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Why Using A Customer Data Platform Will Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level

Why Using A Customer Data Platform Will Take Your Customer Experience to the Next Level

There’s no shortage of marketing tools that capture and analyze customer data. The problem? When businesses analyze customer data, each data set is usually treated as a standalone. But siphoning through data set after data set can be costly and inefficient. 

So, how do marketers combine different data sets into a single customer view? 

They use customer data platforms (CDPs). 

What are CDPs?

CDPs are data platforms that capture data from various sources and display it in a single unified customer database. In other words, they consolidate and integrate customer data into one central platform. This way, businesses can pull insights on a specific customer or prospect during various points of the customer journey. 

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Like all marketing tools, businesses use CDPs to understand their customers’ unique preferences and behaviors. 

But what sets CDPs apart from other tools is their ability to help businesses create customer-centric experiences.

CDPs give businesses the data they need to create relevant messaging — all in one place, in real-time. This helps them create messages that are custom-tailored to their customers’ preferences. When customers feel like a company knows them, they’re more likely to stick around. 

Let’s take a closer look at how you can use CDPs to take your customer experience to the next level.

Building a sales process 

Using a customer data platform can be invaluable to building a sales process that entices your customers to say “yes” without resorting to slimy tactics. 

Below, we’ve listed a number of ways businesses can use CDPs. 

1. Map out the buyer’s journey

Buyer journeys aren’t simple straight lines that lead to a sale. They zig, zag, turnaround, and zig again. 

Today, a buyer’s journey could start on one channel and toggle between several steps. Knowing how that journey ebbs and flows gives your organization a chance to ensure no customer slips through the cracks.

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That’s why it’s essential to map out your company’s buyer’s journey. 

Every step and interaction a customer goes through during the buyer’s journey produces customer data. 

Businesses that study these interactions and look for patterns can predict future buying habits. Understanding this behavior shows you what customers align with and what turns them away. 

To sum up: Understanding what actions customers complete before or after purchasing helps you nurture leads and create more enjoyable customer experiences.

2. Craft customer-centric sales funnels

Mapping out the buyer’s journey and analyzing customer behavior gives you a competitive advantage. 

When you can predict customer behavior, you’ll be able to:

  • Understand buying habits
  • Share relevant offers
  • Personalize content 
  • Build long-term customer relationships 
  • Speak to customers in their preferred communication style 

You’ll also be able to craft customer-centric funnels. 

Customer-centric funnels use the data you mapped in your buyer’s journey to take customers through a personalized sales experience. 

Each stage of the funnel is personalized for your customers. Some people will need more nurturing before making a purchase, while others won’t need much coaxing at all.

For instance, some customers will need a whole series of offers while others will buy after just two. 

Funnels also take some of the pressure off your sales team and create passive business revenue. 

If done well, they also help you build long-term customer relationships and repeat sales. 

3. Analyze detailed customer profiles

The most valuable part of a CDP is the personalized customer profiles. These in-depth, single customer view profiles are what set CDPs apart from other systems. 

Profiles detail each person based on data pulled from an array of channels. This means wherever your customer is — you are. Whether they’re in person or online, you have a compilation of their behaviors and preferences. 

This helps you craft unique experiences you know a customer will love. 

In the end, customers want to be seen as individuals, not as lead prospects. It can get cloudy when you’re analyzing data. Sooner or later, prospects look like sales targets on a spreadsheet. But CDPs have the distinct ability to create comprehensive profiles that feel human.

Every data point serves a purpose, is cleaned, and deduplicated. Next, the datasets are grouped together by theme. Finally, the data generates a unified customer profile. 

In a CDP customer profile, you’ll see details such as:

  • Their behavior 
  • Their engagement 
  • How they feel about your business
  • If they’re a frequent user
  • If they’re likely to re-engage 
  • Their likes and dislikes

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Personalizing marketing content and promotions 

Understanding customer behavior and preferences is essential to personalizing the content that enhances the customer experience. 

CDPs help businesses such as SaaS content marketing agencies personalize content and marketing promotions in a number of ways. 

1. Relevant messaging 

Customers don’t engage with campaigns that aren’t personally relevant. The data you collect from a CDP helps create relevant messaging your customers will connect with. Relevant messaging through target campaigns increases customer experience and loyalty.

For instance, Millennials prefer different messaging than Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers prefer different messaging than Gen Zers.

2. Content optimization

Understanding your customers also helps you optimize content to match a customer’s search intent. This helps you produce the right content at the right time.

Picture this:

You own a simple skincare brand, and you’re looking to increase your product base. Before you start getting creative in a lab, you analyze customer data in your CDP.

