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Sanjay Kupae

Sanjay Kupae is Sr. Product Marketing Manager – Customer Analytics at Manthan. Sanjay is an analytics enthusiast, focused promoting structured and unstructured analytics solutions that help businesses understand and engage their customers better. Sanjay is passionate about marketing strategy, business development, messaging, marketing analytics and multi-channel campaign execution. Sanjay has a BE in Electronics and Communication from Bangalore University and a MBA in Strategy from University of Nebraska, Lincoln. Follow Sanjay on Twitter @skupae

How to Assess Your Data Requirements When Implementing a Customer Data Platform

This article is part of our CDP series. To read other articles in this series, click here.

Customer data is no longer just an analytics requirement, or something used to send out marketing messages – it is the source of critical competitive advantage for a B2C business.

Truly customer-centric organizations use customer data for all aspect of business – from guiding product roadmap and categories, designing rich experiences, pricing their offerings right, creating the right customer service interfaces, deciding sales channels and even to make the right hiring decisions. Modern marketers use these customer insights to form a unified understanding of every customer and create contextual experiences that strengthen the relationship with the customer, ensuring loyalty and higher word of mouth.

Every company today collects more data about their customers that they use. They can also easily acquire additional, reliable data from data companies, and each byte presents insights that were not available before.

As a first step when deploying a Customer Data Platform (CDP), know what use cases you want to enable – this decides what data needs to be brought together. At this stage, assess your present data and what you need to acquire. Controlling customer churnlifecycle marketing, and marketing attribution all require certain unique data sets.

The use cases and user types will dictate the format to store data in, the frequency of refresh and ingestion (real-time or batch) data, transformation required and responsiveness.

For example, in an e-commerce retail business like Amazon, purchase history is needed to provide personalized recommendations to customers. While digital data such as web-browsing/ app-browsing, items added to cart, saved for later, searched or viewed is captured, there is value in plugging in additional information such as income bracket, size of family, lifestyle, nature of work, types of vacations taken. This provides deep insights into what the customer would like, and the customer is pleasantly surprised with the retailer’s next-best product recommendations.

Organization owned customer data from the CDP foundation

Let us start with the data you have. If you have a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) program, provide any level of customer service or have a functioning loyalty program, then you have a solid foundation for your customer data platform. The CRM and loyalty systems can provide insights about demographics, purchase behavior, loyalty, and customer lifetime value and also contain the basic identity details.

But to do this right, it’s necessary to have a single customer record across all touchpoints by removing duplicate entries and resolving mismatches, that are created due to multiple reasons: incorrect data entry, different name variations of a customer, customers with multiple loyalty cards, change in their address etc. (Read more about solving the customer identity puzzle here). After de-duplication and linking customer records, you know the real size of your customer base and have more accurate profile snapshots.

Transactional and digital data generates actionable insights for strategic gains  

If your business engages your customers in more than one channel, for example through the store and e-commerce, or over mobile apps, that’s a new set of data streaming in, which can enhance your understanding of your customers. Again, it’s important to link customer IDs across different channels, functions and customer devices to have a holistic customer view, that does not vary based on who is accessing it and where.

Most businesses use outbound digital communication data for pointed interventions, but information such as search, browsing patterns, offer engagement, wish-listing, abandoned carts all tell you something about the customer.

An insight-driven organization focuses on this knowledge, rather than the data itself. If along with the CRM and loyalty data, you have these astute observations, it can power better marketing and experience strategies. Storing every click of every customer is not feasible and honestly, not required. The signals you get by analyzing these clicks, cookies, customer location, and device information during the digital engagement should be part of your CDP strategy.

External data sets to enrich customer attributes

Finally, bring in 2nd and 3rd party web, demographic, psychographic, location, buying intent data to further enrich what you know about your customers. This is the ‘test-use-evaluate and iterates’ part of your data strategy. Not all data providers are the same, they all start their data journey differently and may or may not work for your brand and your customer base. It’s also important to note that data degrades quickly – the data was good a few quarters ago might not be valid anymore. Customer interests and intents may have evolved – they may have changed jobs or had a major life-event. To find out what works for you, do small experiments with a good set of data partners and choose the one that works best for your current marketing and strategy needs.

If you are poorly utilizing the data you have captured, or not capturing certain essential data, you are losing important revenue opportunities. If data is the new oil, accurate customer insights are high octane racing fuel for your B2C business!

Download CDP Handbook Now!

