For at least a little while, this should close out the string of posts aimed for folks early in the evaluation/consideration process. It has been fun, but this week I will switch gears and start posting for folks who already have a customer data platform, or who are planning for its use. I've included a wrap-up of these first posts below.
I really feel for anyone tasked with evaluating customer data platforms. There is so much similar information out there, and a lot of it is somehow both conflicting and correct. For example, in his Analytics Neat podcast, Bill Bruno advocates for building out some of the capabilities that CDP deliver using technology you already have. That sounds like "build versus buy", which is a debate covered in MarTech Advisor's interview with ActionIQ CMO Marc Parrish. His perspective is that you don't try to build a Ferrari, if you want the best Ferrari. You just buy it.
It may be overused, but it's not a terrible analogy. To me, though, the best-fitting CDP for your organization is the one that looks like a Ferrari to you.
Looking forward to the new posts -- in the meantime, here's the wrap up of the first set of information, best for organizations early in the consideration phase trying to figure out:
- Do you need a customer data platform?
- Where and how would a CDP fit into your current marketing technology stack?
... not that these answer all things... but hopefully it is a start! If anyone has questions, I would be happy to take them for future posts or for a quick discussion. Thanks for reading!
- You don’t CDP? Start with these three simple tricks -- first post title pays homage to click bait, but there are seriously three pretty simple tricks here that will help you get grounded in the technology. Hints: check out the CDP Institute and The Digital Measure Show!
- Customer data platforms: it’s tough being a multi-faceted facilitator -- I am not alone in feeling like there is a lot of confusion around customer data platforms, what they are, what they do, etc. Here I try to explain that away as a result of the type of technology it is.
- How customer data platforms are being defined -- Speaking of confusion, a lot of the confusion starts with the lack of an accepted definition. We have some pretty solid definitions in spirit, but at the feature level things get really complicated.
- What can a customer data platform do for me? -- How can CDP really be all things to everyone? A quick explanation of how a single category covers so much ground.
- How to sort through dozens of customer data platforms -- There are already dozens of customer data platforms, and there will likely be dozens more in the space within the next year or two. In order to sort through them more quickly, eliminate groups of vendors from the evaluation by coming up with a short and long term first-party data plan and matching them up to it.