Why Do You Need a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

A main objective for many companies, both big and small, is to offer the right product to its potential customers at the right time. How do they meet this objective?

Most businesses have access to volumes of data but have no idea how to collect it, what to do with it, or how to leverage it across functional departments. The results of which are disconnected customer experiences and a lack of customer retention.

Data-driven marketing demands focus on the measurement and analysis of customer data. This can be easily achieved with a customer data platform. CDPs have significantly improved the efficiency of marketing departments.  Have you ever wondered what a CDP could do for your organization?

Technologist David Raab, founder of the cdpinstitute.org, believes that the CDP is "one of the few fundamental changes in marketing technology in the past decade, because it shifts control of the customer database from IT to marketers."

With the right data strategy, a CDP can serve as a bridge between traditional marketing databases and newer digital channels, between online and offline, to provide a 360-degree view of customers. The number of CDP vendors globally more than doubled in 2017, from 24 to 52. That speaks volumes about the platform's popularity in the digital landscape. Matt Heffer, Solution Lead, VP at Merkle, states that "CDP's will enable organizations to organize around their customers, radically changing the way they approach customer experience."

Companies struggle to truly understand customers who make infrequent purchases across different browsers and devices. Marketers struggle to leverage customer data without the technology that helps them streamline data from multiple platforms, discover patterns, identify anomalies, and help shape future trends. With the entry of CDP, they can scale data-driven customer information and interactions in real time.

A CDP can manage fragmented data across multiple touchpoints, provide the capability to track customer behavior across all channels, and make intelligent recommendations based on customer-journey triggers. It identifies the highest-value prospects most likely to complete a purchase using predictive analytics. CDP offers a truly instant, unified view of the customer across online and offline touchpoints, allowing for real-time insights and interaction in the micro-moment—a goal of every marketer.

CDP works best as a layer for other marketing technologies and can piggyback on current data management and customer relationship management. It can seamlessly integrate with existing martech tools, making it easy to plug into existing systems. Marketers can reap the benefits of their labor in higher revenue and improved customer retention, as well as the ability to be responsive as new channels arise—all thanks to CDP. These are just a few of the advantages that CDP can offer your business; read on to find out more. 

Improve Customer Segmentation

More organized and accurate data means the ability for better segmentation, which leads to an incredibly sophisticated targeting strategy for marketers. Optimized segmentation allows for successful customer engagement strategies by having relevant data in one place from many sources.  Modeling it to gain a refined view permits marketers to create cohesive campaigns and strategies.

Smart Recommendations with AI and Machine Learning Capabilities

Many of the CDPs have artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) built into them to provide deeper customer insights that can unleash and create new possibilities for your business. As incoming data grows, so does their complexity. CDPs help track customer behavior across all channels and provide intelligent recommendations based on customer-journey triggers. AI and ML help generate smart datasets, evaluate them, and reveal relationships between them to deliver intelligent recommendations and allow deeper understanding of customers and their journey patterns.

Securing Your Personally Identifiable Information (PII) Data

When using a customer data platform, every customer is identified using a unique identifier that may be the name, email address, postal address, or other unique information to track an individual's interactions and behavior consistently across channels. Privacy and data governance is an added benefit of using a customer data platform. A good CDP has the features to safely store PII and control who is provided access to which information, including the type of identifiers. This guards the privacy of all your customer data, providing standards for governing data usage to curb data leakage, and ensuring the security of your data across your organization's systems.

Robust Reporting

A CDP helps marketers drill into customer data both at the single profile level and in aggregate across all customers and segments, providing robust reports to understand customer behavior and patterns. Additionally, integration between CDP and reporting tools helps you evaluate, map, analyze and act on collected data streamlined from several touchpoints.

Predict Future Client Actions

CDPs can help predict future client actions that can maximize sales opportunities. The CDP provides you the ability to maximize the power of predictive analytics and machine learning. You can use predictive models to turn your big data into crucial insights for your business that guide marketing decisions. With the power of predictive models that identify patterns garnered from collected data, businesses can now not just react to the last action, but influence decisions through appropriate content or calls-to-action by understanding what is most likely to happen next.

The Customer Data Platforms enable marketers to tie the data together between the systems in real-time, enabling them to segment and target their customers better. Read more on everything you need to know about CDP.

Author: Venu Gooty | March 27, 2018