Customer data platforms (CDP) gaining importance [5 reading tips]

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A well-known economic phrase is: “You can only manage what you can measure”. And (personal) data is the new oil. The success of any marketing campaign is increasingly depending on proper data processing and analysis.

But the exponential increase in touch-points, communication channels, and customer data has sometimes made intelligent evaluation more difficult. That’s why more and more companies are relying on CRM systems to securely and easily capture and interpret customer data. The goal is to create the most satisfying shopping experiences possible.

Another marketing tool gaining momentum could perfectly complement existing customer data management tools: Customer Data Platform (CDP).

So what is a CDP, what advantages does it have, and why should companies be interested?

CDP – more than just a new abbreviation?

According to David Raab, the founder of the American Customer Data Institute, who coined the term for the first time:

» A customer data platform is a marketer-managed system that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems. «

This means that a CDP brings customer data directly from all corporate channels to a single platform for marketing and sales purposes. It’s especially interesting for any company looking for a way to provide a higher level of personalisation to customers with excellent and seamless experiences across all channels.

To do that, marketers and distributors not only need a 360° customer view with lots of data collected, but also insights that can turn them into real action quickly and easily. That’s what CDPs do.

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Marketing and sales teams have unified, real-time, self-service access to customer data from a variety of sources, including call centre interactions, product usage data, sales data, websites, social media, email, and apps. Thus, they can respond to different circumstances in a timely and targeted manner.

For example, Deutsche Bahn (the German national rail company) uses a CDP to offer passengers a discounted first-class upgrade when coach is overcrowded. The app offers this upgrade via push notifications. Everything the DB needs to know is who wants to travel where and when – when booking via the DB Navigator App or via the online store. Even if you bought a ticket at the station – and even if you paid by card.  The CDP thus links the personal data with the contextual data (how busy the train is on the move) and tries to provide smarter utilisation.

What advantages does a CDP have?

A CDP is especially aimed at companies that store their customer data in different systems (namely the shop system, a customer database or a data warehouse).

Let’s summarise the main advantages of a CDP:

  • It’s cloud-based.
  • Central: It manages segmentation of audiences and campaign control across the different channels in a single solution.
  • It is compatible, that is, it interfaces with existing systems such as CRM.
  • Access to the full record of the customer can contribute to customer loyalty.
  • Typical CRM data can be linked to contextual events (in real time).

The biggest challenge facing companies today is managing the amount of data and evaluating it. Customer data platforms could be a means to minimise data silos and gain a better view of their own customers. More exciting insights on CDPs can be found in our current reading tips.

Our 5 Reading tips of the week

Customer-Data-Plattformen: Das steckt hinter dem Trend [Internet World Business]

The Rise Of The Customer Data Platform And What It Means To Businesses [Forbes]

What is a customer data platform? How is it different from a DMP or CRM? [eConsultancy]

WTF is a customer data platform? [Digiday]

Why Customer Data Platforms Are Hot Right Now [eMarketer]

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