After noticing a series of patterns, you realize that your customers are searching for:

  • Sun protection sets
  • Bath bombs
  • Jade rollers
  • Beard oil

Not only does this show you what products to create, but it also shows you which target phrases to optimize your content around.  

You use those target phrases to plan out content briefs, research secondary keywords, and prepare SEO plans. 

By the end of your preparation, you’ve planned out three months worth of:

  • Topics to target
  • Secondary keywords
  • Frequently asked questions to answer
  • Content scores to target
  • Sales copy
  • Blog article outlines
  • Social media content 

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Along the way, you continue to keep an eye on your customer data. If you see a change in pattern, simply adjust your content as needed. 

This commitment to custom tailoring content to customers’ preferences enhances their experience with your company.

Segmenting customers 

While every customer has their own preferences and behaviors, it’s common for many to exhibit common patterns. 

CDPs give you tools to define your audience by segments based on these shared attributes and behaviors. Segments are based on rules, or they’re built using machine learning and AI. With these tools, you can enrich customer profiles with data you wouldn’t be able to gather on your own.

With the segmenting features, you can:

  • Predict customer churn 
  • Deliver relevant recommendations based on buying history
  • Identify customer advocates and frequent buyers
  • Identify similar patterns
  • Identify upsell and cross-sell opportunities 
  • Segment your customers using common attributes 
  • Tailor messages to those segments

Businesses can use CDP segmentation tools to optimize the entire customer journey from discovery to advocacy. 

To analyze and segment profile data, look for a CDP that has:

  • Prebuilt code
  • Visualizations that feel intuitive 
  • Out of the box features
  • 24/7 customer support 

An example of audience segmentation 

Let’s imagine that your business sells digital courses on personal and career development. You just set up a CDP, and you’re looking forward to trying the audience segmentation features. 

After identifying customer patterns and behaviors, you notice you have three main types of customer patterns:

  1. Frequent buyers that mainly buy career development courses
  2. Infrequent buyers that mainly buy personal development courses 
  3. Moderate buyers that buy a mix of both

 

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This insight helps you segment your customers into the following customer avatars:

  1. Career development customers 
  2. Personal development customers
  3. Career and personal development customers 

Later, you improve your marketing strategy to cater to these three customer avatars. You have three different kinds of social media campaigns, email newsletters, landing pages, websites, and paid ads. 

For your career development customers, you:

Focus your content on career advancement, job skills, and networking tips.

For your personal development customers, you:

Focus your content on personal growth, coping skills, and building self-confidence.

For your career and personal development customers, you:

Focus your content on how personal growth contributes to career growth.  

At this point, your content strategy is laser-focused and serves your three most common types of customers. 

Over time you keep an eye on behaviors and make adjustments when needed. You also keep an eye out for new customer avatars and buying habits.

Isn’t a CDP just a CRM?

CDPs and CRMs both work with customer data, but the two are pretty different. 

You may have wondered, “Why do I need a CDP? Isn’t a customer relationship management tool (CRM) the same thing?”

It’s actually not. 

While CRMs contain data you already know (i.e., name, email, and zip code), CDPs collect data you wouldn’t know over a specific time. 

But there are more differences between the two tools. 

Here are some major differences between a CDP and a CRM.

1. Data capacity 

CRMs were intended to keep track of customer and prospect interactions to automate the process for sales teams. They’re great for sales and marketing teams that need to pull customer information quickly. 

CDPs are great at handling large amounts of data from various channels. 

2. Known data 

CRMs only contain known data — they won’t be able to pull anything on potential customers you’ve never met before. 

CDPs work with both known and unknown data making them more valuable than most martech tools. 

3. Storage information 

CRM data stores simple information into a few fields — almost like a flashcard. It includes basic customer information such as name and contact information. 

CDPs have detailed information about a customer’s buying patterns, online and offline activity, and behaviors.

4. Data format

CRMs can’t handle data in a free-flowing manner. The system can only recognize data if it’s formatted in a specific way (i.e., a CSV file). 

CDPs take information from several sources and act as a central hub for customer data. They can handle both simple and robust information while also making sense of complex data. This includes online and offline data and behaviors. 

5. Monitoring and engaging 

CRMs are helpful for monitoring and engaging with customers and prospects throughout all phases of the buyer’s journey. They work well at managing contact information and also have automated workflows and reports. Solopreneurs and small teams often use CRMs. 

CDPs are helpful for tracking all aspects of customer behavior on and offline. They pull information from various sources for customers you know and don’t know alike. They help you segment audiences and refine your messaging. Startups, mid-size, and large companies use CDPs.  

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Which tool is better for customer experience — a CRM or a CDP?

While CRMs are helpful for engaging with customers at various parts of the customer journey, they’re still limited on information. 

The more detailed information a company has about their customers, the more insight they have as to what those customers crave.

