Segment Unify is here: complete, real-time, portable customer profiles

A consumer scale real-time identity resolution solution, called Segment Unify, is now in GA!

By Kevin Niparko, Kalyan Nistala, Hanhan Wang
  • Segment Unify, a consumer scale real-time identity resolution solution, is now generally available.

  • Unify allows businesses to easily merge the complete history of each customer into a single profile, sync identity-resolved customer profiles from Segment to their data warehouse and activate “golden” profiles—made from streaming event data and warehouse data—in their customer experience tools of choice, including Twilio products like Engage and Flex.

  • With Unify, customer experience teams can reduce customer acquisition costs by targeting audiences more accurately and increase customer lifetime value by activating unified customer profiles across the entire customer journey, from marketing to sales, support and more.

Today consumers have higher and higher expectations for digital experiences. Every business must deliver a seamless, personalized, digital offering or their customers will find a competitor who does it better.  

Rich, trusted, customer profiles are the heart of personalization at any business—that’s how you customize every interaction for millions of consumers—but building these profiles is expensive and time consuming. It can take years for even the most sophisticated customer experience teams to build profiles that are complete, accurate, and trusted across the business.

With Segment Unify, we’re removing the hurdles that have long held back businesses and data teams from providing the relevant, engaging experiences consumers want. 

Customer profiles created with Segment are unique because they are complete, updated in real time and portable across your CDP, data warehouse, and customer engagement tools.

To create a complete “golden” profile for every customer, the Segment CDP can collect all your streaming customer data from websites and apps, then Profiles Sync sends identity-resolved profiles to the data warehouse where they can be enhanced with data from systems of record like a CRM and customer support.  A complete profile allows customer experience teams to make winning, data driven decisions about what to improve and what to build next.

Streaming event data is collected in real-time by Segment and instantly updates customer profiles so that they are always accurate and your customer experiences are always relevant; no more wasting ad dollars on customers who already bought your product.

With Segment you can easily activate data that resides in the data warehouse.  Some profiles are locked in the data warehouse and are not accessible for analysis or marketing activation. Segment profiles are portable.  With Reverse ETL, Segment makes it easy to pull enriched, golden profiles, out of the data warehouse and send them to any downstream tool in your tech stack.  

Simply put, with one solution you can now unify customer profiles, unlock customer profiles, and activate customer profiles. This saves your data teams years of work and makes your marketing, support and sales efforts instantly more timely and relevant. This is why we are excited to announce that Twilio Unify is now generally available.


“In a digital world, it’s essential that we keep a real-time pulse on what our customers need, when they need it. To meet this demand, we were searching for a centralized system that would make it easy to collect, unify, analyze, and activate customer data across the entire business.

With Profiles Sync from Twilio Segment, we now understand the full picture of a user's journey. Today, we can create more comprehensive customer profiles by merging offline, online and sales data - all of which were previously locked in different systems. Meanwhile, Reverse ETL is enabling us to intelligently trigger personalized marketing campaigns based on information created by data scientists that were previously confined to analytics use cases. These new campaigns have shown increased loyalty, customer satisfaction and engagement with our developer data platform.”

- Alexandra Dimitriu, Senior Marketing Ops Manager at MongoDB.


Real-time identity resolution for complete, accurate customer records

In our digital-first world, customers move around your business at lightning speed. They jump from online to offline and from the shopping cart to a support chat, which leaves businesses struggling to keep up. It’s impossible to deliver timely, relevant, meaningful experiences for your customers if you can’t update their profiles—their digital representation—in real time.  

Good customer profiles are the foundation for winning personalized experiences. With Segment Unify, you get trusted customer profiles because you can build them in real-time and then enhance them with data from any system you can imagine in the data warehouse. And, with a CDP and data warehouse working together, businesses gain operational maturity. Complete datasets still need the governance, compliance, and data privacy provided by a CDP.

But, it’s not easy or straightforward to turn customer data sets into personalized customer experiences. Segment helps you solve this problem. Identity Resolution gives you accurate, unified customer profiles out-of-the-box, with consumer scale processing. So personalizing every interaction is easy, even when you have millions of customers. 

Unlock customer profiles, easily move them in and out of the data warehouse

Data teams can do a lot of analysis that has huge benefits to the business. They can build models that help predict customer conversion or churn. They can build dashboards and reports that drive product development by helping understand what engages customers. They can even train ML models to solve all of these use cases.

The data warehouse is often the domain-of-choice for data teams. Profiles Sync, part of Unify, gives you complete, trusted, and consistent customer profiles in your data warehouse where streaming event data can be enhanced with systems data, like CRM records. Now, data teams have the foundation they need for the advanced, customer-focused analysis that helps improve business performance. 

Activate customer profiles across every experience

Once you’ve created golden profiles, every team in your business will want to use these customer records to elevate experiences. That’s why it’s so important that Segment offers Reverse ETL. Now valuable customer data sets can be sent from your data warehouse out to all of the downstream tools your business uses to engage and delight customers and deliver personalized customer experiences that increase loyalty across the entire customer journey.

Segment Unify also includes Profile Explorer to view customer records and increase trust in customer data, and the Profile API, which allows you to query customer data in real time and build in-app recommendations, empower sales and support teams with complete customer context, and create personalized marketing campaigns.  When customer data is trusted and accessible, it’s easy to enhance every experience and increase loyalty and lifetime value.

Machine Learning is the future of customer engagement. Artificial Intelligence and ML models already play a big part in selecting what ads we see, what emails and communications we receive, and how the digital experiences we engage with are personalized to our specific needs and interests.

But many machine learning models are trained on bad data, limiting their effectiveness. An ML model that is not updated in real time might retarget ads to a user that has already purchased the product. An AI driven customer journey built off of a data set with incomplete customer profiles might trigger emails with recommendations that are not relevant. In both cases, the customer is frustrated with a poor experience and may be less likely to engage with a brand or make a repeat purchase, increasing acquisition costs and decreasing lifetime value.

“The machine learning team loads custom audiences and data science scores for consumer profiles into the Snowflake database. Then we ingest that data into the Segment user profile.  Now, marketing, personalization and CRM teams can use Segment’s audience builder to create target audience groups and reach them through multiple marketing channels supported by Segment. This end to end automation has been quick and  easy to accomplish with Segment and Snowflake and added instant value to our business.”

- Vishwanath Tanneeru, Lead Data Architect at Allergan

Complete, accurate customer profiles are needed to train AI and ML models. Segment Unify provides portable, easy to use data sets that help companies build AI and ML models and solve some of the most complex customer engagement use cases for their organization.

Get started with Segment Unify

Ready to try consumer scale real-time identity resolution?

Request a demo from one of our Segment experts

What to learn about how Segment customers are using Unify? Join our webinar with CrossFit on April 12.

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