The customer data platform (CDP) may seem like a newer marketing technology. The reality is the renowned solution has been around for more than a decade. And it’s helped many brands worldwide accomplish far more with their marketing strategies during that time.
Countless companies across industries rely on the CDP to unify all their first-party customer data, gain a comprehensive single customer view, segment and analyze prospects and customers, and — at the end of the day — power their lifecycle orchestration efforts.
As BlueConic CEO Bart Heilbron noted for MarTech Outlook, leading customer data platforms enable data liberation for day-to-day marketing professionals: a “cross between data integrity, marketer control, and data accessibility — to both people and systems.”
Continue on for answers to frequently asked questions about the customer data platform; a thorough overview of the past, present, and future CDP landscape; and insights into how large-scale brands can make the most of the marketing technology for their strategies.
Table of Contents
What Is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?
Let’s begin with the most obvious question on the minds of many marketers and CMOs today: “What is a customer data platform?” The answer depends on who you ask.
For starters, these are the CDP definitions from the well-known martech analyst firms:
- Gartner: “A CDP is a marketing system that unifies a company’s customer data from marketing and other channels to enable customer modeling and optimize the timing and targeting of messages and offers.”
- Forrester: “A CDP centralizes customer data from multiple sources and makes it available to systems of insight and engagement.”
- CDP Institute: “A Customer Data Platform is packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.”
Unified customer profiles featuring all online and offline data, intricate audience and segment insights, and streamlined customer data activation (a.k.a. liberation). That’s the fundamental functionality a CDP needs to be considered a true CDP today.
Having said that, the best-in-class customer data platforms today provide operational efficiencies, mitigate consumer data risk, increase agility and flexibility, and — all in all — help marketing professionals achieve far more with their strategies.
(We’ll cover specific CDP use cases shortly.)
Aside from these distinct definitions, another common question posed by marketing professionals and leaders is, “Why was the customer data platform created?”
There are a few noteworthy trends that show why the customer data platform was such a necessary addition to the marketing technology landscape.
#1: Unfulfilled Demand for a Single Customer View
Improved experiences for prospects and customers. Enhanced operational efficiency across the entire organization. Better strategic decision-making for marketing and leadership.
Those are just some of the biggest benefits brands (and, specifically, marketers) realize with a single customer view, per Experian Data Quality’s 2019 data management report.
Many martech vendors pitch prospective organizations interested in a single source of truth their solutions offer the ‘complete’ 360-degree view of one’s customer base.
The truth is only CDPs offers a full single customer view marketers need to understand their audiences and build successful lifecycle marketing programs (i.e., meeting buyers where they are through various customer touchpoints) based on consolidated customer data.
As BlueConic VP Marketing Michele Szabocsik noted, digitally native brands are successful with their strategies because of their first-party data access, which empowers their marketing teams to act on and react quickly to changes in customer behavior or preferences.
And the CDP is the martech that unifies that first-party data from across data sources and channels to construct this comprehensive customer view for these companies.
#2: Data Commoditization & the Rise of Walled Gardens
Third-party data used to be a viable marketing asset for brands.
But with so many companies tapping into the same third-party data sets and increasing privacy concerns, it became increasingly difficult for businesses to rely on this data to reach unique audiences and gain any semblance of “audience insights.”
Similarly, the walled gardens of Google and Facebook have prevented many marketers (two-thirds, according to Sizmek research) from accessing (or, at least, properly making the most of) vital customer data they need to meet their customer acquisition goals.
So, where have these organizations turned to solve their customer data dilemmas?
First-party data, which is now critical for modern marketing teams’ success.
With the right data strategy in place, they can secure behavioral, transactional, geographic, psychographic, and other data points and straight from customers with their consent and access a proprietary, trusted database (not share with competitors) for their activation needs.
“Sophisticated marketers understand that first-party data is differentiating (because it is proprietary), relevant (it directly relates to the company and its customers), and consistent and high quality (it comes from the source),” a trio of executives from the Boston Consulting Group leadership team recently noted.
And the CDP offers these savvy marketers the perfect place to collect and manage their first-party data, as it refreshes regularly in the contacts’ persistent profiles within the centralized solution and enables marketers to put that data into play, so to speak, as needed.
#3: The Platformization of Marketing Technologies
Simply put, the days of narrowly focused marketing technologies (e.g., solutions that focus on solving just one particular problem or need for brands) are over.
The era of “platformization” is upon us, according to Scott Brinker, the mind behind the MarTech Conference and ChiefMarTec blog. And vendors are adjusting accordingly.
