Our era is all about personalization.
The real challenge remains to personalize at scale. Especially when you’ve got a dozen data sources and 50 touchpoints on your customer journey map.
Salesforce Data Cloud, also known as Salesforce CDP, comes top-of-mind when organizing data is a struggle.
So, what should you know about it as an SFMC Expert?
The Single Source of Truth
Think of the Customer Data Platform as a system.
First step: It ingests data.
That’s a CDP’s most known capability: unifying and harmonizing data from multiple data sources.
However, keep in mind it doesn’t create a golden record. Do not use it for data cleansing or deduplication purposes. You can stitch IDs, but the main point is to be able to harmonize data in a single data model (the CIM Model) so it’s easier to understand and use.
Salesforce Genie added real-time streaming to this component.
Second step: It provides insights.
Once data is properly organized, Salesforce CDP will allow to create your personal calculated insights.
Keep in mind, insights only have value if they can drive decisions.
Third Step: Segmentation & activation.
You can create audiences in Salesforce CDP but you’ll need an activation tool to engage with your customers.
Salesforce CDP has connectors with SFMC Engagement and Personalization (ex-SFMC and ex-IS). You could also use other software.
The last benefit of the CDP is the ability to make data insights available across an organization. If you want marketing operations to bring maximum value, you’d better have every shareholder on the same level of information and knowledge about customer profiles. Data unification is a company-level asset. Don’t underestimate its impact.
Let’s explore 3 use cases now!
#1 Segment Discovery
Once you gather data in one place, one of the most exciting use cases for me is to discover clusters with similar behaviors. Detecting patterns.
Linking data to behavior and therefore being able to predict actions.
You can use Salesforce CDP for exploratory work… but you’ll need raw data, time-stamped, and pour in whatever may be relevant.
A business user can easily create segments with drag-and-drop but for the complex calculation, you may need skilled data analysts.
New segments will benefit from personalized communications, campaigns, customer service, and offers.
#2 Measure Customer Lifetime Value
Some love stories are not forever.
How much should you invest in retention? What customer profiles should you target for promotional campaigns?
Without a CDP, a marketer has no way to analyze all transactions, aggregate them against a customer and be able to understand average lifetime value.
A mature organization may use advanced segmentation but being able to fine-tune CLV enables better budget allocation.
#3 Exclusion segments
How do you know a customer is not engaged through 3 running journeys in Journey Builder?
Which one should you prioritize?
I’m not talking about engagement frequency here but rather engagement consistency.
If you’re using Salesforce Marketing Cloud at scale, you can’t easily achieve this consistency. There are no marketing 360 dashboards with previous and upcoming campaigns, running journeys, and a control room preventing from sending irrelevant messages to customers.
You can use Salesforce CDP to build this vision.
It’s also Pandora’s box: if you manage exclusion segments in the CDP, you’ll have to think about your marketing campaigns’ process and organization. Maybe even perform most of the segmentation in the CDP (different skills) and use SFMC only for activation.
See you in 2023!