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As the excitement around customer data platforms (CDPs) heats up, more software vendors are warming up to the idea of adding CDP-styled capabilities to their existing suite of tools. Positioning these suite-based solutions as a CDP, however, is confusing, since they have very different features than a purpose-built, best-of-breed CDP. In order to provide some much-needed clarity around what constitutes a “true” CDP, we thought we’d review a few basic truths about them—the ABCs of CDPs.
“A” is for Action
Everyone likes to talk about making data actionable, but what does that really mean? A true CDP solution provides real-time insights at the moment of decision—for example, deciding which offer a customer will see first when they log onto your website, or which winback message to send a customer after they’ve called your contact center about a service problem. CDPs take this concept one step further by enabling marketers to manage those actions across multiple channels, using their current MarTech stack, providing a seamless flow of great experiences at every customer touchpoint.
“B” is for Better Data, Not More Data
The big data movement made a pretty big deal about how important it is to analyze every bit of data that comes into your business, but marketers are shrinking away from the idea that bigger is better and with good reason. The fact is that more data can actually make it more complex to find the right insights and act upon them quickly. Businesses that collect too much data from multiple sources end up spending a lot of time consolidating, cleaning, and analyzing that data. The delay makes it harder to make decisions in real-time, resulting in a kind of “paralysis by analysis.” A CDP platform that features built-in analytics and APIs (application programming interfaces) leads to faster discoveries and more consistent campaigns.
“C” is for Customer-Centric Campaigns
Marketers have long understood segmentation to be the most effective way to build campaigns, but CDPs are showing marketers that one-to-one recommendations, and not broad segments, are the best way to create great customer experiences. A true CDP solution can support one-to-one marketing at scale. It does this by inverting the role of insights; instead of using insights to create segments around various campaign messages, it introduces those insights earlier to help marketers create the right campaigns for their customers. Customer-centric campaign design is just one example of how CDPs optimize the workflow of marketing campaigns to reduce inefficiencies and accelerate time to value.
“Z” is for ClickZ
Of course, there’s more to learn about CDPs than these ABCs, like D for Decisions, E for Experiences… well, you get the picture. But if you’re ready for a deeper dive right now, feel free to go straight to Z: a ClickZ article from Lytics CEO James McDermott, “Customer Data Platforms: The Next Step in Customer Experiences.”