Received industry wisdom would have you believe that it ‘costs five times more to acquire a new customer than to retain an existing one’; although there are those who believe that it’s future customer value that matters most. Whatever your approach and business model, customer acquisition – no matter its cost – is vital to growth, and ensuring that you secure the right customers, those most likely to both convert and be retained long term, is key.
While a Customer Data Platform (CDP) has many benefits, one of the most impactful for business success can be improving customer acquisition, and helping to minimise the time and cost outlays (known as Customer Acquisition Cost, or CAC) along the way. Here are some of the ways an effective CDP can enhance your customer acquisition.
By unifying customer data from across multiple sources and a range of formats, a CDP can then create an audience-specific view of aggregated customers, which can provide real value to marketers. . This comprehensive picture can be built up from sources such as first-party behavioural data, second-party data from partners, and third-party audience persona data, as well as from existing CRM data or Next Best Offer (NBO) profiling, and – depending on your CDP setup – any other unique touchpoints you might require, both online or offline.
This unified data is then structured into a single customer profile around a unique identifier – including email ID, contact number etc. – providing a fully holistic view of the customer that can then be used in building out audience segments. These profiles can also be generated in line with privacy first approaches using anonymised IDs (such as hashed email addresses), using only first-party data, or generating audiences based on their consent to data collection. Having access to these comprehensive, fully realised customer profiles gives marketers greater insight into which particular campaigns will be most likely to convert, and saves time in building out and curating most relevant audiences.
Keep it personal
Customers are increasingly looking for authenticity from the brands they connect with – 90% of those surveyed said it was important to them – and highly relevant, personalised advertising is the first step to building an authentic relationship with these customers. Personalisation is also increasingly important for customers; 79% say they are more loyal to brands who use personalised approaches, and 81% will share information in exchange for more personalisation.
With a CDP providing a picture based on the unified data of each customer, users – even anonymous ones – can be selected and targeted with messages personalised effectively just for them, whether these be contextually relevant offers or retargeting messaging based on their previous brand interactions.
CDPs have the ability to power personalisation in real-time, using data-triggers to drive customer engagement and acquisition. For example, if a user visits the headwear page of a clothing brand’s website, and then leaves without making a purchase, the next time they visit that website they’ll be served personalised offers for hats based on their previous activity – with this approach the brand is meeting them along their customer journey and is more likely to drive a purchase action and customer acquisition.
Thinking outside out-of-the-box
While having access to unified customer data – thanks to a CDP – can make your own campaigns more effective and maximise customer acquisition, there are also some ‘outside the box’ ways of using this data to further boost acquisition. Using the data and built audiences taken from your CDP, you can leverage these as part of wider approaches.
Using the data collected on customers’ behaviours, preferences, and engagement enables you to create new digital products or offerings that are specifically designed to reach particular audience profiles, boosting acquisition by ensuring the services are both highly relevant and advertised to the customers most likely to be interested; those who the product or service was almost literally designed for. Customer data can also be used to create customer scores – whether calculated by custom machine learning models with set parameters or other methods – which can be used to create lookalike audiences that can then be targeted more effectively with acquisition in mind.
Perhaps the most direct way to monetise your CDP data is to package and sell your owned first-party data sets and customer profiles as segments to potential ad partners, or use these as a foundation for second-party data sharing partnerships. While data-privacy initiatives must be respected and remain front of mind when doing this, it’s an effective way of using data already on hand that you’re employing to improve acquisition to also earn revenue.
Not just a convenient repository for existing customer data that improves engagement, a CDP should also be utilised for finding and acquiring news ones.