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Cover image for Announcing Hightouch Audiences: Enabling Marketers to Self-Serve their Data
Zack Khan for Hightouch

Posted on • Originally published at hightouch.io

Announcing Hightouch Audiences: Enabling Marketers to Self-Serve their Data

You have this amazing idea for a marketing campaign: sending your customers this congratulatory Gif after they complete their first purchase. Genius, right?

You have the copy written. All that's left to do is to get a CSV with
all of your customers that made a recent purchase: sounds simple. You
ask your lovely data team for the CSV, and bam! You're told to add a
JIRA ticket in a never ending backlog of 100 other data requests from
across the company. The earliest they can get to your ticket is next
month. What do you do now?

We've all been there before. But why is this the norm? Here at
Hightouch, we believe that everyone should be able to use data to
personalize the experience of their customers. Today, we move one step
closer to that vision with our latest product for Marketers: Hightouch
Audiences.

Goodbye CSVs, Hello Hightouch Audiences

Hightouch Audiences allows marketers to define audiences to target for
marketing campaigns and sync those audiences to any of their marketing
tools like email or ad tools: no engineering favors required. As a
marketer, you can use our Visual Audience Builder to visually define and
filter audiences in an intuitive UI, without needing to know SQL.

Once you define an audience, it will continually sync new members of
that audience to your tools: no more having to upload a new CSV every
week.

Customer Quote

Product Screenshot

Use Cases

Previously, the data warehouse was only accessible by SQL-savvy team
members. With Hightouch Audiences, the power of the data warehouse is democratized so that anyone can personalize customer experiences for use
cases such as:

  • Lifecycle marketing: Send lifecycle marketing campaigns to customers across any channel as soon as they invite a friend or abandon a shopping cart

  • Target Your Paid Ads: Increase your ROAS by retargeting customers who visited your pricing page or excluding customers who already purchased

  • Create lookalike audiences: Find new customers similar to your existing high value customers in all of your ad networks like Facebook and Google

  • Send Conversion Events: Send conversion events to any ad network to optimize your targeting, reduce your CAC and provide enhanced ROAS reporting

So, how does it work exactly?

You can think of Hightouch Audiences as the glue between marketing and
data teams.

  1. First, data teams define models and relationships. With just a SQL query or dbt model, data teams can define the data that Marketing can access (columns, tables, etc). Hightouch is flexible and supports any data available in your warehouse: Users, Accounts, Workspaces, Products, etc.

  2. Next, marketing teams create audiences on top of data models. Marketing teams can visually filter audiences based on any properties or events. For example, you can choose an audience of users who purchased a certain item or live in a certain city.

  3. Then, audiences are synced to marketing tools. Audiences can be synced to CRMs, ad networks like Facebook, marketing automation tools like Marketo, lifecycle marketing tools like Braze or Iterable, email tools like Mailchimp and 60+ other tools.

  4. Finally, marketing teams can run campaigns on those audiences. You can deliver personalized messaging to those audiences in your marketing tool and channel of choice, such as email, SMS or in-app.

Where does Hightouch Audiences sit within my marketing stack?

Hightouch Audiences acts as the central data source of your marketing
stack that enables you to run multi-channel campaigns in all of your
tools. For example, you can define an audience of users who visited your
pricing page. Then, you can sync that audience to your email tool (ex:
Mailchimp) for a personalized pricing email and retarget them on ad
networks (ex: Facebook) to get them to convert. All you need to do is
define your audience once, and Hightouch takes care of making that
audience available in 60+ different tools.

Overview

What makes Hightouch Audiences unique? How does it relate to a
CDP?

Most CDPs (Customer Data Platform) and audience builders like Segment
trap you in a rigid data model, lock you to use just Events and Users,
store your data, and hit rate limit issues at scale. The key difference
between Hightouch Audiences and any other audience builder is that
Hightouch is more flexible. How? Because it works on top of your data
warehouse, which is the single source of truth for your business. Your
warehouse has the full picture of your customers, including product
actions, billing information and even 3rd party data sources.

All this context on your customers allows you to create powerful
audiences. You can even use Custom Objects specific to your business
(like Workspaces, Accounts, Products, etc): for example, filtering all
customers who bought a specific Product or belong to a high value
Account. And your data stays in your warehouse, keeping your precious
customer data safe within your systems (which is especially needed for
regulated industries like Fintech and Healthcare). That's something a
CDP (Customer Data Platform) can't do.

However Hightouch does not help with event collection: you can still use
a CDP or solutions like
Snowplow for that.

Is Hightouch going to replace BI tools like Looker, Amplitude or
Mixpanel?

BI tools like Looker have also made data accessible to more people in a
company, but at the end of the day, they are focused more on analytics
(hence, "business intelligence") than activation ("putting data to
work"). In order to activate data in BI Tools, it's still fundamentally
all about CSVs. Hightouch Audiences is even more accessible given our
intuitive Visual Audience Builder, and even more powerful and automated
than CSVs because it connects directly to your marketing tools. This
saves you time from doing manual work and helps you automate your
campaigns.

What data does Hightouch Audiences use? What setup is required?

Hightouch Audiences requires that you have a data warehouse or data lake
that has event data on how your users are interacting with your product.
Hightouch does not replace your existing event tracking or ELT
workflows
: in fact, it enhances it. The
more data you make available in your warehouse (such as billing data
from Stripe, sales data from Salesforce, etc), the more powerful your
audiences can be.

Does Hightouch support real time?

You need to reach customers when your message is most relevant to them,
like the example above of sending a gif as soon as a customer
completes a purchase (not 10 minutes later). Hightouch supports
real-time use cases: it can send data to marketing tools as soon as an
event lands in your warehouse, or you can use a streaming data source
like Segment, Kinesis or Kafka.

How do I try out Hightouch Audiences?

Learn more about Audiences and book a demo here.

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