April showers bring May flowers…and customer data platforms!

April 6, 2017 | By

We’ve had a long stretch of rainy, grey weather here in Boston which brings the promise of a verdant spring and an end to our drought, which is great news. But the dreariness wears on a person so I needed a little something to get my sunshine on. Right on cue, our friend David Raab delivered!

Of late, David has been on a tear producing clarifying and insightful materials about customer data platforms for the market, including an excellent FAQ and a more IT professional-focused piece to get your technical colleagues in on the value of CDPs. It’s exciting to see the conversation around CDPs expand to a broader audience and become richer, away from abstract goals to proven results.

Still, many marketers have reservations about CDPs, which are typically along the following lines:

  1. We’ve invested in a lot of technology lately and can’t make a case for additional spending
  2. We don’t have the resources internally to champion and manage a CDP implementation
  3. We’re not ready to undertake a massive data unification project; our priorities are more modest

I’ll save responses to points 1 and 2 for another time but number 3 is something I find to be a very common misconception. A CDP has a ton of potential to be an absolutely transformative part of your martech stack. But you don’t need to go 100 miles per hour on day one. There’s tremendous value to unleash as you grow.

To help understand that, David wrote a fantastic whitepaper for us called “What to Do First With Your Customer Data Platform” that you can download on our site. He’s also doing a webinar on the topic at 1pm EST on April 20th that we’d love you to join.  The paper introduces a framework to think about how to start and grow with your CDP, and fills in use cases for each box on the matrix – nine in all – to help you conceptualize where you would start with a CDP to get immediate return and where you can start to grow from there:

Data Access only Data Access plus Messaging Data Access plus Analytics
Single source of customer data
Multiple, similar sources of data
Disparate sources of data

Check out the whitepaper for the use cases themselves and keep an eye out because over the next few months, we’ll be building on this approach further. Where there’s a will, there’s a way!

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