State Of Customer Experience Today

The retail customer experience has seen a radical shift in the past 5 years. The values attached to better experiences have started to surpass discount incentives offered. Customers have become more digitally aware of what product they are looking for, more expressive and perceptive about product feedbacks, as well as more appreciative and savvy at getting adept at in-store technology initiatives taken to smoothen their purchasing experience. Such initiatives also automatically associate a level of trust on quality of the product offered. Some of the Orthodox in-store practices have started to take a toll on customer shopping experience. A confused or furious customer staring at length with wrinkled forehead lines is a guiding path of where the need for innovation is more daunting. The most significant concerns baffling a customer is:
  1. I always end up spending more time in the queue than I do purchasing, Should I be more productive and fire up the app to play Pokémon-go in the meanwhile
  2. Always the same customer registration form, why can’t I register with a click on an app?
  3. Wait, how much loyalty points do I have, in my wallet?
  4. I like to give feedback, but why fill the same form again and again?
  5. Why can’t I search and compare the product in an App or see the review?
  6. I must have burnt a few extra pounds, just trying the several trouser options, where can I find some water?
  7. Holy Christ, I have eight coupons from the newspaper cutlet and ten products in my basket, which gets mapped to what, do I score an ‘A’ grade if I get the combination right?
Modern retailers have embarked on several such initiatives aimed at reducing friction for every point of the shopping journey. Cashier-less stores: the largest retailer in Singapore has advanced on this bold initiative to counter the problem of long queues. Their stores now have self-check-out counters for users to scan and bill their products, without any personal assistance. The store also provides a device for the customers to scan their products while purchasing. Once a user is done with the purchase, he/she attaches the device back on the self-checkout counter and pay for his basket. This has reduced the length of shopping queues significantly. A mobile application is a one place stop for many such in-store problems. A store map integrated within the app can help the user to find the location of products. The same interface can provide user to compare multiple products based on product or rating specs. A user can be provided notification based on his shopping preferences or can be nudged back to come in store if he hasn’t been to the store for a while. Brand shopping mobile applications coupled with smart lightings have helped track customer movement within a store.  A  journey can be traced to identify which sections appeal most to a customer: such insight presents tremendous business opportunities for better profiling customer behavior. This has opened the floodgates of data collection to track and understand window shopping behavior and apply vis-à-vis e-commerce driven marketing strategies to in-store behavior. Now a user can be notified about information on an associated product within the store before he has even made a purchase. The boom of e-commerce shopping experience has put an immense pressure on retailers of all form to focus on horizons beyond in-store experience. Web-influenced offline sales topped purely offline sale for the first time in 2016 – totaling to $1.6 trillion and is expected to grow by 12% through 2018. Customer’s in-store purchases have been impacted by their offline perception before being bought. Online purchase behavior suffers from a trust gap between the actual and perceived product value with experience, while offline purchases are hindered by the ease and inability to evaluate quality specs and product reviews. Thus, there is a need to provide a consistent experience between online and offline modes. Such an experience will help to bridge the trust gap and minimize the confusion caused by exposing a customer to several unsuitable variants of a product. Retailers need a platform to integrate and generate a single view of customers across his range of behavior across social, e-commerce, online and loyalty data for better understanding their customer preferences. A common concern echoed by most retailers is that their outdated technology infrastructure restricts them from adopting a unified platform solution. Off course the technology shift requires a definite investment. The executive leadership must take a call whether to ride with the rising tide now or come onboard later just to see other competitors flaunting their honors past the finish line. The inertia to shift from existing technology infrastructure will be a key differentiator for a digitally successful retailer. If you are looking for ideas to improve your store experience, Manthan can help you. Manthan’s Retail Analytics solutions are built exclusively for retail and tailored to fit unique retail decision-making needs. With the experience of serving 100s of customers across 22 countries, across Fashion & Apparel, Food & Grocery, Specialty and Mass Merchandise, you are bound to get what you are looking for. For a quick overview download this Datasheet If you are interested in a 15 min. discover call with Manthan, do write to us at

4 Things That Will Make Me Use Your Restaurant’s Mobile App

  The costliest piece of real estate in the world today is the 1sq cm that an app icon occupies on your phone.   So, if you want to get your app to reside on your customer’s phone, you better be ready to spend 100s of thousands of dollars in marketing and promotions. This would still not guarantee that customers will not uninstall after the promotions end or stop using it after the first couple of times.
Customer Lifetime Value

Increasing Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) in e-Commerce

Though the amount of sales made is crucial in the ecommerce industry, it’s the ability of the e-tailing company to make more sales per person that edges them past their competition. Businesses which look to increase the customer lifetime value of their customers through proper understanding and analysis of their behavior and purchasing patterns are sure to get a larger chunk of the ecommerce market. The key here for businesses is to engage proper retail analytics which can directly help them to target their customers more effectively and increase their customer lifetime value to the best possible extent. Let’s see what businesses can do to increase the lifetime value of their customers:

Customer segmentation

Most e-commerce sites have special offers and discounts for regular shoppers and another kind of offers to attract first-time buyers. The likeliness of selling to an existing customer is around 60 to 70% and to a new customer, it is around 5 to 20% as per Marketing Metrics. The objective is to reach out to new customers, but more importantly, keep the regular customers more loyal. Customer segmentation shall not only be based on the regularity of purchases made, but also by having a holistic view of customer’s behavior, type and value of purchases made, the frequency of purchase, and so on. How efficiently businesses can extract this information through smart retail analytics will make customer segmentation more accurate and relatively more effective with retail sales.