Some technology providers remain convinced marketers want a suite of systems in an insulated martech ecosystem featuring solutions solely from these martech providers to simplify and streamline their day-to-day efforts. (See: the major marketing clouds).
Other vendors, meanwhile — including and especially customer data platforms — are focused on developing ‘open’ martech ecosystem. These integrate with all business and marketing software, not just tools offered under the umbrella of certain providers.
It’s become evident most businesses prefer a best-of-breed martech approach today that revolves around a central marketing hub that syncs with all in-house solutions.
And the CDP has proven to be the perfect hub for this approach, as it helps many brands build truly flexible technology stacks that improve, not hinder, their marketing.
In essence, a CDP acts as the glue between systems that didn’t exist before and makes it easier to remove or consolidate systems as the business requires over time.
When the essential customer data lives in once place and doesn’t put onerous structures or limitations on it, the organization’s agility when it comes to tech goes up considerably.
The Customer Data Platform’s Architecture
The customer data platform continues to grow in popularity among brands worldwide. But it can be hard to distinguish between the various CDPs available in the market.
The martech is built for marketers. So, why are we talking about platform architecture? Isn’t this something that only pertains to your IT department, not marketing?
In short, you may want to involve IT when combing through this section. Having said that, we’re here to help break down why one of the most important distinctions between CDPs and legacy databases is their distinct database architecture and how it impacts marketing.
It’s the underlying database structure of a customer data platform that will shape the agility, scale, and scope of your brand’s CDP initiative. In turn, this will dictate how much return on investment you’re able to realize from the CDP in the near and long term.
There are three types of distinct database architectures offered in CDPs today that businesses should investigate carefully before buying one.
#1: Relational Database
Flexibility is a marketer’s best friend. Unfortunately, the relational database schema provided in certain CDPs don’t offer any for modern marketing professionals.
In the plainest of terms, a relational database doesn’t allow digital marketers to define their own taxonomy. That’s due to the highly structured nature of its data framework.
For instance, a CDP with a relational database needs to pre-define the relationship between unknown site visitors and a campaign in order to store their anonymous info.
“The campaign is the organizing principle — which makes sense, as most CDPs with a relational database foundation are actually more like campaign management tools than built-for-purpose CDPs,” we noted in our database architecture guide.
#2: Event-Stream Database
With an event-stream database, you get nearly the opposite structure. It’s a framework that allows for exponential amounts of raw, unstructured customer data to be stored.
But there’s a catch.
It may seem ideal to get all first-party data synced into a central system. But this type of big data construct will require you to arbitrarily get rid of data to keep costs low.
The alternative? Continually add customer data over time as needed — and continually fork over some serious marketing spend to your database provider in question.
Another downside with this particular database architecture is it offers little in terms of flexibility or ability to scale.
Marketers are stuck with the event-to-graph schema that comes with their event-stream platform of choice or it falls on the marketing department to (usually — and painstakingly) map the customer data to a profile graph. (Which might not even be accurate.)
In other words? Marketing will have plenty of attributes associated with their contacts using this kind of customer data platform. But they won’t be able to unify them into true, unified customer profiles easily, efficiently, or persistently. (A big problem, to say the least.)
Data scientists may prefer collecting and storing considerable amounts of audience data. But the lack of practical, organized customer profiles — ones that only feature the most relevant data needed for efficient activation — can actually greatly hinder marketing.
“With an event-stream database, marketers end up collecting data they’ll never use, driving up the cost for data storage,” BlueConic CEO Bart Heilbron noted.
#3: Profile Database
With significant limitations of both the aforementioned database types, many brands have turned to (and continue to turn to) CDPs with profile-oriented databases.
The profile database falls somewhere in the middle of its counterparts. It constructs ideal customer profiles at an individual level (i.e., ones that feature solely pertinent data included, not every piece of PII and behavioral data available).
The unified profile provides you with the most comprehensive and up-to-date record of what you know about your customers. It is the proxy for the individual person.
The high quality of the profile data accounts for everything from individual consent status, to frequency of data updates, to identity resolution – all in support of your marketing programs – from lifecycle orchestration to behavioral segmentation.
Look at the CDP Institute’s definition above:
Modern CDPs need persistent profiles and a way to store that customer data persistently without exploding business costs.
Profile databases can translate attributes of an individual customer and store it persistently in the profile. This makes it possible to quickly and confidently query the data in support of a wide range of marketing activation use cases.
Not all CDPs can easily fit within each marketing organization’s unique ecosystem and martech stack. But some can easily adapt to any changes in that ecosystem.
In other words? A profile database scales for today’s goals and tomorrow’s ambitions.
