What a Successful CDP Implementation Actually Looks Like

Customer data platforms (CDPs) have come into the market to simplify the technology setup required to build an unified consumer view and activate it across channels. The CDP provides access to a single customer profile for teams across the organization, such as marketing, sales, commerce, and service. It is a hub for customer profiles that are updated in real-time, housing core data attributes, segments, and preferences.

Once a common data layer is in place, CDPs help organize the collection and unification of customer data gathered across all channels, structuring data into individual customer profiles. They then offer marketers the ability to access that data in real-time to leverage it in their marketing efforts. With better organized and consolidated data, marketers can quickly and more easily operationalize data to build targeted audiences for better personalization of offers and messaging across the customer journey. But what does success really look like?

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What CDP Success Looks Like

Organizations finding success with CDPs have not just implemented the technology but have also thoughtfully integrated the platform into their broader technology ecosystems. This integration ensures higher adoption rates and enables you to feed data from the common data layer discussed earlier.

Once you’ve selected the right use cases to meet your goals, ensure you have the right data to act on those use cases within your CDP. Work with your IT team to ensure that the CDP is properly connected to existing upstream data sources, such as your CRM or marketing data platforms. A major benefit of most CDPs is that they have out-of-the-box integration to easily connect first-party data to your email service provider (ESP) or media channels without a heavy lift from IT.

CDPs enable the collection of data that is relevant to marketing activation. However, one of the limitations of CDPs is the number of anonymous profiles it collects. As discussed earlier, an identity resolution strategy helps by filling in those gaps; It makes anonymous profiles known and makes your already known profiles even more robust by updating customer profiles with real-time data. These profiles can then be segmented and operationalized within your marketing efforts.

Success with CDPs doesn’t mean you must have 100% of your customer data in the platform. The main priority is to have all the right data properly connected to achieve and activate your selected use cases and avoid silos and blind spots in your customer data strategy.

Establishing Clear Expectations, Use Cases, and Measurement Frameworks

To meet goals, you must set clear and manageable expectations of what you want to get out of the technology. Use cases should be carefully selected to act against the goals that you want to meet. Measurement frameworks are critical here to justify the cost and show a quick return on investment.

Get the Right Team in Place for Speed ​​and Agility

Customer behaviors are ever-evolving, and organizations need nimble technology that can provide quick reactions to external responses or business changes. To build agility, you need a team that understands the ins and outs of how a CDP works to help train other team members and gain small wins right out of the gate. It is vital that the staff in charge is familiar with the tech so that when things go wrong, they can smoothly transition, help make recommendations, or introduce different capabilities that the CDP may offer as you are ready to scale.

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As initial use cases are achieved, teams should delve into the measurement and activation capabilities that can help spot behavioral trends, such as increased online shopping or changes in product preferences. These trends can be powerful tools to help adjust your marketing efforts, such as messaging and content, and better align or change target use cases as you progress on your CDP journey.

If you’ve been a part of a marketing database build, you may be used to your vendor partner being a combination of technology implementation and consulting. However, remember that CDP companies are generally product companies. You are less likely to receive the same level of insight, general marketing experience, and guidance directly from a CDP vendor. The right implementation partner can help act as a consultant to navigate challenges, drive priorities, and bring knowledge and experience that will help you avoid pitfalls and drive you to value realization. They can also fill in any CDP support gaps your team may have and recommend your roadmap forward to ensure success.

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