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Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) come in many different flavors based on what they actually do for marketers. The CDP Institute largely groups CDP vendors into three classes: access, analytics and campaigns. According to David Raab, founder of the Customer Data Platform Institute, CDP vendors like Segment, Tealium, mParticle and Openprise, whose case studies we feature here, mostly began as data collection tools.

“Data access CDPs focus on building shared customer profiles,” Raab said. “This is the core function provided by all CDPs but some CDP vendors do it better than others.”

Prebuilt Connectors, Data Transformation and More

The vendors in this category tend to have specialized features such as large numbers of prebuilt connectors, advanced identity resolution and ID management, data transformation, standardization and governance capabilities, proprietary data storage technologies, sophisticated management of derived variables, high-speed data ingestion and extreme scalability, according to Raab. “There’s even some sub-specialization between vendors who focus on data loading and those who focus on profile construction and sharing,” he said. “These systems are often used by very large companies with advanced needs that require the most powerful tools. Such firms also tend to want ‘best of breed’ systems for all functions. so they are more likely to prefer a CDP that specializes in the profile building function and leaves other functions such as analytics, personalization and delivery to other systems.”

How are businesses using the kind of CDP technology offered by Openprise, Tealium, Segment and mParticle? We asked those four CDP vendors to share one of their top case studies. 

Editor's note: Case studies are presented, with light edits for clarity, as provided by the vendors. Check out the first installment in our CDP case study series.

Openprise: Wabel Uses Data to Connect Retail Buyers, FMCG Suppliers

Wabel is a B2B matchmaking company transforming the Fast-Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG) industry by creating real one-on-one conversations between buyers and suppliers, called B2B Smart Meetings™. In order to make these supply chain connections across the globe, Wabel has to continuously source and maintain a global database of buyers and sellers across many different product categories.

Wabel relies on the power of data and the Openprise Agile CDP to connect retailers and suppliers. To power its sourcing platform, Wabel needed to solve its own sourcing challenge: the sourcing and maintenance of quality data. To that end, Wabel needed an agile CDP platform that could adapt to changing business requirements and provide:

  • An extensive list of retail buyers and FMCG suppliers around the world with information on who wants to buy what, and who has what to sell.
  • A complete view of the multi-channel interactions between buyers and suppliers online and at live events.
  • A rich set of profile data to simplify the prospecting, short-listing and evaluation processes.

To build the CDP it needed, Wabel knew it must build up capabilities in data integration, data management and data quality. Wabel partnered with Openprise to:

  • Clean, normalize, de-duplicate and correlate data from a large number of international data sources.
  • Integrate data from multiple Wabel systems to create a single source of truth.
  • Segment the database to support Wabel’s sourcing engine across geographies and product categories.

Onboarding Data from Large Number of Sources

Wabel acquires retailer and supplier data from a large number of online and offline sources. This data can come in different file formats, different languages, different encodings, not to mention different data formats (for example, “United States” vs. “USA”), incomplete data, and invalid data (for example, [email protected]). Openprise enables Wabel to automate the onboarding of data by cleaning, standardizing, appending, translating and de-duplicating data from different sources, so that only clean data is uploaded into its CRM and other systems. Openprise automates the process of identifying and tagging personal email addresses and blacklisted email addresses.

Correlate, De-Duplicate and Merge System Data

Wabel, its retailers, and suppliers interact with each other through multiple online and offline channels, such as Wabel Summits. The company employs different systems and databases to enable these interactions, such as Zoho for CRM and Certain for event management. To build a complete interaction profile for each retailer and supplier, Wabel leveraged Openprise to correlate, de-duplicate and merge data from multiple systems. This included overcoming challenges such as cleansing and matching company name variations (for example Walmart, Walmart Stores Inc., Walmart Pharmacy and Walmart.com), extracting account and contact information such as domains for correlation and merging contact history from different data fields.

Segment and Enrich Company Profile Data

To add value to the prospecting, short-listing and evaluation process, Wabel needed to develop a rich profile for each company in its database. Using Openprise, Wabel now automatically segments its database along core dimensions like product category, country and continent, language and currency, certifications and company size. Wabel can also automate the appending of its database using third-party data providers like Google Places API to standardize and append address, verify email address and add up-to-date firmographic data. Wabel also uses Openprise to run multiple, simultaneous tests to optimize the prospecting process without touching data in their system of record.

Measurable Results

After implementing Openprise, Wabel experienced the following results:

  • Reduced manual data processing tasks by 90%.
  • Consolidated multiple data onboarding processes into a single automated process.
  • Improved data quality in over 90% of the records in its database.

Screenshot of Openprise no code process automation. With Openprise, users can automate a business process in a step-by-step manner without writing any code.
Openprise-no-code-process-automation: With Openprise, users can automate a business process in a step-by-step manner without writing any code, according to Openprise officials.