Identifying right sales timing

In most cases, it’s the timing of the sale rather than marketing which is crucial. With retail sales now beyond the traditional sales frenzy months in a calendar and virtually throughout the year, businesses are forced to look at every opportune moment to make the offer. With a more vivid view of the customers’ behavior, businesses can not only make the right sales offer but also make the right cross-sale or up-sale proposition which can most probably prove beneficial for both the shopper and the retailer.

Personalized promotions

Fading are the days of generalized promotions. The online world is moving towards more of the segment based or more personalized sales promotions which work wonders. Personalized promotions give the shopper a feeling of being counted as an important customer to the company. This may at times aid in getting the sales done. Personalized promotions also give customers the feeling that promotions are actually aimed at his requirements rather than unsolicited marketing attempts. However, for retailers to be more effective with this they must have processed information about the customers through proper information gathering and analytics. Personalized promotions done through dynamic remarketing campaigns can effectively increase sales.

Identifying best channels for customer engagement

Not every marketing effort is successful and not every channel of communication is equally effective, moreover, one channel may be effective for one segment and ineffective for another. Businesses, through improved analytical tools, must gather information like knowing effective channels of communication-based on customer segments and customer demographics. Only this can give an insight into which channels to use for which segment and what kind of messages best work on these channels.

Optimizing interactive experience

The way you get shoppers to your website and the way they flow through your site to make the purchase — all put together makes the whole experience of the shopper. Now with many competitors making rapid and frequent changes to their interactive websites, you have to be proactive and constantly look for optimizations of your website. With proper analytics, you can get the browsing flow of your customer right from the landing page to the checkout page. You can then look for areas where they drop off, areas which push them to the next level, what they see at every point and how they would react. With these insights optimizing your pages for maximum yield can be extremely useful and effective. A/B testing and multivariate testing of your web pages can aid with right analytics.

Useful and informative feedback program

Never let your feedback system take back casual or normal information which doesn’t give you any actionable insights about customer experiences. A satisfied customer in most cases is ready to spend that extra minute to give you more useful and valuable information which can instantly help you. And an irate customer will vent out his anger to help you identify areas of improvement. You may find a way to cross-sell or up-sell or maybe get an immediate reference sale opportunity, or you can simply walk away with crucial information which can add value to your customer segment. Activity like this will also give out crucial information like the survey result mentioned below:

Proactive customer service

As per KISSmetrics, 71% of consumers ended their relationship with a company due to poor customer service. Nothing beats a proactive customer service, so avoid the generally expected service calls or communications that you associate with regular sales activity. Look for spaces where you can add more value, take that extra effort or make that call and be really concerned for your customer’s concerns. All this will not only make them more loyal but also let them open up to you in many ways. For this, you have to know when and where your customers require your support and what they are most expecting from you, and how you can surprise them with timely and proactive efforts. This again calls for predictive analytics which proves crucial in such situations.


The chance of a customer slipping away is highly probable with so many e-tailing businesses vying for market share. And it is reported that globally the average value of a lost customer to the company is estimated to be around USD 243 (KISSmetrics). And this makes increasing the lifetime value of a customer even more important in the quest for e-Commerce success.
Multi-channel Customer Marketing

New Guide: Integrating Interactions with Multi Channel Customer Marketing

When your customer glides from one channel to the next, does she encounter a different experience? Unfortunately, with most businesses today, this is the case. The problem stems from the way channels are designed and maintained.Most consumer businesses have different marketing teams managing different marketing channels with different messages and offers – largely to the extent  that customers have a wildly different experience when they interact with multiple channels throughout their path-to-purchase. True masters of multi-channel management do four things right. The first is to understand the customer’s unique journey – across all channels. For the other three essentials for multi channel marketing success, download the Manthan’s recent whitepaper: 4 Steps to Marketing Nirvana.
Customer Retention

New Guide: Building Marketing Campaigns to Reduce Customer Churn

Most marketers know it’s cheaper to retain a customer than to acquire a new one. However, executing an effective retention campaign is not as straightforward. Marketers who want to engage at-risk customers may ask the following questions:
  • Who are my customers who have already defected to a competitor?
  • Who are my customers that are currently exploring other options?
  • What should I offer to each of these segments to regain their shopper loyalty?
  • When should I send out these promotional offers? What channel should I use?
  • How do I know if my marketing campaigns were effective?
In this Hyper-targeted Customer Retention product brief, we explore how marketers can leverage predictive analytics, real-time interaction management and data-driven marketing to find out which customers are at risk of churn and how to engage them at the moment that matters. Download this new Hyper-Targeted Customer Retention solution brief to learn more about driving customer loyalty and data-driven marketing.