Fireside Chat with Jeff Lawson: The past, present and future of Customer Data Platforms

Cynthia Goldsworthy on March 23rd 2022

Katrina Wong, VP Segment Marketing, recently moderated a discussion with Jeff Lawson, CEO of Twilio, on the past, present, and future of customer data platforms. (To watch the discussion in full, head this way.)

Using data from the third annual Customer Data Platform Report, they discussed the biggest consumer and business trends as witnessed on the Segment platform, such as the rise of first-party data, increased adoption by e-commerce businesses, and much more. 

Here are highlights from their conversation: 

Data volume is exploding 

The past two years saw a massive spike in customer data that was created on the Segment platform. At the start of 2020, Twilio Segment processed close to 500 billion API calls a month. By the end of 2021, that number hit over a trillion. Additionally, new business channels have seen tech stacks grow and evolve, making customer data platforms a foundational piece of technology. 

Zoom with margin

E-commerce businesses are leveraging CDPs

Digitization is the biggest challenge facing retailers. B2C brands are trying to build the best digital presence to engage with customers and build direct, long-term relationships. That requires a huge investment in data infrastructure, giving tech giants an advantage. However, a CDP levels the playing field, enabling more businesses to collect and deploy real-time data in seconds.

Another record-breaking year of API calls on the Segment platform

With increased demand for streaming and connected TV over the past 2 years, Segment has been partnering with the Fox team to manage an incredible amount of customer data, delivering great customer experiences at scale. Astoundingly, the Segment platform helped Fox track over 1 million events per second during the Super Bowl. Another high-profile occasion set records as well – 111 billion API calls passed through the Segment platform over the Black Friday weekend. 

Zoom with margin

Businesses are going all-in on first-party data

Recent changes in privacy, such as Apple's deprecation of IDFA, are upending the world of digital marketing. Companies are seeing their advertising disrupted because it's getting harder to engage a customer base through performance advertising. This creates an opportunity, and the necessity, for companies to use first-party data to reach their customers. In fact, well over 50% of Segment’s customers are now using advertising apps on the platform.

It’s about relationships, not about transactions

CDPs are foundational to the broader category of customer engagement platforms. To build a great customer relationship, you need an understanding of your customer and a way to engage with them. For B2C companies, understanding customers is about having raw data at their fingertips and bringing it together into one single customer profile. Businesses can then tailor their communications precisely to that individual. That’s the power of a customer engagement platform – data and activation under one roof.

Why Segment is the #1 CDP

Segment is trusted by the world’s largest companies. IBM, Allergan, Intuit, and others use our software and APIs to drive real business impact by harnessing and activating the power of their customer data. Segment provides tools to solve unique customer data challenges, obtain a single view of the customer, and empower every team with good data. 

The future of customer engagement

Developers have built the customer data infrastructure that enables the next-generation of customer engagement. When talking about complex problems for organizations to solve, it’s essential that developers have customizable solutions. With Twilio and Segment, businesses can build what they need faster with flexible integrations and customizable tools to collect data from anywhere. They can also customize integrations or build new ones, and scale their customer data infrastructure as they grow to fit the needs of the business. Once this layer is built, they have the tools they need to power customer engagement at scale.

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