How Does a CDP Fit into Your Digital Ecosystem?
By Will Price
Companies rely on real-time data and insights to effectively cater to their customers. To gather this data and put it to good use, marketers need to have a single source of truth for all of the customer data at their disposal. An often considered solution to providing this unified view of the customer is the customer data platform (CDP).
CDPs continue to grow in popularity. According to Tealium, 87% of marketers expecting to increase technology spending in 2022 and whether or not to purchase a CDP and integrate it into your digital ecosystem should be considered. However, before deciding, it’s essential to understand the role a CDP will play in your martech stack.
This article will provide insights into what a CDP can do for your business and debunk some myths about where it fits in your technology ecosystem.
What Does a CDP Do?
One of the problems that many businesses face is that customer data is often scattered across multiple locations. As a result, data becomes inaccessible and unusable when marketers need it most, making it difficult for brands to deliver quality customer experiences.
A CDP is meant to solve these issues by unifying data from various sources and creating a single, centralized view of the customer. Data aggregated from multiple customer touch points provides a holistic view of the customer and enables marketers to segment audiences into different personas to deliver personalized campaigns and experiences.
What Should a CDP Mean to You?
Brands considering adopting a CDP should have a clear idea about problems they need to address. Some of the things a customer data platform can help your business achieve include:
Break Down Silos
Fragmented customer data can be difficult to locate if it comes from multiple sources and is scattered in various databases. A CDP can help businesses to break down the silos that prevent them from finding crucial data and connect it in one place.
Get a Complete Customer Picture
A CDP provides a 360-degree view of the customer. Data collected from various sources can help marketers better understand why customers make the decisions they do. It can also help predict future customer behavior based on previous actions.
Leverage First-Party Data
As we are set to enter into a world where businesses can no longer use third-party cookies to reach potential customers, brands need better ways to identify, collect and leverage first-party data. Businesses looking for a solution to this challenge can rely on CDPs to assist them.
Unify Customer Experiences
Customers expect brands to personalize their experiences with relevant and timely information. A CDP can also be the answer to this problem as it enables businesses to identify customer behavior patterns and optimize their marketing efforts to create a unified experience across multiple touchpoints.
Questions to Consider Before Integrating a CDP (And Myths to Avoid)
Companies thinking about adopting a CDP need to ask themselves where a CDP fits in the technology stack. However, they should be wary of many misconceptions about a CDP, such as that it can replace the traditional databases, data lakes, and DMPs already in place. Here are some questions to consider:
- What are the other tools in your digital ecosystem?
To facilitate the omnichannel experiences customers expect, most organizations continue to expand their martech stacks and increase their complexity. Companies need to take stock of the myriad of tools they already have in their digital ecosystems and ask themselves whether they have enough tools in place to handle things or if they will need to add more. After implementing a CDP, sharing the data between these systems becomes much easier thanks to the unified view of the customer and the removal of data silos.
- Where is your data coming from?
A CDP ingests data from various sources, so you need to know the existing channels and platforms where you gather data. This could include email and survey systems, marketing automation tools, and point-of-sale (POS) systems. Like other marketing technology tools, a CDP should improve campaign performance. However, to properly standardize systems, avoid duplication and spend less time performing manual tasks, organizations should find ways to ensure that data is automatically entered into the system at the right time. Having a clear idea of where your data comes from enables you to avoid accidentally creating data silos.
- How many teams will use your CDP?
Integrating a CDP can be hugely beneficial for organizations. Still, companies need to assess the teams who will be using it the most to ensure they are getting the best return on investment. Marketing, sales, and customer service teams are the most likely groups to leverage a customer data platform to its full potential; however, assessing whether other departments could also benefit is crucial.
- How does a CDP differ from a DMP?
Companies that adopt a CDP may also be considering or already have a data management platform (DMP). A DMP collects and manages huge amounts of audience data, usually second-party and third-party data. This is one of the key differences between a CDP and a DMP, as a CDP handles first-party data. Whereas a CDP collects personally identifiable information from your primary audience to target your existing customers, a DMP collects anonymized data from various sources that can be used for advertising.
- How does a CDP differ from a CRM?
Another martech tool that collects data for your business is the customer relationship management system (CRM). While a CDP collects and manages data on customer behavior with your product or service, a CRM organizes and manages data from customer-facing interactions. A CRM can provide a large amount of data on customer interactions with the sales team, whereas a CDP can address the various steps customers take throughout the customer journey.
- If I have a data lake or database, do I still need a CDP?
While a CDP is useful for data collection, storage, and management, that doesn’t mean you can do away with data lakes and databases. Data lakes pull large volumes of data from a variety of sources. However, this data can be raw and unstructured, meaning it’s not quite ready for marketers and sales teams to gather insights. The main users of a data lake will be technical analysts and data scientists. In contrast, non-technical users can leverage a CDP to identify the right customer segments and drive engaging experiences across channels.
Integrate Your CDP with Content Bloom
Adding a customer data platform to your martech stack can be a big decision. However, the benefits of adopting a CDP are vast, as long as you’re clear about why you’re adding one and what you hope to achieve.
Nevertheless, adding a CDP to your stack is only the first step; you need to integrate it seamlessly with your other tools. In order to achieve that, it’s good to have some expert help.
Content Bloom is an enterprise digital consultancy that works to deliver engaging solutions that improve the bottom line for our clients. With our knowledge and expertise in digital solutions, we can help you implement an enterprise-grade CDP into your digital ecosystem.
Ready to integrate a CDP? Contact us today to discover how to break down silos and unify customer experiences.
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