Should You Use Customer Data Platform Software (CDP) for Marketing?

Today, businesses are constantly seeking ways to enhance their marketing strategies and drive conversions. One instrumental type of tool that has gained significant attention is Customer Data Platform software.

In this post, we will delve into whether using CDP software is beneficial for your business.

We’ll explore its features, advantages, and implementation considerations to help you make an informed decision that is right for your brand and works well with your customer base.

Jacqueline Foster
Demand Generation Marketing, Lever.co

We can count on them to bring new ideas to the table consistently

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What Is a Customer Data Platform?

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a software solution designed to centralize and consolidate customer data into a single, unified location. It acts as a data warehouse that brings together various data points, allowing businesses to gain a comprehensive view of their customers.

By having all customer data in one place, businesses can create personalized and targeted campaigns, delivering the right message to the right audience at the right time. This leads to improved customer engagement, increased conversions, and better ROI.

CDP software can be a godsend in enhancing marketing strategies and customer experiences.

Key characteristics and functionalities of a CDP:

  • Unified Customer View: CDPs integrate data from multiple sources like websites, mobile apps, emails, physical stores, and more, and create a unified customer profile. This allows companies to understand their customers better and tailor their interactions accordingly.
  • Real-Time Data Processing: They typically work in real-time or near real-time, capturing and processing customer data quickly. This enables businesses to react promptly to customer behavior or changes in the market.
  • Segmentation: With a CDP, businesses can segment their customers into different categories based on a variety of criteria, such as behavior, demographics, purchase history, and more. This can support more personalized and effective marketing campaigns.
  • Predictive Analytics: Some CDPs can use AI and machine learning to predict future customer behavior, such as the likelihood of churn or the potential for upselling.
  • Privacy and Compliance: They can help companies manage customer data in a way that complies with privacy regulations like GDPR or CCPA. They ensure that customer data is securely handled and that customers can control their own data as required by law.
  • Integration with Other Tools: CDPs can usually be integrated with other software like CRM systems, marketing automation platforms, and analytics tools. This enables businesses to leverage their customer data in a wide range of applications.

Two popular CDP software options in the market are Lexer and Segment:

Segment (Customer Data Platform Software) home page

These platforms offer powerful features and functionalities to help businesses harness the full potential of their customer data. With robust data consolidation capabilities, these CDP solutions enable businesses to unlock valuable insights and make data-driven decisions.

Benefits of CDP Software

Customer Data Platform software offers a host of benefits for businesses seeking to improve their customer relationships and marketing efforts. Keep in mind, however, that the specific benefits can vary depending on the exact features of the CDP software in question.

Enhancing Personalized Experiences

One of the key benefits of using CDP software is the ability to create highly personalized experiences for your customers. By having a comprehensive view of each customer’s preferences and behaviors, you can tailor your messaging and product recommendations to match their interests.

Imagine a scenario where a customer, let’s call him Joe, visits a website to purchase socks.

With a CDP, we can analyze Joe’s browsing history, previous purchases, and preferences to present him with personalized offers and recommendations that are more likely to convert him. This level of personalization not only increases the chances of Joe making a purchase, but also enhances his overall shopping experience.

When we use a CDP in this scenario, we can track Joe’s interactions across various touch points, such as:

  • Website visits: This would consist of time-on-site, viewed pages, interaction with elements, and click paths.
  • Mobile app usage: This might include time duration in an app, buttons that were pressed, and pages that were visited.
  • Email engagement: This includes open rates, responses, and link clicks through to the advertisers website.

This data allows us to gain valuable insights into Joe’s preferences, such as his preferred sock styles, colors and brands. Armed with this knowledge, we can create targeted marketing campaigns specifically designed for Joe, showcasing the sock varieties that align with his tastes.

Furthermore, the CDP lets us go beyond product recommendations and personalize the entire customer journey for Joe. If we look at the real-time data, we can deliver customized content and offers at every stage, from the moment he lands on our website to the post-purchase follow-up.

For instance, if Joe has shown a preference for eco-friendly products in the past, we could highlight sustainable sock options and provide additional information on our hypothetical company’s commitment to sustainability.

Dive Deeper: The Complete Guide to Getting Started with Website Personalization

Data-Driven Insights for Sales and Marketing

CDPs help sales and marketing teams with valuable insights derived from customer data.

By analyzing customer profiles and website activities, salespeople can engage in more meaningful conversations with prospects. They can identify specific areas of interest based on the pages visited, enabling them to tailor their approach and messaging accordingly.

This deeper understanding of customer behavior and preferences enhances the effectiveness of sales efforts, leading to improved closing rates and increased opportunities for upselling and cross-selling:

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In addition to benefiting sales teams, CDP software provides a wealth of insights that marketing professionals can harness. Armed with this knowledge, they can develop targeted marketing messages, personalized offers, and relevant content that resonates with their audience.

By refining their segmentation strategies using CDP-powered insights, marketers can ensure that their messages reach the right audience at the right time, resulting in heightened customer engagement and a higher return on investment (ROI) for their marketing efforts.

