It seems like a lot of people are suddenly talking about customer data platforms (CDPs) right now.
But you may still be asking yourself, ‘What exactly is a customer data platform? And why does it exist in the first place? Isn’t my marketing stack already complicated enough?!’
We answer that first question in our on-demand webinar: Defining a CDP. What it is. What it isn’t.
But for those who are asking the second and third questions, let’s look at the four trends that led to the rise of the customer data platform – even with so many other types of martech & adtech already in existence today.
Unfulfilled Demand for the Single Customer View
Many existing technologies make this claim, but all fail to deliver on this promise. At best, some can provide a partial view of the journey, or maybe 1 or 2 dimensions of the journey. But none actually deliver on a truly holistic view of the customer journey that is based on persistent, person-based profiles as its foundation.
This gap is best articulated by Sean Brown, CTO of Organic, during an interview with eMarketer back in Feb 2017: “…the idea that you have one view of the customer and you have all of the data about the customer in one place, and available to all of those platforms simultaneously and in real time, is still far away for most of our clients. Frankly, it’s still a ways out for the technology capabilities that are out there today.”
Data Commoditization & Walled Gardens
The data pool is getting bigger, but everyone is drinking from the same trough, so the ability to break through the noise and differentiate your brand using data is getting harder. This makes your first-party customer data your most valuable marketing asset because it’s the only data that none of your competitors have access to.
Gartner analyst Benjamin Bloom wrote a report called Control Your Marketing Data – or Google, Facebook, and Amazon Will, which indicated marketers are increasingly reliant on marketing & advertising opportunities powered by the big walled gardens. But this means sacrificing data integrity when it comes to transparency into customer attributes and behaviors at a granular level, as well as sacrificing portability of this data to power personalized marketing campaigns across channels & devices.
According to eMarketer, Google, Facebook & Amazon will make up 64% of all US digital ad spend in 2018, with the rest spent in the long tail. Google & Facebook make up the significant majority of this share, but Amazon is seeing the greatest rate of growth year-over-year.
Platformization of MarTech
Industry thought leader and editor of ChiefMarTec.com, Scott Brinker, talks about the platformization of MarTech, and the rise of integration-platform-as-a-service (aka iPaaS).
Scott says: “For a growing number of companies, the “heart” of their marketing stack integrations isn’t a marketing cloud. It’s a middleware product from the blossoming category of iPaaS (integration-platform-as-a-service).”
According to the 2018 Data-Centric Organization study conducted by the IAB & Winterberry, almost a third of survey respondents said “assembling their own stack of various technologies offered by various providers” is how their organization intends to best leverage marketing technology to optimize the value it generates through the use of audience data.
For the first time, building your own marketing stack is actually an option, and the most innovative companies are already doing it. But they need a way to make data accessible between disparate systems.
Privacy, Fraud, & Lack of Transparency
It is expected that global marketers and technology vendors who rely heavily on third-party data will struggle when GDPR launches in May. Often, third-party data lacks transparency, and gaining consent from consumers for use of this data for marketing purposes will be difficult to obtain.
Not only are marketers concerned about the increasingly difficult balancing act of using third-party data while staying in compliance with consumer privacy regulations, but they also cite the lack of data transparency as detrimental to marketing effectiveness.
85% of marketers said they think the lack of visibility into data used to define audiences poses a challenge to their ability to effectively put data to work, according to the 2017 study Data Markets Must Shift to Transparency & Choice, conducted by OwnerIQ and Universal McCann, commissioned by Forrester Consulting.
Liberate Your Customer Data
A true CDP liberates your data so you no longer have to sacrifice data integrity and control to activate your most valuable marketing asset – your first-party customer data. And it makes data accessibility easy between disparate platforms.