When it comes to handling customer data, the list of acronyms for what analysts, product specialists and marketers need is growing—CDP, DMP, CDI … the list goes on. While each tool and category differs, they all have one thing in common: they integrate customer data.
That means, instead of using tools ad hoc, there's a formal plan—and the right infrastructure—for the centralization and distribution of customer data to various teams and tools.
The Case for Integrating Customer Data
When using a tool (you know, like MetaRouter) to integrate customer data, the platform collects user events from your website or app and routes them to one or multiple third-party tools, which often includes aggregating data in a data warehouse for storage and in-depth analysis. The platform can be set up with a single snippet (using analytics.js) for all event tracking in conjunction with setting up standard event calls. After that initial setup, analysts can add and remove tools through a UI, without requiring additional dev time or losing data.
In other words, a great CDI takes care of the difficult and time-consuming marketing/analytics integration and tracking process for you, so you and your team can spend more time actioning your data and less time wrangling it.
Why is Customer Data Infrastructure Important?
We understand why integrating data is crucial but how does having a firm customer data infrastructure impact your business or organization? First, it makes it clear as to what opportunities you have. When you look at the right data in an organized fashion you’ll find it much easier to identify new opportunities for products or services as well as the optimization of existing ones.
Using data organization tools will help you better identify your target audience. Taking note of behavioral patterns and actions makes it easier for you to see who your best customer is and how you can easily reach them. Not only does this save you time but it helps you maximize your ROI by focusing on the money-makers instead of the tire-kickers.
Lastly, customer data infrastructure allows you to better prepare for the future. Forecasting trends and identifying potential opportunities is the key to planning and structuring for success. Remember that MetaRouter is all about preparing you for what is coming and having the right actioning data is the only way to really predict the future.
So how does a CDI work with third-party MarTech tools?
For the sake of example, we’re going to walk through the advantage of using the tool we know best, MetaRouter, to integrate with your third-party marketing tech tools. For analysts who set up MetaRouter, one UI becomes the pipeline through which all the data flows, making it much easier to extract data from a website and mobile apps and push that customer data into third-party tools.
*Visualize total event volume in real time within the UI
Normally, each new analytics tool requires hours of engineering work to set up in order to make sure it’s extracting the right data. With MetaRouter, marketers can accomplish the connection in seconds.
*Point and click connections to see events in real time and configure pipelines
By setting up MetaRouter one time, the data flows through a single pipeline that enables teams to plug, play, test, and switch any tool—all in one place.
The need for portability and historical data
Besides having the option to try new tools quickly, a CDI offers transportable data. This mobility of first-party customer data is critical for marketing analysts because when the time comes to test or switch tools, marketers often find out the hard way that their historical data is stuck within a previous tool, and switching means losing it all.
With continual event tracking, including data warehousing, that problem disappears. Say you're using Amazon S3. As data flows through a tool like MetaRouter, it gets syndicated to other tools like Mixpanel AND it gets sent to S3. From there, you can easily import historical data into Mixpanel or anywhere else. Each team can stay up to date with the newest best-in-class technology and feel confident that they’re making insightful decisions based on a full customer understanding.
The ability for marketers to import historical data into new tools and test them also decreases the cost of implementation. This is a savings can only be realized if your data is accessible via a unified spec/structure that can be used across multiple tools (like analytics.js).
Let's drill this down to benefits:
In case you're skimming, here are three good reasons to integrate your customer data with a tool like a CDI:
- A unified spec allows marketers to send any data to multiple destinations, with accuracy. If/when you eventually want to switch or add tools, you don’t have to rewrite code or add new browser tags.
- While a CDI is not comparable to a tag manager, it does act as an agnostic tag manager that allows your marketing team to install pixels in a few clicks without technical support.
- A CDI enables you to build a history of data that you control.
It's difficult to select best-in-class BI and analytics tools out of the gate. It's difficult to foresee the events that you'll want to have tracked for a new tool. And, over time, some tools you choose may become obsolete, so you'll add more and regularly test. Even if you only have a tool or two right now, implementing the right infrastructural framework will mean you’re poised to grow.
In a nutshell, a CDI is a proper foundation for a long-term, scalable, flexible, and proven customer data tracking plan. Without proper organization of data, you can’t plan for the future, track important metrics, or identify new opportunities. Not to mention the fact that you need to manage all of this data on your own.
With MetaRouter, you’re no longer responsible for the data. The valuable customer information is managed within the MetaRouter Cloud across all the various platforms you use within your organization. The growth and health of your business rely on this data and you need a trusted partner who can support you.
Ready to see for yourself if integrating customer data tools makes sense for your business? Try MetaRouter Cloud, a simple SaaS solution, free for 30 days.