Many companies recognize a customer data platform (CDP) can help them deliver on their strategic ambitions: from gaining an actionable single customer view and accelerating their omni-channel engagement strategies to transforming their businesses at large.
But before they invest in a CDP, they must assess their CDP readiness.
Executives, technology decision-makers, and departmental leaders must closely examine their business goals, preferred use cases, and desired ROI to determine if their organizations — notably, their growth-focused teams (e.g., marketing, customer experience, digital product, commerce) — are ready to onboard a CDP.
To help companies understand if they have the data infrastructure in place to implement a customer data platform in their tech stacks today — and, in turn, expedite growth and enhance operational efficiency — we created our CDP Readiness Assessment.
Any stakeholder with a say in their organization’s technology investments and/or utilization can fill out the nine-question assessment in a matter of minutes. The assessment results reveal if their business is prepared to incorporate a CDP to their tech mix.
Specifically, the answers denote a given company’s existing customer data access, utility, and confidence levels, which we label as ‘foundational,’ ‘intermediate,’ or ‘advanced.’
To clarify what each level entails (i.e., what we mean by ‘foundational,’ ‘intermediate,’ and ‘advanced’), here’s a look at our CDP Readiness Assessment methodology.
CDP readiness factor #1: Data access
Foundational: Data availability and control limited, leading to insufficient insights and inability to test programs
You collect some first-party data, but growth teams have a limited view of it because it’s IT- and/or agency-controlled. Reporting is confined to specific programs.
What’s more, insights deter marketing, customer experience, and other teams from providing timely, relevant messaging across the customer lifecycle and experimenting with their engagement strategy (e.g., trying new seasonal offers, testing a subscription model).
Intermediate: Modest customer data access, but most data is siloed, leading to latency and inefficient usage
You collect a fair amount of first-party data, but much (if not all) of it is siloed.
It often takes growth teams weeks to access this data and get custom lists from IT and/or your agency, given those internal and/or external resources have to collect, normalize, and organize the data from disparate systems, which typically have different identifiers.
This prevents streamlined, multi-dimensional segmentation and well-timed personalized messaging to those segments as they move throughout their customer journeys.
Advanced: Data democratized, but dependencies (e.g., IT) prevent greater efficiency and smarter engagement
You collect a lot of first-party data. This empowers growth-focused teams to make data-oriented changes to marketing programs and engagement channels.
Operational inefficiencies and a lack of scalability, though, prevent them from acting on that data quickly and automating key facets of their work (e.g., lifecycle orchestration).
How a CDP can enhance your data access
A CDP like BlueConic helps companies collect and consolidate customer data from across systems and sources. Rules regarding how this data merges into individual-level profiles can then be set up to ultimately provide a real-time single customer view.
This view is accessible to all growth teams and their tools (adtech, email tools, campaign software, etc.) and automatically updates in real time. This makes data latency a thing of the past and enables growth teams to engage customers more effectively and efficiently.
CDP readiness factor #2: Data utility
Foundational: Significant struggles with customer experience efforts due mainly to disparate customer data
You have very little first-party data that’s actionable for growth-focused teams.
Customer centricity is a company-wide ambition, but, since most of your data is siloed, delivering high-quality, real-time customer experiences across channels and touchpoints is impossible (or, at the very least, overly time-consuming and resource-intensive).
Intermediate: Broad personalization possible, but can’t orchestrate real-time, cross-channel messaging yet
You have some first-party data that’s actionable for growth-focused teams. Due to data dependencies on IT and/or agencies, though, you can only personalize messaging to broad, persona- and/or product-based segments using days- or weeks-old first-party data.
Targeting highly niche segments based on a variety of attributes (e.g., site frequency, propensity to buy, customer lifetime value) is extremely difficult, if not impossible.
Advanced: Engagement highly personalized, but efforts are time-consuming, neutralizing downstream impact
You have a wealth of first-party data that’s actionable for growth teams, but scaling your engagement efforts requires additional resources and can be time- and labor-intensive.
So much so it neutralizes the downstream impact of your personalization program and outcomes (e.g., campaigns targeted to people who already purchased the product promoted and/or no longer have interest in that product).
How a CDP can improve your data utility
Using a master data management system, data warehouse, or similar, IT-owned legacy database as your single source of truth for customer data prevents efficient data utilization by marketing, CX, and other growth-focused teams.
With a CDP as your central database, however, these teams can act on data when and where they need and implement more intelligent, well-time customer engagement activities.
For instance, BlueConic can handle the volume, variety, and velocity of data coming in from other systems. This real-time interoperability enables growth teams to orchestrate cross-channel messaging to individuals based on their most recent activity, behavior, and interests.
CDP readiness factor #3: Data confidence
Foundational: Low confidence in your customer data due to latency, inaccuracy, and/or incompleteness
You have minimal confidence in your data quality because it’s incomplete, inaccurate, and/or latent. This means you also have a high risk of non-compliance with consumer data laws and likely can’t abide by consumers’ real-time consent preferences.
Factored together, your growth teams’ confidence in this data for utilization (e.g., analysis, multi-dimensional segmentation, predictive modeling, cross-channel activation) is low.
Intermediate: Modest confidence in first-party data set, but scalability and risk-mitigation concerns remain
You have moderate confidence in your data quality. It’s mostly complete, accurate, and up-to-date, and the consent preferences for customers are updated fairly frequently.
However, you remain worried about your risk-mitigation efforts regarding ever-evolving data measures as well as your inability to capitalize on consumer intent in the moment.
Advanced: Mostly accurate, consented data collected, but federating data across tech stack difficult
You have substantial confidence in your customer data quality. You have an exhaustive, accurate first-party data set. Individuals’ consent preferences update as they change them.
Federating those real-time consent statuses across your tech stack, however, remains a barrier. Until this is resolved, marketers and other tech users who interact with customers can’t activate data with full confidence.
How a CDP can elevate your data confidence
By connecting BlueConic to all other tools in their technology tack, defining and importing their ‘minimum viable data,’ and using our built-in consent management functionality, BlueConic customers can rest easy, knowing their first-party data is always up-to-date, complete, and timely and features the most recent consent preferences for each individual for whom they have dedicated profiles.
With newfound confidence in their data set and a single, simplified user interface from which they can utilize that data, BlueConic customers can more capably target (and even micro-target) individuals across their customer journeys with ease.
For instance, BlueConic’s Timeline shows all ‘events’ (e.g., page views, purchases, ad clicks) associated with customers. This allows marketers to target specific shoppers and/or subscribers with the most applicable messaging (e.g., renewal deals, cart-abandonment reminders) across channels and touchpoints and streamline their engagement efforts.
“[S]uccessful adoption means understanding the operational impact a CDP will have on the business and how it can enable better, more efficient ways of working,” BlueConic COO Cory Munchbach recently wrote for Forbes.
The best way to determine if it’s time to invest in a CDP to achieve your desired business outcomes — whether that’s greater efficiency, revenue growth, or both — is to carefully assess your current data and tech setup and understand where you stand to improve.
Considering investing in a customer data platform? Take our CDP Readiness Assessment to determine if your company is prepared to add a CDP like BlueConic to your tech stack.