Your business requires a lot of support to run smoothly. You need a quality team, forward-thinking managers and outside professionals to help with finances, legalities and marketing. You also need the right in-house tools to keep things moving on a day-to-day basis. Choosing these tools, however, can be tough.
When it comes to managing your customers’ data, there are a few different platforms to use. In this article, we’ll go over the three top choices to help you choose what’s right for your business.
The first tool is extremely popular across all industries. Customer relationship management (CRM) software is designed to help businesses track and manage their customer communications and gather feedback about their business. It puts all of your qualitative customer data in one spot.
The purpose of a CRM is to make it easier for the marketing, sales and customer service teams to work together. It streamlines much of these processes to ensure no information slips through the cracks and there are seamless handoffs of leads and customers.
It also gives you a hub to store important documents and files, in addition to customer communications. You can create contact records and keep customers’ contracts, sales history, submitted information and more all in one place.
The next platform you might consider is a customer data platform (CDP). This might sound like a fancier term for a CRM but there are some important differences between the two. Where CRMs help you engage with and track the customers you already have (or almost have), CDPs are more about analyzing where those people are coming from.
With a CDP, you can measure where your business sees the most engagement, monitor key touch points with customers and even assess if you’re reaching your target audience. This platform is all about gathering and analyzing data.
You can use the data to do things like create segmented lists, eliminate bad data and assign identities to individual users to track behavior more easily. A CDP with the right integrations can give you invaluable insight into your customers’ behavior.
CDPs are great options for businesses who need to get a pulse on how consumers interact with their marketing or who need more clarity about their audience. It’s definitely a more technical system than a CRM, so you might also have to designate an employee or team to learn how to operate the platform.
A data management platform goes one step further. This software is used for really digging into your audience and user data.
A DMP specializes in gathering data from first, second and third-party information sources. This means it could track people’s online search history, their mobile activity and even offline behaviors. From all of this data, it then creates a comprehensive customer profile that shows you what the customer is interested in.
It then uses this data to create a mini-marketing campaign specifically targeted at that user. It can pair with your paid ads or other marketing initiatives to offer a highly personalized ad experience. You can see how powerful this might be for your business.
The purpose of a DMP is to give businesses a highly intuitive understanding of not only their target audience, but each individual customer. With this knowledge, you can ensure that your advertising and marketing are focused on their areas of interest, problems or appealing topics, which boosts your likelihood of getting conversions.
How to Choose
These three options are the most common customer management platforms for businesses. When it’s time to decide which to choose, ask yourself these questions:
- Do I need data or relationships?
- Which teams will be using this software?
- Does it support my current marketing efforts?
The platform you choose needs to support your business goals, team and current initiatives. So think carefully before investing in a software and source opinions from your team.
Having the right customer management system can help you increase profits and be more successful.
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