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  • Writer's pictureStanton Willins

Choose Your Own Adventure - Which Path Will Your Data Follow?

Updated: Jul 10, 2023

Data lies at the very core of Braze's marketing endeavors—a fact that's hardly a secret. Along those lines, most marketers believe: the more data you have on the consumer, the better you can serve them. However, there’s a catch, especially when working in Braze. You need to be thoughtful about the data you bring into the Braze platform because you don’t want to over spend on data points (tips for checking your current usage) and incur extra fees.

The Paths Most Traveled

Picture a typical data flow within a marketing organization and you'll likely encounter two prevalent paths. Naturally, there are other possible data flows, but these are the two most commonly used paths we see.


data flow from source to repository to Marketing Saas

Path A) poses a conundrum, as it can leave you burdened with a surplus of data—whether stored in your data repository due to the creation of derived fields (such as identifying high-value customers with recent purchases) or, worse yet, within your Braze database, leading to needless data point consumption.


data flow from source to repository to unifiers to Marketing Saas

Meanwhile, path B) presents setbacks like rigid data structures, dependence on CDP administrators to configure and process new data elements for Braze consumption, and, frankly, the overall ownership cost.

Conquering New Terrain

Enter a third viable option that’s a modern twist on a classic: Reverse ETL. Historically ETL (Extract, Transform, Load) processes were used to unify data in a single source of truth. Reverse ETL has emerged from all the cloud-based tools in order to democratize data to those SaaS systems. Reverse ETL can do many (though, not all) of the features of a traditional Customer Data Platform (CDP), but with a much slimmer footprint and monthly invoice.

Did you know that Reverse ETL has features like data modelling and targeted audience segmentation that can filter the noise out of the data allowing marketers to be more productive?

With data in that ideal activation state, you can unlock the abilities to leverage near-real-time data synchronization, scheduled synchronizations, and platform-defined triggered synchronization. And, if that weren’t enough for you, you adventurous Braze enthusiast, they can provide out-of-the-box delta data diffing/processing to minimize data transfer times and the consumption of data points! (The finance folks love this one)

What if you're in a highly regulated industry worried about your clients' sensitive PII in highly regulated industries? Fear not! Your PII data can remain securely on your managed systems, never on staging areas provided by the Reverse ETL vendor.

So, when it comes time to look at evolving your marketing stack and make better use of your data, know that there’s more than one path beyond just plugging in a CDP. And if you need help determining when that’s the case, just ask, and we’ll be happy to help.


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