Usermind, which offers journey optimization on top of a unified customer database, announced it is opening its database to third-party analytics and visualization services. This moves Usermind closer to the Customer Data Platform Institute’s definition of a CDP, which requires such access. Usermind also released results of a very interesting survey that found companies with the best customer experience most often use their CRM system as their primary customer database. Not something you'd expect to hear from a CDP vendor. Usermind marketing head Steven Dunston explained that companies use CRM to avoid being stalled while waiting to build a unified customer view. Of course, reducing that wait is exactly the problem that CDPs are supposed to solve. But many companies don’t use a CDP. Yet.
Fishbowl is a customer engagement system for restaurants and Olo is a digital ordering system for restaurants They announced an integration that will let Fishbowl gather data from and push messages to Olo. I’m including this as a reminder that there are many industry-specific solutions for customer data unification and journey management. They’re usually invisible outside their industry but are an important alternative to general-purpose platforms. Fishbowl also illustrates something I’ve heard several times recently: that most buyers prefer systems that do something with the unified customer view instead of just building it. This isn’t news: the original CDPs nearly all were built to support some integrated application. Data-only CDPs have so far been bought mostly by large organizations where existing marketing systems can benefit from improved customer data.
If having execution systems that can use better customer data is one big obstacle to making CDPs valuable, another is being able to generate enough different content to take advantage of all that precise targeting. Criteo is stepping into that gap, at least for digital advertising, with an ad creation technology that automatically generates contextually-optimized personalized ads tailored to users’ real-time shopping behavior. The company says its tests showed up to 15% higher sales. I repeat: “up to”.
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