How Customer Data Platforms will shape the future of CRM?

Post by 
Mitchell Formica
Published 
March 31, 2020

Some of the digital marketing technology trends that come to mind in the current market would be AI and Machine Learning, Engagement based email marketing and fatty lead profiling. However, one technology that is emerging as a must-have for every marketing team today is CDP or Customer Data Platform.  

What exactly is CDP, how can it enhance your digital marketing space?

CDP or Customer Data Platform is a type of software that utilises a customer database that pulls in data from multiple sources and cleans the data before outputting it into a single customer view. That may be a lot of information to ingest at once, so let’s break down each step involved in the process of setting up and using a CDP.

Firstly, we must consider delivering a connected experience as most consumers nowadays expect more than just your usual personalised experience consisting of their first name in the subject line. Consumers want relevant skills that match their actions and behaviours. What this means is when a customer uses a website and engages in some way, they receive an immediate triggered email. Or when a customer makes an instore purchase, an email or mobile notification or SMS is fired straight to the customer for confirmation.

While this may seem like a natural function within digital marketing platforms, the act of setting this up and making sure all customer data is updated daily, and automated marketing materials are sent with ease is quite challenging to perform seamlessly. The CDP acts as a conduit between your marketing channels and your marketing platform. It pulls the correct data to interact with your customers all with a moments notice. But there are some barriers to using CDP. While the data exists, it can be very fragmented, and the systems that manage this data were built in a different era which causes problems of its own.

Most customer resides in a customer relationship management platform, purchase data in a point of sale system, web data in other systems, and so on, and they are increasing. Some marketing teams enlist the help of IT teams to extract this data from these systems while others import all this data into their digital marketing platforms for segmentation. However, these approaches are fundamentally flawed as this solution requires complex segmentation and SQL modelling, which calls for considerable expertise and effort and also lacks flexibility. The result is a series of sizeable near time schema dependent data sets that can quickly adapt without serious effort in skills. CDP is designed with these exact problems in mind and therefore, can offer a far better solution that is much more efficient and effective.

The main problem stems from pulling together all these systems and making sure they can all speak to each other in a way that marketers can use within there communications. The answer is using CDP as it integrates data sources by using complex matching algorithms to unify identifiers across different data sets to create a single customer view.

Then CDP goes a step further and breaks down the barriers of traditional segmentation by offering tools that enable marketers to build sophisticated segmentation without using code.  The CDP system then provides insights like audience size after segmentation. It is essential to show how audiences overlap and provide actionable reporting so individuals in an audience can immediately receive the correct communication. Or in-turn a customer could be injected into a journey, and this is critical as in the new marketing funnel leads can enter at any stage. So audiences need to be highly pliable.

In summary, the Customer data platforms consolidate and integrate data from multiple sources into a single, trusted repository that supplies accurate customer data that is used for marketing communications. CDP’s also help with deep-dive analysis or post communication reporting on engagement data also can provide advanced intelligence and insight into customer data and behaviour.

To compare the CRM may be used for traditional management of customer information and used only by the IT team. While the CDP is now considered the primary data source of every detail known about a customer or prospect and can be owned and used by the marketing team.

CDP’s enable marketing teams to access, measure and analyse more details about consumers than ever before. They can even interact with your business to determine what influences customer and prospect engagement. It is this level of effectiveness that allows the CDP to interact with data using a wide range of marketing channels. I’m excited for what the future holds and can only hope that more companies consider utilising the capabilities of CDP for their primary source of data-driven marketing communications.

Streamline your data processing through CDP’s today!

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