Businesses that want to turn browsers into buyers must have a healthy sales funnel. The good news for those doing business in the digital age is that the mouths of our funnels are bigger than they ever have been, pulling in browsers from more sources than ever before. The bad news is that the mishandling of customer data can potentially turn our funnels into bottlenecks that turn browsers away.

Over more than a decade of helping organizations optimize their funnels, I’ve seen too many sales strategies based on guesswork and risky experimentation. Without a platform for gathering customer data to a central point and making it available across the organization, marketers fly blind, frustrated, and unable to know their customers with no ambiguity.

I started my company to enable consumer marketers and brands to take control of their first-party data from all online and offline sources and use the data to develop highly personalized campaigns that drive conversions. By providing a Customer Data Platform (CDP) that gives marketers access to relevant data in real-time, companies can optimize their sales by learning what works.

Understanding the power of a Customer Data Platform

Tracking customers in the digital age requires keeping tabs on a seemingly endless number of spaces where potential customers browse. Marketing campaigns seek out buyers on social media channels, company websites, affiliate websites, and messaging platforms, as well as in email messages and traditional media channels. Without a CDP, data from these campaigns typically are kept siloed in fragmented systems that result in fractured customer identities. With a CDP, all the data is brought together to give a true picture of who browsers are and how they can be converted to buyers.

CDPs start at the point of acquisition. By collecting data at the earliest point of contact and connecting it to customers even while they remain anonymous, CDPs empower companies to create a customer journey map that allows for targeted, personalized marketing. As CDPs continue to collect data, marketers can orchestrate the customer journey to boost retention and increase return on investment.

In addition, CDPs centralize data, allowing for a clear picture of customers and their activity to emerge. By connecting online data, including first-party identifiers, with offline activity, all the channels are brought together to create a unified profile. As data builds, it is converted to marketing intelligence by the CDPs analytical tools and can be segmented to address the needs of specific marketing campaigns.

Unleashing the power of a Customer Data Platform

Optimizing your sales funnel starts with optimizing data ingestion. During this step, handpicking and manual stitching of data must be done to refine the process to the point where data can seamlessly feed the funnel process. When data is ingested properly, it transforms the complex and intertwined data communication system into an automated and seamless data stream. As a result, acquisition costs are lowered, and customers can be identified from the onset.

One of the primary challenges faced by marketers today is achieving a single customer view that incorporates information from all available sources. CDPs allow for all data sources and points of interaction to be connected and the data to be processed in a way that empowers marketers to make relevant real-time responses. By building a single customer view, CDPs melt the “siloed approach” to data management, allowing for greater personalization of marketing efforts.

When all data is brought together to create a comprehensive customer view, marketers can implement relevant, targeted campaigns that focus on the right channels and connect with buyers during the right phase of their customer journey. In addition, CDPs that incorporate artificial intelligence and machine learning can make suggestions that empower the decision-making process.

CDPs provide any business with the ultimate marketing engine. They gather and organize structured and unstructured data from online and offline sources, analyze customer activity in real-time, and provide priceless insight that informs strategies. In essence, CDPs allow you to predict your customers’ responses before you trigger your campaign.

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