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CUSTOMER STORY

Empowering marketers with next-gen customer intelligence

~30%

faster time-to-market of actionable customer insights

~15%

reduction in operational costs

Acxiom
CLOUD: AWS

“Managing data is one thing, but the real challenge is being able to efficiently and effectively create actionable insight for our customers — that’s where the value lies.”

— Bhavna Godhania, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, Acxiom

Acxiom, a customer intelligence company, is focused on helping brands optimize marketing efforts to enable better customer experiences. As a trusted advisor to some of the largest brands in the world, Acxiom knows that a data infrastructure that can support their clients’ data-driven strategies is paramount. With Databricks Data Intelligence Platform, Acxiom has been able to securely unify customer data for analytics. The result? The company’s clients now have the ability to efficiently create customer-centric insights from the data points that matter, effectively improving the customer experience and their ability to increase marketing conversions and revenue.

Embarking on a journey to become more data-driven

As digital experiences continue to evolve across channels and platforms, the ability to reach consumers and meet their expectations is a constantly moving target. At its core, Acxiom helps brands understand people through data — empowering them to create ethical, data-driven solutions that drive business growth through better customer experiences. For example, companies are trying to understand how to initiate appropriate audience strategies, activate these strategies in digital media, and do so with data privacy and security in mind.

And while said data is undoubtedly ubiquitous, the proper collection and usage of it gets trickier by the day. "The biggest challenge for brands is the fact that data is static and people are not," said Bhavna Godhania, Senior Director, Strategic Partnerships, at Acxiom. "Life-changing events and device upgrades are constantly happening, and without a fully integrated and unified approach to data collection, optimization, resolution and enrichment, brands end up with a fragmented, inaccurate view of the consumer."

Always at the forefront of adopting the latest technologies to best support their customers, Acxiom is constantly looking for opportunities to evolve their capabilities with best-of-breed solutions that allow them to maintain market differentiation. But as their customers continued to capture more data, the company realized they needed to migrate to the cloud in order to scale to support hundreds of billions of transactions a month. This would allow Acxiom to continue to capitalize on their long heritage of identity data management in a safe, scalable and cost-effective manner.

Better insights lead to better experiences for all

Acxiom defines an effective customer 360 as the always-on harmonization between enterprise, identity management, data management and customer intelligence in a single data ecosystem. This foundation is critical for satisfying the always-connected consumer, who expects brands to recognize them and make their interactions easy, fast and frictionless. Like it or not, the expectation of instant gratification is the new norm.

Since implementing Databricks Data Intelligence Platform, Acxiom has been able to unify a rich library of customer data points, making it easier for them to equip global brands with the customer intelligence they need to fully understand their customers and delight them with targeted and personalized marketing experiences. With Delta Lake as their centralized data store, the Acxiom team can efficiently and securely bring in massive amounts of data from the enterprise and tech ecosystem, giving clients complete control over both known and pseudonymous views.

Highly performant and reliable data pipelines feed Tableau reports and dashboards that enable internal stakeholders to better collaborate with their clients, helping them understand what's working and what's not. And as those stakeholders continue to explore the Databricks platform, capabilities like Delta Sharing will further facilitate the secure sharing of PII data — from customer contact and demographics information to financial records — to their clients.

"The 360 view is a critical data asset that should be owned by the brand and consumed by the platforms of engagement," added Bhavna. "This is what's going to enable brands to continue driving exceptional experiences now and in the future, and Databricks has enabled us to provide that service."

Meeting consumer needs in record time

With the addition of Databricks Data Intelligence Platform to their data insights stack, Acxiom is now on the fast track to fully tapping into data and AI to accelerate customer-centric insights and innovations. The improved operational efficiencies brought on by the cloud, automated data management capabilities and simplified access to their data through the lakehouse architecture have had a material impact on operations, with an approximately 15% reduction in costs. And with faster access to data and insights, they have been able to improve their time-to-market by around 30%, meaning their customers are getting the intelligence and business solutions they need to truly connect with consumers in record time.

"Acxiom builds identity and data management solutions for businesses that require the ability to ingest massive amounts of data and create insight from that data," elaborated Bhavna. "That requirement alone forces us to use best-in-class tools. Databricks gives us a future-proof foundation we need to deliver on that expectation. It's a perfect partnership."

Looking ahead, Acxiom intends to continue leveraging their partnership with Databricks by focusing heavily on machine learning to better understand which customers to target with which services.

"Databricks has been a critical component in transforming how we do business," said Bhavna. "It's leading our various teams down a new path that we didn't have access to before. Now we can think about new ideas like more recommendations and tighter data-driven insights. And ultimately, our customers are the ones who reap the benefits by achieving greater customer experiences."