Why Your Brand Needs a Customer Data Platform

If you don’t already have a Customer Data Platform (CDP), you should seriously start thinking about it. 

And if you don’t even know what a CDP is, not to worry, we’re here to help. We’ll break down the basics of what CDPs are, why they’re relevant today and how CDPs can add value to your marketing strategy.  

What is a CDP and how can it help you?

Before we get into why you should have a CDP, let’s first explain what they are. 

The CDP Institute (yes, there is an Institute of CDPs) defines them as “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.” Basically, they’re tools that make it easier for you marketers out there to compile, synthesize and gain insight into your customers. This enables you to better understand their behaviors, wants and needs – all from one singular view. Another major benefit for marketers: CDPs allow activation of your first-party data.

Check out this video for a brief explainer:

How do CDPs work?

Magic! Just kidding – it’s data.

These platforms compile all of your first-party data into one easy-to-read format through data integration. The API connector facilitates data movement. This is an important piece of the puzzle as it prevents your data from becoming siloed.  

Just Global’s Associate Director of Strategic Solutions, Kathryn Nassar, has already noted the increase in opportunities for our clients using this approach. “The sheer volume of first-party data being generated on a daily basis necessitates the use of technology to be able to store, manage, understand, and activate it. CDPs are the piece of the tech stack that enables brands to do so,” states Nassar.  

 
The publication CMS Wire cites a distinct split between data assembly versus activation. They highlight use-cases are typically categorized into four functions:  
Campaigns

They often orchestrate customer treatments across channels including personalized messages, outbound marketing campaigns, real-time interactions, or product or content recommendations 

Analytics

Provide data assembly plus analytical applications such as customer segmentation and sometimes extend to machine learning, predictive modeling, revenue attribution and journey mapping

Data

These systems can also extract audience segments and send them to external systems

Delivery

These deliver data through email, websites, mobile apps, CRM, advertising or several of these 

Why are CDPs popular now?

There are three major factors that have pushed the development of CDPs forward:

  1. Privacy and compliance issues
  2. The deprecation of the cookie
  3. Increasing volume of data generated

As you’re probably already well aware, privacy and data compliance have been hot topics over the last few years. Consumers are more cautious about providing their data and tech platforms are reacting to these heightened consumer desires for privacy controls.

With brands having to comply with a wide array of international data privacy regulations, the need for guaranteed data compliance has become a priority. Including a CDP in your tech stack will allow for easier visibility of your available data and direct application into marketing and sales. 

With the deprecation of the cookie, the value of first-party data is higher than it ever has been before. First-party data has always been valuable because of its exclusivity to a brand, clear chain of consent and collection and effectiveness in marketing. Additionally, B2B brands often see greater growth through the upselling and cross-selling of current clients. Marketing strategies for growing accounts – including nurture – rely on first-party data.  

Finally, the increase of digital continues to generate immense amounts of data to the tune of 74 zettabytes (by some estimations). This includes product interactions, site traffic, media touchpoints, event attendees, CRMs, prospects, leads, etc.

Just Global wants to ensure brands understand the impact of cookie deprecation along with the solutions that are available,” states Emilie Lee, SVP of Global Analytics. “With CDPs, brands have likely heard about the campaign targeting benefits, but what’s also helpful to understand are the more sophisticated reporting benefits. For example, visualizing website behavior combined with CRM data and understanding the customer journey across channels or devices and then activating that data in real-time can help achieve optimal campaign performance.”

How can CDPs help your business?

At Just Global, we take a customer-centric approach to marketing. We’ve seen time-and-time again that when brands invest in a deeper understanding of their audiences, it grows customer lifetime value.  

Other than benefitting your data compliance and access to first-party data, CDPs can help your marketing level-up in a few other tactile ways too:  

  • Unified understanding of your audience 
  • Truly centralized audience strategy 
  • Dynamic audience execution in media  

Segment, the industry leader in CDPs, cites a number of successful B2B case studies from the likes of Intuit, New Relic at Atlassian. According to their site, IBM Cloud increased revenue 70% by uncovering expansion opportunities through the Segment platform. 

“There was no single source of data which could be used to monitor the end-to-end customer funnel,” said Nic Sauriol, Software Development Leader focused on Growth and Analytics of the IBM Cloud Platform. “We needed an overhaul to our analytics strategy. The goal was to have a consistent platform for tracking both front-end and server-side events. We didn’t want our managers to have to patch together data to get a comprehensive picture,” said Sauriol. 

By providing cross-disciplinary teams access to actionable insights and the ability to experiment, the real beneficiaries are IBM’s customers. For Just Global, we believe brands need to provide their customers with a personal, connected and relevant experience.  

Now what?

Alright, now that you know more about CDPs, let’s talk about what to do next.  

Just Global is partner agnostic, which means we don’t believe that one service fits all. While the CDP Institute profiles a number of vendors in this space, our teams will work with yours to find the best solution to your needs.  

Ready to get started? Contact Just Global and request a Customer Data Platform strategic consultation.
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