30 Most Influential Companies of the year 2020 (Special Edition)
BlueConic is the world’s leading customer data platform that liberates marketers’ first-party data from all the disparate systems in which it exists and makes it accessible wherever and whenever it is required for marketing. More than 300 brands, including Hearst, Moen, T-Mobile, ING, America’s Test Kitchen, and Franklin Sports, leverage BlueConic to unify their first-party customer data into persistent, person-level profiles, and then activate it across their marketing ecosystem. Founded in 2010, the company is headquartered in Boston, with offices in Europe. We had a conversation with Martijn van Berkum, the Co-Founder and CTO of BlueConic.
Companies, and specifically marketers, need assurance that their technology investments will stand up over time. How challenging is it to perpetuate your customer data platform?
Marketers have traditionally relied on over-burdened IT departments and data science teams to get the customer data they need to build segments, conduct modeling and analytics, and improve how they engage with customers. One of BlueConic’s great strengths is its ability to flex in all the ways a modern marketing organization needs it to - namely in its speed, adaptability, value, and utility to marketers. That’s because everything in BlueConic starts with a unified profile.
Unlike other CDPs or legacy marketing technologies, every data point collected in BlueConic is translated into an attribute of an individual customer that is persistently stored in a profile, making it possible for marketers to quickly and confidently query the data in support of a wide range of activation use cases – and adapt on a dime to market shifts and rapid changes in consumer behavior.
How do you help your clients know who their potential customers could be?
The very existence of a CDP like BlueConic is predicated on the idea of liberating first-party data from systems that marketers previously didn’t have access to and unifying it in one place. The rich, actionable data that’s captured is stored in the form of a profile, or customer record, for each individual – whether they are known or anonymous. These unified profiles are built progressively in real-time using pre-built integrations with all the systems in a modern marketing technology stack and can store unlimited attributes for each individual, including behavioral, demographics, interests, privacy preferences, transactional, predictive scores, and more. BlueConic’s profile-centric approach not only provides the most comprehensive and up-to-date record of what marketers know about their prospects and customers, but also enables marketers to personalize at scale.
How does BlueConic help its customers build a single customer view for marketing?
BlueConic not only brings siloed and disparate customer data together and unifies it at an individual level, but equally important, it also gives that unified profile data back to the marketer in a format that they can use to improve how they engage with consumers, conduct modeling and analytics, and build segments. In other words, BlueConic’s CDP liberates customer data by making it more accessible to marketers and easier to activate across systems and channels with confidence and utility.
When we say it gives marketers confidence, we mean the customer data they have accounts for consent (i.e., GDPR, CCPA, and other regulations) and is unified across all systems and sources. By utility, we mean marketers can use the data when and where they need it without time lost due to manual processes or reliance on IT, analytics teams, and outside agencies.
Customers get stodgy if customer engagement is not made a priority. How do you help businesses keep customers engaged?
Customers have always been in control of when and where they interact with brands. What’s changed in today’s landscape is that customer journeys are much more complex, customers are moving faster throughout various stages of the customer lifecycle, and privacy concerns have taken center stage.
BlueConic offers features like on-site dialogues and a recommendations engine to personalize experiences – but as a true pure-play CDP, we’re agnostic to the type of personalization engine marketers want to use. To keep customers engaged and individualize experiences at scale, marketers need flexibility in a platform to design the right marketing programs – and a way to access cross-channel data and activate it across multiple channels.
How does your interface help build dynamic, multi-dimensional segments that update in real-time?
When marketers lack access to unified and actionable first-party data, it creates barriers in the form of time delays, inflexibility, and/or cost. BlueConic eliminates these inefficiencies by giving marketers instant access to the real-time data they need to quickly build multi-dimensional segments without relying on other teams. Using the unlimited profile data stored in BlueConic, marketers can select any combination of customer attributes to build their cross-channel segments or expand on behavioral and predictive segments already available in the platform for instant analysis and activation. These segments not only update in real-time as each individual’s attributes change, but they are also retroactive. In other words, when a segment is created, users are segmented based on data already in the platform, not just on the data coming into the platform from that point forwards.
How satisfied are your customers? What is your customer base?
BlueConic services a wide range of industries and business models, including eCommerce, brick-and-click, and traditional retailers; direct-to-consumer manufacturers; travel-booking and destination marketing organizations; subscription businesses; financial services firms; telecom companies; and B2B and B2C publishers. Our end users are primarily day-to-day and technical marketers at enterprise and mid-market brands who are responsible for an array of essential activities, from customer acquisition, retention, and loyalty growth to audience analysis, development, and monetization.
Some of our customers have been with us for eight years or more, in large part due to the aforementioned flexibility our customer data platform allows. Modern marketing organizations need to be agile. BlueConic’s underlying profile database architecture enables marketers to scale up by continually adding new profile attributes over time, from any channel or source, without unwinding months of work due to rigid data schemas or saddling marketer with ballooning data storage costs. We’re a true partner to our customers because we’re able to help them scale for today’s goals and tomorrow’s ambitions.
About the CTO
Martijn van Berkum is the Co-founder and Chief Technology Officer at BlueConic. He co-founded and built web content management leader GX Software before starting BlueConic, fueled by a passion to radically improve online engagement by reducing the cross-channel gap that we as consumers notice every day in communicating with brands, large and small. He has a passion for staying abreast of cutting-edge tech and anticipating its impact on markets, business, and society. A true visionary, Martijn drives the company’s thought leadership, collaborating with research and development and marketing to translate his vision into a world-class product. He studied computer science at the Radboud University of Nijmegen, the Netherlands.
“Adding BlueConic’s CDP to our martech stack has been truly transformative in how we think about our digital strategy,” goba Sports Group.