How Segment helps businesses adapt in uncertain times

Olivia Buono, Sasha Blumenfeld on March 31st 2020

Over the last few years and increasingly today, changes to our global economy and rising customer expectations have forced businesses to adapt quickly and often. The shift we’re seeing in the market today is forcing change at a pace and scope that we haven’t seen before.

If you’re already a digital business, you need to optimize for financial performance today. If you’re still on your transformation journey, you need to speed up your investments into the digital business models, products, and user experiences that will carry your business into tomorrow. Balancing these priorities can be a difficult challenge, especially when the stakes are high and the timeline is tight.

We’re seeing our customers rise to the challenge by building a deep understanding of their end-users and quickly mobilizing that knowledge across every team and technology. Here’s how your business can use the Segment customer data platform to accelerate marketing impact, make better product decisions, and build a resilient tech stack


Accelerate marketing impact

Effective marketing doesn’t necessarily require more people or budget, but it does require a better understanding of your customers. Segment helps you unify each interaction into trusted user profiles. We then help you turn those profiles into real-time audiences, like “High-Value Buyers,” which you can feed into a variety of tools to ensure all of your marketing channels are working in tandem. With reliable data at your fingertips, your team can launch marketing campaigns faster, rapidly iterate, and personalize with confidence.

Personalization can have a significant business impact. According to Forrester’s Total Economic Impact Report, Segment helps companies test marketing campaigns five times faster and deliver 33% better conversion rates. To navigate the current climate, marketers should be looking to:

  • Reduce wasted ad spend by immediately removing recent purchasers from campaigns to focus spend on those who haven’t converted. 

  • Make the most of your high value users by using them to create look-alike audiences that power your new user acquisition. 

  • Optimize budget allocation by connecting all online and offline data to run more complete marketing attribution and make informed budgeting decisions. 

Here are a few examples of how Segment customers are accelerating marketing impact:

  • Bonobos improved return on ad spend by 2x in two months by using Segment to gather first-party user data across channels and send that data to ad tools.

  • Consulting.com improved ROAS by 10% using Segment's Identity Graph and event-based audiences to build seed audiences for Facebook lookalike campaigns.

  • Digital Ocean drove a 33% improvement in cost per conversion by rapidly optimizing digital ad campaigns using Segment to create granular audience targeting.


Make better product decisions

Product teams make hundreds of decisions each day. In times of uncertainty, you need their decisions to be as fast and well-informed as possible. Whether it’s the decision to build a new product or streamline onboarding, they should have an accurate picture of how people use their products and the impact their products make on the business.

The most agile product teams have access to high-quality data and make data-driven decisions. A complete customer view doesn’t just allow marketers to personalize different channels, it also allows product teams to quickly run A/B tests and drive product adoption. When all of their tools are connected to Segment, product teams are also able to quickly analyze data and generate insights without redundant engineering efforts. Right now, product teams should be looking to:

  • Understand which features drive revenue to create opinionated onboarding and growth experiments that lead users to take action.

  • Enforce a data dictionary so that entire product team has consistent analytics across every product or customer touchpoint.

  • Build propensity models with trustworthy data that doesn’t require days of cleaning by your data science team.

Here are a few examples of how Segment customers are making better product decisions:

  • IBM increased product adoption by 30% and billable usage by 17% in three months using Segment to standardize customer data across divisions and provide visibility to drive efficient nurture programs.

  • Imperfect Foods increased user retention by 21% with a fast experimentation cycle—22 experiments in 6 months. 

  • Norrøna saw an immediate 50% lift in conversion by automating product recommendations based on seamless data collection in Segment.


Build a resilient tech stack

The technology stack you have today won’t be the same one you use to tackle the digital problems and opportunities of tomorrow. And as new tools spring up every day, it can become unclear whether to switch now or how to make the most of what you already have.

When considering a new tool, you’ll naturally want to test it with your own data. Historically, that meant you needed to convince your engineering team to build a data pipeline and create yet another data silo. The alternative—not testing—could lead to a lot of wasted engineering hours spent on a tool that doesn’t work as advertised. This resource-heavy process of bringing on a new tool has caused many businesses to simply accept the status quo.

Segment helps you de-risk this problem by making your customer data portable. Segment makes customer data fully accessible to the tools you already use to help you maximize each investment. When you decide to test new tools, Segment helps you test using your complete data set, rather than a sliver, and limits the engineering work required to hours, not months. Many engineering teams are turning to Segment because they can save millions of dollars by being able to integrate and experiment more quickly. Engineers can also use Segment to:

  • Streamline customer data collection that’s trusted and actionable across every team in your organization. 

  • Connect your data to hundreds of tools with out-of-the-box integrations and the ability to build your own logic for custom workflows. 

  • Give your team the ability to adapt your tool stack in a way that enables you to keep pace with customer expectations. 

Here are a few examples of how Segment customers are building a resilient tech stack:

  • Clearscore launched in a new market at 1/3 the engineering cost of building an in-house solution that would allow them to comply with regulation using their existing tech stack.

  • Heycar quadrupled digital conversions and tripled user retention by using Segment to implement a new analytics tool that gave their product team instant data insights.

  • Halp improved activated digital sign-ups by 4x in less than a week by connecting best-in-class tools they were already using to launch a new digital onboarding experience. 


Adapt to thrive

The move to digital business is accelerating. The seismic shifts over the last few weeks are just the beginning. If you’re already a digital business, you need to prepare as usage continues to evolve. If you’re making measured moves toward digital, your transformation timeline needs to speed up to meet our new realities. It’s critical that you quickly tackle the new challenges ahead, so you can build new digital experiences for customers while the opportunity is still there.

As you evaluate your strategy across marketing, product, analytics, and engineering, consider whether you’re prepared to empower each team with the quality data they need to drive business impact and create tailored digital experiences. Also consider if you can do it fast enough and at the scale your business needs.

If you want to discuss how customer data can accelerate your strategy and power your digital business—with or without Segment—reserve some time with a Segment Growth Expert today.

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