Nowadays, customer data platforms are becoming increasingly popular, and companies that adopt them can often see improvements across the entire customer-facing part of the business. Nevertheless, the most important value of a CDP is that it makes it possible to collect, analyse and use data about customers between various marketing channels and tools.
If that’s the very first time you read about CDPs, take a look at this article on our blog: You can’t be a CMO without knowing what a CDP is.
Put shortly, customer data platforms constitute a smart “middle layer” that collects, structures and gives access to all customer data that is relevant to the user experience. And all that in a simple and effective way.
Thanks to a CDP, you can enjoy the following benefits:
To a large degree, all experiences and analytics are based on the same data. The platform can collect data concerning both customers who are logged in and those who have not yet identified themselves (a useful feature in web personalisation and paid media).
At NoA Ignite, we have created several smart intermediate layers where customer data flows between back-end systems and various web/app solutions. We clearly see that the best thing for our clients is to use standardised systems that function as the form of a central hub for customer data rather than operate in the project-to-project mode.
Just as CMS systems revolutionised the work with websites in the 90s, we believe CDPs will soon change the way we work with customer data. Why do we say so? There are at least six important reasons.
This data gives us an insight into the customers' behaviour that’s beyond central customer registers and back-end systems. CDPs enable us to adapt the communication even before the customer has placed an order. By bringing in a CDP when creating personalised web solutions, we can take many requirements into account, including nomenclature and tagging, right from the start.
All CDPs are designed to be highly integrable. They have the ability to transfer and process data in real time, and have good APIs for transferring data between tools and digital platforms. Therefore, a CDP should support both real time APIs, webhooks and batch integrations. Many CDPs also come with good, ready-made integrations with other data sources and systems. Tealium, for example, comes with over 1,400 ready-made integrations. A CDP is also a "mainstay" that controls various variables from different systems. Therefore, they enable you to ensure that data coming from different sources (about the same user) is integrated.
In many businesses, marketing technology is a jumble of integrations and dependencies that have arisen over time. Usually, the ERP system is connected to the website and to the CRM tool, as well as to a customer service platform. And that’s just the beginning. Further down the system, there are often smaller but critical integrations. And measurement frequently takes place without various measuring tools having comparable data. When a CDP is set up correctly, it acts as an intermediate layer where the data is sent in once before going out to various integration points, for example, to a new source or a new marketing channel.
In an organisation, a shared source of available customer data can simplify the development of new use cases and make it faster to understand its value. The introduction of new martech solutions will also be significantly easier. Those with a well-implemented CDP can spend more time on analysis, testing and design and less on data engineering.
Privacy, meaning the correct use of the data and whether you use the data in a way that is perceived as safe by your customers, is another vital question to consider. Privacy by Design is a fundamental requirement in the GDPR regulation, and it implies that digital solutions should provide full control over the collection and distribution of customer data. You can easily meet this requirement with a CDP!
It is natural to think of a customer data platform in the context of the web architecture since the website collects many of the most important data points we have about the users. The web data in the CPDs signals what your users want here and now, which is important for personalisation and other digital marketing techniques. And it is essential to have good input data to analyse how your website actually works.
To sum up, if you adopt a customer data platform into your company, you will reduce time spent on data engineering in your projects (both concerning setting up these solutions from scratch and in their further development). The focus will be, to a greater extent, on design-driven processes making it easier to realise use cases and the vision based on the data that becomes readily available. The value of a customer data platform is great, and in many projects, a customer data platform should be an as natural part of the web architecture as the CMS.
If you're still thinking about whether a CDP is the solution that you need in your company, drop us a line or book a free consultation with our team.
Kjetil helps companies become digitally mature. He is particularly concerned with customer data and the good use of it in customer communication while, at the same time, focusing on technology and data being used responsibly and sustainably. Before joining NoA Ignite, Kjetil had worked with CRM, marketing automation and sales solutions, i.a., as a Head of Marketing Personalization at Norwegian Air.
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