Multi-brand, multi-region retailers have unique data and marketing complexities that not every customer data platform (CDP) can handle. Factors such as overlapping customers, multiple regulatory requirements and complex MarTech stacks complicate the chances for a successful enterprise CDP.
Here, then, are the Top 5 questions a multi-brand, multi-region retailer should ask when contemplating an Enterprise Customer Data Platform to drive a Customer Experience Transformation.
1. Does the CDP support the unification of data from multiple brands?
Another way to phrase this question is to ask if a CDP is enterprise-ready? A multi-brand, multi-region company will typically have multiple profiles for a single individual or entity, with data for that entity residing in multiple databases, marketing clouds and other marketing technology. An enterprise-ready CDP will integrate data from every source into a unified profile, or Golden Record, that includes all customer attributes and IDs combined with transactions, behaviors, preferences, permissions and data aggregates that provide an accurate, real-time representation of a customer.
As a result, marketing teams truly can deploy data best practices such as evaluating customer lifetime value (CLV) of a given customer by brand, region or across the enterprise all from a single point of control in real time.
This is a key factor for a multi-brand to deliver cross-sell or upsell experiences at scale, often a key objective for a conglomerate with customers interacting with several brands in a portfolio. Some CDP’s are restricted in that they either do not integrate with various components of a MarTech stack, such as multiple marketing clouds for instance, or what they call a unified profile is little more than a basic match of customer data. Advanced identity resolution and robust data quality are required to form an accurate unified profile that will unlock cross-sell opportunities by letting a brand know everything there is to know about a customer, across multiple brands and multiple channels.
2. Does the CDP support the parent company’s strategic vision?
One of the big advantages of an enterprise-ready CDP that unifies all disparate customer data is that it provides organizations with a single point of operational control over all customer data. That is, with real-time decisioning and the intelligent orchestration of next-best actions that are unbound by channel, every application and user is working with the same unified profile. For a multi-brand, multi-region company, a single point of control is invaluable because it helps align various brands that may have competing interests for how a customer proceeds through a customer journey.
A value retail brand, for example, might target a customer with a high likelihood to churn with a certain offer, where a luxury brand may identify an opportunity for acquisition based on the customer’s search behavior. A single point of control allows a company to align metrics around a single overarching objective. This helps mitigate one of the bigger fears or challenges of merging data, the cannibalization of customers, an all-too common occurrence when multiple brands under one banner remain locked in competing strategies between multiple marketing departments.
3. How does the CDP handle data privacy and permission-based marketing?
Customers expect the brands they interact with to be transparent about how they collect and use the data a customer provides. The expectation includes using data to enhance the overall customer experience (CX), and not in a way that violates trust, i.e. selling it to a third-party without consent. Different regulations governing data privacy in the U.S. and Europe, for instance, increase complexity for a global company.
Honoring customer preferences to the letter, both for how their data is used and their permissions dictating opt-ins and other preferences, requires that a CDP incorporate preference management into a Golden Record. By integrating a preference center into a CDP and incorporating preferences and consent into a Golden Record, a multi-brand retailer is able to interact with a customer across brands according to an individual customer’s preferences across the brand portfolio.
4. How does the CDP handle segmentation?
The simple calculation is that more brands – and more countries – translates to more customer data, and hence more testing. If your Golden Record contains potentially upward of 1,500 customer attributes for example (as one Redpoint retail customer’s does), discovering commonalities across your customer base spanning multiple brands necessarily becomes the job of machine learning.
One of the key benefits of the Redpoint rg1 platform is rules-based, dynamic audience segmentation that tests models on the fly, using real-time customer data that accounts for changing customer behaviors. This is an important feature for global multi-brand companies with the incentive to discover the potential synergies between customers who transact with multiple brands. What do customers of Brand A have in common with customers from Brand B, and what is a next-best action for those customer who also have shown an indication to churn, as an example.
5. What is the CDP’s approach to data quality and identity resolution?
We mentioned identity resolution and data quality at the outset as important steps in data unification, but it’s worth expanding on the rg1 approach, where data quality steps are completed immediately upon data ingestion. This is a continuous process, where cleansing, matching, validation and data governance are taken care of in real time, eliminating the latency that too often derails attempts to deliver a relevant CX in the cadence of a customer journey.
Conversely, many CDPs outsource data quality to a third party, bouncing customer data off a reference file that may be days, weeks or months old and where a new key is created for every match. rg1 solves for this problem with the use of persistent keys. As data quality processes are completed, persistent keys enable matched data to be assigned to a unique ID, providing a multi-brand organization with a longitudinal view of a customer over time. This, in turn, provides a Golden Record with depth and context, of particular importance when a multi-brand company wants to analyze a customer’s behaviors and interactions with its brand portfolio over time.
To summarize, not every CDP offers the same features and capabilities. For a multi-brand, global enterprise, some capabilities outweigh others in terms of being able to manage customer data across an extensive portfolio of brands and intelligently orchestrate personalized next-best actions, at scale, across brands, regions and channels.
For more on how Redpoint helps global retailers meet every customer with highly personalized experiences, click here.