Data Analytics

How to Build Accurate Customer Profiles Using Data

Actian Corporation

August 10, 2023

Customer Profiles Data Analytics

Building complete 360-degree customer profiles is difficult. It requires integrating all relevant customer data onto a single platform. The process involves a lot of data—including purchasing history, demographic information, browsing and shopping habits, and much more. Every customer interaction needs to be captured and the data integrated, and you must build data pipelines to new and emerging customer data sources. Data volumes are growing quickly, which is why a modern data platform that can easily scale is essential.

While building profiles is challenging, they are critical to elevating customer experiences. The profiles can be used across all customer engagements—delivering relevant and personalized offers, identifying a customer’s lifetime value, knowing your customers better, and more. The data-enabled profiles allow you to truly understand the dynamic nature of your customers and meet their unique needs.

Here’s how to build unified customer profiles for data-driven campaigns.

Align Data with Campaign Objectives

The purpose of building 360-degree profiles is to engage, nurture, and guide individuals along their customer journeys. You’ll need to define the goal for creating profiles—a nurture campaign for marketing, a new product launch, a customer service initiative, or something else—and then determine what data is needed to reach those goals. Building a complete profile requires a lot of data, but not all customer data is needed. For example, data from customer interactions is essential, but data that’s older than a certain number of years, like before the pandemic, or demographic information about a person’s occupation and income level, may not be relevant for a new campaign.

Aggregate All Relevant Customer Data

You’ll need a modern data platform that can scale to meet your data needs. Customer relationship management (CRM) systems have comprehensive data, but they typically cannot handle the massive data volumes and advanced analytics needed to build and optimize customer profiles. Instead, CRM systems are one type of data source to build comprehensive profiles.

Types of data often used for customer profiles include:

  • Social media engagement.
  • Purchasing history and spending patterns.
  • Household demographics.
  • Financial data.
  • Behavior data.
  • Website interactions.
  • Customer service engagements.
  • Direct feedback such as surveys.
  • Psychographic data.

The data must be brought together on a single, scalable platform. In addition to CRM systems, data can be integrated from customer experience platforms, data warehouses, data lakes, enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, and other sources.

Organize, Manage, and Govern the Data

You must ensure that the data used for profiles is secure and compliant with data protection and privacy regulations as well as internal governance policies. Ideally, your organization has clear data collection policies that are public-facing, so customers know how their data is being used and have the ability to opt-out. Transparency is key to establishing customer trust. Ensuring data is accurate, current, and trustworthy is essential for building 360-degree profiles. You may have to cleanse the data and remove duplicate copies to get the data quality you need to drive your campaign. You’ll also want to regularly back up your data in case of an outage.

Segment and Analyze Data for Customer Insights

You can choose specific customer attributes, such as how much money they spend with your organization or where they are based, to segment customers. This allows you to customize offers based on common characteristics, similar buying behaviors, specific needs, or other criteria. Segmentation is a key factor in delivering targeted and personalized communications. A scalable platform with advanced analytics capabilities can deliver unique offers to customer groups of any size, including a single individual.

Analyzing integrated customer data lets you create segmented groups to meet campaign goals. This includes performing behavior analytics to understand customer actions and patterns, predictive analytics to predict future customer behaviors, or sentiment analysis to engage customers based on their feelings about your company.

Continually Enrich Customer Profiles With Fresh Data

Customer preferences, behaviors, and demographics change over time. Having confidence in your profiles requires you to integrate new data and insights on an ongoing basis. Keeping each profile up-to-date and accurate with the latest information ensures your campaigns are making the biggest impact with the most optimal offers. You also need to add data pipelines as new data sources become available. Bringing in fresh data and keeping customer profiles current helps ensure you don’t miss marketing opportunities while enabling you to better understand any changes in customer wants and needs. This allows you to predict and meet customer preferences while alerting you to customers at risk of churn.

Make Data Easy for Building Customer Profiles

Once you’ve built customer profiles, they can be leveraged to deliver better customer experiences, create lifelong customers, increase customer satisfaction, and improve sales. The profiles do not have to be limited to marketing. You can optimize them across product development, customer strategies, and other business priorities.

The Actian Data Platform makes data easy to use with advanced capabilities needed to build and utilize customer profiles. You can quickly and easily add data pipelines to new data sources, simplify how you connect, manage, and analyze data, and have complete confidence in your insights to ensure customer campaigns are successful. The easy-to-use platform enables you to construct complete and accurate profiles while giving you real-time insights into customer interactions, preferences, and behaviors. We also offer pre-built templates to help you gain faster time to value.

Get a free 30-day trial for the Actian Data Platform and see how easy customer data can be.

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About Actian Corporation

Actian is helping businesses build a bridge to a data-defined future. We’re doing this by delivering scalable cloud technologies while protecting customers’ investments in existing platforms. Our patented technology has enabled us to maintain a 10-20X performance edge against competitors large and small in the mission-critical data management market. The most data-intensive enterprises in financial services, retail, telecommunications, media, healthcare and manufacturing trust Actian to solve their toughest data challenges.