The customer data platform (CDP) is one of the fastest-growing categories of marketing technology today. It is designed to address the underlying challenges in marketing that have something to do with data and personalisation.
What does CDP do?
These days, customers demand personalised experiences and fast service, and expect companies to have an intimate understanding of their preferences. This is why Amazon is able to predict your next purchase, and why Netflix recommends shows you might like accurately. Delivering this is no longer a marketing advantage - it is now a fundamental expectation.
Customers also want the interactions they have on a company’s website to translate to their mobile app experiences and even in-store visits. And they want everything updated in real time, so their current needs are being met on every channel. As customers move from channel to channel, they expect their experiences to be consistent and “in the moment.” Most customer journeys involve three or more different channels (email, web, and mobile app, for example), and customers tend to move seamlessly and quickly between these channels.
CDP combines all of that data in real time for companies, allowing them to offer hyper-personalised experiences that feel like magic for customers.
How it works
In a nutshell, CDPs are concerned with these primary tasks: data collection, data unification, data activation, and data insights.
CDPs connect all of a company’s customer data in a single place, stitching together a single customer ID from many different customer interactions and tying together databases that traditionally don’t share data, like marketing clouds, service software, and ecommerce engines. This is called customer resolution.
Once the CDP has created unified profiles of customers, the system has to make that data available in real time so companies can deliver personalised experiences. That means connecting customer data to many different types of systems, such as email-send engines, demand-side platforms, and content management systems.
Why it’s important
A unified profile that connects marketing and purchase data enables marketers to be smarter with their budgets by suppressing consumers that have already made a purchase and redirecting those dollars toward prospective customers, or recommending other products to existing customers.
Learn more about CDP and its uses here.
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