Scal-e has just been listed in two reports by the Forrester International Research Institute : “Now Tech: Customer Data Platforms, Q4 2021” Asia Pacific (APAC) report, and “Now Tech: Customer Data Platforms, Q1 2022” world report. The marketing & technology French Blog Martech.cloud took advantage of the launch of the new Scal-e website to organise an interview.
Scal-e´s CEO Christophe ALVES spoke with the Martech.cloud about the company since its takeover in 2018, he discussed Scal-e´s strategy, the evolution of the market, its team and his vision of the company’s future.
This article is the first of a series of 5 entries published throughout 2022. Find the links to all the articles at the end of the page at the end of the summer.
Martech.cloud : Knowing that Forrester listed you on their CDP report I imagine you are getting asked this a lot, but how does a CDP differentiate from a database, CRM, data lake or a DMP?
Christophe Alves : Yes. Let me try.
A data lake is supposed to store data however, these datas haven’t any link between each other, and are of various formats. Basically, there is no possibility of attaching transactions to a contact to identify if a customer is large or small. In a data lake, the transactions are not attached to the contacts unless you create a datamart or RCU from the data collected in the data lake. Not to mention of course the fact that there could be information stored in image or video format and others in CSV or PDF.
However, a database or data mart can store any type of data, but these tools are not easy for business and marketing teams to use, and the main idea is to make life easier for them.
On the other hand, their function is not to unify and share customer knowledge with other tools. Therefore, to achieve the functions natively offered in a CDP, you will have to develop this function or buy other solutions. This means you will have to redevelop a CDP internally with the associated costs, risks, and duration of the project.
Martech.cloud : Could you give us an example? Let’s say – how to personalize a message with a contact’s age.
Christophe Alves : Yes, for example if a database only has the date of birth and not the age, a simple personalization task will require modification of the data model (adding a field) and a calculation (based on the date of birth). Then you will need to export this to a marketing automation tool. In short, this can be completed by a CDP in five minutes and will require several days from a database.
IT consultants would tell me that some solutions offer pre-calculated fields for age. However, age is just a simple example and not the issue, the real issue would be when a marketing team needs a new field: duration of the relationship or the loyalty membership anniversary for example? it can take a long time to calculate each new field.
If we continue my previous example social-selling oriented, if a marketing team wants to award points for the first 5 comments left on social media, making a rule in a loyalty program to reflect this will take weeks on traditional platforms. However, with a solution like Scal-e or market equivalent, all you need to do is create an aggregate, call it a sum if you prefer, that counts the number of messages. Automatically this sum will calculate and attach the information to the customer´s profile, without needing to involve the IT team for help. This sum will now be used in the loyalty module as a rule allowing points to be allocated accordingly. For example, under 5 comments you receive no points, 5 or more comments you receive X number of points.
Martech.cloud : Interesting. This is clear for the data lake, the database, and the data mart. What about the other solutions CRM, DMP, ERP, etc?
Christophe Alves : For the other solutions, a CDP aims to break down the data silos that these platforms create. The purpose of a CDP is to centralize all the customer data, so teams don’t have to use X number of solutions for a complete customer view. Likewise, if you have 2 bank accounts, each account will provide you with your account details. However, if you want a combined view of your 2 accounts you will need to unify them. For a CDP and business tools (CRM, DMP, ERP, cash system, etc) it’s the same idea as with 2 bank accounts.
So, whether it’s a data management platform (DMP), customer relationship management tools (CRM), ERP or another transactional system e.g.: cash register system, marketing automation or routing tools. These tools may be important sources of data and meet a business´s needs, however, with these it is not possible, to create a unified profile containing all customer data.
The brand I was telling you about was having the exact same issue; they want to harmonize their loyalty program in-store and online. The brand already has other business tools : a POS system for the store and an e-commerce platform for its website. These 2 tools already contain a lot of informations, the problem is that they don’t contain all the information and if you want to adapt them so that they contain all the information, you’re just trying to make another tool.
This would usually take many months, however, we can do it in a few days or weeks with a CDP. If tomorrow, you have to modify your POS system to retrieve comments from social media and make create a sum to limit to 5 comments. Yes, after great efforts an IT team will be able to do it, however, a marketing team using a CDP can do it with just a few clicks.
Follow up for the rest of the interview next week and you can also catch up on the previus article!
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