Customer Data Platform Use Cases
What exactly is a use case? Ask a few members of a marketing team and you’ll probably get a different answer from everyone. Without an agreement on what a “use case” is, marketers can’t build out a CDP strategy or make the right technology selection.
BlueConic COO Cory Munchbach, defines a use case as such in her post for CMSWire:
“A use case describes the current state, target outcome, supporting activities and relative complexity required to successfully reach your [marketing or] business goal.”
Coming to a common understanding of your unique business use cases with your marketing team and leadership team will help you determine why you need a CDP.
For some inspiration, we previously held a customer data platform use cases webinar with some ideas on how you might leverage a pure-play CDP (And how many of these organizations have seen sizable increases in marketing ROI with one).
Here, we’ll cover a few high-level use cases that tie directly into the core functionality at the heart of leading CDPs — and how they facilitate far more effective marketing.
Advanced customer segmentation features within the CDP afford marketing professionals the ability to set up dynamic, multi-dimensional segments that can be based on any combination of attributes, and automatically add and remove customers based on their changing attributes or changing predictive behavioral scores.
“Marketers don’t simply want all of their data in one place,” BlueConic COO Cory Munchbach told AdExchanger. “They want it there for a reason, so they can do things like create cross-functional data segments and have the ability to distribute those segments to the systems they care about.”
Marketers can build, analyze, and take action upon segments without mandatory (or at least regular) involvement from their IT or data science teams. In turn, they can reduce data latency by eliminating the need to manually upload lists from various systems.
CDP Institute Founder David Raab noted leading customer data platforms are built for the purpose of “empowering non-technical users to extract segments and build predictive models and about delivering customer profiles and recommendations in real-time.”
Marketers can also draw insights from analyzing their segments, discovering new segments, finding where segments overlap, and evaluating segment performance.
Consent Management Capabilities for Data Compliance
In addition to segmentation capabilities, top-tier customer data platforms have built-in consent management functionality that persistently stores individual consent statuses and can federate that out to other marketing technology systems.
Ever worried you and your team may have included opted-out prospects from an email campaign (and, therefore, failed to comply with data privacy laws like the CCPA)?
Or, have you and your marketing organization thought about how long it would take you to pull data on an individual customer from all your systems, should they request it?
You’re not alone. That’s why the consent management platform — and customer data platforms with the functionality integrated in the technology — came to be.
With this feature, marketers can rest easy, knowing the consent status for each contact (i.e., who’s opted in or out of receiving messaging and granted brands the ability to use their data for other marketing purposes) is correct and updated in real time when it’s adjusted.
In short, this saves marketing pros substantial amounts of time, streamlines their daily promotional activities, and guarantees compliance with the major consumer data laws.
As Cory noted for CMSWire, brands that prioritize consented first-party data collection and utilization “actually have even better data, because it is transparently collected and used.”
That is to say, implementing a CDP with consent management functionality enables brands to more confidently engage their audiences and, in turn, provide a high-quality customer experience, knowing their consent status is always accurate.
Delivering personalized experiences and messages in a targeted, timely manner to high-value individuals and accounts is the ultimate objective for marketers today.
Thankfully, these professionals can use the CDP to employ innovative recommendation engines that suggest the most applicable content or products to customers across channels.
“The CDP premise is rooted in a very real marketing challenge that brands endure on daily basis,” including and especially the need for “more granular personalization,” according to Forrester VP, Principal Analyst Joe Stanhope.
And with the right CDP — like one with advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities — those personalized marketing challenges for brands can be eliminated.
On-site dialogues, social media ads, email newsletters, and other go-to activities are greatly enhanced with the ability to serve individualized messaging to each customer based on their browsing behavior, transaction history, geolocation and more.
A CDP with AI functionality can enable these hyper-personalized, high-converting activities.
What’s more, CDPs with predictive machine learning models can aid marketers’ efforts to forecast specific customer behaviors (e.g., likelihood to buy or churn). This can then enable tactics and techniques that ultimately boost audience engagement and customer loyalty.
The CDP can help marketers integrate AI by providing out-of-the-box customer scoring or predictive behavioral models that use their unified database, reducing reliance on data science or analytics teams and allowing immediate activation of the outcome of models.
Comparing the CDP to Other MarTech
The sheer number of technologies one can incorporate in their martech stacks is exhaustive.
Just look at Scott Brinker’s Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraphic — now 8,000 vendors strong (and growing each year) — for proof of just how many tools there are.
Examine the various categories — business intelligence software, marketing automation systems, customer experience management solutions, and the like — and you may even find it difficult to discern any differences among the numerous options.
