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Adding customer data platform to your marketing stack

Updated: Jan 12

Five key features you need to consider and a look at who uses it

As a modern marketer, you understand the importance of leveraging data to deliver personalized and meaningful customer experiences. You realize that having insights into your customers' behavior and preferences is key to delivering effective marketing activities and providing lasting relationships with them over time.

To do this, you need an integrated customer data platform (CDP)–a single source of truth for managing your customers’ unique journey across channels so that you can optimize engagement throughout each stage of their lifecycle. In this blog post, we'll look at the benefits of adding a CDP to your marketing stack, helping you gain deeper visibility into customer behavior and enabling more effective targeting and engagements with customers. So let's dive in!

To succeed in marketing, you need a well-rounded stack of tools. Could you add a customer data platform (CDP) to your marketing tools? CDPs help businesses collect, unify, and activate customer data. Adding a CDP to your marketing stack can improve your customer engagement and conversions.

Once defined, we'll discuss the benefits of CDPs and offer tips on choosing the right one for your business. Keep reading for more information on how CDPs can benefit your business.

If we use too much jargon, a marketing technology stack is a grouping of technologies marketers leverage to conduct and improve their marketing activities. The focus of marketing technologies (aka "martech") is often to make difficult processes easier, measure the impact of marketing activities, and drive more efficient spending.

What is a Customer Data Platform

A customer data platform (CDP) is a system in which marketers can collect and integrate customers' information. CDP software s used to collect and integrate customers' information from different marketing applications like Instagram, Klaviyo, and GoogleAds. The result will be an organized profile for each individual in a special customer database, with data going back into other business applications and aligning customer information amongst teams.

Where CDPs fit in your technology landscape

The Customer Data Platform (CDP) is an essential tool for eCommerce retailers to use, as it helps them centralize their customer relationship management. Smaller stores and merchants that sell over fewer channels will have significantly less value when using a CDP because they cannot take advantage of orchestration across channels; most start with Klaviyo or Mailchimp - but there are other options too!

The jump to a customer data platform occurs when the brand becomes larger and more complex regarding its data sources and campaign needs. This disparity makes it difficult for companies and gets even more complex when you have many different brands with various needs - but still want an integrated view of how customers feel about each line or product type offered. Once you get over six applications, how can you keep track of all the disparate data? It would help if you had it tracked to comply with privacy regulations.

Investing in a CDP is an excellent way for any company; especially startups focused on selling online through Shopify and adding more revenue with Amazon sales. The costs of these services continue to decrease and get easier over time, which means you can incorporate them into your plan without too much difficulty.

The illustration shows how businesses put the CDP at the center of their customer-facing and customer-crunching applications. This example shows an enterprise that advertises on mobile platforms through programmatic and travel ads, two advertising platforms, and wants to measure customer engagement across the different platforms and related campaigns.

Key Customer Data Platform features

You got the basic definition of a CDP at the beginning of this article. Some foundational features make a CDP, but if you dig deeper, you may want certain things from the basics.

Connections: A Customer Data Platform is only as good as the sources it can pull data from. Make sure you're keeping your customer information clean and populated! 54% of marketers say data quality was their biggest barrier to successful marketing campaigns last year. Many modern software applications should have relatively new secure formats unless the application is custom-made or is aging. In these custom cases, you will need a special integrations team to scope out the work with you.

Identity Graphs: Although the term may sound a bit technical, Identity Graphs are why you hire software like CDPs. Your software needs autonomously organize all the customer data in your systems- often in real time.

Organizing data means analyzing and validating that the data coming in aligns with format and value. For example, pulling data from source A, you might have a first name field of "First Name," and from source B, it's "first_name." Bringing the data in, organizing it, and assigning it to the right custom fields is part of the identity graph. De-duplication, when a customer appears in your system more than once, and the capability to handle multiple customer profiles and segments also belongs to features of the identity graph. There should be some out-of-the-box rules that can handle a lot of the customer data scenarios for a couple of applications.

Persistence: Unlike many systems that send data everywhere, a CDP utilizes values from customer data stored intentionally. This means that the data travels around and is tracked and stored for customer metrics. As a data-driven business, you want to dig into the data and look for historical trends.

Usability: Marketers want to create and manage custom fields easily- this is a must. Marketers need to manage the data themselves without knowing how to code. Analysts on your team should access the segment data and slice the data to define new opportunities to engage and nurture.

Activation: CDPs pull and push customer data to all other sources needed to build cohesive customer profiles, journeys, and opportunities to interact appropriately. Your requirement may automatically push any new customer to a completely separate retention platform.

Who manages CDP apps?

It is not uncommon for a development team to deploy a CDP with marketing, operations, and analytics teams overseeing implementation. Using consulting companies or even eCommerce platforms can be an option for larger brands who need more help integrating it into the company's workflow to produce accurate data from your system.

The main cost of ownership is marketing, utilizing this tool to create segments, campaigns, ads with better personalization. Marketers require a deeper understanding than others when running ads with personalized content. However, when a team is scarce on resources, a development team can own the customer insights. Still, there must be an initial framework between marketing and the development team to ensure customer-centric views are made.

A CDP is designed for marketers and salespeople to extract insights from their customers' data. With a CDP, you can identify the right audience segments and understand how your customers interact with your company - without manually processing any of that information. By integrating a CDP into your marketing stack, you'll be able to access more complete customer profiles to build better relationships with them. You'll also have an easier time creating personalized content and building customized offers based on what they like or purchase every day at work and at home! If this sounds like something you might want help implementing, we'd love to chat about it further to make things happen this year.

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