Getting a unified, 360 degree understanding of your customers means bringing together data you have about them and their interactions with you into one source of truth. With so many tools out there today that hold a piece of this important data, building a best-of-breed customer data tech stack that fits the needs of your exact business is easier said than done. There are hundreds of tools out there, many of which have similar messaging or overlap in capabilities. Understanding what you actually need to build the right stack for your use case and situation is not clear. Sometimes tools that work well for a specific need don’t end up playing well with other tools in your stack, leading to data silos or expensive workarounds.
At Heap, we see the challenges companies face in building a best-of-breed customer data tech stack. In order to try to create some clarity around the best ways to approach implementing such a stack, and what the notable tools are in each layer, we’ve written a new ebook: How to Build Your Customer Data Technology Stack. Get your copy and get started on building or upgrading your tech stack today!
A sneak preview:
Customers are everything these days. Better understanding your customers is a high impact way to improve your business — it allows you to increase conversions on your website, improve the customer experience of your product, measure the impact of your new initiatives, and uncover new sources of revenue. In today’s world, relevant customer data is distributed across many different tools and silos.
Let’s say a customer of yours sees an ad for your product on TV, and then a few days later notices your Facebook ad. Intrigued, they Google your product name and stumble across a blog post of yours. They decide to sign up, and start getting drip emails delivered by your email service provider. After a while, they run into an issue and hop on the phone with a support rep. Each of these interactions with this customer and your business lives in a different silo. To deliver a holistic customer experience across these tools, you must have a customer data technology stack that is intentionally designed to achieve this goal. When you build it well, you can break down data silos and emerge with a clear and unified view of your customers.
Generally, there are four activities that your stack should enable you to do:
- Gather relevant customer data. This includes behavior data on your site or app, interactions across your touchpoints, transactional data, and anything else that contributes to creating an actionable 360 degree view of your customers.
- Organize your data. All the data from step one is captured and stored in different formats and schemas, as well as in different tools. To make it usable, it must be unified and organized into consistent formats.
- Analyze your data. Once you have usable data to work with, your stack should have the power to answer your questions and deliver you actionable information that you can use to improve your customer experience and drive revenue.
- Act on your data. Once you know what you should do, your stack should enable you to take action. This might mean following up with and nurturing high impact customers, solving customer pain points in their engagement with you, or optimizing your website.
So how do you actually go about making this a reality? There are lots of tools out there that do different things, and it’s not always clear what approach or types of tools will work best to meet your needs. Different types and sizes of businesses will be best served by different combinations of tools.
For the purposes of this ebook, we are looking at how small to mid-size businesses can build out the typeof stack that will yield the greatest returns on their investment and scale with them as they grow. We recommend a cloud-native customer data technology stack for this purpose. We’ll be looking at the different layers that make up such a stack, and at the notable cloud-first or cloud-available tools that you can start your technology evaluations with for each layer.
We wrote this ebook to provide a clear overview of the different layers of your customer data tech stack — the types of tools you need, how they interact with each other, and who the major players are for each layer. The goal is for you to walk away with clarity around which types of tools are important for your needs and who should be part of your considerations when creating your tech stack, based on the particulars of your company and your goals.
The ebook dives into the different layers of a customer data tech stack, including data warehouses, ETL tools, customer behavior data tools, customer data platforms, BI tools, and 3rd party data tools. From there, it talks about how it all comes together with real-world examples of customer data tech stacks. If you’re in charge of building out your tech stack, or creating a unified view of your customers and a single source of truth, then you’ll want to check out the rest of the ebook.
To read the rest of the ebook and get an approach to building your customer data tech stack and an overview of the notable tools and important layers of the stack, download it now.