All of us want to make our lives as simple as possible. Especially with the pandemic’s strain on so many minds, it’s helpful to make choices that reduce anxiety and streamline our lives. Many companies’ landscape is evolving, and with those changes come essential decisions on how to make data work for you.
Businesses today are bombarded with more data than ever before in history. Companies often serve customers through multiple online and offline channels. The truth is, most online shoppers follow a path of zig-zagging between a brand’s e-commerce site, blog, product listings, social media, and physical retail store before making a purchase. Providing a 360-degree view of the customer’s minds and needs has become increasingly important for companies, most notably in the last ten years, as consumers engage through a growing number of channels, websites, apps, call centers, and social media.
All business owners respect the importance of understanding their customers. A single view of the customer is only as effective as it is comprehensive and actionable. Customers are using more channels and devices than ever before and have high expectations for delivering a consistent customer experience.
There are transactional, demographic, product usage, customer service, and behavioral data statistics to juggle. Combine that with companies’ own various software, channels, devices, and locations; it can be hard to provide consistency. Next-level marketing technology can empower business users and analysts to leverage all available data and insights to make every customer engagement count.
Many of us might have heard the term Customer Data Platform that arrived on the scene in 2015, but what is CDP? The CDP Institute defines a Customer Data Platform as “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.” It’s a prebuilt technology system that centralizes customer data from all sources and then makes this data available for marketing campaigns, sales, and customer experience initiatives. It’s a tool that will allow you a comprehensive view of customers across any device and channel, understanding their organization’s customers. By collecting customer identities and interaction data from all sources, you can create a single and persistent profile for each customer.
“Customer Data Platforms helps companies solve a huge and growing problem: the need for unified, accessible customer data. Like most software, a CDP reduces risk, deploys faster, costs less, and delivers a more powerful solution than custom-built alternatives…With careful planning, a CDP will provide the foundation your company needs in the years ahead to meet customer expectations for exceptional personalized experiences,” states David Raad, founder of the CDP Institute.
CDP’s are purpose-built to collect data from a wide range of sources, unify it together to form a comprehensive view of the customer, and then make that data available to other systems. That view of the customer can move with your business and customers to wherever it needs to be. Collection can include personal, professional, and lifestyle information. It also keeps tabs on consumers’ engagement, transactions, metrics, scores, surveys, and other demographics. Qualitative data can show a customer’s motivations, opinions, and attitudes, which helps improve marketing results.
Providing meaningful insight into customer behavior and content preferences can enable marketers to unearth new opportunities and act quickly. Rather than wasting time wrangling data, these systems offer optimization tactics that will save you marketing dollars long-term, as well as allowing teams to collaborate better.
When it comes to choosing the correct CDP, make sure you consider your business’s personal needs. What’s most important when implementing a CDP is the change management needs to ensure its practical adoption. Organizations are doomed to disappointment if they think they can ignore humans’ tendency to resist change. Strategically, organizations need to invest in process iteration, skill adaptation, and sponsor-led accountability to be successful.
Many of us believe our business has unique requirements that won’t be met by a packaged solution. In practice, every enterprise solution employs some mix of buy, configure, and build. To make a concrete assessment:
- Start by mapping out your top priority use cases.
- Ask your CDP vendor to demonstrate how they’ve delivered on those use cases in real-world customer implementations.
- Make sure it allows for complete customer profile information, including identity resolution.
- Look for customer analytics that is descriptive, predictive, and diagnostic.
- Ensure it provides experience orchestration across multiple channels.
- Confirm its interface is business-friendly, which will help eliminate IT costs.
Without customers, you wouldn’t have a business. They truly belong at the center of all that we do. Hubspot assures companies that CDP’s will help improve your organization, better your customer relationships, and complement your current software and marketing efforts. CDP’s deliver the immediacy, accuracy, and unity that companies need to keep aligning our organizations, inspiring marketing, and engaging our customers.