First, you have to know what their pain points are. Then, you have to craft messages that align with customer needs. But a CRM can’t help you with that. It can help you manually look up customers and engage with them directly, but it doesn’t use machine learning or AI to scour customer behaviors.  

That’s why, in the end, CDPs are better tools for enhancing the customer experience. 

Ready to transform your customer experience to the next level? 

Customer experience affects every aspect of success, making CDPs invaluable to a business. 

With a CDP, you’ll understand how your customer thinks, what they’re looking for, and what they like. You won’t need three tools, and multiple data set extraction tools. Instead, your CDP will pull information from various channels for you. 

Not only does this save you time, but it also helps you understand how to reach your customers in a profound way.

From knowing how to craft messages to building long-term relationships, a CDP is every business’s trusted tool for up-leveling the customer experience. 

 

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Business

How to Optimize Productivity in the Workplace

Keeping employees engaged takes reflection on the strategies used to run your business. Business management is connected to workplace culture. Unfortunately, these close ties mean that if one area is lacking, the other will follow. To prevent slips in productivity, here are some ways to ensure that your employees remain satisfied and on-task at work. 

 

Improve Workplace Culture

People are creatures of habit. When we repeat an action, a thought, or a combination of the two, our minds begin to associate with these things to the extent that they become second nature. At work, we showcase our habitual natures by repeating a task or thinking the same things about the workplace. While these habits help produce outcomes, they can be destructive. If one’s thoughts are negative, the actions they take towards work will also be negative, albeit unintentionally. If employees regularly feel that they are not being acknowledged for their efforts at work, soon enough, their work ethic will suffer, and so will the company. Understanding that this is the effect of negative thinking and poor workplace culture, we can piece together ways to improve productivity. Employees are more likely to be motivated and increase their productivity if the workplace culture is improved upon.

 

Set Goals Effectively

Depending on your business’s size and scope, the way you go about goals will vary. For larger organizations, integrating strategy developments such as objectives and key results (OKRS) can be an effective way to engage the company. For smaller businesses, relying on SMART goals is often a more practical approach to achieving business aims. Consider the specifics of your organization and adopt strategies that emulate your setup and dynamic the best. Look into HCM management as another way to harness business success for your company, especially with the rise in remote work culture. 

 

Integrate Employee Rewards 

The millennial workforce is exceptionally responsive to task-reward strategies for workplace productivity. A job well done can be acknowledged in many ways. Business leaders might consider gift cards, employee of the month posts, acknowledgment during a meeting, or paid time off as a few ideas for work rewards. At the very least, incorporating consistent positive feedback will motivate employees to continue producing the ideal results needed. Without considering your employees regularly, they will start to feel like machines, and their work ethic will dwindle. Remember to see the person behind the employee and make efforts to engage positively for increased productivity.

Use Team Management Software

If you’re noticing signs that your business needs digital tools to enhance productivity, invest in business management software. Stay on track of goals using team software that allows everyone in the office to connect at all times. You can check off assignments and tasks using these systems, and everyone can see what is happening that day on the dashboard. Using online software to store data and communicate will also subsequently boost business security. Communicating through instant messaging is a common feature found on these software programs and makes work productivity flow faster and more efficiently. We like Asana for the business management of smaller teams—and don’t worry about learning a new system, you can get Asana consulting to help you adjust quickly. Larger companies may need to use regular video chatting to optimize productivity. Designate a specific amount of time each week where business meetings can take place online. Deliberately mapping out this time will allow employees to plan and get more work done in time for the chats later that week. Even better, you can use time management software to keep things organized.

Improving workplace productivity requires that business leaders take a look at how well they are treating their employees. Efforts to improve workplace culture and instill a positive attitude in the company will be most effective at increasing the work productivity taking place as a whole.  

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Business

How to Keep Track of All Your Business Expenses

When you run a business, whether large or small, one of the most important aspects of your success is the way you handle your finances. As a business, you’ll have expenses—there’s simply no way around it. However, the way that you manage them can have an impact on your profit. 

From paying your taxes to managing your payroll, there are a number of reasons why tracking business expenses is paramount to the smooth running of your company. Here are some of our top suggestions for tracking your business expenses.

Stay organized

While your individual home expenses may consist of tracking expenses through keeping all of your receipts, this won’t fly when it comes to your business expenses. Not only is it terribly hard to keep track of numerous receipts, but it can also be a nightmare to go through all of them when it’s time for tax season or staying aware of how much your business is spending. This is why automating how you track your expenses and using an online bill pay service is a game-changer. 

