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Customer Studio overview

Customer Studio is available as an add-on on Business tier plans.

Git Sync isn't supported with Audiences. if you're interested in this capability.

Marketers rarely want to deploy campaigns across their entire user base. Segmenting user cohorts to target with personalized campaigns is much more effective. But, every time marketers want to define new cohorts they need to file a ticket for engineering or rely on manual CSV uploads.

Hightouch's Customer Studio is a purpose-built no-code suite of features that enables anyone, regardless of their SQL experience, to activate data directly from their warehouse. It's part of the activation layer of composable CDPs. It enables marketers to activate data directly from your business’ single source of truth, the data warehouse, rather than a siloed cloud CDP.

Data activation diagram

A no-code audience builder is the core of Customer Studio. You can use it to build, manage, and analyze audiences—no SQL knowledge necessary.

Customer Studio diagram

For example, you may want to send data to your advertising destinations about the cohort of your users that:

  • have added a particular product type to their cart without purchasing it
  • AND have a lifetime value (LTV) of over $1,000.00

Hightouch lets you define this audience by selecting and configuring filters in a visual interface.

Example audience definition in the Hightouch UI

Building an audience ultimately executes SQL queries against your warehouse, but you manage the custom filtering logic without having to write the SQL behind it.

Audiences doesn't just apply to cohorts of users. An audience can represent any custom data model, including many-to-many relationships with other entities such as companies, workspaces, devices, etc.

Advantages over bundled customer data platforms

Using Customer Studio to define audiences offers advantages over bundled cloud-based customer data platforms (CDP):

  • Value: Hightouch executes queries directly against your warehouse, making it a more affordable solution.
  • Time to value: Audiences can be implemented in days rather than months.
  • Security: You can configure Hightouch not to store data at rest.
  • Flexibility: Audiences supports any custom models created by your data team.
  • Performance: Like all Hightouch syncs, syncing audience data leverages bulk APIs for downstream tools.
  • Future-proofed: Building audiences directly on your data warehouse ensures you reap the benefits of the modern data stack.

For more information, check out our blog post on why your CDP should be your data warehouse.

Supported sources

Only the following sources support Customer Studio:

  • Snowflake
  • Databricks
  • Google BigQuery
  • Amazon Redshift*
  • Amazon Athena
  • Azure Synapse
  • MS SQL Server
  • PostgreSQL
  • Greenplum

* Customer Studio may not work with Amazon Redshift Spectrum due to its limitations around nested data. To mitigate these, you can try to query a materialized view during your parent model setup.

Implementation steps

Audience implementation steps diagram

Building audiences and syncing their data to downstream destinations has three steps:

  1. Define data schema
  2. Audience creation
  3. Audience syncing

These three steps assume you've already completed source and destination setup.

If you're familiar with Hightouch's core concepts, you can think of audience creation as a way of building a segmented model on top of other models. Syncing audiences is like syncing any other data.

Required skillset

While audience creation and syncing is accessible to less technical users, defining data schemas requires technical context of your organization's data. This step is usually done by technical users who understand the data and its relationships, for example, a data or analytics engineer.

Defining data schemas is a one-time configuration step. Once done, less technical team members can use it to create and sync as many audiences as they need. Skip to the audience creation docs to learn more about how to create and sync audiences visually.

Define data schemas

The first step is a one-time setup of the data schemas Customer Studio should reference. You define models for audience building in the same way you build other models:

The nuance for audiences is that you can define different model types: parent models, related models, and events. For example, you may want to define the following:

  • a parent model for a Users table
  • a related model for a Purchases table
  • several event models for different events users take, for example, Pageviews or Conversions

Entity relationship diagram model

You can then build an audience based on users with particular combinations of user properties, purchases, and events.

Audience creation

Once you've defined the data schemas to use to build your audiences, you can begin using the visual audiences builder. While building, you can use the preview and other insights tools to check the audience you're creating is the intended one.

Annotated audience builder

Syncing audience data

The last step is to sync your audience's data to your desired destination or destinations. Audiences offers sync templates to make syncing to multiple destinations more efficient.

Advanced features

Advanced features are available as an add-on to Business tier plans.

While the core audience builder empowers you to build audiences visually, the advanced builder lets you analyze and manage them. With the advanced feature set, you can:

  • Gather insights about audiences as you build them and as your data changes
  • Create computed attributes, known as Traits
  • Manage A/B and multivariate testing of different audiences using Splits
  • Specify audience priority when syncing audience data to downstream destinations

Ready to get started?

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Need help?

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Feature requests?

We'd love to hear your suggestions for integrations and other features.

Last updated: Jun 12, 2023

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Advantages over bundled customer data platformsSupported sourcesImplementation stepsRequired skillsetDefine data schemasAudience creationSyncing audience dataAdvanced features

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