One of the challenges for marketers we talk to about MessageGears Segment is helping them understand how it’s different from a CDP. That might be a CDP they already have and are happy with, or one their team is considering investing in sometime in the near future. And, although CDPs and MessageGears Segment solve many of the same problems, there are important distinctions between them that allow them to work separately or together to greatly enhance your ability to personalize marketing campaigns.
The unique needs of the modern marketer
To understand these distinctions, it’s important to review what it is that marketers want in order to do their jobs well:
Clean view of their customer data
Marketers need to have reliable, accessible customer data if they’re going to be able to send the sorts of personalized campaigns that customers expect to receive from Super Senders. Without silos being broken down and data hygiene being a priority, the marketer’s hands are effectively tied before they’ve even begun their work.
Ability to segment customers into micro-targeted groups
Once they have their data in order, they need to have the ability to divide customers into groups of audiences based upon various attributes and known behaviors. It might be worthwhile to send different messaging to recent purchasers than lapsed customers, or frequent in-store customers vs. online ones, or loyalty club members vs. non-members. This micro-targeting is where personalization starts to work its magic.
Activation on any channel that’s appropriate
Finally, because customers don’t all stick to one channel, neither can the marketer. Each customer is different, and reaching them on the channel they prefer for a particular message is essential for conversion rates. Some customers rarely engage on the desktop and do the vast majority of their purchasing via mobile. And some messages — credit card fraud or flight delay alerts, for example — are better suited for mobile push to nearly all customers, while messages with attachments tend to work better on email. The channel very much matters.
MessageGears Segment and CDPs attempt to provide all of these to marketers, but in different ways.
“Once you put MessageGears on top of your data, you can do pretty much anything you can think about, and the technology just gets out of the way.” — Mark Stange-Tregear, Rakuten Rewards
One problem, two solutions
So, now we know what the problem is — enterprise marketers have specific needs that aren’t adequately addressed by any one piece of marketing technology. Both CDPs and MessageGears Segment tackle this challenge, but their approaches conflict in some ways.
The CDP solution
CDPs create a clean view of the customer in their data platform by taking your first-party data (websites, mobile apps, loyalty, email, point-of-sale, etc.) and consolidating it so it can all inform your marketing team’s actions when it comes to messaging, validates that data, ties it to customer profiles, and connects it to your tools that drive growth. This helps you to gain a holistic view of how customers are engaging with your brand.
The MessageGears Segment solution
While CDPs ingest the customer data from your brand’s data warehouse and store it in order to make it accessible to marketers, MessageGears Segment instead allows you to use the data warehouse itself as the single view of the customer. This is just a light software install that doesn’t require complicated language rewrites and operations changes.
There’s no question that the right CDP can have a positive impact on your marketing programs. Because the CDP uses first-party known data, it allows the marketer to build personalized campaigns that speak to the customer’s actual behavior, greatly increasing the level of relevance for messaging. This is private data that your company collected directly from an opted-in customer, and the CDP brings it all together in a way that makes it both connected and accessible.
Without this consolidation, data silos may prevent you from building campaigns that incorporate the full view of the customer, dampening the customer experience and providing an opening for competitors to lure them over with better attention to their individual needs. As a Super Sender, it’s important that you recognize that customer expectations are high for your messaging, and that’s a bar it’s important that you clear. Highly personalized campaigns not only help you to meet customer expectations, but are also proven to improve conversion rates and ROI.
- Quicker, simpler installation
- Smaller operational footprint
- Drastically lower costs
The missing piece in many cases is identity resolution, which is sort of the final piece of the “360 view of the customer” puzzle. Fortunately, there are ways brands can begin to address this problem using first- and third-party data.
- Super Senders may very well have the resources to build their own identity resolution solution in house, relying on their own private identity graphs and first-party data, but it’ll take getting leadership on board in order to prioritize it and dedicate a team to the job.
- Getting buy-in across various teams is essential to any identity resolution strategy, so that all the data streams are connected and accessible to the marketers who need to use them.
If you’ve already invested in a CDP, MessageGears Segment is the perfect companion because we sync bi-directionally with many CDPs. Although many other messaging platforms claim to connect natively to your CDP, what they’re really interacting with is a quickly outdated copy of your data. Copying data is not connecting to data. As Rakuten Rewards’ Mark Stange-Tregear (VP, Analytics) said, “Once you put MessageGears on top of your data, you can do pretty much anything you can think about, and the technology just gets out of the way.”
Connecting with and living right alongside your data gives MessageGears Segment a unique power no other customer engagement platform can match. By using your live data wherever it resides — in your modern data warehouse, your CDP, or an internal system of record — MessageGears Segment can hypercharge your marketing, allowing you to create highly customized and tailored audiences from behind your own firewall. That means that whatever tools you have sitting between your data and your customers’ inboxes — even if that’s a remote ESP — MessageGears Segment can make them work better, faster, and less expensively for your marketing team.