Use apps for tracking expenses

Along the same lines as the above-mentioned tip, using a receipt scanner and software helps you have all your business expenses in one place. Platforms like Spendesk even offer virtual employee debit cards to help keep track of your teams’ business expenses.  You can easily keep track of your money and where it’s going, which can go far in how you run your company and save for emergencies. From categorizing expenses to keeping track of the little things, being organized with your finances is key to the success of your business. Apps are a great way to achieve this. Learn more about your business’s debits and credits here.

Consider hiring a professional

If you simply don’t have time to take care of your business finances because you’re busy managing teams and networking with clients, hiring a professional can go far in helping you control business expenses. While it does mean making an investment, the benefits found in hiring someone to handle your finances can make a world of difference for you. Through their expertise, they can make sure the company is saving, only spending what’s necessary, and profiting as you should be.  

Have a business credit card

Most large businesses that have been around for a while already have a dedicated account for their expenses. If you’re a small business just starting out, chances are you’re still using your personal credit card. Maybe it’s been easier that way. However, this can become confusing and even detrimental to the success of your company as it grows because you’ll have all of your money and expenses lumped in one place. There are apps and websites that not only make it easy to open a business account, but to manage it all from one place. This way, keeping track of your business expenses is streamlined and you’ll know where your company money is and what you’re spending it on. 

Review expenses and accounting every so often

Whatever option you choose, it’s a good idea to go back to it and reevaluate how things are going. In some instances, what works for one company may not be the best for yours due to different kinds of products or services and ways of operating. With your financial health being one of the most important aspects of your business, it’s important to get it right. Even if you have hired a professional, it’s still a good idea to check in and make sure they’re helping you get your money’s worth.Learn more about efficient project accounting tactics and how it impacts your business.

The Bottom Line

Your financial health as a small business is important. Haphazardly keeping track of your expenses simply won’t cut it in this day and age. Fortunately, with the help of today’s technology and financial professionals in your area, you can easily track your expenses and make sure your small business is making a profit. 

How to Keep Track of All Your Business Expenses

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Business

3 Tips to Finding the Best Candidates When Hiring

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link and, when it comes to growing a successful business, you can’t afford to have a link that’s anything less than strong. The first step to building an unstoppable team for your company is to hire the right candidates from the get-go. 

With these three tips, you’ll be well on your way to a chain that’s truly unbreakable. 

#1 Get Creative with Recruiting

Don’t let your recruiting efforts fizzle on your website. While a posting on your careers page is a must, make sure you’re also expanding your recruitment horizons by placing job listings on online platforms like:

  • Handshake – This virtual recruitment service makes it easier than ever to nab promising candidates from a wide pool of top-tier university students searching for a job in your industry. 

 

  • LinkedIn – LinkedIn connects millions of enthusiastic professionals, industry veterans, and recent grads in an easy-to-search digital networking space. Take advantage of its premium features and messaging capabilities to reach out directly to the professionals that catch your eye (like in dating, sometimes you have to make the first move). 
  • Social media – Platforms like YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and more are practically overflowing with young professionals showing off their talents, skills, and passions. For candidates that break the mold, reach out to smaller influencers, and see who bites. And who knows? They might be a great catch.  

#2 Cast a Wide Net

A person is far more than their college GPA and resume. Sometimes, a piece of paper doesn’t do a candidate justice. While straight-arrow, by-the-book candidates are highly valuable, try to diversify your team by sprinkling in some creative thinkers with unorthodox backgrounds. 

Consider out-of-the-box candidates like:

  • Older professionals with deep-rooted IT skills in another field—their years of experience in collaboration and unique know-how can do wonders for your team.  
  • People with non-traditional educational paths. Maybe they went to trade school and are brilliant welders with a penchant for writing. Perhaps they’re high school grads who taught themselves how to code. Whatever it may be, a lack of a standard college education doesn’t have to be a flaw—it can be what sets them apart.  

However, make sure you’re supplementing your interviews and resume checks with some good ol’ vetting. No matter how shiny your new hire’s CV or how strapping their suit, you can never go wrong with a background check and a quick look at their tradeline.

 

#3 Know How to Sell Yourself

If you want to hire the best talent in your industry, or you are looking at hiring inside sales representation you’ll need to foster a company culture that shines brighter than the rest, especially if you’re a smaller business. If you don’t have the capital to offer the pay and benefits that larger companies can, you must know how to sell yourself to highly coveted candidates, just like you would to potential investors. It’s also a great idea to have an employee onboarding process and employee onboarding software to start off as you mean to go on.

While some professionals may turn away from a growing company, you just need to focus on the ones that are attracted to your immense potential. To make them see the light, you must offer:

Don’t Settle for Anything Less Than Excellent

Hiring talent is a two-way street. If you want to hire impressive candidates, you’ll need to impress them too. No matter what, building your A-Team takes time. Be patient, don’t settle, and you’ll get there eventually. Happy hiring.