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Everybody Talks About a CDP: Do I Need One?

Updated: May 17, 2022

Customer data platforms (CDPs) bring all the customer data you have into one place. This investment aims to improve your marketing insights, retain customers, and create a profitable growth strategy. A CDP is most often a business-critical tool in the Marketing Technology jungle.

The above-mentioned potential benefits have caused CDPs to become a buzzword. Everyone knows they want to incorporate data-driven strategies into their upcoming plans, but they don’t know if it is necessary.

Businesses must invest in data collection, emphasizing cleaning, consolidating, and democratizing it. Without those extra steps, it isn’t helpful. Since a CDP provides those outcomes, this investment makes sense for many companies.

Different Types of Customer Data Platforms

Customer data platforms provide a solution that combines your customer data, organizes it individually, and makes it available to anyone in the company that needs it.

With the right CDP type, it’s possible to create segmented audience lists, receive customer insights, and activate personalized campaigns. The best platforms reduce data discrepancies while delivering real-time insights.

Four general types of CDP currently exist. Each one has specific advantages to consider for businesses thinking about an investment in this resource.

1. Unification and Identity Resolution

This CDP type ties everything to each customer. The individualization works with data unification to ensure record duplications get removed. That process ensures that everyone can see the entire history of each consumer, including touchpoints and channels, at a glance.

CDPs with this option provides a 360-degree view of each customer. Automated matching looks at the information, combining records with data similarities to ensure everyone on each team can be on the same page when interacting with each consumer.

Machine learning is a crucial feature in many CDPs with this structure, even enriching datasets from third-party sources in some designs. If discrepancies are found, the platform alerts users to the information for a complete review.

2. Data Integration and Ingestion

Platforms with this feature bring together customer data from all channels and systems. Most companies attempt to do this manually, relying on external vendors or an analytics team to complete the job.

Not only are manual consolidation processes time-consuming and costly, but they also come with inaccurate or inconsistent data. Many use this information without realizing that their actions are ineffective.

This CDP type automates the data capturing process, even if the information isn’t organized or structured. That effort ensures that what you receive is correctly formatted, reducing errors that creep up when the work isn’t automatically completed.

Platforms with this focus tend to integrate easily with most typical data sources. They ingest data in streams or batches, although some aren’t always as good at recognizing or removing duplicate records.

The focus here is to get as much information into the CDP as possible without an extensive time commitment.

3. Analytics and Data Intelligence

Single customer views are the most significant advantage a CDP offers today. This platform type lets businesses see how customers behave to determine the highest-performing channels. It can also let you see how data might affect individual consumers.

The best CDPs of this type let you quickly check what customers have purchased previously, glean insights from their preferences, and make future predictions about potential needs.

That data can get aggregated in several ways, ranging from customer personas to demographic segments. Look for options with excellent intelligence tools that make it easier to uncover opportunities for growth and retention.

By providing the right insights, it becomes easier to make actionable decisions with this type of CDP.

4. Cross-Channel Activation

Some CDPs are more robust than others when evaluating their activation capabilities. The goal is to connect all engagement channels to build or automate the customer journey. That means the marketing campaigns can originate from within the platform itself.

The previous generation of marketing tools focuses heavily on email. This CDP type provides omnichannel support, working across and connecting your existing resources. In return, an entire team can use the CDP to create individualized consumer experiences.

Customer Data Platforms Are More Than Marketing Tools

Although many businesses use CDPs as a marketing tool, these platforms are capable of much more! They positively impact cost-savings measures, revenue generation, and the customer experience.

A CDP can even lend a helping hand during an overall business transformation effort. It all depends on what goals you’ve set according to your vision and values.

Businesses looking for a CDP will find multiple options out there, which means selecting an appropriate one can feel challenging. When you find the type with the features, functions, and tools that encourage complementary growth, the investment will drive results more than buzzwords ever could.


Helena Nordman Stålnacke

Strategic Advisor


Connect with me: Linked In

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