Email and customer data have gone hand-in-hand for quite some time. The benefits are clear.
Some organizations haven't gotten there yet. Others see overlap in features sets between different marketing technologies and wonder what to do.
One of these technologies with overlap is the good old customer data platform, so here are five things about CDPs that might be of interest if email is your thing!
Thing 1: Email is not a core capability of customer data platforms
There are a wide range of email capabilities within customer data platforms, as there are a wide range of data collection capabilities, but being an ESP is not a core function of a customer data platform like collecting data is. There are quite a handful of systems out there that originated as ESPs or marketing automation systems, however, and now find themselves sitting in the customer data platform market while offering a full email solution to boot.It is easy to point to these ESP-CDPs and say "that's a system that does email." The idea being that such a system can not possibly be as good at customer profiles, anonymous data collection, etc. And this kind of dismissal happens, especially by purpose-built CDPs.
Being an ESP can't exclude a vendor from the category or conversation. At the same time, I agree that these are marketing automation systems with a database unless there is coverage to use multiple other ESPs to:
- personalize and send or suppress batch emails based on the customer profile,
- personalize transactional emails based on the customer profile, and
- send personalized triggered emails based on the customer profile
Small-enough businesses might be able to get away with an attached database to the ESP, but at a certain point this data needs to be centralized to be relevant and efficient.