CDPs are the new fad promising a competitive edge in the ability to engage, surprise and delight the customer and increase operational effectiveness Customer data platforms are becoming a popular component in the marketing tech stack of major retailers and brands. Do they live up to the hype? And should you be using on?
What is a CDP?
According to the vendor-neutral CDP Institute, a Customer Data Platform is defined as “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems”. To understand the meaning of this somewhat vague definition, the CDP expands on three key elements in this definition.
CDP vs CRM
CDPs collect first, second and third party information automatically and in real time from all available sources (with the CRM among those sources).
CDP vs DMP
The DMP (Data Management Platform) is one of the main tools used by digital marketers to collect second and third-party data for ad targeting and audience creation.
The CDP can contain both personal data (such as name, email, etc.) and data provided by the DMP. In addition, the CDP is intended to build and draw value from increasingly detailed user profiles over time.
Who should employ a CDP?
CDP is a tool for data-driven marketing that enables, among others, user experience personalization on scale, and the consolidation of data from first, second and third party sources to support marketing activities and provide valuable insights.
Generally speaking, a CDP is your solution if you’re looking to solve one of the following issues:
- Your business has masses of customer data in data silos across departments that can bring added value to marketing activities if unified.
- You want to make effective use of first-party data in your digital marketing efforts.
- You’re looking to know your customers better through identity graphs and customer behavior analysis.
- You run multiple digital and offline marketing campaigns and want to consolidate customer data between channels and campaigns for a fuller view of each customer and their path to purchase.
- You wish to make use of first-party data in conjunction with second and third party data in programmatic advertising campaigns.
Finding the right CDP
CDPs vary widely in scope and vertical specialty. Though intended mostly for outbound marketing efforts, the CDP in your organization can revolutionize service, sales and beyond. Assuming you plan out your uses cases correctly and choose the right CDP provider for your business goals, that is.
Collecting, processing, analyzing and returning data in real-time is a resource-heavy ordeal. Response time and latency are both affected by the volume of data and server resources, and when it comes to tagging and sorting large volumes of unstructured data, you simply can’t expect real-time responsiveness like you would from a DMP, for example.
CDPs are not a new concept. Enterprises have been experimenting with customer data consolidation for various purposes with in-house developed solutions, and few could afford the luxury of deploying and maintaining such a massive project.
1. Oracle CX Unity
One of the differentiating features of Oracle CX Unity is accelerated account-based marketing (ABM) aimed at B2B marketers.
2. Adobe Experience Platform
One of the main differentiating features of AEP versus other platform vendors is that is boasts AI/ML capabilities powered by Adobe Sensei that is developed with marketer needs in mind.
3. Salesforce Customer 360
Customer 360 will go beyond traditional CDP capabilities and extend the power of CRM with consumer-scale data management and activation.
Segment is probably one of the most user-friendly CDP platforms for marketers and developers alike.
5. Arm Treasure Data
Arm prides itself on the ability to handle large numbers of data points to create unified customer profiles.
While the interface is nice to look at and comfortable to use it is lacking in reporting and monitoring of the data connections and APIs being implemented.
7. Lattice Atlas
It can automatically build your audience and highlights high-value accounts
one of the most user friendly CDPs capable of building reports on large data sets quickly.
Evergage Focuses on interconnecting digital marketing data stores to serve as a central and unified hub for enriched customer profiles.
AgilOne gives special attention to GDPR compliance and scalability of CDP operations.