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SAS unlocks future of CX with real-time data capabilities

By Catherine Knowles, 03 Sep 2021

At present, many businesses are working to understand how to navigate a cookie-less world and deliver superior customer experiences (CX), according to SAS.

Rapid digital transformation in 2020 has resulted in a hybrid customer engagement model that is changing how brands shape, manage and deliver better CX, the company states.

As a result, marketers are looking to double down on the data they do have: their own first-party data.

SAS is working to aid this by offering real-time customer data platform (CDP) capabilities, deriving intelligence from first-party data at speed.

Commenting on the importance of speed, IDC research director marketing and sales technology Gerry Murray says, “If your data infrastructure isn't fast and flexible enough to keep up with your customers as they hop from one marketing channel to the next and one departmental interaction to the next, you will never deliver an end-to-end customer experience.

"It takes an enterprise ecosystem to aggregate, analyse and activate customer data in real time. SAS delivers powerful capabilities in all three areas to empower data-driven innovation across the business.”

In the study Experience 2030: Pulse Report conducted by Futurum Research and sponsored by SAS, 73% of brands believe that the future of CX is in real-time data collection and analysis.

The SAS CDP is designed to help brands collect, analyse and activate first-party data in real time, embedding insights into customer-facing systems to create value in consumer engagement and business models.

SAS identifies its top CDP capabilities as the following:

Data ingestion and identity management: SAS has an extensive data collection technology - one that feeds an open and cloud-based, customer-centric data hub.

It is an enterprise-scale solution for collecting 360-degree customer views across digital channels, offline channels and third-party properties.

SAS provides granular contextualised customer-level information on user behaviour (pages, screens and field interactions); capture and send events in real time; and stitches together online and offline information into a single profile that can be updated in real time as user behaviour changes.

According to the company, this real-time view of customers enables marketers to pinpoint digital activity and respond immediately with contextually relevant optimised offers.

Segmentation and data provisioning: SAS provides advanced models, clustering and campaign targeting. 'Do it for me' options can also provide guided analytics and segment discovery for marketers who are not necessarily data scientists, the company states.

Segments can be dynamically updated with digital activity in real time and algorithmic, multitouch attribution lets marketers understand how customers are journeying across all contact points so that customer data and insights can be used to shape omnichannel journeys.

Predictive models, forecasting, goal-seeking routines, guided analytics, journey analytics and decisioning beyond marketing round out the AI and decisioning capabilities in the SAS CDP, the company states.

Streaming data and hybrid data architecture: SAS’ streaming data platform provides a real-time, two-way interaction between digital properties and on-premises applications.

This eliminates the digital lag time and powers the real-time dynamic updates of customer identities and segments.

The hybrid data architecture allows marketers to keep their data where they want it and enables them to join online and offline data while also providing a rigorous digital guardianship as personally identifiable information (PII) data is not stored in the cloud, the company states.

SAS principal product marketer for CDPs Lisa Loftis says, “Traditional CDPs fill a gap in the marketers toolkit, enabling the ingestion of data from multiple sources; managing customer identities; creating audience segments and provisioning data and insights to the martech stack.

"But that is not enough in today’s world where customer engagement is constantly evolving and marketers need to change on a dime to keep up with expectations.

"Losing the data provided by the third-party cookie places an even higher emphasis on these real-time CDP capabilities - what we call beyond CDP.

"Because despite the fact that Google has pushed back their plans to phase out third-party cookies until 2023 - these will be going away. And the sooner the planning starts for this, the better off companies will be.”

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