Tealium: Utah Jazz Score With Targeted Marketing Campaigns, Personalization

When the NBA’s Utah Jazz started with Tealium three years ago, Jared Geurts, VP of analytics and digital development for the Utah Jazz and Larry H. Miller Sports & Entertainment, couldn’t use web data from his organization's own site to run advanced analyses. Now, with Tealium AudienceStream CDP™ as the foundation of its customer data supply chain, Geurts’ team can use customer data from the entire experience to directly improve campaign performance and the fan experience in myriad ways. As they’ve scaled up from easy-wins to more advanced use cases, their customer data infrastructure with Tealium is supporting business users who can execute on their own.

Taking Control of Data Behind Fan Experience

Before Tealium, the Jazz were able to run analytics on their web properties but lacked the ability to export and extrapolate further into other uses; this made it so they couldn’t export and do deep analysis on fan data, or use that data in other areas of the business.

By combining tag management with Tealium AudienceStream CDP, the Utah Jazz were able to solve two core customer data problems. Now, they can use first-party data, which is more complete and accurate, from their fan’s web experience online to influence email marketing and sales outreach.

Furthermore, they could now stitch together their data around the fan experience to bridge third-party platforms (i.e. display advertising and partner websites like Ticketmaster) with their own web data to gain a complete picture of the fan experience across their eight main channels. This allowed them to monitor performance and adjust spend in real time. This work set the stage for many of their future use cases.

Scoring With Targeted, Audience-Based Experiences

After bringing their fan experience data in-house with Tealium’s CDP, Geurts’ team, together with the Utah Jazz marketing department and partner advertising agency Saxton Horne, looked to expand the reach through targeted marketing campaigns. At the time, 30-year season ticket holders received the same messaging as first-time fans. With a wealth of information from surveys, ticket sales, ticket scans and sales reps, they leveraged their CDP to create new audiences for their campaigns.

When compared side-by-side with non-targeted campaigns, the CDP’s insights led to a 50% cost reduction, a 30% to 140% increase in click-through rates depending on the channel and increased return on ad spending of 62% in just the first season.

Scaling up Personalization, Unexpected Benefits

With all of their fan experience data in their CDP delivering actionable audience segments, Geurts’ team sought new use cases to extend the value of their CDP. This has included abandoned cart campaigns, which generate in excess of $100,000 in revenue each season; personalizing offers based on historic behavioral data (for example, if a consumer attends games to see the visiting team, they only make offers for those games); and implementing A/B testing based on insights gained from the CDP. Even simple A/B testing around making ticket recommendations on articles increased their revenue per visitor by 34%.

By starting with achievable use cases that set the foundation for later success, the Utah Jazz continue to open up opportunities for improving the fan experience in unexpected ways. With a robust data foundation in place, CX enhancements like upgrading the app experience during the game or revealing cross-sell opportunities across their parent company’s multiple venues are now realistic.

Screenshot of Tealium AudienceStream CDP
The Tealium AudienceStream CDP is designed to manage audiences across tech stacks with insights into how visitors flow in and out of defined segments.

Segment: Houseparty Accelerates Innovation, Boosts Customer Engagement

Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, Houseparty's numbers have skyrocketed. In March alone, the popular video chat app received 50 million new sign-ups and topped mobile app charts in 82 countries, including the US. The app has grown over the years to host tens of millions of users.

To help make this possible, the team chose Segment as the Customer Data Platform that would help it make sense of its billions of data points its users generate every month, using the insights gained to inform product improvements and increase engagement.

Focus on Metrics and Engagement

Houseparty’s Jeff Needles, who handles special products for the company, knew his team needed to invest in data collection from the start, but there was a problem. Because of the app’s massive scale, he needed a tool that could scale to handle billions of incoming events every month.

He chose the Segment CDP as the foundation for Houseparty’s data stack to collect terabytes of data in real-time. Through Segment, Needles and his team could then send user events to Taplytics and Amazon Redshift, and go on to analyze the Redshift data in Periscope. With this setup, Needles can draw meaningful insights from the reams of data that Houseparty generates.

Data-Driven Iteration

At weekly Houseparty team meetings, anyone can propose new ideas to test. This culture of openness means Houseparty’s product team is constantly experimenting.

Segment’s CDP standardizes Houseparty’s data so the team can do this even more quickly, gathering insights from each experiment so the team can decide whether to move forward with an idea or drop it. The data helps the team stay laser-focused on user engagement and enables them to be bold in their decision-making, so any experiment that is hurting metrics can be quickly culled.

