In today’s rapidly advancing digital age, organizations have access to an unprecedented amount of data. To gain a competitive advantage and better understand customer behavior, companies are increasingly turning to advanced data analytics.
We recently conducted a customer survey to understand the data sources and practices that organizations are using. In this article, we delve into the survey results, shedding light on data collection, challenges related to privacy regulations, and the adoption of customer data platforms (CDPs). Let’s explore the insights provided by our survey respondents.
Diverse data sources
Understanding your customers is critical to achieving sustainable growth and meaningful customer relationships. To gain valuable insights, it’s important to leverage multiple data sources.
According to our survey, the majority of companies use a variety of data sources to gain insight into their customers. Web or app analytics emerged as the most popular choice, with an overwhelming 85.71 % of respondents relying on these tools. Store data and email click behavior followed closely at 74.29 % and 71.43 %, respectively. Customer service data (57.14 %) and social media data (54.29 %) were also popular choices, indicating the growing importance of these channels. In addition, 42.86 % of respondents used surveys and interest polls, highlighting the value of direct engagement with customers. Meanwhile, the use of external data enrichment stood at 20 %, and data from lead nurturing solutions (2.86 %) and teaser analysis (2.86 %) were the least common.
When it comes to centralizing data, the survey revealed a divide. While 42.86 % of respondents confirmed that all of their data was collected in a central location, the remaining 57.14 % admitted to not having a centralized data repository.
The reasons given for this divergence varied. Some cited technical challenges such as transferring data between tools (40 %) and the complexity of establishing a central location (40 %) as major obstacles. Others cited the overwhelming effort required to centralize data (30 %) or a lack of technical foundation (10 %).
Navigating data protection regulations
Ensuring GDPR compliance is critical for online stores looking to deliver personalized experiences while protecting customer data.
When it comes to the requirements of GDPR, a quarter of respondents (25.71 %) said they are facing challenges. Open-ended responses highlighted concerns about knowledge gaps, staff training, data protection, and the potential loss of data due to consent issues. Some respondents struggled with tracking and reporting processes, while others highlighted the need to balance privacy regulations with marketing objectives. However, the majority (74.29 %) of respondents indicated that their organizations have not been significantly impacted by GDPR requirements.
Customer Data Platform Adoption and Barriers
Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) have gained attention as a solution for effective data collection and analysis. The survey results showed that while 34.6 % of respondents currently use a CDP, the majority (65.4 %) have not yet adopted this technology.
Lack of resources (35.29 %) and budget constraints (35.29 %) were cited as the main barriers to adoption. In addition, some respondents cited the complexity of setting up a CDP (17.65 %) or lack of expertise (17.65 %). Encouragingly, 11.76 % of respondents were in the process of implementing a CDP.
Unlocking the power of CDPs
When asked about the benefits of using a CDP, respondents highlighted several key benefits.
The ability to gain a holistic, 360-degree view of the customer emerged as the most prominent benefit, with 88.46 % of respondents recognizing its value. Enabling segmentation and personalization (57.69 %), understanding customer needs and expectations (53.85 %), and advanced analytics (53.85 %) were also seen as significant benefits. In addition, 30.77 % of respondents valued CDPs for providing seamless access to customer data, breaking down silos, and enabling more efficient use of data assets. Similarly, 30.77 % of respondents appreciated how CDPs seamlessly integrate disparate proprietary data sources to provide a more comprehensive and unified view of customer information. In addition, 11.54 % of respondents acknowledged that CDPs play a critical role in ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements, such as data protection and privacy regulations. In addition, 7.69 % of respondents recognized the paramount importance of the enhanced data security that CDPs provide to protect customer information from potential breaches.
What is there to learn?
The results of the customer survey provide a comprehensive view of the data practices and challenges facing companies today. It shows that companies are using a variety of data sources to gain insight into their customers. However, centralizing this data remains a challenge for many. In addition, data privacy regulations, such as the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), present both knowledge and operational barriers. Despite these challenges, the potential of customer data platforms (CDPs) to provide a comprehensive view of the customer and enable personalization is widely recognized. To remain competitive in an ever-changing data landscape, organizations must understand the importance of data sources and develop strategies for collecting and using data.
Would you like to find out how you too can make (even) smarter use of your customer data?
Learn more about data usage and data enrichment, including exciting examples, in our free whitepaper “Data Strategy & Personalization” or contact us directly!