Segment is indeed one of the most highly recognizable customer data platforms (CDPs) that is available today.
Originally, it was designed to provide an answer to the difficulties surrounding the collecting and moving of event data.
Segment helps find user events that are captured in your product and sync up that data with several varieties of different SaaS tools as well as to data warehouses.
It is able to generate messages about what is going on inside an app or website and translate the information in those messages into a format that can be understood by other tools.
Segment also offers an API library that can run as code on an app, website, or server to create messages that are derived from particular triggers that have been designated by the user. Once generated, it can be sent directly to Segment servers to be translated or forwarded to destinations.
But all of that is just part of what Segment is. Let’s get into the pros and cons that come along with using Segment for a great understanding of it.
1. Pros for Using Segment
· Strong User Base: If you are concerned about taking the plunge into Segment, one thing you won’t have to worry about is being the first business to do so. In fact, Segment currently has accumulated over 20,000 businesses to power up their customer experiences.
Some of the top-tier clients that Segment has brought onboard include Levi’s, Fox, IBM, Intuit, Instacart, Atlassian, DigitalOcean, Drift, and Glossier. This especially may be a good signal if you are running a massive business and are wondering if they can handle your needs.
· Audiences for Segment: Segment has two core audiences, marketing teams and engineering teams. Segment appeals to marketers because it gives them an easy way to collect and merge different data sets together to create various customer profiles, enrich audiences, and activate campaigns across various tools.
Let’s not ignore the fact that engineering teams are also drawn to Segment. Engineers don’t have to spend time writing integrations to all of their SaaS tools or their own event tracking libraries because it is all supplied through Segment’s API library, allowing engineers to focus their efforts on a higher level of tasks.
Also, the marketers will be happy to know that they don’t have to go through the data or go through the engineering team each time they need to ask a question or gain access to a specific data set.
Cons for Using for Segment
· Limited Data Model: Segment’s data model is limited to only two types of objects, one is users and the other accounts, and to make things even more rigid, typically, a user can only belong to a single account in the first place.
The reason why it is problematic for Segment to have a limited data model is because every business has a distinctive model, such as the media streaming platform Spotify that collects information on users and accounts but tracks other concepts, such as music genres and musical artists.
· Transformation Problems: It does a decent job at moving data from where it is to where it needs to go. But there are still a few problems, such as data that is pushed through Segment doesn’t really get transformed to create a full view of your customer, and it isn’t able to be combined with SQL.
It makes the claim that it can unify customers across all channels to make personalized campaigns possible. But this offer, unfortunately, comes with a catch; these campaigns can only be useful if all of the data that is being delivered to multiple marketing platforms is still in its raw state.
· Acquired by Twilio: It was bought by Twilio, a cloud communications platform and service company based in San Francisco, California.
Twilio is focused entirely on contacting customers, while Segment is focused on managing the data about them. Even though Segment does an effective job of collecting and transferring event data, unfortunately, the same cannot be said for acquiring, ingesting, and transforming data from SaaS tools.
For a better understanding of what this means, you can view using Segment like renting a data pipeline. The majority of organizations clearly want to have control over their technology stack every step of the way, and having proprietary data needs to be a competitive advantage and not a liability to an organization.
Now that you have had a chance to weigh the pros and cons associated with Segment and also peruse over the Segment alternatives that are available, you can now make a more informed decision on how to manage your organization’s data.