How to leverage more of your customer data for cross-channel messaging

May 25, 2024
Will Devlin

As customer expectations continue to rise, brands need to have seamless access to up-to-date data for effective cross-channel messaging. But the data they need extends beyond what’s housed within the marketing department. Marketers also need access to additional data types, such as inventory, geolocation, and shipment tracking. These datasets often reside outside marketing, making collaboration between marketing and data teams essential

The extent to which brands can leverage customer data for personalized messaging largely depends on where the data is stored and how easily it can be accessed. To fully leverage customer data beyond what resides in your Customer Engagement Platform (CEP) or Customer Data Platform (CDP), brands need to restructure their data management, storage, and access strategies.

Here are three steps to help you harness all of your customer data, enhance personalization, and improve marketing effectiveness without compromising data security.

Map your real-time data needs

The quality of the customer experience can suffer greatly when brands are limited to using outdated information to communicate across channels. For example, sending an abandoned cart email after a customer has already completed an order can lead to frustration and a damaged brand reputation. To create a consistent cross-channel experience, begin by identifying your real-time data requirements and developing a strategy for accessing this data in real-time.

Focus on the specific information needed to make marketing and data programs successful. Automated campaigns such as confirmation emails, shipping notifications, flight statuses, and onboarding programs rely on immediate access to specific information. For these, you’ll need to integrate triggered emails, like abandoned cart or product view promotions, into a comprehensive real-time view of the customer.

Campaigns triggered by user actions, such as opens, clicks, or replies, also require real-time data access. While the use cases vary for each brand, the fundamental concept remains: any program designed to operate in real-time must have access to live customer data to be effective. Once you’ve established your real-time data needs and identified where the data resides, the next step is consolidating that data into a unified platform.

Centralize your customer data

Legacy CDPs and customer engagement platforms rely on the Extract, Load, and Transfer (ELT) process to move customer data into their systems for cloud storage. This common practice of storing various types of data in multiple SaaS solutions quickly results in silos, where information is scattered across different parts of the organization. Using multiple platforms all with separate databases restricts how marketing and data teams can organize, activate, and analyze customer data. To achieve a unified view of customers, enterprise brands in particular need to eliminate these data silos and centralize all data.

This approach guarantees a seamless and consistent experience across all customer touchpoints, whether through email, mobile, in-store interactions, social media, or web platforms. Centralizing data not only reduces the need for complex integrations but also ensures that all teams across the organization have access to the same up-to-date information.

Regardless of how quickly a CDP sends information via FTP or APIs, it can’t match the accuracy of using live data from a centralized internal system. The significance of storing all facets of data in a single database can’t be overstated when it comes to maintaining accurate and up-to-date customer information. Surprisingly, despite its critical importance, centralizing data remains uncommon in the martech landscape. This is primarily due to the lack of awareness among data and marketing teams about more efficient operational approaches.

Use technology that can access a centralized database

Avoid inconsistent customer experiences by orchestrating your vendors and technology solutions carefully. Evaluate your current technology stack to determine if it allows direct access to your centralized database. If your current vendors and solutions don’t support this, consider finding technology that does.

Whether you’re optimizing existing technology or seeking new solutions, aim for consolidation and avoid outsourcing tasks that can be managed internally. Many vendor solutions offer marketing and data teams substantial control, but beware that this control might come at the cost of outsourcing your data. Choose vendors that provide you with full access to your data without trying to control it.

Take your data management to the next level with MessageGears

MessageGears is the only warehouse-native customer engagement platform that integrates directly with your centralized data repository. For data teams, the inclusion of a built-in CDP within MessageGears means streamlined data management processes. By accessing customer data directly from the data warehouse, you can effortlessly organize, activate, and analyze data without the need for complex integrations or data transfers. 

With comprehensive customer profiles and behavioral data at their fingertips, marketing teams can build highly targeted and relevant campaigns across every channel without relying on data resources for segmentation or audience insights. Leveraging real-time customer data, they can trigger automated campaigns, deliver timely messages, and adapt campaigns based on live customer interactions—all from within a single platform

Ready to unlock the full potential of your customer data for seamless cross-channel messaging? Don’t let data silos hold your teams back. Schedule a demo with a MessageGears data solution expert today.

About the Author

Will Devlin

A 20-year email marketing veteran, Will has focused on marketing strategy and execution for MessageGears since 2014. He has extensive experience on both the retail customer and service side of email marketing, and he’s interested in helping businesses better understand how they can make the most of the work they put into their email campaigns.