Data is everything. It helps businesses understand customers and tailor products and marketing to them. The problem is customer data is scattered. It’s on your website, social media pages, CRM software, etc. It’s like you have a jigsaw puzzle with pieces all over the place.
Wouldn’t it be great if you had somewhere to consolidate this data and create a complete picture of your customers? Enter marketing data platforms.
In this article, we’ll look at the best marketing data platforms in the market. We’ll also define the benefits of this software and identify the features of a good customer data management tool. But first:
What Is a Marketing Data Platform?
A marketing data platform (MDP) is software that collects and consolidates data from various sources into a unified customer database. MDPs collect behavioral, demographic, and transactional data from first-party (directly from customers), second-party (from partner companies), and third-party data sources like email, e-commerce websites, mobile apps, and whatever channels are used for customer interactions.
But data collection isn’t the only function of a marketing data platform. Mountains of raw data aren’t beneficial if you can’t interpret it. A marketing data platform can analyze raw data, too.
Let’s say a customer abandons an online shopping cart. An MDP can check all the customer interactions on your website and analyze these for you. Based on that analysis, your marketing team can create effective email marketing messages to entice the customer to complete the transaction. An MDP, in other words, can help you maximize everything from your eCommerce retail, SaaS to recruitment marketing efforts.
How Can a Marketing Data Platform Benefit Your Business
By collecting and storing all customer data under a single management system, MDPs provide three main benefits:
- Data centralization: Say goodbye to data silos. With information about buyers in one place, you get a holistic view of your customers, making it easy to tailor marketing and personalize user experiences.
- Integration: Integration is what remedies data silos. Effective customer data platforms integrate seamlessly with your business’s existing data and tech stack, facilitating communication between data sources.
- Actionable insights: Data isn’t functional without context. MDPs convert raw data into actionable insights. With MDPs, you can spot trends, buying patterns, and more so you can tailor your strategies accordingly.
Generally, MDPs help businesses understand customers to improve customer experience and drive sales.
Top 7 Marketing Data Platforms You Should Consider for Your Business
Now that you know what an MDP is and what features to look for in one, here are platforms to consider:
Klaviyo is a highly-rated data management platform focusing on tailored experiences for SMS and email marketing. The app collects first-party data from your technology stack to build unified customer profiles, recommend products, and track buyer behavior.
Its AI-powered capabilities don’t just enable businesses to forecast purchasing trends. It facilitates content writing, helping content teams create relevant email and SMS messages.
This dashboard highlights information about customer activity over 30 days, including order value and revenue earned from the buyer.
Klaviyo has three custom pricing plans. The freemium plan supports small businesses with less than 500 customer contacts. The Email plan starts at $20 per month for up to 500 contacts, and the Email and SMS plan is $35 per month for the same number. The more contacts you have, the higher the price.
Key features of Klaviyo include:
- Automated workflows
- Detailed customer profiles
- Automated A/B testing
- 300+ integrations
An advantage of using Klaviyo is it’s simple to set up and easy to use, even for non-technical users. The disadvantages are that customer support is limited to email and chat, and the pricing structure makes it expensive for growing businesses.
Bloomreach is a cloud-based marketing data platform offering AI-driven tools to deliver personalized customer experiences across various touchpoints. The app provides e-commerce solutions like predictive recommendations.
Bloomreach Engagement is the brand’s customer data platform. You create personalized email, SMS, web, and mobile campaigns using real-time data and machine learning.
Bloomreach offers numerous dashboards to visualize insights such as retention, usage, performance, revenue, etc. Above is the cart funnel dashboard, mapping the conversion rate of buyers along a cart funnel.
Bloomreach bases its custom pricing on three factors: the number of customers, the size of the product, and the number of email or SMS messages (events) you send. Therefore, price plans depend on your business needs and budget.
Key features of Bloomreach Engagement include:
- Retargeting Ads
- Machine learning
- Omnichannel orchestration
- A/B testing
The advantages of Bloomreach are the high-level personalization and extensive library use of plug-and-play use cases. The disadvantage is the software has a considerable learning curve, but the knowledge center helps when live customer support is unavailable.
Insider offers one of the best cross-channel personalization solutions for brands like Adidas, Samsung, and Lexus. Its AI engine predicts customer behavior by seeing past interactions and gauging their intent, affinity, and preferences for future purchases.
A central feature of the app is customer profile management.
Insider collects first-party data from mobile, website, email, POS, and CRM. It uses it to build a 360 view of individual customers. You can see customers’ email and mobile open rates, preferred categories, last purchased item, last abandoned item, etc.
Pricing for Insider is available upon request.
Key features of Insider include:
- 360 customer profiles
- Audience segmentation
- Predictive analytics
- Journey orchestration
The pros of using Insider are a user-friendly interface and powerful conversion tools. The cons include a slight learning curve for beginners, but responsive customer support mitigates this.
Segment is another leading data platform with big-name clients such as 21st Century Fox, Reuters, and Google. Like other customer data software, it collects and organizes first-party data from several touchpoints to deliver personalized customer experiences.