Modeling the Impact

In 2018, Needles' team initiated over 100 experiments and stuck with around 60% of them that helped drive growth. Meantime, they also avoided the 40% of experiments that hurt user engagement. Because of their data-fueled experimentation, Houseparty in one year improved its product and grew user engagement.

The Segment customer data platform overview screen, where users can see how data sources and destinations are connected.
The Segment Customer Data Platform overview screen, where users can see how data sources and destinations are connected.

mParticle: Route Needed to Track Data, Improve Overall Functionality, UX

If you’ve ever desperately searched through your inbox to find the tracking information for one package, you already can relate to the headache that Route is designed to solve. The Route App, available for both iOS and Android, automatically collects order and shipping information from retailers and centralizes it in a real-time visual dashboard, so that you can see where your packages are at any time. Route also offers insurance for 1% of the purchase price.

But if you know the pain of dealing with just one tracking number, you can imagine the complexity of the data pipelines and infrastructure needed to successfully track all of Route's customers' packages real time — especially as new stores and delivery services are added to the app or existing partners change their internal systems.

The Challenge

As user adoption increased, the growth team at Route (led by Nick Warner, head of growth) realized that to meet the changing needs of their customers, they needed to ensure they would be able to quickly add services and functionality to the app. To do so, they would need to put processes in place that would allow them to continue to scale rapidly without having to rely on their already-limited engineering resources.

The Route team knew that there were specific best-in-breed tools that they wanted to employ, but they were hesitant to ask their developers to add additional SDKs into the app to collect and use their customer data for marketing initiatives. It could cause delays in the app release cycles, increase app instability and latency and could lead the team to de-prioritize customer-facing problems to accommodate internal needs.

To meet the demands of increasing amounts of tracking data and improve the overall functionality and user experience of the Route App, the growth team decided to implement mParticle’s Customer Data Platform as their data foundation, with the goal of assembling a stack capable of delivering the best customer experience possible while also streamlining their infrastructure and internal processes.

The Solution

After implementing mParticle into their app, Route was able to select from the 300+ integrations available in the mParticle ecosystem and build a best-in-breed stack without adding any third-party vendor code to their app. With mParticle, Route was able to:

  • Centralize its data infrastructure to get a better understanding of how customers use the app and identify areas of improvement.
  • Democratize data through a customer data layer UI, so every stakeholder could access the data they need to move initiatives forward without relying on engineering.
  • Test and integrate tools to better serve their customers without adding third-party code.

Instead of going through the process of implementing, testing, deploying and maintaining vendor SDKs within the Route app, the Route team positioned mParticle as its central API connecting data to the rest of its infrastructure. This process allowed the engineering team to use mParticle to handle all data orchestration integration across its tech stack, saving SDK implementation time and future SDK maintenance.

With mParticle in place, Warner and the rest of the growth team were able to trust their data and focus on executing new campaigns instead of troubleshooting data quality and discrepancy issues. Using mParticle’s Audience Builder, the growth team was also able to build and maintain dynamic audience segments and automatically deploy them to all of their attribution, analytics, marketing automation and paid social channels at once.

Screenshot of mParticle client Freddy's coffee dashboard in mParticle that serves as the central repository for all of Freddy's Coffee user engagement data. Key metrics are highlighted at the top for easy reference, including event throughput and violations against the data plan.
This shows the dashboard of another mParticle client, Freddy's Coffee. It serves as the central repository for all of Freddy's Coffee user engagement data. Key metrics are highlighted at the top, including event throughput and violations against the data plan.

How it Works

Though Route’s use of the mParticle platform extends far beyond this example, Route established bidirectional customer data flows throughout its entire stack. By leveraging mParticle’s bi-directional integrations with the tools in its stack, the Route growth team was able to forward user information to its attribution partner, have that user data enriched with attribution metrics, then have it re-ingested by mParticle to forward to its user analytics provider. This integrated data flow enables the growth team to understand how paid campaigns are performing and allows them to compare paid growth to organic growth.

MParticle collects, cleanses, validates and appends real-time customer data points to a single persistent customer profile from every customer touchpoint for each user; the Route team is able to invest further in the best-performing conversion channels identified. With this information, the growth team is also able to adjust its paid campaigns and messaging, identify which are most productive and analyze the ROI to drive future growth initiatives.

Results

The mobile-first stack and comprehensive database of clean customer data allows the Route team to add new functionality, on- and off-board new integrations, market more efficiently and deliver better customer experiences. “Onboarding mParticle was a paramount initiative for the growth team to get up in running fast as we were entering our early stages of exponential growth," Warner said.

With mParticle in place, Route onboarded seven different tools 79.2% faster than before, saving over 40 hours of developer time usually required to implement new tools. By helping merchants improve post-purchase experience through tracking and insurance, Route has been growing over 47% month-over-month since its launch and scaled from five to 180 employees in the first year and a half.