The German telecommunications provider o2 Telefónica Deutschland was faced with the challenge of breaking down its various data sources and merging them in such a way that a holistic customer view could be achieved and a marketing strategy centered on the customer journey could be implemented. In order to build a future-proof and reliable solution, o2 Telefónica Deutschland looked for a setup that could withstand both the technical developments and the currently applicable data protection requirements.
For this reason, o2 Telefónica Deutschland decided to implement a proof of concept (PoC) with a Customer Data Platform (CDP), which makes it possible to combine a wide variety of data sources in real time and then activate them for marketing measures. The data sources used here are not only online channels (web analytics) and customer base data (CRM) - o2 Telefónica Deutschland is thinking ahead at this point and plans to combine information from all customer contact channels, such as call centers and stores, in the future. In the end, the Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) was chosen, which provides a fully comprehensive real-time CDP with additional services.
With the PoC, o2 Telefónica Deutschland is pursuing the long-term goal of creating a central system for marketing measures from a wide range of online and offline sources. In addition, the AEP is to be used to define the target groups for marketing activities more granularly in the future in order to enable more efficient (re-) targeting and to enrich the data in a further step through automation and machine learning. Finally, the PoC will examine whether existing processes, such as data science efforts, can be efficiently and effectively bundled into a single platform.
In order to realize this project, o2 Telefónica Deutschland enlisted diva-e to work with Adobe to make this vision a reality. diva-e initially provided support, particularly in PoC conception and preparation, and then assisted with implementation and activation by Adobe.
In order to successfully implement the proof of concept, three components were elementary:
Structures and processes
Since CRM data is stored in the AEP, among other things, one of the first prerequisites for the success of the proof of concept was to meet the data protection requirements and to comply with the high security standards for handling customer data. On the one hand, this requires a thorough examination of the platform itself, as well as all data flows into the platform and from the platform to the marketing channels. Basically, AEP offers some out-of-the-box features, for example with its integrated data governance policies, to partially regulate the data flows and ensure that no customer data is passed on to third parties.
On the other hand, it was also a question of offering o2 Telefónica's customers the possibility to agree to this new type of data processing - or not. For this, active consent must be obtained from o2 Telefónica customers. This necessary step, however, meant that it took some time to set up the profile within the AEP, as sufficient consent had to be obtained from customers first.
After the platform was approved by the data protection experts at o2 Telefónica, the project team was able to start with the technical setup.
For the collection of the web data, the first step was to implement the Adobe Web SDK on the website of o2 Telefónica. The selected CRM data was to be sent to the AEP as part of the proof of concept - in the form of CSV files via an sftp server. At a later date, a real-time Kafka interface is to be used in this place. For the subsequent activation of the data, the connector to DV360 natively available in the AEP was used. These connectors can be used to establish a connection with third-party tools, such as the Google Marketing Platform, by means of a simple workflow.
In order to also be able to send segments to the onsite personalisation tool from o2 Telefónica - for which no such standard connector exists - we as the project team were able to fall back on an HTTPI streaming API connector. With this solution, it is possible to share selected segments with a variety of marketing channels via an API, as long as they support such a connection.
With regard to the technical feasibility of use cases, the development status of the AEP became clear at some points in the project. New features are constantly being published here and the product is continuously being further developed by Adobe. Due to this, it is possible for Adobe customers to actively shape and optimise the AEP in some areas with their own requirements.
In addition to the technical testing of a CDP, the processes and structures of the teams involved should also be re-aligned within the framework of the PoC. The use of a CDP as a central point in audience management offers the possibility of a new perspective on addressing customers.
During the PoC, we as a team quickly became aware of one thing. In such a set-up, there are countless marketing stakeholders who are already addressing and optimising target groups in their existing teams, but who could still act in a much more holistic way. Because from this perspective, which is very focused on individual customer touchpoints, it follows that the teams lose sight of the entire customer journey.
So an important insight from the PoC was to bring these teams together and establish a journey-centred view. We also realised that in addition to the existing departments, there needed to be some kind of supervisor team that would look after the support of the AEP across the board and act as a kind of internal service provider for segments and data. This role was filled by the project team during the PoC and took care of prioritising and implementing all relevant issues.
Finally, o2 Telefónica Deutschland can successfully implement the proof of concept. As the introduction of a new technology takes time, it will take time to be able to use all the advantages of the AEP. However, the first successes are already visible and it is an absolute investment in the future, as it will require systems that effectively process and merge 1st party data.
Currently, the project is in the scaling and further development phase and AEP will remain the tool of choice at o2 Telefónica Deutschland.
We at diva-e are pleased to continue to be part of this journey and to be able to accompany the company on this step into the future.