Choosing a Customer Data Platform (CDP)

Learn what makes a CDP work and how it can bring customer-driven benefits to your organization

Organizations need a new approach to data

It's without question that brands like Netflix, Amazon and LinkedIn build great customer relationships. By doing so, their businesses continue to grow and thrive. To build great customer relationships, successful brands seek to understand and serve their customers through the data they capture across the entire customer journey. In the past, this was proven to be an almost impossible task. Organizations typically try to understand and manage customer relationships across many disparate systems. Two of the most common types of systems:

  1. Channel-Centric Tools - like marketing automation/email systems, ad platforms, web content and personalization, analytics, mobile apps, etc.
  2. Data Lakes or Data Warehouses - developed by internal IT teams and not typically connected to end-point systems

Both types of systems store a variety of different data in environments that are typically not connected. In this situation, paying-off a truly customer-centric approach to marketing and customer service is incredibly challenging because it requires data from these disconnected environments across the organization.

For marketers, customer experience managers, and technology leaders looking to serve omnichannel experiences to their customers—a new approach to data is necessary to drive a definitive understanding of each customer.

Achieve definitive customer understanding

Organizations continue to work with glimpses of customer understanding because their customer data is disconnected and they don’t have the real-time means of bringing in all of their data to stitch the entire picture together. Data is spread out across business functions like email, ERP, loyalty systems, web, and point-of-sale—to name a few. Breaking down data silos and connecting the data—in real-time— to tell a connected story about each customer is the key to achieving definitive customer understanding. And your customers expect it.

We all know what a great customer experience looks like thanks to customer-centric brands like Spotify, Netflix and Amazon—as mentioned before. With this expectation, every company promises they're customer-centric, but few actually deliver on the promise, because it requires always-on customer data that's connected and actionable across the entire organization.

Unify data and make it actionable across the organization—enter the Customer Data Platform

Growthverse defines a Customer Data Platform (CDP) as new infrastructure to pull data from disparate systems, create and manage customer profiles, discover new customer segments, and make these segments available back to the tools used in marketing, customer service, and other aspects of the business.

CDPs allow you to achieve definitive customer understanding by connecting all of your data from various tools, channels, and silos within your organization—unearthing a rich, holistic customer profile for each of your customers— built to power your customer experience.

CDP’s make the data-driven, customer-centric horsepower of a Netflix, Pinterest, Amazon, and LinkedIn attainable for any organization. Use this guide to understand what makes a CDP work and what to look for to compliment and empower your customer-centric initiatives.

Why do you need a CDP?

Marketers have struggled to deliver on true one-to-one marketing because the data required to drive the experience is often disconnected.

Companies invest in many different end-point tools like email, social, mobile, web, customer ticketing, etc...yet the organization doesn't have access to all the customer data they need to truly deliver a one-tone customer experience using these tools. Why?

  • Valuable customer data is typically available as a report that is often hours, days or weeks behind
  • Customer profiles are limited to demographic data (e.g. location, age) and channel-specific transactional data (e.g. purchase behavior, products owned, services bought) and they often exist in an offline or disconnected data warehouse
  • The complete data attributes that are required to provide a true single view of the customer is often scattered across the organization in a variety of disconnected tools and places that are hard to access

What do you get from the Lytics CDP?

What are the benefits of a CDP?

  • Significant gains in operational efficiency—by unifying your data and making it actionable across the organization in real time—the teams who serve your customers are enabled with the data they need to serve the right experience at the right time and build trust with your customers
  • Data-driven performance—apply machine learning and predictive data sciences to drive vastly improved customer segmentation and personalized experiences across the customer journey
  • Confidently serve the right experience at the right time. DMPs and Marketing Automation Platforms apply too much guesswork about what data or experience is next best for your customer. With a CDP you can confidently serve experiences using behavior-based attributes that go beyond clicks and wait times.
  • Increase conversions, lower overall costs in advertising, email, and other channel experiences—serve audiences the experiences they expect, in the moment that matters, and watch the success metrics increase

What to look for in a Customer Data Platform—here's a list to help you choose

Usability across the organization

  • User-friendly interface and operation—your teams can't rely on someone else to run the platform when they need it
  • Pre-built, out-of-the-box integrations with the tools and channels your teams already use to get them up and running quickly
  • Fast customer profiling and segmentation—easily view and build audience segmentation using the unique customer profiles to serve experiences at the moment that matters

Broad integrations and extensible API

Performance & flexibility

  • Cloud-based, secure and, always-on—trust that your data is secure and the application is always performing when the business expects it
  • Powerful identity resolution—resolve and merge multiple identities across tools and channels in real-time
  • Real-time collection of structured and unstructured event data
  • Dynamic progressive user profiles—from anonymous to known users using any type of data identifier (not just email)
  • Data onboarding from multiple data sources and types (e.g. loyalty database, web, ERP, email, POS, DMP, etc..)
  • Support for real-time audience and data syncing across the organization
  • Customizable, adaptable data schema—no need for predefined fields or long implementations
  • Automated data export to marketing tools, or big data tools like Google Big Query or Hadoop for analytics visualization
  • Data replay to incorporate historical and new data sources

Predictive and affinity insights


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