In the business world, doing things with greater speed typically means paying a higher cost. Fiber-optic internet costs more than DSL. Priority mail costs more than retail ground. Laser printers cost more than inkjets; the list goes on. Processing customer data is a service that falls into the “more speed = more money” category. The larger the data sample that needs to be analyzed, the longer it will take. The more categories of data that need to be included, the more time will be required. When more speed is needed from a data platform, as it often is, companies can normally expect to pay a premium. However, by taking advantage of the efficiencies of cloud computing, some data platforms are discovering ways to increase speeds without the expected increase in price. In fact, some companies are providing better speeds at lower costs. FirstHive is one of those companies.
FirstHive provides its customers with an intelligent Customer Data Platform (CDP) that helps them take control of their customer data and develop marketing solutions. By bringing together data from all points in a customer’s journey, FirstHive enables highly-personalized campaigns that lead to more sales.
“Our customers depend on us for quick access to real-time customer data,” explains Vishal Sukheja, Chief Product Officer at FirstHive. “The data-driven insights they find in our CDP helps them to understand and respond to how customers behave and what they prefer.”
FirstHive’s customers can now take advantage of higher speeds at lower costs thanks to a new collaboration with SnowFlake, a global data platform that specializes in data warehousing, data engineering, and data application development. SnowFlake’s platform allowed FirstHive to more effectively create a data layer for customer analytics, data processing, retrieval, and real-time user access. In addition, FirstHive’s processing speeds are now eight times faster, in some cases.
“We constantly look for ways in which we can build better efficiencies within FirstHive CDP modules,” Vishal says. “This led us to add SnowFlake as a data layer to improve our Customer Analytics module. We wanted our customers to get direct and real-time access to raw data within our Customer Analytics module. Most of our customer teams use such information to activate data for marketing campaigns and build more intelligent models.”
Data-driven marketing is being seen by experts as the new normal for business marketing. Overall, it allows for more efficient and targeted marketing by mining data for a deeper understanding of customer activity.
“We help our customers with developing informed marketing solutions by bringing together data from every customer touchpoint, including websites, bots, social presence, mobile apps, and more,” Vishal says. “By applying machine learning to the data, marketers can get a clear picture of the customer’s identity. With these data-rich unified identities, brands are able to optimize marketing choices around components like content affinity, audience selection, channel preference, and time of nudge; hence, maximizing their returns on the marketing investments.”
For companies that utilize CDPs, the biggest challenge to cost efficiency often involves scalability. Because the marketing is data-driven, marketing workload can change considerably and quickly as new data is analyzed and leveraged. Scaling back marketing can mean wasting platform resources. Scaling up might not be possible if resources are not available.
“When it comes to scalability, customers using FirstHive scale fast depending on their marketing plan for the month,” explains Vishal. “Due to the partnership with SnowFlake, scalability is no longer a challenge. The typical problems around the delay in execution and access to customer data that come with a lack of scalability were resolved with the flexibility provided by SnowFlake. The new ability to scale enables us to enjoy a cost advantage that we pass on to our clients in the form of a flexible pricing structure.”
Reports show that the COVID-19 pandemic inspired a huge increase in ecommerce. At the same time, COVID reportedly triggered a dramatic decrease in marketing budgets. Innovations like those that FirstHive and SnowFlake are driving come just in time for marketers who are looking to do more with less.