Scaling Up with CDP Software

CDP software offers numerous benefits, as this article details, but it’s crucial to evaluate whether your business has the scale required to fully leverage its capabilities.

Many CDP providers suggest having a minimum of 100,000 customer profiles to ensure an adequate volume of data for meaningful analysis and insights.

With this scale, businesses can effectively harness the power of CDP software to drive their marketing strategies and customer experiences.

Having a substantial number of customer profiles allows for more accurate segmentation and targeting. It enables businesses to gain a comprehensive view of their customer base, identifying trends and patterns that can inform personalized campaigns.

However, it’s important to note that implementing CDP software requires a certain level of scalability and resource allocation. While smaller businesses may still benefit from CDP solutions, the full potential of these platforms is often realized by larger organizations with a significant customer base and higher data volume.

Data Compliance and Global Operations

Data privacy and compliance have become critical considerations for businesses, particularly those operating on a global scale.

When conducting operations across multiple regions, such as Australia, Japan, Europe and the United States, managing customer data while maintaining data segmentation and compliance can present complex challenges. Fortunately, CDPs can aid this by providing a centralized system to streamline data management and ensure adherence to privacy regulations.

These regulations can vary significantly from country to country, and they’re often complex. Some of the most well-known regulations include the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the European Union and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) in the United States, but many other countries have their own sets of rules.

For international businesses that operate in multiple jurisdictions, understanding and complying with all these different rules can be a huge challenge. Non-compliance can result in hefty fines and damage to a company’s reputation.

This is where a CDP can help. These platforms can be designed to support data compliance by, for instance, ensuring that personal data is only used in ways that the individual has consented to, allowing individuals to access or delete their data on request, or anonymizing data to protect individuals’ privacy.

Plus, a good CDP will be designed to easily adapt to changes in regulations, which is crucial as privacy laws are updated frequently.

In essence, a CDP can simplify the task of data compliance for international businesses, making it easier for them to follow the rules in all the different countries where they operate.

You may also like:
* Google Privacy Sandbox: What Does It Mean for the Future of Targeted Ads?
* How Poor Website Security Negatively Impacts SEO Rankings

Adaptation and Future Effectiveness

When considering a CDP solution for your business, it is important to prioritize vendors that demonstrate a track record of adapting to changing data landscapes.

Look for vendors who actively monitor regulatory updates and proactively incorporate necessary changes into their software. This includes staying compliant with regulations like GDPR and CCPA, and other relevant data privacy laws.

Moreover, data security and privacy should be key considerations when evaluating CDP vendors. Look for vendors who prioritize robust security measures, such as encryption protocols, access controls, and data anonymization techniques.

A reputable CDP vendor should have strong data governance practices in place to protect customer data from unauthorized access or breaches.

Final Thoughts on Using a Customer Data Platform Software

Incorporating customer data platform software into your marketing arsenal can offer significant advantages for your business. If you consolidate customer data and provide a personalized customer experience, a CDP can contribute to the growth and success of your marketing efforts.

However, it’s important to assess your business’s scale and compliance needs before implementing a CDP.

Remember, CDP software is not a one-size-fits-all solution, and choosing the right CDP vendor is crucial for long-term effectiveness for both your customer base and in anticipating future relevant prospects.

Personalize Marketing ROI

 

Repurposed from our Marketing School podcast.

CDP FAQs

  • What is customer data platform software?

    A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a type of software that aggregates and organizes customer data across a variety of touch points and is used by marketing, sales, and customer service teams to get a unified view of a customer. With a CDP, you can analyze and use information such as website interactions, purchase history, demographics, and more.

    Overall, the primary goal of Customer Data Platform software is to centralize customer data into a single platform where it can be easily accessed and used to drive customer-centric decision making.

  • Is CDP and CRM the same?

    Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are both types of software that are designed to help businesses manage and analyze customer data. However, they serve different purposes and offer different features, so they’re not the same.

    While both CDP and CRM systems manage customer data, their approaches and purposes differ. CRM systems primarily handle direct, manual interactions for sales purposes and are mostly used by sales teams. In contrast, CDPs automatically integrate and analyze both known and anonymous data from various sources in real-time to create a unified customer view, supporting personalized marketing and a wider range of business applications.

  • Is Salesforce a CDP platform?

    By using Data Cloud (which supports marketing, sales, service, commerce, Mulesoft integration platform, etc.), the entire suite of Salesforce products is now powered with CDP capabilities. This means your customer data is updates with data from any of their touch points in real time.

    So, although Salesforce started as a CRM, it has expanded its offerings over time to include CDP capabilities.

  • What is an example of a customer data platform?

    Two popular examples of CDP software are Segment and Lexer. These customer data platforms offer a lot of useful features and functionalities which can aid businesses in harnessing the full potential of their customer data.

If you were unable to find the answer you’ve been looking for, do not hesitate to get in touch and ask us directly.
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