No more file cabinets: Un-silo your customer data with Twilio Segment

No more file cabinets: Un-silo your customer data with Twilio Segment

female professional pulling file folder from file cabinet

When was the last time you used a file cabinet? Do you remember that boxy thing attached to your desk or something you ordered from an office supply store that never matched your existing home décor? In some matters, file cabinets are a necessary thing. Where else are you going to store your receipts for next year’s tax return? The warranty for your dishwasher? Bank statements you never open?

A file cabinet makes sense if you wish to maintain and keep paper records. What about a file cabinet for your company’s data? Keeping a physical record of every customer, every transaction, every order, sale, or refund sounds impractical, and it is. But that is exactly what your business may be doing with its customer data. A CRM (customer relationship management) application stores your business relationships and interactions in a proprietary database, i.e., a file cabinet.

A DMP (a data management platform) manages and aggregates customer interactions from websites, apps, aggregators, etc. to build targeted marketing campaigns. Again, this is another type of file cabinet. Your business may have a CRM and a DMP—and getting them to communicate with each other or provide up-to-date findings might be the proverbial search for records in a dusty old file cabinet.

And what exactly is the data that’s stored in these file cabinets? Open a file cabinet in your home office, and you may discover things that you never realized you kept. Information stored in a file cabinet eventually goes stale or becomes unusable. The same can be said for CRM and DMP repositories. Such data becomes siloed without oversight and constant review or understanding of where that data came from. That is, locked away in its own world without you understanding its reliability.

Enter Twilio Segment

Twilio Segment is a CDP, a Customer Data Platform. A CDP works in ways that a CRM or DMP can’t. By connecting across numerous databases, analysis tools, and aggregators, a CDP’s first job is to manage your business data silos and bring them together. Segment uses these data sources to create a single, centralized data hub. This data hub presents “one world view” of your business data: one customer record, one unified view, and one definitive source.

Segment’s second task is verification: keeping your data up-to-date, reliable, and always ready. This verification requires matching customer data with first-party data and removing unreliable (and untrustworthy) third-party data. Twilio does an excellent job of explaining the difference between first and third-party data:

  • First-party data – Any data you collect directly from people who visit your website, use your products, or visit your physical locations is first-party data. For example, say someone visits your website and enters their email to subscribe to emails from your company. Their email address is a piece of data that your company collected is first-party data.
  • Third-party data – Third party data is data that you buy from outside sources that are not the original collectors of that data. Even though the company you purchased the data from is a certified data broker, you still can’t verify how that data was collected and who has access to it. Not to mention you had no control over the security of that data.

In today’s Internet, new laws govern data collection and how user data may be used or sold, especially in matters concerning user privacy. (Remember that checkbox at the bottom of a website you may visit explaining how that site collects data and what it does with it?)  Companies must keep in compliance with these laws. Twilio Segment controls and manages the origin of customer data so only first-party data is collected and merged with the unified customer record. With a unified and real-time customer record, you can create personalized communications with your customers across multiple channels.

Personalized, segmented marketing

Why is personalization so important? What large market leaders have discovered is that “one-size-fits-all” marketing campaigns are no longer working. Companies want to know who their customers are and how to react to their needs. Marketing campaign budgets can be wasted targeting the wrong customer. Technology stacks for companies can suffer accommodating data kept in siloed systems. And unreliable data hampers the ability to meet strategic goals in today’s market.

Segment provides visibility into customer interactions by connecting customer data from dozens of sources and managing that data into destinations, your company’s preferred marketing and data analysis tools. Segment handles the complexities of outside-party SDKs by managing keys and user identification.

From this centralized collection point, Segment automatically merges and validates first-party data to maintain accuracy. With current and accurate data, you can do more with your customers. Use Tracking Plans to identify and categorize your customers to build more focused personas. User Explorer allows for the examination of collected data pieces for a customer, as well as identifying traits for data models. Build audience filters to sectionalize data based on specific properties and traits. Create Journeys—campaigns based on those properties.

Twilio Segment allows you to move forward from siloed data and leapfrog over complicated data integrations with third-party tools. With Segment, you and your marketing team can collect, standardize, secure, and maintain customer data. Better understand your customers and engage them with personalized, multi-channel communications.

Is your business still using the equivalent of file cabinets for its customer data? Move your data out of silos and into a customer data platform like Twilio Segment. Terazo is a Twilio Gold Consulting Partner and has the experience to deliver first-class ideas for your business. To learn more about Terazo and how we partner with Twilio, contact us at

Team Terazo

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