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Chris Wood

“The whole question around CDPs was a key moment for us,” he added. Ross said the organization explored whether a traditional CRM could solve that challenge, but opted for a CDP since it was more focused on ingesting data from multiple sources and being able to automate campaigns.

“We were doing data prep and data hygiene to run analysis, and then having to redo it and update a week or a month later,” said Ross. 

With 80 percent of U.S. Soccer’s website traffic coming in from mobile devices, they needed to make sure they had a mobile-first experience, as well as a mobile app. And now that they were equipped to engage with more fans digitally, they need to keep track of these consumers.

“We needed the 360-degree view of the customer and this tends to be the Holy Grail,” said Ross. “And how do you achieve this? Easy to say, hard to do.”

They adopted single-sign-on credentials for users across all channels, including the website, mobile app and online store. “That’s critical, but also on the back end, making sure we’ve got one ID for one person and we’re appending transactional and engagement data to one profile and not multiple users,” Ross said.

To break through with a more personalized experience, U.S. Soccer also put in place self-service measures so fans could customize their experience. This puts fans in the driver’s seat and also takes some of the workload off of the lean marketing team.

U.S. Soccer customer data platform
U.S. Soccer CDP, courtesy of Treasure Data

“People basically expect personalization these days,” said Ross. “For as much as the business knows about the individual customer, they should be able to tailor their messaging or marketing or the content based on who they are.” 

With a CDP in place to centralize and update customer data, U.S. Soccer can orchestrate more personalized and efficient campaigns with limited resources. And greater success meant more revenue to support soccer programs nationwide.

“We needed to take that step and lay the foundation for what we’re still working on every day,” Ross said. “We’re trying to do more and more of this and leaning in.”

View the full presentation from our fall MarTech conference here (free registration required).

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