With AI-optimized data, you gain deeper customer insights and predict buying behaviors. The platform aligns your marketing, product, and engineering teams through a single API, eliminating data silos.
Like Insider, Segment unifies customer data in profiles that predict, track, and engage with each person in real-time across various channels.
Segment has three pricing models, including a free plan for businesses with under 1,000 monthly visitors. The teams’ plan starts at $120 for up to 10,000 monthly visitors and has a 14-day free trial period. The custom pricing plan is available upon request.
Key features of Segment include:
- Customer journey tracking
- Customer personas
- Enterprise security
- 450+ integration catalog
Segment’s advantage is usability, with multiple users raving about the ease of use. Other pros include robust integration capabilities and privacy compliance. The biggest drawback is the price is based on individual visitors, making it expensive for growing businesses.
Whatagraph connects, visualizes, and shares data from over 40 sources using native integrations. With pre-made templates, you can customize your dashboard with a few clicks and generate stunning reports. This all-in-one solution is for marketing agencies and in-house teams.
The above cross-channel report displays campaign metrics in a visual, easy-to-read format.
Whatagraph has three pricing models. The basic plan costs €199 per month. It has a user limit of five people, making it suitable for in-house marketing teams. The premium plan costs €299 monthly and is suited for small marketing agencies. Pricing for the custom plan is available upon request. It comes with unlimited users, making it suitable for large marketing agencies.
Whatagraph’s key features include:
- 40+ native integrations
- Interactive dashboards
- Automated reporting
- BigQuery for deeper insights
The benefits of using Whatagraph are it is easy to use with visually stunning templates. The main drawback is there isn’t much value for the price. It has fewer data connectors than similar software, and BigQuery is the only data storage option available.
Adverity is an integrated data platform that allows you to collect, manage, and use data at scale. You can source and harmonize data from 600 sources for high-quality insights. For instance, you can leverage third-party data from Google Keyword Planner to conduct keyword analysis and learn which search terms are relevant to audience segments.
The platform offers data solutions to the retail, e-commerce, tech, and financial industries.
The above dashboard is interactive and customizable, providing insight into customer engagements with planned vs. actual comparisons.
Adverity has three pricing models: a standard plan for €500 per month (with a 14-day free trial), a professional plan for €2,000 per month, and a custom plan available on request. The main difference between the standard and professional plans is the latter has higher limits.
The key features of Adverity are:
- Multichannel tracking
- Automated integration
- 600 pre-built data sources
- Customizable dashboards
The advantages of using Adverity include seamless integration, straightforward functionality, and responsive customer service. The disadvantages are that data extraction takes time, and time zone differences interfere with business processes.
Emarsys is a cloud-based marketing data platform that uses smart AI to create personalized plans for each customer. The platform offers data marketing solutions to the retail, e-commerce, travel, and sports/entertainment industries.
The dashboard provides valuable insights such as customer lifetime value (CLV), revenue, email open rates, mobile engagement, and more. Users can drag and drop widgets to customize dashboard appearance.
Pricing is available upon request, and there is no free trial.
Key features of Emarsys include:
- Cross channel marketing
- Omnichannel integration
- Customer lifecycle management
- Marketing automation
The pros of using Emarsys are AI-powered insights, user-friendly navigation, and easy integration with most systems. The cons include a lengthy contract with a high price tag.
Key Features to Look for in a Marketing Data Platform
There are many things to consider when determining which MDP is right for your business – your budget, integration capability of your existing marketing technologies, and vendor support.
Whatever platform you choose, it must have the following features:
As your business grows, so does data. Increased data volume puts pressure on IT systems. Effective data platforms can handle changes in volume, variety, and velocity. They also adapt to changing business goals and system requirements.
You want MDPs with user-friendly interfaces and don’t require technical knowledge to use. That will help ensure all your team members can use the platform.
Before you commit, ask for a demo or trial period to ensure key stakeholders can easily use the MDP.
3. Data Security
The GDPR and CCPA protect customer data, specifically personally identifiable information (PII). These laws mandate companies to encrypt, securely store, and limit access to PII.
A good MDP must have up-to-date security compliance features such as end-to-end encryption, user access controls, firewalls, and multi-factor authentication.
No two businesses are the same, and a one-size-fits-all solution probably won’t deliver the results you expect. Opt for platforms you can customize to suit your unique workflow and processes.
5. Reporting and Analytics
A good customer data management platform has excellent data visualization features. It can organize the information it collects into sensible formats like graphs or tables. That holds true even if the raw information comes from different sources. For instance, a good MDP can organize all your social media engagement signals – Instagram likes, Facebook comments, and Twitter (X) shares — into interactive dashboards.
The MDP can then give you timely reports about the data collated. You can use these reports to optimize marketing strategies.
Marketing data platforms are powerful tools to have in your marketing toolbox. They collect, unify, and analyze customer data from numerous sources, allowing you to understand customers, improve their user experience, and increase profit.
The software you choose will depend on your budget and specific business needs. However, it must be easy to use, scale to your growing business, meet data security compliance, fit your business processes, and provide accurate reports.
This article examined seven of the best customer data platforms on the market. Choose the best that fits your business needs and start creating better, personalized marketing campaigns.