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        Market Perspectives

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        ActionIQ CDP Activates CX Data

        While there are a large variety of tools that play a role in helping organizations manage customer experiences (CX), there is a consensus emerging that applications controlling customer data should take center stage. Many organizations face the challenge of consolidating fragmented data that comes from siloed sources into a coherent view of the entire customer life cycle. To address this challenge, vendors from multiple market segments are coalescing around the customer data platform (CDP) as the coordinating system of inter-departmental CX practices. CDPs were originally developed for marketing use cases but are now being more widely adopted by service departments and contact centers. For some vendors, like ActionIQ, the CDP has become the central element in a platform that extends outward to put customer data at the disposal of multiple applications by ingesting and cleaning it.

        ActionIQ, founded in 2014, offers a platform called CX Hub which is a collection of four modules, one of which is the CDP. Two others, Audience Center and Journey Management, VR_CX_2022_Coverage_Logo (2)-png-1are marketer tools for building audiences and orchestrating the campaigns offered to those audiences. The fourth module, called Real-Time CX, is a set of integrations and APIs that is used to create activity triggers and to personalize offers based on real-time customer behaviors.

        One of the benefits of a CDP is that it allows users to manage customer identities across both known and unknown sources, in ActionIQ’s case by using machine learning (ML) and the resources of data partners. This is increasingly important to organizations that previously relied on third-party data and cookies but are finding that avenue less tenable due to privacy rules and industry restrictions on tracking. ActionIQ’s value proposition is that it makes a company’s first-party data accessible in real time in forms that allow for the quick and accurate creation of audience segments. Those segments, in turn, can be activated and tracked.

        Building audiences is a low-code endeavor, with users taking advantage of a library of built-in predictive models based on common use cases (such as likelihood to churn, customer lifetime value, ideal send time for messages, etc.). Audience data can be exported to other systems like marketing automation tools, with the contact history metadata stored in the ActionIQ system.

        The Journey Management component allows users to take those audiences and design optimized pathways for customers that incorporate any channel and touchpoint. The platform allows VR_2022_Customer_Experience_Management_Assertion_5_Squarefor iterative testing and tracking of these journeys, along with extensive reporting. By 2025, one-half of organizations will have developed initiatives to map and manage customer journeys by integrating sales, service and marketing processes.

        ActionIQ’s approach to the market is to appeal to two key buying groups — the marketers who crave an automated approach to journey and segment design and the IT teams who struggle to coordinate the data and interconnections needed for those marketers to do their work. The company has an extensive list of available integrations broken out by functional category and a deep pool of technology and implementation partners. Within the past few months, ActionIQ announced a relationship with Snowflake to connect its HybridCompute data technology to the Snowflake Data Cloud, with Databricks and its LakeHouse platform, and Teradata and its VantageCloud analytics and data platform. These steps are part of ActionIQ’s strategy to position the CX Hub as the business-solution component of a platform that also has a technology-solution component friendly to IT decision-makers.

        The value of CDPs and their integration capabilities is becoming clearer to buyers across the CX spectrum (i.e., to people besides marketers). CDPs are attractive because they address some of the most important challenges and pain points in CX design: inconsistencies in interactions due to fragmented data and complexity of data governance issues. As the amount of customer data grows, better experiences can be built using data-driven contextual cues. At the same time, data proliferation creates operational obstacles. CDPs provide a mechanism for tying each piece of data to a unique customer profile and then acting upon it.

        As we noted in an Analyst Perspective, CDPs are already starting to evolve from engines of data ingestion and integration into more analytic tools that allow users to activate data. This will likely accelerate due to the CDP’s presence in broader platforms for interaction orchestration and audience creation. Today’s CDPs are as likely to appeal to analysts and data science professionals as they are to operations teams.

        ActionIQ’s approach is to position the CDP as central, build out a deep integration landscape to facilitate the ingestion of data, and support that data infrastructure with low-code/no-code automated applications for very specific CX-related use cases. Most of them are marketing-related but suggest a tight connection to service and sales applications as well.

        ActionIQ would do well to explore the possibilities inherent in the breadth of enterprise CX beyond marketing. Customer case studies suggest that ActionIQ users are finding benefits from increased operational efficiencies and in customer acquisition use cases. Extending those efficiency improvements to sales teams is one possibility, as is deeper analytics that incorporate metrics from the service environment. At the moment, however, the architecture and capabilities of the ActionIQ CX Hub suggest direction for the rest of the CX management industry which is to put data at the center of the experience design instead of interaction management.

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