefits of CDP include:
- Enriches the client file since the platform aggregates, cleans and classifies all the data coming from various channels in the same place;
- Automates data collection in real time;
- Saves an amount of time on integration in addition of avoiding transcription errors;
- Centralizes and enables the adoption and initiation of an effective omnichannel strategy;
- Maximizes agility within a business to adapt to consumers quickly and make strategic decisions;
The importance and value of customer data is no longer to be proven, the implementation of a high-performance tool is a priority for any organization that wishes to fully understand their customers, innovate and plan their strategies for the future. If you would like more information or a demonstration of our CDP, please do not hesitate to contact us, it will be our pleasure to present it to you.