BlueConic: The First-Party Data Opportunity

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$alt_name"Bart Heilbron, Founder & CEO
The first-party data opportunity is clear. Netflix, Uber, Amazon, and other leading global brands have set a high bar by embedding first-party data into their core infrastructure. They treat every customer interaction as a data point about that individual, and then they create personalized customer experiences based on each individual’s behaviors and preferences. Building experiences on the foundation of first-party data implies that no other brand can replicate the same relationship or experience with a customer, which leads to better loyalty and retention.

But most organizations have legacy infrastructures and marketing systems coupled with data that is disparate. As a result, they struggle to obtain a single view of their customers. And marketers lack direct access to and control over the data in order to do something meaningful with it. That’s where a customer data platform (CDP) comes in. It’s a category that has come into a new stage of maturity as more marketers realize how a CDP can help them overcome these challenges. CDPs collect data across all marketing channels and technologies, and then build persistent, unified customer profiles that enable real-time segmentation and 1:1 personalization across channels.

Unify and Activate First-Party Data with a Pure-Play CDP

The market is inundated with vendors hoping to claim the CDP moniker—adding greater confusion to the landscape. But as the market matures, the definitions around what is and what isn’t a CDP are becoming clearer. “Gartner, for example, has categorized CDPs into three sub-types: operational data management, marketing personalization, and pure-play,” says Bart Heilbron, founder and CEO of the company. “Operational data management CDPs focus on getting all your data in one place, while marketing personalization CDPs only emphasize data activation and nontechnical enablement. Pure-play CDPs, however, sit in between and address activation, identity resolution for unified customer data, and out-of-the-box analysis. We’ve been a pure-play CDP from the beginning because marketers need access to data and be empowered to use it.”

BlueConic’s user interface (UI) and integrations with more than 80 different technologies enable marketers to effectively manage and control the unification and activation of their first-party data across the entire technology stack. It features accelerated time-to-value, while also adhering to individual privacy preferences due to built-in consent management capabilities. BlueConic unifies data from various data sources through its certified connections such as Salesforce, Facebook, LiveRamp as well as its universal connections including webhook, sFTP, and CSV file uploads. The platform then stores this data in individual-level, persistent profiles that give marketers a single view of the customer, enable them to create real-time, dynamic segments, and then act on that data. The platform also collects anonymous customer data from websites and mobile apps to store into profiles or merge with known customer profiles.

We provide a marketer-centric UI that allows marketers to seamlessly access and utilize data to ensure increased return on investment across their technology stack

“Data liberation is the cross between data integrity, marketer control, and data accessibility—to both people and systems. Individual profiles are the basis of our CDP. Every piece of data that is collected exists in an individual profile, so you can better understand the individual and act in real time based on what you know about them,” explains Heilbron.“We provide a marketer-centric UI that allows marketers to seamlessly access and utilize data to ensure increased return on investment across their technology stack. The goal is to put data in marketers’ hands and help them make better decisions as well as design enhanced customer experiences.”

Data Liberation to Empower Marketers

Organizations from publishers and media brands to retailers, hospitality companies, financial services, and telecom providers have all benefited from BlueConic. A furniture retailer with an online presence as well as hundreds of stores across the country relies on BlueConic’s platform to optimize their marketing programs based on transactional data emanating from both e-commerce purchases and point of sales (POS). The platform onboards multiple online and offline transactions and transforms them into customer-specific attributes in a BlueConic profile. As a result, the brand can deliver more relevant and personalized experiences to their customers and in turn, increase sales. “For instance, in the case of a customer who has shopped for baby cribs three years ago, the retailer can send a promotional email to this customer for toddler beds,” adds Heilbron. With these analytics capabilities, BlueConic’s customers can cater to their own customers’ specific needs continuously for decades. By enabling the real-time segmentation of millions of customer profiles within milliseconds, BlueConic ensures that brands acquire more high-value customers and cross-sell as well as upsell them.

To scale with customer needs, BlueConic is built on a profile database. Unlike event-stream or relational databases, profile databases are schema-less and easily scalable. In other words, the platform is able to support marketers’ growing and changing needs. With an event-stream database, marketers end up collecting data they’ll never use, driving up the cost for data storage, whereas, with a relational database, marketers have to predetermine the relationship between objects—a website visitor and campaign. This results in slower load times and a need to start over whenever the relationship between objects is required to be changed.

While some CDPs purely focus on analytics and personalization, and others, according to Gartner, on operational data management without any UI, BlueConic’s all-encompassing platform makes it unique in the market. In addition, the platform is pluggable, allowing the company to frequently add new functionalities. Last year, BlueConic incorporated consent management into its platform in anticipation of GDPR and other pending privacy regulations, and now it is launching an AI workbench that leverages data science models for more impactful marketing.