Why 75% of brands are changing their CX data strategy

As companies realize the importance of customer experience, most struggle to deliver the experiences expected. To achieve this, companies are rethinking their CX data strategy and technology. Jen Bailin, Chief Revenue Officer, SAP CX, explains how to build a customer database that connects front office engagement with backend business processes.

As technology leaders, we know that delivering a personalized customer experience is key to driving revenue, reducing churn, and driving growth. Satisfying today’s customers is not easy. It takes people, process and technology coming together to get it right. And while organizations know the importance of customer experience, many are doing an inadequate job of using and leveraging customer data.

A paradigm shift is happening in the world of customer experience (CX). According to a recent survey conducted by Harvard Business Review Analytic Services (HBR), in association with SAP, nearly three-quarters (71%) of brands are looking to change their CX data strategy due to changing customer needs.

Indeed, the pandemic has changed the way people engage and interact with brands and who they trust. Customers are looking for meaningful relationships with brands.

And yet, there is a huge disconnect between what brands hope to do with customer data and what they can actually do. Today, businesses are tasked with balancing the different types, amounts, and speeds at which they receive data while tracking consumers as they switch between different channels.

The HBR survey mentioned above found that 99% of respondents said integrating customer data into their business processes was important to staying competitive in their industry. Yet only 17% said they were very successful at doing so. Additionally, 94% of respondents say the ability to maintain a consistent customer experience across all customer touchpoints is important to their organization. But only 42% agree they are able to do so now. Companies are finding that these gaps have a tangible impact on their business.

This stark disconnect between what brands know they need to do and what they can do today is prompting many to fundamentally rethink their technology.

I believe technology can improve the agility, flexibility and scalability of brands so they can drive meaningful business results from their customer data. As such, I took a closer look at the survey data to help uncover ideas and strategies for building a customer database that connects front-office engagement with back-end business processes.

Learn more: General Motors teaches us how to become customer-centric

Centralized data models are the future

Given the gap between what companies want to do with customer data and what they can actually do, I foresee a shift in how organizations focus their spending on customer data and analytics insights.

For starters, brands will invest in a centralized data model to make data stores more scalable and become more agile and flexible in their CX strategy. This will allow the information to be collected in one place so that it can be easily shared and used by people across the organization.

Data from the HBR survey showed that over the next 12-18 months, 60% of companies would increase their spending on customer data and analytics. Additionally, 50% of respondents surveyed are in the process of implementing a centralized data model.

Additionally, I think great companies will move beyond long-term metrics such as customer satisfaction, customer lifetime value, and average handle time to more nuanced metrics that aim to uncover true customer behavior. . The evolution of metrics and the investment in these technologies show that companies are committed to using digital tools in a more transformative way that will ensure centralized data can truly impact and achieve business goals.

But a centralized data model should go beyond simple data collection. It should also be leveraged to activate and generate income.

Companies should seek to bridge the gap between the IT view of a customer data model and the CX team’s view through the use of centralized data platforms, or CDPs. These platforms are software that aggregates and organizes customer data about all the touchpoints and interactions a customer has with a company’s products and services.

CDPs have largely focused on personalizing marketing and advertising experiences. But the market is changing rapidly, and CDPs are moving beyond marketing to power CX-wide touchpoints in sales, services, and commerce. Looking to the future, data from the business process (ERP) backend will power the customer engagement front end.

CDP must easily and securely connect to supply chain data, inventory data, and other types of data that shape the customer experience. This capability is at the heart of overcoming the data silos and lack of collaboration that frustrate businesses’ use of customer data today.

Learn more: 6 CDP Trends Marketers Should Know About in the Near Future

Go even further in centralized data

In my conversations with customers, I see the emergence of a new era in customer data management: enterprise CDP. This technology is concerned with connecting the back-end of business processes with the front-end of customer engagement. We see the potential to leverage supply chain, manufacturing and financial data to power the way businesses and customers connect.

With Enterprise CDP, your business can:

  • Drive stronger business results by augmenting customer insights with new data sources from backend systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP) and supply chain.
  • Inform business decisions and engagement strategies using a centralized data model that prioritizes first-party, permission-based customer data.
  • Improve your ability to manage data privacy and scale into new geographies using a centralized approach to managing customer identity and consent and preference data.

This path forward will require tighter privacy and preference management, more pervasive intelligence and automation, and real-time capabilities to meet the highest aspirations of today’s modern technology leaders and facilitate this it takes – the people, processes and technology coming together – to deliver consistent services and impactful customer experiences.


Rising inflation and changing macroeconomic headwinds are pushing consumers to be even more selective about how they spend their money. At the same time, customer expectations continue to rise. To meet these expectations, leaders need to re-evaluate their company’s CX strategy. By adopting a centralized data model and enterprise CDP, businesses will become more agile and flexible and ultimately create better experiences for their customers.

How have you evolved your CX data strategy to deliver seamless experiences to your customers? Share with us on Facebook, Twitterand LinkedIn.

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