What can a customer data platform do for me?

Yesterday, we took a trip around the web to consider how CDP are being defined. Fortunately we don’t need a common definition for customer data platforms to try answering the #1 question about them, which is...

What can a customer data platform do for me?

A customer data platform should facilitate the use of first-party data in ways that other systems simply can not, whether organizations

  1. are just getting started with an initial first-party data program, or
  2. have marketing/data/analytics teams who have been working on coordinated cross-channel campaigns based on customer data for years,
  3. or just about anything in between.

Outrageous “returns”

Customer data platforms are enabling marketing teams to utilize first-party data in their communications and orchestrate best-case paths to conversion. For those just getting started with a first-party data program, a CDP should immediately produce. When you shine a light in the darkness, you notice it quite a bit more than you do in the daylight. With the right level of attention, a good customer data platform will quickly facilitate the use of customer data in channels you are already in, providing great opportunity in areas customer data are not being used for individual-level experiences. 

When you see claims of outrageous returns that seem hard to believe, don't dismiss them immediately just because. In areas of optimization, low-hanging fruit can deliver tremendous results in a short period of time. Often, this is heightened thanks to the advantage of recommended built-in methods and practices proven to drive better results. 

It is important to have a plan beyond whatever your initial returns might be -- what happens next, after the lights are on? The platform should also open up potential for working in new channels and technologies. How will first-party data make its way into other channels? Are there new first-party data products worth considering?

Experimentation, expansion, exploration

Many of us are not just getting started with a first-party data program. A customer data platform has a lot to offer to 

  1. those already working within customer lifecycle optimization,
  2. those who sell and market via proprietary modeling, and
  3. those who make use of first-party data for personalized experiences in other ways.

Organizations in mid-transformation will find plenty of first-party data projects to prioritize with customer data platforms. Data that was previously used in the call center and for direct mail and email campaigns will now personalize experiences on owned and paid media. New data points will be made available through the collection and combination of first- and third-party data.

Organizations already leading in omni-channel marketing will be innovating with customer data platforms. New behavioral and experiential first-party data will be collected and used in machine learning and AI applications. Non-marketers will find use for the CDP as community, customer experience, and customer service leaders will rely on individualization capabilities and advanced data collection to support their needs.

A lack of definition does not correlate to a lack of potential results.

What a customer data platform can do for you depends quite a bit on what you can do, what you are doing, and what you'd like to do with customer data. These same points are also critical in navigating the already crowded field of customer data platforms out there to determine which is the right partner for you. Want to talk about it? Post a comment or reach out!

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