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Jun 7, 2023

Your Customers Are Global, is Your CDP?

In our global economy, organisations that work directly with end customers need to know everything there is to know about a customer in order to deliver a personalised customer experience (CX) – and that knowledge cannot be limited by country borders.

Many customers leave data footprints around the world. A retailer may have a customer who is partial to American fashion trends, currently lives in Beijing but signed up for a loyalty program when she happened to live in London.

Does the brand first and foremost recognize a customer as the same individual across multiple regions and languages? If so, is the brand able to deliver a holistic experience across those dimensions that is in the context of a customer journey? In a Harris Poll commissioned by Redpoint, 82 percent of customers said they are loyal to brands that demonstrate a thorough understanding of them as a unique customer. Again, this expectation does not stop at the water’s edge.

Consider our retail customer who lives in Beijing, who used to live in London, and who travels frequently. Which brands is she partial to when she travels abroad? Which email address does she use? How are her loyalty points calculated from country to country and brand to brand? Developing a single, global view of the customer across multiple regions is necessary to deliver a personalised experience, but the reality is that global companies struggle to manage customer data on a global basis.

One reason is different countries and regions often have different regulations for how to collect, cleanse and store customer data. Different approaches to identity resolution, for example, may make it very difficult to tell if the Jane Smith from Berlin is the same Jane Smith who works in Los Angeles. And for a global company that allows each regional location to build and maintain its own MarTech stack, different technologies will prevent synergies, such as whether a platform loads characters in Asian, African and Middle Eastern languages. In addition, when there are different regional protocols for data standardisation, no one speaks the same data “language” if you will. If, for instance, each region takes a different approach to deduplication, it becomes impractical to compare customer counts.

Support a Single View with an Enterprise CDP

To deliver a personalised CX across multiple regions, languages and cultural differences it is important to understand how or whether a customer data platform (CDP) supports a global roll-out. One way to do this is for a CDP to support a different database for each region of business operations. Without sharing personally identifiable information (PII) across regions, the CDP can create an anonymized Golden Record for use in a global context, thus enabling a global brand to keep up with the customer across a multi-region journey.  A brand may also elect to have a global database, but use different schemas to adhere to various global regulations such as GDPR and CCPA, among others. One thing to look out for is whether a pure-play SaaS offering will be able to support a multi-region approach.

Adopting a global approach to customer experience (CX) brings benefits both in delivering personalised experiences and from an analytics perspective. Instead of focusing on individual customer differences across regions, we can analyse their similarities. This allows us to better understand and cater to customers’ culture, language, behaviours, and preferences, while also leveraging data-driven insights for improved decision-making.

Consider, for example, a multi-country retailer with a curious increase in churn from its customers in North America. The retailer develops a churn propensity model and drives a campaign that reduces churn by 5 percent. If those same churn indicators arise in Europe or Asia-Pacific, the retailer tests the existing model against other datasets. There’s no guarantee that it will work as effectively as it did in another region, but the point is that you’re not starting from scratch. Because you’re working from the same set of data standards, you’re able to think globally and act locally and vice-versa.

Steve Zisk 2022 Scaled

Mike Ferguson

Vice President Global Services & General Manager EMEA at Redpoint Global

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