“A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”- Laozi.
Both pragmatic and philosophical, this adage finds new meaning for businesses today. Mired in a complex web of choices, organizations must make decisions that recognize the reality of today’s world- Data has dethroned oil as the most valuable commodity and it’s hegemony has just begun.
One of the few aspects that remain unchanged in the era of digital ecosystems is the centrality of customer experience to business success. Customer experience today is determined by the ability of product and service providers to understand the pulse of their clients and provide them with a highly personalized (and possibly unique) experience that organically creates long-term brand loyalty.
The metaphorical journey of a thousand miles, therefore, is being undertaken daily by consumers and vendors alike, each attempting to discover that most elusive of digital destinations: customer delight. Increasingly, hyper-personalized experiences, driven through appropriate channels (web, app, email, etc.) in a non-intrusive manner, are key differentiators in driving customer delight in the digital era. Central to providing these hyper-personalized experiences is the CDP.
Customer Data Platform: The New Kid on the Block
Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are (relatively) the new kids on the block. Broadly, they are unified and persistent customer databases that lend themselves to be accessed by other systems so as to help drive significant digital revenues for companies. That they are available on tap as SaaS offerings make them attractive and powerful tools for the Marketing Machinery in organizations since they can be easily deployed and the ROI can be readily measured month on month. So why are they a key component for the Digital Transformation of businesses?
Consider the case of banks. Apart from being the lifeblood of a healthy economy, they are also intermediaries in every conceivable transaction in today’s world as the digital needle increasingly moves the world towards a potentially cashless ecosystem. This necessitates banks to be digitally ready and nimble, while simultaneously shedding the cloaks of red-tapism and bureaucracy that, for centuries have defined them as institutions.
Additionally, they must fulfill their highest calling – that of fiduciary integrity- while being shackled by regulatory and political policies galore. Business transformation in a setup like this is riddled with infinite challenges and multiple cul-de-sacs. As banks embrace the many changes that technology dictates, those that differentiate themselves best will be the ones that firmly keep customer delight in their strategic cross-hairs.
So What Do Customers of Today and the Future Demand?
For starters, they expect a seamless digital banking experience without unnecessary hiccups. Data-driven targeted marketing is a reality today and customers expect their banks to not only be digitally agile but to also provide them with a highly personalized and highly relevant experience that allows them to make financial decisions tailored to their needs.
In order to accomplish this, banks have to first ensure that they gather relevant user data from as many sources as possible (structured and unstructured), segment user data effectively, create a comprehensive user profile for each customer and activate marketing channels downstream such as web push, Facebook campaigns, notification centers, etc. so as to provide the right message at the right time through the right channel to the right users. To accomplish this wizardry, the optimum platform available today is the CDP.
Unlocking the Transformational Potential
Banks have an enormous untapped digital revenue potential which can be unlocked through intelligently deploying a CDP solution. In emerging markets like India, digitally savvy clients are increasingly moving their transactions online. However, there are a vast number of clients whose cross-sell potential is barely tapped. Similarly, prospective clients who could buy their first Banking Product online often drop out while they browse, since personalized messaging for non-clients is still offered by only a handful of future-ready banks.
If one were to imagine a sieve as a metaphor for banks’ ability to fish clients from their digital channels, the average sieve would likely leave a lot to be desired. That is the precise market requirement that the CDP seeks to fulfill. And it can do so seamlessly and at a price that should make banks sit up and take notice. CDPs are indeed finer sieves, which empower meaningful Business Transformation while keeping the only thing that matters in sharp focus: Customer Delight.
Read more: DMP, CDP or UDP – What’s in a Name?