5 insights on how to connect experiences with customer data platforms


5 insights on how to connect experiences with customer data platforms

This article was originally published by Microsoft Dynamics 365. To read the original posting of this article, click here.


If you’re familiar with customer data platforms (CDPs), you may know that they provide a unified view of individual customer records. It’s a tool every marketer needs, but what role should your CDP play in helping to improve customer experiences?


We sat down with Sheryl Kingstone of 451 Research, a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence to learn more about getting the most value from a CDP across the customer journey, covering topics ranging from leveraging AI and machine learning in the customer data strategy to data privacy and security. Here are five takeaways we learned from our conversation:


  1. Be data-centric: Customer experience is the new differentiator and unified customer data is what helps manifest better experiences. CDPs bring together behavioral and transactional data and enable businesses to deliver mass personalization to their customers.
  2. Operate in real-time: CDPs must deliver real-time insights as it is even more essential than ever in today’s world where a digital experience has become essential to reaching customers. Experience—not pricing or products—is going to be the future, according to Kingstone. Having the right information to engage and connect with customers with automated, real-time actions will be essential during COVID-19 and beyond.
  3. Learn from machine learning: AI and machine learning are core components and differentiators of CDPs. When applied to the customer journey, AI and machine learning enable organizations to scale and provide each customer a unique journey with contextually relevant experiences.
  4. Build on a trusted platform: Trust and security are non-negotiable priorities for all organizations, and those priorities must extend to CDPs. Data fidelity must be maintained, and data stored must be secure. Kingstone notes that consumers are becoming less trusting of businesses and are concerned about how they are using data.
  5. Think the entire stack: CDPs should connect across the marketing technology stack to ad platforms, marketing automation tools, CRM systems, and data analysis tools to drive actions and meaningful business outcomes across the customer journey. It’s about using new technologies that are empowering IT and line of business and enhancing the customer journey across sales, service, marketing, and commerce.


Microsoft Customer Insights is a self-service customer data platform that empowers every organization to unify and understand customer data to derive insights that personalize experiences and processes.


Kingstone’s insights on choosing a CDP? “It’s all about the power of the platform. Don’t look at features, functions, and use cases. Look at what the platform can do for you. Can it connect the data within your organization, and can it scale and support your resources on demand? It’s all about the data and the insights that put the people and the processes together that are going to be the platform of the future.”


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Steve’s been with SMB Suite since 1998 and has been involved with nearly every aspects of the Company’s business as a strategist, professional services executive, cloud solutions architect, and senior consultant. In his current role, Steve is responsible for SMB Suite’s revenue and oversees the execution of ERP, CRM and BI projects for customers across a broad range of industries. Steve combines his expertise in MS Dynamics GP, CRM and other Microsoft products with a strong foundation in accounting and business to identify gaps and streamline customers’ processes. Prior to co-founding SMB Suite, Steve was previously Corporate Controller for MEHLE Behr and, prior to that, Audit Senior for Ernst & Young. Steve holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from the University of Texas at Arlington.

Jeremy is responsible for SMB Suite’s technology vision, strategy and implementation and is the architect of the Company’s Dynamics Cloud Platform. Highly adept in every facet of managed services, ERP systems and e-commerce platforms, Jeremy’s expertise spans the implementation and support of business and financial software solutions, as well as the customization and integration of SMB Suite’s cloud ERP technology stack. He holds numerous Microsoft and industry-related certifications, and was primarily responsible for designing the Company’s progressive business services platform in the early days of the Cloud. Prior to SMB Suite, Jeremy served as the financial analyst, systems administrator, and information systems liaison for a $2 billion financial services corporation.

Monty is responsible for SMB Suite’s day-to-day operation and, most importantly, its customers. As a leader, motivator and mentor, Monty creates loyal high performance teams willing to “walk through walls” to accomplish their goals. Prior to SMB Suite, Monty served as President of The Bradshaw Group (TBG), a global distributor, manufacturer, and repair facility for digital printers. In this role, he was the Company’s ambassador to its most important domestic, European and Latin American customers and TBG achieved a best-in-class Net Promoter Score of 74 for its superb customer satisfaction. Prior to TBG, Monty served as the General Manager of Sam’s Clubs three highest grossing U.S. stores and was named Regional Operator of the Year in 1999. Monty holds a BBA in Marketing from Texas Tech University and is an active member of Business Navigators. He has been active in Vistage International, Executives in Action, the Dallas/Fort Worth Retail Executives Association, as well as, A.P.I.C.S., the leading professional association for supply chain and operations management. Monty also volunteers with Hunger Busters and ManeGait, a therapeutic horsemanship organization.

David is a proven financial and information technology professional with expertise in providing business accounting software and computing solutions. He began his career by starting and managing a successful independent consulting practice for several years. He then launched the local systems consulting unit of Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneurial Services Group, leading the office into the hi-tech consulting arena. After successfully developing the unit for Ernst & Young, David founded NextCorp (which became SMB Suite in 2013) to serve the business software needs of clients throughout the US. David has made SMB Suite one of the best cloud ERP providers in the industry. In addition to being a successful entrepreneur and leader, he is a software and technology specialist, holding certifications in various Microsoft and other technologies.