Approach customer data with a product-led and privacy-driven strategy By Daniel Bailey, VP of EMEA at Amplitude.

  • 2 years ago Posted in

IDC estimates that by 2023, more than 500 million new cloud-native products will be developed. With an explosion of digital products, it is no surprise that consumer behaviour has shifted. Now more than ever consumers want personalised, seamless customer experiences with brands they can trust. COVID-19 accelerated this expectation, as according to Mastercard, 74% of consumers are more likely to buy from brands that demonstrated concern and provided excellent care for customers during the pandemic. But this change in customer behaviour is not simply a passing trend, and to create more personalised experiences for today’s consumers, companies need to effectively leverage behavioural data while keeping evolving data privacy obligations core to their strategy. The benefits of a data-led approach are well documented, but the most effective way to understand customers, improve retention, and increase business growth is a product-led approach.

Putting your product at the core of your business

What does it mean to be product-led? Today, your product is your revenue driver. Becoming a product-led organisation means breaking down inefficient silos between the ‘business’ and the ‘product’ and getting organisational alignment starting at the highest level with your executive team. Just as you would treat a physical product with great care and attention, placing your digital product data at the forefront of your business strategy will help create lasting customers and ultimately, accelerate your business goals.

With every click, comes an opportunity for growth

With digital products at the centre of every business, the value of deep, behavioural data insights cannot be understated. After all, user engagement is the top indicator of a digital product’s long-term accomplishments, with retention and customer lifetime value at close second. Paying close attention to consumer actions and preferences to analyse what customers find valuable is critical to business success. Diving deep within notification pickups, shareable links and journeys within apps customers are granting important behavioural analytics metrics to deliver game-changing strategies.

Product, marketing, and customer success teams alike can access product—or first-party—data to gain a deeper understanding of customers’ journeys, without requiring any third-party sources, which have come under scrutiny in recent months. Product data can answer key questions about the customer journey giving insights into customer preferences, retention, and churn. Customers are telling you a lot just by how they use your product, and behavioural analytics gives you the opportunity to tap into this wealth of information.

Championing first-party data

Third-party tracking is ubiquitous; it gives marketers the ability to identify the digital location and path of where customers are coming from in order to better understand their online behaviour. However, third-party data comes with risks—from data-quality issues to security and privacy concerns to regulatory considerations. And with Google, Apple, and others removing support for third-party cookies, marketers will have a difficult time getting a holistic view of the customer if they don’t make a change.

By leveraging first-party data, organisations are not only getting a more complete picture of the customer journey, they are also employing data privacy best practices. An example of this could be if a customer visits a company’s website, then clicks on an ad on the company Instagram page, and then later converts and signs up for an account, companies leveraging product analytics could identify how that customer engaged with the brand from three different streams, all of which contributed to the final conversion. Without these insights and clear identity resolution, this single customer would appear to be three different customers, and it would not be clear how each channel and interaction contributed to the conversion, across devices. With these user-centric analytics, better experiences can be streamlined for users, increasing customer loyalty.

Meeting privacy obligations with secure practices

There are certain privacy standards to look for even when leveraging first-party data. Especially as privacy regulations evolve, maintaining secure practices and systems to ensure customers remain anonymous is critical to gaining and keeping customer trust. This can be achieved through specific user privacy application programming interfaces (APIs), which honour end-user deletion requests or opt-outs within apps to comply with customers’ privacy requests. Additional end-user access requests can simplify the process of retrieving end-user data. Whereas third-party data focuses on ad-centric goals and demographic data, product data provides organisations with a deep understanding of customer behaviour down to the individual level, allowing companies to make predictions on what customers will want next.

This is not always an easy transition. Reorganising your company around your product may require major changes when it comes to business priorities, team responsibilities, and strategic planning. But after companies have spent millions on digital transformation to create best-in-class digital experiences, leveraging insights from those products will provide the optimal return on investment. With a product-led approach, organisations can bring analytics to the forefront of their product and marketing efforts to focus on outcomes instead of outputs, while maintaining privacy obligations. The best of both worlds can be achieved, with seamless, and joyful customer journeys in tandem.

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