The unified customer profile is a critical element of modern-day operations as it lets companies get a 360° view of customers. However, only some companies know how to manage it. Therefore, businesses of all sizes need to find the best model to approach it, and they need to think of the tools, people, and processes involved.
In this episode of The Marketing Rapport we welcome Barry Padgett, the CEO of Amperity, to talk with Verisk Marketing Solutions host Zora Senat. Barry explains why companies struggle with the unified customer profile. He also explains the importance of data, primarily first-party information, in providing an exceptional customer experience and the problems B2C brands want to solve through platforms like Amperity.
- Name: Barry Padgett
- What he does: Barry is the CEO of Amperity.
- Company: Amperity
- Noteworthy: Barry has over 20 years of financial and operational experience. Before joining Amperity, he spent nearly two decades at Concur Technologies in various leadership roles worldwide. Following SAP’s acquisition of Concur, he served as president of Ariba, Fieldglass, and Concur, collectively known as the Intelligent Spend Group.
- Where to find Barry: LinkedIn
- Personalization has become critical. And yet, we see companies struggle with using it to attract new customers and retain existing ones, as they neglect customer preferences and rely on general messaging. “It harms our view of when we’re served up with experiences or cross promotions that don’t make sense in the context of what a brand should know about us. Why are they serving us ads for things we’ve already bought? Why isn’t suppression built into their tooling? Why don’t they understand that I buy a certain category, and that’s the category I’m interested in rather than potentially something randomly different? If I’m buying men’s dress shirts, why am I getting ads for women’s sportswear?”
- Success lies in first-party data. Therefore, as we see third-party information and mobile ad ID becoming a part of the past, companies must focus on tools that will enable them to collect customer information to build a complete ICP. “You’re going to have to know who your customers are. And then you’re going to have to target lookalikes to your activation channels based on the attributes and customer personas you now know since you’ve got a customer 360 for the first time. So you’re seeing brands spend on that in reaction to what’s happening. And it’s a great catalyst for finally owning your first-party information, which many brands have had on the list for a long time, but not necessarily gone and done something about.”
- As data becomes the decisive factor in company growth, it’s exciting to see what the future holds for all industries. Still, “solving your unified customer view over the next year or two would be an incredible step forward for a lot of companies. For companies that have already solved it, we’re seeing our existing customers lean into clean rooms and retail media networks. One thing that happens once you have this first-party data graph of your customer is that you can start to think about ways in which that data privilege creates opportunity.”
The Unified Customer Profile Is a Challenge Many Companies Don’t Know How to Deal With
“The two approaches we see out in the wild. One, a brand buys a CDP. The customer data platform (CDP) seems like a no-brainer that you’re going to get your customer data cleaned up as part of that deployment.
In reality, when you look at the CDP category, there’s a concentration of companies, tools, and platforms that skew heavily toward marketing automation activation, journey orchestration, and campaign building and segmentation. But they ignore the fundamental and underlying problem of the data being super messy.
And it’s hard to make those tools work the way they’re designed to work unless you clean up the data first. And so, many CDP companies punt on this tough problem.
The second scenario is that you see brands trying to build this themselves. […] Cast your mind back 20 years ago. Most companies tried to build their CRM and billing systems. And fast forward to today. It’s suicide to build your CRM tool or billing system.
In either case, brands must be clear about the use cases and understand what they’re trying to solve. […] The answer doesn’t necessarily have to be constantly trying to transform everything in your stack digitally. Sometimes cleaning up the data and feeding that stack better data yields incredible results.”
The Main Problems B2C Brands Are Looking to Solve Through Platforms Like Amperity
“It’s probably three things. One is the ever-present need to find new customers. And the cost of acquisition of new customers is going up, not down.
Secondly, in reaction to the cost of acquisition going up, we’re seeing more companies spend more programmatically to retain their existing customers. It’s less expensive to retain a customer and upsell and expand that relationship than it is to acquire a brand new one.
And then, you’re seeing a lot of spending and interest right now in reaction to the cookie going away and the mobile ad ID going away. I don’t think anybody has a crystal ball that predicts what’s going to happen next year.
But there is a scramble within the world’s brands to establish a first-party data graph by understanding their customers.”
How the US Market Differs From, Say, the European Market in Leveraging Consumer Data
“It’s a mixed bag. If you take the global brands out of the equation for a moment and talk about national or local. In some ways, national markets have it easier in the sense that they serve a smaller market. They have a smaller population of potential buyers, and that’s both a blessing and a curse.
The blessing is that it is a little easier to know them; the curse is that you have to figure out how to grow your company with a smaller number of potential customers. When you think about mass automation, there may be an opportunity to do some things internally when your customer base is able to be managed in the size of a spreadsheet as opposed to an AI-based cloud data warehouse.
On the flip side, they both have an opportunity given what we see with GDPR in Europe; it’s a catalyst to go and do something. And they have to, whether they are going to or not, start figuring out access and opt-in rights and make sure that they’re serving the right customers and have permission to do so.”
[10:19] “Unifying customer data has a far-reaching impact. It’s economics for sure and profound. But how we think about the overall experience, the journey towards centricity, our employees, and their ability to delight customers. There’s never been a better time to get deep into the gut and finally unify that customer profile.”
[17:03] “As marketers, having that broad visibility and philosophy around every engagement, and every touchpoint being an opportunity as opposed to someone else’s problem, is awesome.”
[25:23] “Working with other companies and jointly delivering customer experience is where we’ll see more companies leaning over the next couple of years. But of course, the prerequisite is that you get your customer data fixed up and get it in an accessible, digestible, federated, and rateable format so you can do things with it.”