The NEMOA Spring Summit, the catalog and eCommerce industry’s biggest national summit, just ended today, and the days flew by. We had the chance to talk with, listen to and learn from some of the smartest leaders in the retail and eCommerce industry. We also couldn’t help but notice that the conference was buzzing with talk about data-driven marketing: how to do it well, how to do it better and sometimes even just where to start. Given the excitement around data-driven marketing, now is the perfect time for a refresh on how Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) can complement direct mail like never before.
Customer Data Platform? What’s that?
It’s quite simple, really. A customer data platform is a database that captures customer data from multiple systems, links the information together, and tracks customer behavior over time. With a CDP, marketers across all disciplines are able to gain deeper insights about their customer-base and shift marketing efforts to focus on customer behavior and lifetime value, rather than merely ‘hitting all the channels.’
Importantly, the marketing department, not the IT department, has total control of a CDP. The marketing team determines which data to ingest and expose to and from other MarTech systems.
With a CDP in place, you can make your marketing much more efficient and collaborative. Strategy gets set according to desired customer behavior, and dollars get spent on those customers who are most likely to take the desired action.
Okay, so what does a CDP do for my direct mail program?
One of the most challenging aspects of direct mail program management is deciding who from among the customer base should receive direct mail marketing materials. It can be challenging to identify who has acted on mailed content in the past, and who’s most likely to act on it again in the future.
A CDP allows a company to take customer data from online and offline channels and provides marketers with a holistic view of customer behavior and channel interaction. For example, you can identify the subset of customers who consistently open and engage with every e-mail and maybe decide that they don’t need to receive direct mail pieces. On the contrary, you can also identify customers that unsubscribed from email or gave a wrong address, and determine that they might benefit from a direct mail offer. Depending on the system you choose, your CDP may even be able to automatically generate a mail plan with that data in the system.
Essentially, the CDP helps marketers fine tune their overall marketing program to become much more spend-efficient. It breaks down silos, reducing the focus on channel optimization to allowing marketers to develop creative, data-driven strategies to improve the customer journey.
Want to find out where a Customer Data Platform is right for your business? Contact us and we’ll ll connect you with one of our CDP experts.