Faced with the need for high-quality, reliable data, Prolific’s data team built a tech stack from the ground up. In doing so, they created complete Customer Behavioral Profiles so the rest of their teams could access actionable data to best engage with their customers. 🤝
Now, if you’re wondering:
💭 How did they do it?
💭 Why is it important to have a high-quality, data-first culture, anyway?
💭 How can Customer Behavioral Profiles empower my organization?
You’re in the right place. We addressed all this and more in our recent webinar, How to supercharge revenue with powerful customer profiles. It featured a number of prominent data leaders who know all about the importance of customer data:
These data leaders revealed how you can drive more growth for your business by unlocking rich, unified, and accessible behavioral data across your organization. 🔐
It might not be obvious, but the first step to eliminating unattributed conversions, creating audience personalization, and implementing ML-powered marketing and ad tech workflows that work for you is collecting your customer data. Once you have that foundational data, you can start climbing the data maturity curve. 🧗
“So, companies that are just working on campaign metrics – maybe they're starting to create granular customer journeys now that their data is in a cloud warehouse like Redshift. They're quickly moving up that maturity curve, using that rich customer behavioral data to start to do things like next best action or build more deep models, so that they can do machine learning retargeting.” - Mike Maloney, Snowplow
Keep in mind: Data collection is the fuel that helps you use your data warehouse and other tools in your stack to the best of your abilities. And without that fuel, you’re stranded at square one.
Before you start embarking on the journey of behavioral data platform (BDP) selection, consider your goals. What do you want to achieve? What resolution do you need for your customers’ behavior? If, like Prolific, you need a granular view of your customers, you’ll need a BDP like Snowplow.
“When we were looking for tools that would help us understand our customer's behavior, what we really needed was the ability to track behavior at a granular level. We didn't want to look at aggregated page view volumes. We have large volumes of users on our site at any one time, so we needed to be able to distinguish between participants and researchers viewing our landing pages.” - Jim Lumsden, Prolific
If your ultimate goal is to build successful products (duh), a behavioral data platform is your first ally. How else can you make sense of user data and use them to make decisions and improve your product? Once in place, your team can utilize the insights to dive deeper into user behavior and craft the strategy that leads to optimum growth. 🚀
Speaking of which, with the proper BDP securely in place, you can power use cases like marketing attribution. Prior to Snowplow, the Prolific team didn't know where users were coming from when they visited their website. Sure, they had Google Analytics to provide high-level information, but they couldn't see how users navigated through landing pages, login, and around the app toward a purchase decision. Now, they can. 🙌
“Our marketing team is pretty new, but having access to that data has provided a ton of insight that's allowed us to understand which of our campaigns are effective and which of our content is most effective – which is really important for our marketing strategy.” - Jim Lumsden, Prolific
Like the Prolific team, proper customer data can power marketing attribution to provide you with valuable insights so you can reach the right potential customers with the right message at the right time. And when you’re armed with that data, you too can be confident of getting actionable insights that will improve your traffic and, ultimately, revenue.
Don’t be fooled: The process of setting up a powerful BDP like Snowplow, collecting customer data, and actually activating it doesn’t happen overnight. But even with the time investment, the rewards are well worth it.
“It wasn't all easy; Snowplow is not a point-and-click style analytics tool. It's not like Amplitude in terms of ease of seeing initial results – it's much more of an infrastructure tool. It's really, really powerful and flexible. The quality of the data which lands in your warehouse, you can do anything you like with. But it takes time to activate that data, and it takes data modeling and layers of transformation to really get the value out of it.” - Jim Lumsden, Prolific
Who likes quality data? 🙋♀️ The Prolific team does, too. And although it took some time to activate that quality data, once they did, they had tons of rich data that they used to build data models. With those detailed models, they understood the audience demand that their researchers had and how they could meet that.
Data exists in silos. So if you want marketing, sales, or finance to use data, they have to look at different tabs or sources to capture all pieces of that data – and then put them together. But with a data warehouse, you put all that data together in one place for all your business users to reference.
“If you have something like a cloud data warehouse – which provides you ample storage to have all the data in place or through federation queries and also lets you scale independently – now, you have a place where you could use something like a self-service ETL tool as a source. Then they can take the data from there and populate the target system, like HubSpot.” - Shashi Raina, AWS
With your data warehouse as your single source of truth, you can be confident that all your business users are referencing the same, fresh data. Better yet, when you send that data to their frontline tools, they get a complete 360° view of the customer and the business. 👌
When you’re just starting to create customer profiles, it’s easy to get caught up in thinking about only your current needs. But as Prolific knows, choosing your tools at the beginning impacts everything in the future.
“We're a bootstrapped business, so being able to budget properly was really important. We had no idea of the scale of the data which we would expect, but we did think we would be using it a lot and self-serving that data all over the business. We didn't want to go with a pay-as-you-go pricing model. And Redshift has proved its value time and time again in the years that we have used it.” - Jim Lumsden, Prolific
Ultimately, going with AWS Redshift gave Prolific a playground for the data team to come up with fast and effective solutions to all of the challenges that they faced. Of course, take your current budget into consideration, but make sure that your final decision will give you confidence now and as you scale.
Self-service data is a game-changer – just ask Prolific. By integrating a reverse ETL tool like Census to put their business users’ data in their frontline tools, Prolific’s data team enabled them to access that data so they could make effective, informed business decisions. After all, that’s what Census does best. 💁♀️
“So, instead of the requests for data pools – which is very much data teams being a service organization – self-service treats data as more of a product in terms of the new initiatives that they want to do. And what Census does in terms of operational analytics is being able to treat data as operations for organizations.” - Donny Flynn, Census
By building their customer profiles using Snowplow, AWS, and Census, Prolific has seen benefits like 👇
- Never being asked by the VP of data (or anyone else for that matter) to pull data anymore
- Jim can even send data to Excel spreadsheets (which he openly expressed disdain for 😫), but apparently finance people love Excel spreadsheets. 🤷
- Because of the granularity of Snowplow tracking, they can get right into the behaviors of interest in our checkout flow. With visibility into abandoned baskets, they can jump on those opportunities to convert quickly – or even just offer a helping hand.
- Their customer support agents no longer feel like there’s a wall between them and the customers. Because they can now see which actions each customer is taking on the platform, they can better understand how those might contribute to future revenue.
Looking forward to fueling more customers 🔮
With their stack of tools in place and powerful customer profiles to guide them, Prolific intends to build out more use cases across the business and close their feedback loop. By taking the behavioral data that they’re connecting from Snowplow and doing some more machine learning, they’ll be working over the next year to make their product smarter and help their customers (and stakeholders) to make great decisions.
Want to hear more about how Prolific’s supercharged their brand new sales team with product usage data? Check out Jim’s Select Stars interview! ⭐
Watch the full webinar here 👇