What if while creating marketing campaigns, you could identify the best people to contact? What if you knew the best channels to use and the best promotions to share? Well, you can do all of that with a customer data platform.

What is a customer data platform?

A customer data platform is software that curates information about customers from a variety of sources to create one comprehensive profile of customers.

Your business likely has information about customers in many places and in many formats (in point-of-sale systems, social media profiles, website analytics, customer relationship management systems, surveys, third-party sources, etc.).

A customer data platform pulls details from each of those platforms to centralize information about customers so you can easily review data and make informed marketing decisions. When you know who your customers are, what, where, and how they buy, you can create more effective promotions and messaging. You can drive more store visits and increase revenue.

What customer data do you need?

For a customer data platform to help you understand your audience and identify marketing opportunities, it should include a robust variety of information. The more you know about your audience, the easier it will be to effectively market to them and drive them to your restaurant.

A good customer data platform collects:

  • Contact information—name, phone number, and email address. This information allows you to directly reach out to customers and send them targeted messages.
  • Location information—address, zip code, or city of their home or office. Knowing where your audience spends time helps you place messages where they will see them, targeting them based on their specific location.
  • Demographic information—age, gender, income, education, job title, etc. When you know specific demographic details about your customers, you can create hyper-targeted online advertising campaigns that reach a specific type of customer.
  • Psychographic information—customer interests, values, motivations, beliefs, and goals. Understanding what makes your customers tick helps you craft messages that better resonate with your target audience.
  • Behavioral and transactional information—date of last visit, date of last website visit, emails opened, menu items purchased, average ticket, etc. Knowing the purchasing habits of your customers allows you to see what stage of the buyer’s journey they are in so you create marketing campaigns that move them closer toward purchase.


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How can I use a customer data platform to increase revenue?

Every piece of customer data helps you know your customers and can dictate the best ways to drive them to your front door. Here are a few examples of how putting your customer data platform to use creates better marketing campaigns.

1. Identify the most effective marketing channels. Get more out of your ad campaigns by placing them on platforms where your audience spends time. For example, if your database shows that 70% of your customers use Facebook but only 40% use Twitter, you can assume that ads on Facebook will best reach your target audience.

2. Create look-a-like audiences. When you know details about your existing customers, you can use that information to identify other audiences who are likely to be interested in your restaurant. For example, upload a list of contacts to Facebook and create a look-a-like audience identifying people who match the demographics of your existing audience. This expands your brand to new, targeted audiences.  

3. Send personalized messages via email and text. Access to contact information and data about customer habits allows you to craft personalized email or text messages. For example, review a customer’s purchase history (a customer typically buys Combo #4 from your burger chain) then send them a coupon for items they are most interested in ($2 off coupon for a Combo #4).

4. Bring back lapsed customers. By monitoring customer behavior, you can identify customers who haven’t visited in a while, then send them targeted messages that bring them back. Remarketing opportunities like this target lapsed customers who need a new incentive to bring them back to your brand. 

5. Identify your most effective marketing promotions (and who was most interested in them). When you collect data on each individual campaign, you can later analyze them and see which was the most effective. Identifying customers who responded to the campaign produces better future results by repeating what works. 

Customer data might be one of the most important elements of a successful marketing campaign. It tells you who to reach, how to reach them, and what to say. And if you currently have data that can inform your marketing decisions, ask yourself, “Am I curating my data and leveraging its insights in order to increase engagement and revenue?”

Rethink your data collection strategies and current platforms to see if there are insights you can collect and use to launch better, more effective marketing strategies.

Alan Roberts believes that building communities is essential for brands to stay connected to local consumers. As the Market Development Manager for MyArea Network, a tech-media company specializing in local marketing, he focuses on helping companies, from small independent businesses to multi-location brands, find the best methods to build brand awareness, increase sales, and generate leads. Follow him on LinkedIn for more tips on attracting and engaging local customers near your brick-and-mortar business.

Marketing & Promotions, Outside Insights, Story