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  • Writer's pictureHa Hoang

An Introduction To Segment

Twilio announced to acquire Segment in 2020 through its great marketing strategy to track users' goals easily. But are there any highlight features that set Segment apart from other alternatives in this significant acquisition?

Table of content

1. What is Segment?

Segment is one of the top customer data platforms (CDP) that centralizes your first-party customer data and facilitates connections with numerous downstream systems, including data warehousing, CRM, customer support, and A/B testing. Through a single API, it enables businesses to consolidate consumer data from several touchpoints into one location. Then, this data can be organized into useful audiences and utilized in various ways.

After the massive acquisition in 2020, Twilio's customer engagement platform will now be able to offer customers even greater customer insights, data management, and the delivery of richer experiences through Segment.

2. Benefits of Using Segment

  • Minimal amount of code needed: Data is consistent amongst all databases according to a single code base. Connections are collected and processed by segment before being sent to the destinations. All of the destinations receive the same data that is transmitted to the analytics systems.

  • Advanced integrations: There are more than 300 integrations available in Segment, from marketing, sales to business intelligence. You can also order new integrations to be built and use the one-click e-commerce plugin for use with e-commerce platforms.

  • Data analysis: Apply cross-product analysis, forecast trends, and query your data with SQL in Amazon Redshift.

  • Data replay: Segment transfers your past data into these new capabilities when you begin testing or utilizing a new application.

3. Features of Segment

Some of the Segment’s key features include:

  • Data integration and audience management.

  • Single API for collecting analytics data across any platform.

  • Standardized data collection to obtain error-free data.

  • Centralization of data collected across various platforms to ease tracking.

  • Creation of single-view customer profiles by unifying all customer touchpoints.

  • Omnichannel messaging across multiple channels – email, social media, and in-product.

  • It automatically loads analytics data into data warehouses like Amazon Redshift, Google BigQuery, etc.

  • GDPR and CCPA compliance.

Segment has 3 core products:

  • Connections: Data defined as ‘source’ is pulled into a central hub to send to a ‘destination’ to execute marketing activities or share data with other platforms, databases, or warehouse using a single API. Users can also create their own custom source and destination. Segment supports forwarding data to popular social destinations such as Facebook, Google Ads, Twitter, Linkedin, Tiktok,...

  • Protocols: Streamline data governance within Segment. It monitors data quality and integrity with diagnostic and debugging tools without editing code.

  • Engage: (formerly Personas) A visual audience builder for marketers to add additional characteristics to consumer profiles. These profiles can be utilized in later tools to tailor your website or marketing campaigns or to help understand consumer behavior as part of customer experience initiatives.

4. Limitations of Segment

  • Less flexible, more dev work: You cannot simply add tags or create events within the interface. You will rely on your developers whenever you want to add a new event or variable. Which means you need to have resources available to make these changes.

  • Cannot handle non-digital data to execute on some business-critical use cases.

  • Not designed to handle offline data or channels limiting offline records and profile attributes.

  • Unable to offer predictive analytics due to its streaming-based architecture.

  • Implementing custom integration is a complex process.

5. Pricing Plan

Segment has pricing plans for customers to choose from: Developer (Free), Team (Pay as you go) starting at $120/month, and Business (Annual Contract). All of the plans offer unified customer profiles, data privacy and controls, visualization tools, and more. You can also sign-up for a free product demo.

6. Conclusion

Segment is powerful in enhancing users' ability to use data. It is ideal for teams looking for a platform to help them pipe data between siloed applications. Although using Segment to connect existing tools is generally inexpensive, operational costs can become a significant issue depending on the size of your customer base and how you use offline data. However, if you go beyond Segment’s default limit, you’ll be required to pay a lot more. This is why Segment is primarily used by smaller organizations with fewer data and no offline data.


Top alternatives to Segment

Besides Segment, there are a variety of alternatives that can help your business manage its data even better:

Unlock.CI: Unlock.CI is an ideal alternative to Mixpanel as it is a one-stop data platform in which actions and insights come directly from data in real time. It allows users to track and build 360º customer profiles and create intuitive reports with drag-n-drop or SQL functions.

Mixpanel: Mixpanel helps companies build better products through data. With our powerful, self-serve product analytics solution, teams can easily analyze how and why people engage, convert, and retain to improve their user experience.

Amplitude: Amplitude provides scalable mobile analytics that helps companies leverage data to create explosive user growth. Anyone in the company can use Amplitude to pinpoint the most valuable behavioral patterns within hours.

MoEngage: MoEngage offers an intelligent marketing automation platform for consumer brands to understand customer behavior across digital touchpoints through inbuilt analytics and orchestrate personalized campaigns across multiple channels.

mParticle: mParticle is a mobile customer data platform that simplifies how users collect and connect their data to hundreds of vendors without needing to manage multiple integrations.

Tealium: Tealium is a customer data platform (CDP) that offers identity resolution, data enrichment capabilities, and robust audience management.

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