Sam Ngo is the Director of Product Marketing at BlueConic. Prior to joining BlueConic, she was a Researcher at Forrester, covering the social intelligence space. She helped clients put in place the right people, process, and platforms to make use of the structured and unstructured data from social channels. When she’s not knee-deep in translating the value of BlueConic, she’s trying to understand the science of baking.
Hi, I’m Sam Ngo from BlueConic and this is our Tech Talk.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with BlueConic, we’re a pure-play customer data platform that liberates marketers’ first-party data from siloed and disparate systems to establish a single customer view that is accessible wherever and whenever it is required for marketing activation.
I’m the director of product marketing here at BlueConic and am responsible for driving the go-to-market planning and cross-functional execution of all product releases related to the BlueConic platform. I’ve been with the company for about two years now, and work closely with marketing, product, and customers to help increase the product usage and adoption and showcase how marketers get value from our platform.
Let’s dive into what we mean by liberating first-party data.
We all know that the brands that win today are the ones that own the relationship with and data about their customers. Just think of killer companies like Amazon, Netflix, and Uber, who put the customer at the center of everything they do.
Owning the relationship with customers means data is readily available for marketers to recognize individuals and deliver valuable, bespoke experiences at every journey – while respecting their privacy at the same time.
But as customer journeys become more fragmented, data silos grow deeper, privacy regulations get steeper, and third-party data becomes less reliable, marketers and the day-to-day tools they use are increasingly handcuffed by a lack of access to first-party data that is both unified and actionable, which is what they need to effectively orchestrate individualized experiences across channels.
In other words, they don’t have their own ‘single customer view’ deliberately designed for marketing purposes.
And it comes at a significant cost to the marketing team in the form of speed, budget, or vision.
Marketers are either confined within the limits of their email, campaign management, and other legacy activation technologies that lack a current and complete view of the individual customer, or they’re at the mercy of IT, data science teams, and expensive external agencies for customer segmentation and scoring requests that can take weeks to deliver.
In fact, 75% of marketers say they don’t have the technology they need deliver one-to-one digital marketing, and more than half lack a fully unified view of their customer data.
Moreover, recent studies found that just 30% of marketing executives consider their relationship with IT to be very productive and 38% of enterprise marketing organizations feel reliance on legacy martech is a big issue for their companies today.
Based on these stats, it’s no surprise that a recent Garter Marketing Technology survey found that 43% of brands deployed a CDP in 2019, and other 31% noted they were in the process of doing so.
BlueConic is the customer data platform built and designed with marketers in mind.
It helps liberate brand’s first-party data by giving marketers and their tools access to a unified customer profile that offers both confidence and utility for marketing purposes.
That’s a lot to take in, so let’s break it down a little more.
Unified profile access is about giving marketers and their tech stack access to a unified customer database. It’s what we mean when we talk about giving marketers their own ‘single customer view.’
Confidence means the data in those profiles is always accurate, complete, and as up-to-date as possible.
And finally, utility means marketers can actually do something with that data, such as multi-dimensional segmentation, customer lifecycle orchestration, modeling & analytics, and more.
If you’ve heard a lot of talk about customer data platforms recently, you’re not alone.
In fact, the CDP space is white-hot right now – so hot that more than 100 vendors repositioned themselves as CDPs last year, and some of the big marketing clouds like Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce announced their entrance into the space as well.
But unlike other vendors that have pivoted into the CDP category, BlueConic has always been a pure-play CDP. We’ve been at this for quite a few years and have tons of hands-on experience.
We began to develop our platform way back in 2010, before we were even officially established as a private company in 2014. Since then, we’ve realized a number of significant milestones, from being the first to market with an end-to-end consent management solution, to the release of AI Workbench to support advanced modeling and analytics use cases, to our latest round of Series B funding that we secured earlier this year.
Today, we’re 100 employees strong and fortunate to liberate data for over 300 consumer and business-to-business brands across industries, all around the world.
Some of our customers include Hearst, Moen, T-Mobile, ING, America’s Test Kitchen, Franklin Sports, and more.
And while BlueConic serves a broad range of business models, we’re best suited for enterprise and mid-sized brands and publishers that want to establish the single customer view at the heart of their marketing and data infrastructure, and increase their agility and flexibility to respond to market or customer changes.
So, how exactly do we help these brands solve the problem of the elusive single customer view we spoke of earlier?
The best way to think about the purpose of a CDP is in the context of the rest of the marketing technology stack. The whole is greater than the sum of its parts.
One of the long-standing challenges that marketers face is that they have a lot of different tools – particularly in digital marketing – that store data and recognize their customers and prospects in ways that are unique to each system. Marketers have an extremely difficult time stitching the data in those systems together to gain that elusive ’single customer view’.
The CDP not only brings that data together and unifies it at an individual level, but it also gives that unified profile data back to the marketer in a format that they can use to improve how they build segments, engage with customers, and ultimately, deliver individualized experiences that set their brand apart.
But with all the wannabe CDPs out there, it can be difficult to know what to look for in a prospective vendor.
Some focus mostly on unification but offer very little value when it comes to utility and activation of the data. Others tout personalization offerings but lack the ability to truly unify customer data across channels and sources with the high degree of confidence.
