What is a customer data platform ?

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is cloud-based software that collects and unifies first-party customer data from multiple sources to build a single, coherent and complete view of each and every customer. Brands can segment their audiences and then push their segmented audiences to digital media platforms to target with advertising campaigns.
A CDP keeps customer data in one place, giving brands a 360° view of their customers to implement personalised marketing strategies across multiple channels.

What does a customer data platform do?

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) connects data across each stage of the customer lifecycle, it is the perfect tool for marketers to understand when, why, and how customers engage with their brand. As customers are constantly moving between segments and advancing through their customer journey, marketers need to have a single platform to manage and automate this process.

What are the stages of a CDP?

  1. Data onboarding. This stage brings together common data sets into one place. Most commonly bringing together website visitor data, customer records (CRM), lead details, app usage (mobile or online TV or other device), offline store or other data, call centre data and partner data.
  2. Data matching and processing. This stage is about bringing all of the customer data together and making it useful. Mapping often occurs on customer IDs, order IDs and the like. A strong spine of identity and IDs is vital for this process to be effective.
  3. Data segmentation, enrichment and AI.
    This stage is all about turning customer data into insight and value using segmentation, data science, and AI modelling. For example, understanding what products each customer is likely to be interested in and building segments based on their behaviour
  4. Delivering use cases.
    This stage is all about activation, which can be syndicating the data with media platforms, personalising websites, and giving a personal touch to each customer email sent. The data can also be pushed to reporting dashboards and provide business intelligence for better decision making.

Do I need a CDP?

A CDP or CDP-like functionality is recommended for any company dealing with large volumes of customer data for marketing purposes. For some companies, this can be handled by their existing IT systems and CRM platforms. There are also some companies that store low volumes of customer data and have primitive uses of it for marketing purposes that will have less of a need for complex and expensive enterprise solutions.
As companies’ customer data use becomes more advanced, they will increasingly need CDP functionality, whether that comes from a CDP supplier or a custom technology setup.

Is a CDP the same as a CRM?

No. CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms store customer data, but they are more sales management systems rather than advanced data platforms that look to bring datasets together for advanced matching, segmentation, and ultimately media syndication.

Is a CDP the same as a DMP?

No. The major difference between a CDP and a DMP (Data Management Platform) is that a CDP wherever possible wants to tie data back to customer records and identifiers such as email address and phone number. DMPs by contrast will restrict personal data for privacy preservation and only deal with pseudonymised data – online IDs, cookies and such – which are steadily becoming obsolete.

What types of datasets does a CDP manage

A CDP’s function is to onboard different datasets from multiple sources, unify the data under a single Customer ID and make it available for Digital Marketing purposes. Here is an example of some of the data a CDP can onboard, segment and activate in media. Some examples of the data a CDP can onboard, segment and activate in media are: Personal data, demographic data, Transactional data, Engagement data, Behavioural data, Market Research data.

What are the two methods used to match customer data?

A CDP will ingest data from multiple sources. Identity Graphs (which may map to a CDP) match each source under a single unified ID that can be recognised across channels and devices. There should be no two IDs for the same customer or user. Within identity graphs there are two methodologies to match data sources: Deterministic and Probabilistic.

How do CDPs apply customer data?

Once the data has been onboarded and the customer IDs have been matched, the data is available for segmentation. Customers can be defined by a near unlimited set of dimensions and then uploaded into multiple media platforms for personalised targeting with advertising. Since the Customer IDs are the same in each platform, brands can see who and where they are marketing for a complete omnichannel marketing customer experience.
As the marketing campaign begins to deliver, the performance data is fed back into the CDP for a complete 360° view of attribution for each customer segment.
The CDP allows brands to refine their audiences and predictive models while the campaign is still in flight. The value to brands is an ever-optimising set of customer segments for messages, products and media that can be refined on-the-fly.
CDPs also store data for as long as you like. The historical record allows marketers to understand how the company is evolving and look back at what worked and why it worked over several years.

What is customer lifecycle management?

Customer Lifecycle Management is a marketing methodology used to identify when prospective customers are becoming aware of a product, attempts to influence their purchasing decisions, and encourages them to become a loyal customer of the brand.
It utilises multiple sources of data, marketing processes, and value-added services to build a complete understanding of the iterative phases from customer acquisition, to retention, to cross- and upselling, and lapsed customer win-back. Marketers can then calculate the value of each customer to the business across the Customer Lifecycle.
In order to implement a full Customer Lifecycle to meet marketing objectives, marketers need a unified platform that provides for a single customer view across all marketing activities and interactions to measure the impact and brand association at every stage of the lifecycle.

How can a CDP enhance the Customer Lifecycle Management?

  1. Understand the factors that increase the Average Order Value.
  2. Increase engagement based on the customer profile.
  3. Increase repeat purchase frequency.
  4. Drive up revenue and sell-through on specific product lines.

How can a CDP improve customer experience and loyalty?

As a CDP connects data across each stage of the Customer Lifecycle, it is the perfect tool for marketers to understand when, why and how customers engage with their brand and its products to improve performance across all marketing channels. As customers are constantly moving between segments and customer journeys, marketers need to have a platform to fully manage this process.

What are the benefits of a CDP?

  1. Richer data for audience targeting
  2. Direct media platform integrations
  3. Integrated media orchestration
  4. Driving new customers and leads
  5. Reporting and data science

What are the top use cases for a CDP?

  1. Onboarding and Automation
  2. Keeping Data Clean and Compliant
  3. Up-selling Customers

What is a retail media network?

Retail media is advertising within retailer sites and apps – usually by brands that directly sell products with retailers, though this is not always the case. Retail media advertising can also come from non-endemic brands in verticals such as financial services or travel—ones that are interested in retailer audiences but don’t necessarily sell products on those retailers’ sites and apps.