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How to Build A Unified Customer Profile To Understand Your Customers

Pawandeep Kaur,
Content Marketing Manager @Mapp
How to Build A Unified Customer Profile To Understand Your Customers

unified customer profile is the secret to getting to know your consumers better – maybe even better than they know themselves with AI at your fingertips! But many businesses make the mistake of drawing conclusions on customers based on incomplete and fragmented profiles, instead of collecting and unifying consumer data in one place.

Table of Contents

What is a Unified Customer Profile?
What Data should you use in a Consumer Profile?
How to Create a Unified Customer Profile
Powering your Insight-Led CX Strategy

Creating buyer personas and a customer journey map template can help start to understand your target audience, but these only tell you half the story. Analyzing your ideal customer through the lens of each channel simply creates gaps in your customer profile. Remember: consumers interact with your brand’s cross-channel experience across all your online and offline touchpoints. It needs to be analyzed as a unified customer experience to create a unified customer profile.

A customer profile gives a 360-degree view with factual insights about “why” customers behave a certain way, coupled with reliable predictions. This enables you to trigger hyper-personalized content that’s relatable, keeps their attention, and increases the chances of conversion.

A customer-centric culture is essential for your marketing team to power an insight-led customer experience strategy. In fact, it needs to loop back to the goals in your business plan. This means eliminating data silos and putting customer insights at the heart of your marketing campaign – and it all starts with unified consumer profiling.


What is a Unified Customer Profile?


A unified customer profile is a tool that outlines your current customer needs, behaviors, pain points, psychographic and demographic data. Customer profiling (consumer profiling) plugs in real-time data within your Customer Data Platform to provide accurate customer segments, priorities, and learnings that can power a hyper-personalized experience at scale.

A unified customer profile can become your go-to source of truth compared to a semi-fictional characteristic outline that’s defined in your ideal customer persona documents. This means using data as signals to get an in-depth view of every behavioral trait to capture future predictions to exceed their expectations.


What Data should you use in a Consumer Profile? 

Customer profile data can be collected in three different ways through your Customer Data Platform: direct customer surveys (zero-party data), indirect customer tracking (first-party data), and supplementing your own customer information (with third-party data).

As third-party data takes a back seat, real-time first-party data and zero-party data are becoming primary sources because of their accuracy, availability, and GDPR compliance. These data points exist in your different touchpoints and channels, such as SMS, social media, website, apps, email, and more. Once a customer interacts with your brand, the more customer data you collect, the more you enrich their profile.

NOTE: As Data Privacy & GDPR regulations continue to evolve, being data compliant becomes a higher priority for marketers. It’s essential to use MarTech that covers this for you to be at ease when being a data-driven marketer!


Why is a Unified Customer Profile important?

We’ve got one better: how can you create the best experience possible for customers, without really knowing who they are? Closing these gaps and consolidating all fragmented data sources in one location, helps understand your ideal customer types across all channels. Here are five reasons why enriching each customer profile is essential:

 Get to know customers at scale: Go beyond your target market. Using first-party data that’s GDPR compliant gives you a window into your consumers. Looping in zero-party data makes each profile even more accurate as it’s taken directly from them e.g. a survey on product preferences. This helps you confirm whether your assumptions were valid or invalid for a stronger customer profile.

 Step into your customer’s shoes: Real-time customer data tells you why target consumers behave in a certain way. For example, having form analytics distinguishes why customers drop off here. Your insights may indicate high exits at the four manual address fields (house no, street, town, postcode), signaling friction in the checkout process. By combining these into one auto-populating address field, it saves the customer time and effort, driving conversions from your target customer base.

 Personalize and optimize cross-channel marketing: Get actionable insights from each profile to better target messaging and know where to use each channel at each different stage in the customer life cycle. For instance, personalizing your on-site banners and blocks of content based on customer interaction context and your customer profile. This ensures that customers’ web experience reflects the desired outcomes.

 Build a relationship that matters: Your ideal customer relationship can come true. Using real-time data helps turn customer data into a positive and meaningful user experience. Learn your customer’s interests, every characteristic, preference, online and offline behavior all from a unified customer profile and use it to plan, target, and execute real-time personalized marketing efforts.

