Customer Data Platforms: Is Your Business Prepared?
Implementing a CDP to Help Each Department of Your Company Thrive
Customer Data Platforms are a revolutionary new tool that businesses of all sizes can utilize to create a unified profile of each of their clients and customers.
In terms of marketing and sales, few products have had this sort of impact since the invention of the cloud-based CRM. With a CDP, you can create an easy-to-access, easy-to-share database of every customer you have, using it to pull data from multiple sources, clean it, and package it for quick use.
Of course, there is more to consider when implementing a CDP than one might initially think. With multiple vendors and suppliers out there and employee training to consider, it’s a good idea to make sure your company is adequately prepared to take on this new technology.
Learning from the experience of vendors like Exponea, who have successfully implemented CDPs at many companies, can help you understand what it takes to make your CDP project a success. In this article, we’ve outlined just a few ways that you can better prepare your company to make the switch.
Making the Most of CDP Implementation
As with any project, there are several factors that remain consistent in all successful CDP implementations:
- A customer-based approach
- A skilled and well-trained team
- Use cases that activate customer data
With these three factors in place, any company in virtually any industry can position themselves to make the most of their new Customer Data Platform. To explain further, we’ll expand on these points below.
A Customer-Based Approach
Though it might seem easy enough, setting up your business to be truly customer-centric can be a lot more challenging than one thinks. Depending on your company’s size, current structure, and culture, it might take a lot of work to achieve this goal. In this section, we’ll discuss those steps as well as further elaborate on why the custom-centric approach is the right one.
- Benefits of Custom-Centrism
By their nature, CDPs are customer-centric. Unfortunately, most companies are often structured quite differently, relying on different departments that “fragment” or compartmentalize customer information. This leads to what we call “data silos” – independent storage bins of data that only one department can access.
With a CDP, you are breaking down these silos and establishing a complete customer profile to which all departments have equal access. This creates a less disjointed customer experience.
- Decision-Making Insights
Becoming customer-centric also means changing the way you and your company make decisions. Thanks to the powerful analytical capabilities of CDPs, implementing them will give you a ton of insight into your customers – insights that you would have otherwise overlooked. It’ll also help the business gain revenue from this analysis through data commercialisation. If you don’t put this information to use in your decision making, you miss out on one of the biggest benefits these platforms confer.
- Next Level Key Performance Indicators
Key Performance Indicators, or KPIs, are the best ways to measure the success of your company, your customer service, and your marketing efforts. They are also highly tied to customer loyalty and even allow it to be measured and quantified.
- Cross-Department Benefits
While it’s common to think of CDPs as being marketing-focused, they can also bring a lot of value to all your company’s departments. As you become more customer-centric, for instance, you’ll want to ensure that teams across all departments have access to the clients’ CDP profiles. This will further enhance the “team approach” and ensure a better overall experience for each customer.
Read More: cloud-based CRM
Use Cases That Activate Customer Data
When it comes to implementing a CDP project, it’s best to take a holistic approach that covers your entire organization and sweeps through every individual department. This will allow you to take full advantage of the large amounts of customer data you have, which – in turn – will allow you to utilize cases that actually activate that data.
What we’re discussing here are cases that build value, improve the customer experience, and improve your ability to satisfy their needs (see, customer-centricity).
To do this properly, you should consider exactly how you want to improve the customer experience and compare it to the capabilities of all the tools at your disposal, including the CDP.
Keep in mind that it’s OK to start small and scale up later. At this point, your CDP will be relatively new to you, and you might not be fully aware of what it can do. Moreover, you may not have had the chance to view all of your customer’s data and analytics quite yet.
To that point, focus on simple use cases like segmenting your email database, timing emails properly, or removing customers that aren’t price-sensitive from your voucher or discount systems. These cases can be implemented quickly and demonstrate value to your clients and the other members of your organization.
This is also a great time to leverage your CDP vendor or provider. They should have plenty of experience creating and implementing valuable use cases and will be more than happy to help in most cases. Below, we’ve listed just a few high-value use cases you can pursue to immediately take advantage of your CDP’s capabilities.
- Online / Offline Connection
When you merge online and offline activities, you can generate a much more complete customer profile and create a more seamless buyer experience. This includes identifying and tracking customers when they enter brick and mortar stores and when they visit an online outlet, and vice versa.
- Segment and Personalize
With a CDP, it’s quite easy to segment customers according to their behavior and buying habits. This allows you to create a more tailored and customized experience to them while greatly increasing customer retention rates.
- Set Up Product Recommendations
The data collected by the average CDP can be tied directly to product recommendation models. By increasing your ability to highlight the products clients are most likely to want, you can drive engagement and up-sell and cross-sell your products.
- Conversion Rate Optimization and A/B Testing
By combining full client profiles with your web optimization efforts, you can ensure every segment of customers receives tailored messages and experiences.
- Predictive Customer Scoring
Some CDPs have built-in predictive software that they can use in conjunction with the data they collect. By assigning certain outcomes a “score,” they can give you a good idea of what a client might need and when – giving you a chance to address them pre-emptively.
- Behavioral Retargeting
Once you have access to the high-quality behavioral data that your CDP collects, you can begin targeting different audience segments on major advertising platforms with much more accuracy. From generating sales leads to setting up transactional emails, the possibilities are endless.
- Omni-Channel Automation
When combined with marketing automation software, your CDP essentially allows you to navigate your customers through their entire lifecycle with minimal human involvement. You can also select which channels you utilize based on their communication preferences.
Deliverability remains one of the primary concerns regarding email marketing and general business communications. With a CDP, however, you can take a single customer view and utilize behavioral data to figure out the best time to send emails to each user. Though it’s important to consider how to introduce yourself in an email, the potential for automation is quite enticing.
It’s worth noting that failing to implement use cases like these as soon as possible can be problematic in the long-run. For instance, you might spend weeks or more attempting to move toward a more customer-centric operating standard, but not have the necessary cases to demonstrate why the rest of the organization should get on board.
When you put a CDP to work immediately, you can showcase the potential and generate more cross-department interest.
Develop a Skilled and Well-Trained Team
The best CDP in the world can only do so much without a well-trained team. Luckily, combining the CDP’s capabilities with your team’s skills is not unlike implementing any other new technology or policy. All you have to do is make a list of the skills you need to execute your cases and cross-reference them with your team members’ talents.
In the end, you want to have a team that can take the most advantage of your CDP’s capabilities. These men and women should not only be goal-focused but customer-focused as well. A willingness to learn is also a plus, as it will put you all in the best possible position to achieve great things with your CDP, and get other departments on board with exploring the possibilities.
There is admittedly a lot of hype around CDPs and what they can do. As with any new technology, it’s easy to get a little carried away. This is why it’s crucial that you, your team, and your organization set realistic expectations. At the same time, it’s a good idea to remember that CDP capabilities are still pretty impressive. That said, it will take a bit of work and consultation with your vendor to master everything it can do.
In the end, you can accomplish great things with your CDP, provided you have the right foundation. As we’ve stated, that foundation is a well-trained and eager team, a customer-based approach, and use cases that activate customer data.
Matej joined the Exponea team in January 2017 as a Customer Analytics Consultant.
He has been working with Exponea for over 3 years, where he spends his time contributing to projects across various levels of complexities and in different verticals. All of these projects dealt with email as a channel and required managing email deliverability. His goal is to help Exponea clients with all their challenges and requirements, both common and uncommon – whether that’s setting up their emailing from scratch, preparing custom reporting and extracting insights, or solving ad-hoc deliverability issues.
Author’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/