Does Your Enterprise Need a CDP?

By Urvashi Melwani May 25, 2020

Despite the availability of data management systems like customer relationship management (CRM) and the data management platform (DMP) to understand, segment, and target customers better than before, both the solutions were ineffective in giving marketers a 360-degree view into the customers’ behaviors.

Contrary to it, the customer data platform (CDP) has proven beneficial for enterprises in various scenarios. This blog showcases the need for CDPs in enterprises and their possible use cases. 

Why Enterprises Should Consider CDP?

The best way to tell whether a CDP makes sense for your business is to identify the marketing programs it would make possible. These programs might fail in execution now because of gaps in your system that a CDP can fill. 

Because CDPs offer a wide range of functionality, it makes sense for enterprises to consider these in six different points-

  1. To surpass customers’ expectations

    With customers’ journey revolving across multiple channels and touchpoints, mobile has played a significant role in being a part of this change. More and more customers are turning towards their mobiles for online and offline brand experiences to turn to their connected devices in their moments of need- whether they are at home, in-store, or on the go. When they do, they expect to catch up from where they last left off with the brand.

    So, to meet the expectations of customers who have made the “mobile mind shift”, companies must envision and address in-the-moment needs, connecting channels and data sets at a speed and scale more than ever before.

    CDPs can ease enterprises in delivering the seamless experience that customers expect, irrespective of organizational and technological challenges.
  2. To stabilize data challenges

    Marketers have realized that no single cloud can solve all their problems. Even the big five providers- Google, Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle, and IBM account for a small fraction of technologies in the big-sized company’s marketing stack.

    Despite using any cloud platforms, businesses do still require a multi-vendor approach to create a unified customer view. 
    On the other hand, CDPs can be an ideal connective tissue amongst and between all these different cloud software providers.

  3. To fine-tune customers’ journey

    A holistic customer view can relieve most of the marketers’ pain, which is a lack of access to all their data. The ease of access to data at fingertips of marketers will empower them to unlock their customers’ behavioral aspects and preferences, in order to highlight the trends and overlaps and hence, optimize individual customer journeys.

    An orchestration-enabled CDP ensures that action can be taken on these insights thoughtfully to identify the pain points in customer journeys, to improve the roadmap with positive changes/ corrective actions, and boost the revenue. 

  4. To predict customer behavior

    CDP-equipped retailers are realizing the potential they have to generate in-the-moment incentives to drive rapid purchase decisions. Brands are endeavoring to connect the online and offline systems to improve customer retention by offering AI/ML-powered personalized recommendations to keep them engaged and loyal even after they have made a purchase. Using an individual’s history, preferences, and behavior to deliver more targeted offers will increase sales and positive reviews ultimately on social media platforms.

  5. Accessible to other systems

    Simply having a unified customer database is not enough; you need to be able to use that information effectively. 

    A CDP should not only collect and match customer data from disparate sources but also be capable of forwarding it to the services and systems you are using to execute campaigns. 

    For instance, a data point collected when a customer is browsing for an orange top is matched to their customer profile and used to activate a push, email, or display ad for an orange top. This connection is although sounding simple, but is actually crucial for marketers looking to enhance the speed, scale, and accuracy of their targeting.

  6. Ensure quality, trust, and compliance

    Building trust in customers and abiding the rules and regulations to manage customer data is more important than ever for a better digital experience. Enabling adherence to privacy and preferences makes governance a critical element of a CDP. 

    Next-generation CDPs ensure a perfect match of privacy-by-design and deep learning & profile activation to separate the functionality of matching and linking data from the creation of entity records. 

Use-cases of CDP

Customer data platforms (CDP) are enjoying tremendous popularity as the go-to data management software solution

Here are the six use cases beyond traditional outbound marketing that can have a huge impact on customer lifetime value. Any enterprise anticipating to leverage a CDP should consider these use cases and figure out the relevancy of each for their companies.

  1. Ecommerce recommendations & optimization

    CDPs can be leveraged to offer specific services in the eCommerce sector. These could range from support to features like handling shopping cart abandonment, repeat purchases, next best offers, promotional campaigns, and so forth, utilizing diverse product traits.

    These platforms ensure tighter integration with common eCommerce environments, as well as greater dependency on machine learning-based techniques for product recommendations. 
  2. Real-time behavioral analysis

    CDPS with machine learning capabilities can offer more advanced algorithms to work against existing data as well as live streaming data. Though you may face some significant architectural issues here around performance, reliability, and security.
  3. Digital advertising

    CDPs are essential for enterprises that engage customers through digital advertising and leverage first-party customer data for acquisition and retargeting campaigns.
    For instance, a CDP can be used for ad suppression. Since a CDP unifies offline and online customer data in real-time, marketers can use a CDP to suppress customers who browsed online but purchased the item in-store or through another channel.
    Marketers can also use it for smart display targeting, and for creating lookalike models for Google Customer Match and Facebook and Instagram custom audiences.
  4. On-site clienteling

    Clienteling apps ensure personalization during live, in-person interactions that might take place in stores, on airplanes, or in restaurants, etc.
    So, whenever a clienteling app leverages CDP data, it can ensure ease in delivering personalization based on the complete overview of the customer, including insights such as the customers’ channel preferences, journeys, and the tendency to buy.
  5. Customer service and call centers

    When a customer call for customer support, the call center representative must be able to quickly identify the problem and reassure the customer for resolving the problem.
    Without having access to the CDP data, the representative will only see transaction data and a history of previous calls.
    But with CDP, the representative would be able to access the complete view of the customer, including the customers’ preferred store location, recent website, email or mobile activity, the preferred method of communication, probability of buying, and product return history.
    With such information at their fingertips, they can close tickets swiftly and deliver better customer experience.
  6. Data querying and analytics for Data Scientists

    If your company has data science and analytics teams, you should evaluate CDPs that have capabilities to benefit people in those profiles.
    Consider the use cases that are relevant and beneficial to data scientists and analyst such as the ability to directly query CDP data and export it to external systems. A CDP should be able to include analytics functionality and support whatever analysis a data scientist wants to conduct.

Bringing it to an end-

Business success depends heavily on pleasing the customers, something that is not possible unless you know who they are, what they want, and when and how they want it. A CDP can unify data flowing from multiple sources, amalgamate it, and cleanse it for easy interpretation and use, to give you all the information and help you provide the best customer experience possible.

While the marketing practices among enterprises have become more vigorous than ever, and customers expecting more, it does make sense to leverage your existing customer data to give your brand the edge it needs to succeed.

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