Brands Use Data To Raise The Bar On Customer Experience

It's your first cruise vacation and you're ready to board. You check one last time to be sure the smart wristband the cruise line sent you last week is securely fastened. Then you join the rest of the crowd on the dock. As you calculate which boarding line is shortest, a crew member glances at your wristband and directs you to a special entrance. No waiting. Once at your room, a sensor verifies the ID in your device and the door opens automatically, saving you from having to juggle bags to find a key.

Later, as you walk down the hall, you notice several giant touchscreen portals on the wall. You log in to one. Because the cruise line knows your interests, the portal recommends tonight’s Rio Carnival on the upper deck and a group tour of the Royal Botanical Gardens when you reach the Port of Spain in a few days. Next stop: the pool bar, where the waiter starts to mix up your favorite drink before you even arrive.

Princess Cruises, a California-based cruise line, understands that providing customers with unforgettable, personalized experiences like these means getting to know the people behind the devices they use. With the help of their data management platform (DMP), the company combines email, web, social media, and customer relationship management data to piece together a picture of how their most valuable customers interact with their brand. This could include anything from how much time a visitor spent browsing cruise packages on their website to the kinds of questions they asked the customer support team.


Combining this information, the DMP creates audience segments — those people most likely to be interested in a particular message. The cruise line can then push audience segments out to the appropriate marketing channels so they can deliver a personalized message and reach them at the exact moment their customers want or need it.
 

See how Princess Cruises charts the best marketing course by knowing their audience.

Gordon Ho headshot
“Delivering a great experience really begins with the data. We use our data management platform as our central data warehouse, acting as the foundation for us to drive customer insight. Gordon Ho SVP, Global Marketing & Sales, Princess Cruises”
Gordon Ho, SVP, Global Marketing & Sales, Princess Cruises

 

It’s time to refine your data.

“A DMP is like an oil refinery for your data,” says Matt Skinner, product marketing manager for Adobe Audience Manager. “Just as it takes work to extract oil from the ground, refine it, and turn it into something like gasoline that everyone can use, a DMP refines data into a single view of the customer for better personalization and great experiences.”

 

This single view is important because it follows a customer from mobile to desktop to smartwatch and back again. So instead of creating promotions and offers with each of those devices in mind, a DMP helps you deliver the most relevant experiences to the person behind the device. And when so many brands are clamoring to be noticed, that makes a DMP the most competitive tool you can have.

77 percent

77% of marketing and IT professionals believe that an experience-based DMP is important to their organization's success.

71 percent

71% of organizations expect their audience management budget to increase, and 51% are likely to switch to a best-in-class DMP.

79 percent

79% of marketing and IT professionals say that DMP skills will be essential for any digital marketing in the next 5 years, and that DMP skills will rise in the next half decade.

Source: Adobe

 

Like oil, data is a valuable resource — the most important one your company owns. For Princess Cruises, data helps them anticipate what a customer wants for dinner, what time is best for their massage, and whether they’d rather relax with a movie under the stars or dance the night away in the ship’s nightclub. And while the customer sails through their activities effortlessly, connecting these experiences behind the scenes takes some work.

As customers choose to interact with yet one more device, it gets harder and harder to keep track of how they communicate with your brand — whether on vacation or in everyday life. Data shortage isn’t the problem. With every visit and every click, your data stash grows.

But when multiple teams with different goals manage that data using disconnected systems, your customer never comes into full view — only their devices do. And when you only get half the story around who your customers are and how they behave, it’s almost impossible to carry on a personalized conversation, let alone win customer loyalty.

 


Man in jacket

 

What a DMP can do for you.

The fight for customer attention is a daily struggle, but it doesn’t have to be. With a DMP, you can be confident that the experiences you deliver are the ones your customers want and expect. For example, MGM Resorts International uses a DMP to help them automatically tailor messages based on the last time customers visited their site, and how often they visit.

 

Kate Wik headshot
“Have they visited our website in the last month? If so, that’s a different message than we would serve to somebody who was on the site yesterday or has never been on the site. Kate Wik SVP Brand Marketing, MGM Resorts International”
Kate Wik, SVP Brand Marketing, MGM Resorts International

 

A DMP gathers data that is spread across different business functions and technologies. It helps you organize and process that data into high-value audience segments, like cruise passengers most likely to make an onboard store purchase. Then, you can send them coupons through your mobile app.

 

Three functions of a DMP.

 

Three functions of a DMP

 

Data In. 

Collects first-party data from channels and devices (web analytics, CRM, device data, e-commerce, etc.).

 

Audience Creation. 

Unifies data into audience profiles, giving you a complete customer view across devices and channels. Create look-alike models, build audience segments and groups of profiles, and supplement with second- and third-party data sources.

 

Data Out. 

Activates audience segments by pushing them out to demand-side platforms (DSPs), campaign management systems, and other marketing platforms.
 


Man in jacket facing away

 

How Adobe can help.

Recognized by Forrester as a Leader in data management platforms, Adobe Audience Manager helps you do the following. 

Understand customers across devices. Adobe Audience Manager uses identity management tools and device graphs to tie device IDs to individuals or groups. If a customer starts using a device you don’t recognize, you can use second-party data available through a network or co-op to supplement your own, building a complete view of your customer. This allows you to send consistent messaging across devices, whether your customers log in to your site or not. 

Integrate with existing systems. Native integration with Adobe Experience Cloud allows Audience Manager to ingest data from Adobe solutions and dozens of third-party providers for use in creating audience segments. Those segments can then be exported to other Adobe products for use in personalization and campaigns, multiple DSPs, and server-side platforms (SSPs). 

 Activate your best audiences. Reach more of your highest-value customers by pushing your audience segments to the platforms you choose. Segments can include information about how recently a customer has visited your site or mobile app, and how often they do so, helping you make sure you always send the most relevant messages.   

Measure your performance. Find out which audience segments are performing well and where you might need to make some adjustments. Discover new segments you might not have considered for targeting.   

Get more value across the enterprise. Adobe Audience Manager plays an important role in paid media targeting, but the real value comes when everyone in your organization can use customer data as a single source of truth to provide consistent, compelling experiences.    

Deliver real-time experiences. Ingest data in real time from onsite and offline data sources, such as call centers or in-store purchases. Then export segment qualifications in real time to marketing platforms.  

Balance transparency and privacy. Protect your brand and data partners and build customer trust by getting a clear view into how your technology works so you can ensure you’re not violating company, regional, or national policies around data privacy.

 

26 percent

26% increase in site conversion rate

20 percent

20% decline in cost per order

50 percent

50% increase in average order value

 

Learn more about how Adobe’s best-in-class DMP — Audience Manager — can bring your customer into view.


 

Adobe Audience Manager Customer Check-In Survey, October–November 2016.

Alison Weissbrot, “Why MGM Resorts International Brought Programmatic In-House,” AdExchanger, April 26, 2017.

Ben Beard, Adobe, personal interview, February 8, 2018.

Matt Skinner, Adobe, personal interview, February 8, 2018.

“The Rise of the Experience DMP: Adobe Audience Manager Announces New Survey Results,” Adobe Press Release, March 13, 2018.

Setting sail for adventure,” Adobe Customer Story for Princess Cruises, December 2017.

Susan Bidel, Samantha Merlivat, Melissa Parrish, Arleen Chien, and Laura Glazer, “The Forrester Wave™: Data Management Platforms, Q2 2017,” Forrester Research, Inc., June 1, 2017.

 

 

Up Next

Data Driven

Real-Time Data Fuels Customer Experience Management

Customer Experience

5 Brands That Centered Digital Transformation Around Customers

From the Blog

Dig Deeper