Unboxing mParticle

What is inside the mParticle “Box”? Like any new thing, you want to know what’s inside and what is you’re getting that makes it special. mParticle is a Customer Data Platform (CDP) and an interesting one at that. Why do you want a CDP? Primarily because you have lots of first party data, i.e., your own data, on all your clients. This can be hard to reach and join together, but think what you could know about your contacts if you could link it together in one place and at the right time?


Making sense of your data

Think about a library with hundreds or thousands of books, but not organised by author, or subject, but by publisher or printer (website, app, support case system). You could have the world’s best collection of books (Data) but it would not be much use to any one if you couldn’t access what you needed quickly. Now you hire an expert librarian who knows how to help you organise your books (data) and works with you to create a process to organise it. They leave you with process and system (CDP) to sort all new books (data) as they arrive so you can access them whenever you like and for whatever you need. Purple Square would like to help set up your perfect library.


What’s inside the mParticle box?


So, what’s inside the box that first catches our eye? There are 4 core components :

  • Data Connections
  • Data Quality
  • Data Activation
  • Data Governance

Let’s delve into each of these and then we’ll look at what can you do with your data once you have linked, sorted, and segmented it.

Data Connections

 

 

This is a real time data pipeline. The data can feed in from whenever you get it, in real-time, or batch if some of your systems still work that way. This is still primarily a developer activity, but the product includes tools to make that development as quick and painless as possible.


An mParticle suite of SDKs (Software Development Kit), is available for Android, iOS (Apple), and Amazon Fire devices, etc. making it easier for your developers to integrate. But critically, because mParticle is a CDP, we can integrate solely with this and use it to provide data to all downstream locations, reducing the need for multiple unlinked SDKs that may make your apps large and unwieldy. mParticle‘s Media SDK allows you to feed in data from video media playback services as well.


Prebuilt connector integrations give you setup in the GUI that can take just minutes, including services such as AEP, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Google Analytics, Braze, Airship, FaceBook, Twitter, etc. The list goes on with over 300+ prebuild connections currently and growing. Check out the full list. Finally, mParticle APIs (Application Programming Interface), allow your developers to integrate your CDP with any of your platforms that have an internet connection.

Data Quality

This component helps maintain consistent and accurate data. A major pain for all marketers and consumers of your contacts data, is the fact you have lots of it but it can be stored in so many different ways! This means even if you can access it on one system you cannot easily link Joe Bloggs’ shopping history to their app logons, or to their support tickets.


Through this component, mParticle makes your data cleaner and standardised with the following capabilities:

  • Ingestion and transformation of incoming data
  • Validation of your data back to you mParticle schema’s
  • Identity resolution, linking the new incoming data to existing contacts, or creating new contacts as required
  • A live stream tool is available to help you understand what is happening to your data in real-time, so you can drill down and investigate loads that are not happening as you would expect, ready for corrective action.


Within mParticle, here are examples of data you can link:

  • Attributes: Name, email, account number, lifetime value, etc.
  • Events: App logins, browsing history app or web, purchase history, any event type that you have a way to capture, and you want to store
  • Consent: Marketing, data processing dates and versions of these

Data Activation

Let’s now make this data work for you!

Let’s talk segmentation. You will likely already have tools to calculate segments, audiences, lists etc. but are you sure that your marketing system calculates a Platinum customer the same way as your ecommerce site or your support desk? The answer is unlikely to be yes and if it is yes, it will most like be taking a lot of work to keep it that way or reconcile. So, centralising the work reduces that margin for error and/or effort. Using the Connections capability, you can even loop out to your existing tools, and pass the results back to the CDP for use everywhere else!


Calculated attributes, for example “total value of purchases in the last 30 days”, or “count of logins to your app” etc. can all be in one place. All these calculated values can be built in the user interface without requiring coding knowledge through a simple point and click UI.


Profile API gives the ability to request for contact X any part of the profile so you can programmatically ask questions like “I want to know the most searched product categories by Joe Bloggs”, then to use this to tailor a personalised landing page in your app for example. All this as up to date as the latest upload to mParticle, not last night, yesterday or from last week’s data, as you may live with now.


With Events Forwarding, you can for example capture if someone logs a support case ticket on your Zendesk (customer support system) to determine if you should try to market to them, or if someone buys a new TV at 3pm, you can avoid sending them a related offer scheduled at 5pm the same day!


For Consent State forwarding, if someone changes their consent state, you will want your downstream systems updated ASAP.

Data governance

This component allows you to control where your customers data flows, helping you comply with regulatory requirements such as GDPR, with tools to make DSR (Data Subject Requests) simpler and more straight forward in handling.


Between endpoints, you can pick and choose which data field should be sent on based on the contacts consent statuses and endpoint requirement, reducing the amount of personal data being stored across your data estate.
If your customer data is required to stay within a given geographical region, as many companies are required to do, mParticle can comply by using their access to a worldwide set of data centres.

What can you do with all this new organised data?

Send it to and for use with:

  • Marketing tools such as Adobe Experience Cloud, Unica, Salesforce etc.
  • Analytics and Business intelligence tools
  • Data warehouses
  • Raw data downloads and custom outputs
  • Social and Demand side platforms

Think how much more each of your tools and teams can do with this new, clean, organised and timely data. Of course, the data is not new as you already had it, but now you can really harness the power of it!

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