What makes BlueConic truly unique is our ability to flex in all the ways in all the ways a modern marketing organization needs it to.
That’s because everything in BlueConic starts with the unified profile.
Unlike other CDPs, every data point collected in BlueConic is translated into an attribute of an individual customer that is persistently stored in the profile, making it possible to quickly access the data in support of a wide range of marketing activation use cases.
So, whether you’re at the beginning of your digital transformation or looking to take it to the next level, BlueConic provides the flexibility to scale for today’s goals and tomorrow’s ambitions.
Everything in BlueConic starts with a unified profile. Your prospect and customer Profiles sit at the center of BlueConic. All other features revolve around this unified, central view of each individual customer and potential customer, both known and anonymous. Every piece of data you choose to collect – whether it is a definitional attribute (such as demographic data) or synthetic attribute (such as a CLV score) is stored in a customer profile. You can also manage customers’ consent for data privacy and marketing objectives and store that at the individual level. Then, with connections, pass that data to your activation platforms. We have a number of named connections to your most frequently used marketing systems, but also offer universal connections – like SFTP or webhooks to allow you to pass data back and forth.
Starting with unified profiles, you can create segments in BlueConic based on any of the profile attributes you’ve stored in the profile. Marketer can rely on segments to update in real-time, allowing them to personalize interactions no matter where a customer is in their journey. Marketers can focus on what a customer is doing – and data from across their systems- to understand and respond to the customer taking into account online and offline behaviors to determine what to put in front of customers, or what to suppress. With all behavioral, transactional, demographic data in one place, you can even create models or score customers using OOTB notebooks (or import your own models) with our built-in data science capabilities for marketers.
As you just saw, customers can use BlueConic to support a wide range of use cases.
Goba Sports Group is a great example.
When they first implemented BlueConic, they wanted to understand their known and anonymous customers and prospects. Using the platform, they were able to build out profiles for each of these audiences by tracking the web pages they were visiting and the products there were looking at.
As the number anonymous customers became known, Goba ended up with a long history of data about who those customers were and what they were interested in, and were able to activate this data in the form of personalized messages and experiences across channels.
For example, Goba was able to create micro-segments of people based on interests and behaviors and send those segments to Google and Facebook, where they could then target people with the most relevant offers and suppress the wrong ones.
By personalizing their advertising strategies in this way, Goba was able to decrease their cost per acquisition by 24% and realize a 59% increase in return on ad spend.
Additionally, by using BlueConic to connect customer data, Goba was able to consolidate their tech stack and eliminate their need for Tableau.
Using BlueConic changes the nature of a marketer’s job in a number of key ways.
First, it eliminates inefficiencies and dependences that impact time to market. For instance, BlueConic customers save hours eliminating the need to manually upload lists for segmentation, waiting on IT or the analytics team to query data
for segmentation, and waiting for the modeling outputs of a separate analytics or data science team to inform customer scoring.
BlueConic also collapses the time and effort to get from insight to action. There has always been both art and science to marketing. But keeping the two in balance is the hallmark of a legendary brand. Using BlueConic, customers have access to the data they need in the form and time in which they need it, so that they can spend more time again on the art and marrying the two together.
Finally, using BlueConic increases business agility and resilience. The year 2020 emphatically reminded company leaders everywhere of the unpredictability of the world and the difference it makes to have teams and tools that allow for flexibility and speed in response to market changes. BlueConic enables marketers to double down on customer interaction and engagement in both good times, and bad.
Oftentimes, CDPs get confused with CRM, DMPs, or other marketing technologies. But the truth is, the architecture and reason these marketing technologies came about served to solve one problem with a single channel. A true CDP should remain data agnostic and be built for marketers – without heavy reliance on IT for custom integrations and with an interface that allows marketers to actually use data when and where they need it without time lost to manual processes. While BlueConic won’t be where you set up campaigns or house your various creative, it does gather all of your customer data in real time so you know which customers should be seeing specific campaigns – and can suppress the wrong ones.
Ultimately, it’s more than just features and functions, but rather BlueConic’s strategic value that sets it apart from other marketing technologies. In today’s world, everything starts with the consumer and their experience with a brand. Transactions are second to a mutual and ongoing value exchange between consumer and brand.
By providing a centralized, single source of customer truth that’s constantly updated and available for activation as needed, BlueConic liberates the data that empowers marketers to transform the customers’ relationships with the brand.
BlueConic’s onboarding process is designed to ensure that marketers are up and running with as many as three use cases and, just as importantly, they know how to use BlueConic on their own.
Implementation typically takes 3-4 weeks, and our pricing model is based on a brand’s total number of profiles, users and channels, as well as any additional strategic services they may require, such as supplemental training, use case implementation, connection set-up, and more.
But no matter the pricing plan, all BlueConic customers will have access to a unified profile database, dynamic customer segmentation, powerful lifecycle orchestration capabilities, sophisticated modeling and analytics, and out-of-the-box integrations with their most important marketing activation tools.
If you’d like to learn more about how BlueConic can help you drive operational efficiencies or improve your marketing effectiveness, we invite you to visit our website at www.blueconic.com and request your demo today!