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Improving operational efficiency with modern tech

by Michele Szabocsik

June 28, 2021

Every business leader wants their company to operate more efficiently and with fewer, cross-functional bottlenecks. But if their tools don’t empower them to make better decisions, encourage innovation, or interact with customers in a more timely, personalized way, then they can’t realize true business transformation or accelerate growth.

What many business leaders don’t realize is they can help their teams work more efficiently by augmenting (or, in some cases, eliminating) many of the systems they currently use to carry out critical tasks. Many of these legacy technologies create or reinforce a significant distance between where customer data is stored and where it’s needed to orchestrate and deliver customer experiences.

Consider the tools many teams utilize today to inform customer facing engagement — and the resources and time-intensive processes required to use them:

Marketing & customer experience

It falls on marketing and CX teams to identify priority segments of customers and manage the execution of cross-channel campaigns and experiences designed to move them through their journeys to a desired outcome. But a major deterrent to these teams’ operational efficiency is over-reliance on siloed, channel-specific execution tools. For instance, campaign management software can only ingest multi-dimensional segments after they’ve been created in another tool and loaded manually. Similarly, ESPs automate messages, but they lack the data to responsively change or suppress messaging in real time to remain relevant as individuals move in their journeys.

By nature, static, outbound campaigns that ‘push’ messaging to individuals based on where inflexible systems and tools think they are in their respective journeys is inherently flawed and leads to a poor CX. What’s more, managing channel-specific campaigns, each with their own unique (and incomplete) customer view, is a laborious process that deters efficiency in day-to day work and inhibits testing and learning to improve long-term strategies. Attempts to use these tools to personalize experiences leaves business users no choice but to manually program dozens of campaigns or hundreds of messages, rather than automating coordinated messaging.

Analytics & data science

Analysts and data scientists play a supporting role in enabling marketing and CX teams by creating custom audience segments, building predictive models, and calculating customer scores, among other tasks. Business intelligence solutions, customer journey analytics tools, data science software, and good old-fashioned spreadsheets have been the tools of the trade for these professionals for some time. But the customer data they bring in from other systems isn’t always up-to-date and often needs to be normalized and cleansed before use. That means any insights gleaned, scores calculated, and customer segments created are likely dated by the time they’re shared with relevant internal stakeholders for use.

All this leads to time-consuming, inefficient analysis of potentially inaccurate and/or incomplete data. It also prevents other team’s from quickly activating the data and gaining insight about how to improve the customer experience before putting new ideas in market.

A path to sustainable success

The aforementioned teams aren’t the only functions charged with interacting with customers and/or driving business growth. Customer service, ecommerce, marketing operations, digital product, revenue diversification, and more face similar challenges when forced to use legacy tools that are siloed, channel-specific, and limited by a partial customer view.

Fortunately, there are modern technologies available, like a customer data platform, that not only help organizations improve operational efficiency, but also transform how they understand and interact with customers. To optimize the operational efficiency and strategic value a technology will provide your business, look for data solutions that:

Prioritize the proximity of data to customer-facing engagement

This means getting the data into the hands of the teams that are using it to design and deliver customer experiences so that they have immediate access to it. Unlike legacy databases like CRM and data lakes that are typically designed for purposes outside of customer engagement, seek solutions that centralize first-party data into unified customer profiles and make it readily accessible to growth-focused teams and their tools for immediate cross-channel activation.

Reduce the time and effort between insight and action

More and more companies are looking for tech that will enable their entire organization to apply advanced analytics, uncover meaningful customer insights, and quickly act on those insights to drive business growth. When evaluating new solutions, be sure to assess to what degree they will enable data democratization across the organization, so growth teams can uncover meaningful customer insights and act on them faster.

Increase business agility and resilience

Business priorities and economic conditions change regularly. That means all companies need a data solution that can flex with their organization over time and allow growth-focused teams to quickly adapt to sudden changes and take advantage of new opportunities without over taxing them in time or money.

Automate manual processes so growth teams can focus on more strategic tasks

A “We’ve-always-done-it-this-way” mindset often prevents growth teams from considering if there are better, more efficient ways of executing tasks. With a data solution that updates customer profiles and streamlines once-arduous tasks (e.g., multi-dimensional segmentation, customer score calculations, personalized experiences), growth-focused teams get back valuable time to tackle other essential activities.

Given the billions spent on business technology each year, companies must ensure those investments pay off in both the near and long term. By routinely evaluating the effectiveness of both their existing and new tech, business leaders can not only eliminate old ways of thinking, dated processes, and inoperative tools, but also help their teams accelerate growth and transform the business at large.


customer data platform
operational efficiency