For more marketing tactics that help you acquire, nurture, grow and retain your customers, have a look at ImproveYourMarketing.


How to Create a Unified Customer Profile

Step 1: Use a CDP to plug in your data

Our client Jysk used our partner Leadfamly to leverage gamification to capture customers. Here’s a snippet about how they turn their customer data into intelligence by enriching the customer profile with Mapp Marketing Cloud’s CDP at the core.

To watch the rest of the webinar, click here.

Define what data sources are available to you. Technically (no pun intended), all customer contact points can be used as data sources to unify data in your CDP. Visualize it as campaign data, behavioral, and, contextual data and break it down as sources, e.g. CRM, website behavior, and social media profiles are obvious data sources.

From the first interaction, Mapp Marketing Cloud captures behavioral and transactional data across your websites and mobile apps. With our advanced data capture tools, like our tracking pixels, tracking debugger plugin, custom integrations, advanced tag management tools, API, and SDK, our solution combines historical and real-time data for an in-depth view at scale.

Step 2: Pull additional and relevant information together

Think outside of a typical customer profile template and pull in existing customer data that’s captured across different touchpoints, such as offline data, feedback data, channel engagement data, behavioral, contextual data, and more. This helps you understand more about how your customers behave and why they’re doing it.

Mapp Marketing Cloud and our strong partner network help you to integrate your transactional data from YReceipts, for example. We implement this within your big data, simplify this for you to digest, and provide actionable insights.

Step 3: Segment and group to form each customer profile


Here’s where your build each customer profile dynamically – depending on your CDP. A segment is a structured list of criteria that filters contacts. In Mapp Marketing Cloud, our Segmentation Builder allows you to filter your contacts based on their saved behavioral attributes.

Our flexible data structures stores information in freely definable and expandable contact profiles within Mapp Marketing Cloud making it possible to store and use the following information in your campaigns:

  • Customer lifestyle data
  • Personal preferences
  • Online activity
  • Click-through behavior
  • Product data
  • Transactional history

Step 4: Automate and hyper-personalize content

Once you’ve gathered those key insights, you can push out data-driven content that drives customer engagement. The key to targeted email communication is to know your contacts. Mapp Marketing Cloud automatically stores open and click behavior in the customer profile. This information can help you to send the right email at the right time to increase conversion rates.

For instance in category triggers, sending weekly automated emails to customers that have shown a high intent to buy or are predicted to buy from your high-value product category. These emails will need a custom and personalized design to stand out from your newsletter communications and transactional messages. Tracking optimizations like this enrich each customer profile based on their interactions, for a clear and updated map of their current interests to trigger targeted communications. This can enable faster loyalty, high customer lifetime, value, and more repeat purchases.

Step 5: Keep enriching your customer profile and optimize the buyer journey

As time goes along, your CDP should automatically keep collecting data and enriching the customer profile. Having historical data and new data plugged in, for online and offline sources helps you to analyze changes in their behavior, predict future changes, and know if they’re likely to churn.

Tip: Zero-party data is always good! It’s faster than waiting for industry reports and is directly from the customer, giving you more accuracy.


Mapp Marketing Cloud powers a high-value insight-led CX strategy

58% of companies based around half of their regular business decision-making on gut-feel/intuition rather than data. This is often because of the lack of budgets, resources, and, tech becoming barriers for marketers when collecting, managing, and analyzing big data. This puts a stump in your data-driven marketing that could empower you to get future predictions and hyper-personalize your messaging across channels to drive customer engagement, retention, and lifetime value.

You can have endless amounts of data, but you need to be able to digest and structure it in a way that allows you to pull out valuable insights from your customer profiles. There’s no set template, but with Mapp Marketing Cloud’s AI capabilities layered on top of unified data, you’ll gain actionable insights to make every customer interaction impactful. This is crucial to your marketing strategy and helps you power insight-led experiences that resonate with your customers.

Ready to unlock your data points and master customer profiling? Book a personalized demo or consultation with us!


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