And yet, the customer data platform diverges greatly from these solutions (and others) that, at first glance may seem the same, but actually fall short of the CDP in several areas.
As Gartner has said, CDP differentiation from other martech comes from “productization of features and acknowledgment that marketers are still struggling to get value out of their enormous investments in both customer data and technology.”
With that in mind, let’s break down how the CDP differentiates from similar marketing technologies — and how it helps marketers extract more value from those systems.
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) Software
Until just a decade of years ago, CRM software was the ultimate marketing database. Put plainly, it was the primary technology businesses turned to claim they had a “customer relationship management strategy.”
Soon, organizations all over realized a CRM could be a helpful database. But they also eventually realized the solution didn’t allow them to activate customer data in real time. Rather, the software was simply another form of a customer record for marketing.
This led to the ascension of numerous other technologies to solve for this problem — including the rise of marketing clouds and the customer data platform.
Raab explained to CMSWire how the CRM’s lacking (and dated) data architecture has led to lots of wasted marketing spend for big brands in recent years.
“What’s really needed is systems that were designed from the start for multi-source data gathering, unification and sharing,” Raab said. “That is what [the CDP] is promoting.”
However, CRM software still has a role to play in modern marketing programs.
Customer data recorded in a CRM can be synced into a CDP in real-time to help inform activation decisions. Data can flow back into the CRM as well when attributes for contacts from other martech connected with the CDP bolster those individuals’ profiles.
Data Management Platform (DMP)
We’ve outlined the myriad downsides of data management platforms. But the martech can be beneficial when used in conjunction with a CDP — depending on one’s use cases.
The DMP is more or less an advertising-oriented solution for brands today.
It essentially offers marketers anonymized data based on third-party cookies (which will soon be gone altogether) with hashed or de-identified PII that’s available in the system for a limited time only (usually 90 days max).
Want to create segments in a CDP? You can construct them near-instantaneously. In the DMP, however, segment-building typically requires a 24-hour processing window — a timeframe that can prevent real-time ad targeting and, in turn, deter conversions.
Now, where the DMP can work in tandem with a CDP, though, is very interesting.
We’ve seen marketers use the two platforms to do things like pass third-party segments into a CDP for on-site, personalized dialogues and utilize CDP-created segments to craft lookalike models in their DMPs to amplify their ad targeting effectiveness.
“Marketer-owned and -operated”: That’s what the CDP is meant to be. Conversely, the data warehouse is an IT-centric database — and not marketing-friendly whatsoever.
As you might imagine, the “warehouse” name is apt.
The complex, specialized database technology is intended to host just about every data point acquired by a given organization (i.e., all data collected, aka “big data”).
From this monumental unstructured data set, IT pros can clean, arrange, categorize, and — eventually — share relevant customer data with marketing.
But this process can take time. We’re talking days or even weeks, depending on a marketer’s request. And that, of course, is a problem when it comes to taking action on the most recent updates to customers’ profile properties in one’s lifecycle orchestration strategy.
The customer data platform, meanwhile, has the means to handle the volume, variety, and velocity of first-party data from all systems. What’s more, a CDP ensures it’s organized and structured in a manner that enables real-time unification (not to mention marketing activation).
Accessibility and flexibility: That’s what on-the-ground marketers need from their primary database to succeed today. The data warehouse, while once-advantageous for businesses with mountains of customer data, simply doesn’t satisfy these marketing requirements.
Why Marketing Clouds Are Adding CDPs
One other well-known martech category often compared with the customer data platform is the marketing cloud suite. (Many of which are adding their own versions of a CDP.)
Some clouds labeled the CDP as a “passing fad” just a few short years ago. How the times have changed. Now, these vendors see the customer data platform has true staying power — and is only increasing in popularity, particularly among enterprise businesses.
Below are three reasons why the major marketing cloud players are officially entering the CDP space — and why they’ll always be inadequate compared to pure-play CDPs.
#1: Clouds (Finally) See CDP Isn’t Simply a Trend
The clouds have long prided themselves as being a “one-stop-shop” for marketers looking for an integrated suite of the core technologies they believed were required to thrive.
With suite adoption robust for many years — convenience being the main selling point to marketers — the clouds simply didn’t see the need to add CDPs to their collection of tools.
That is, until the clouds noticed adoption of customer data platforms — which offer true single customer views and more fruitful activation capabilities based on all-encompassing customer profiles regarding first-party data consolidation — was on the rise.
“Marketing clouds … have to grapple, all of a sudden, with the fact that the premise that they’ve been talking to the market really doesn’t measure up any longer,” BlueConic COO, Cory Munchbach, indicated in our webinar on why brands will abandon cloud suites.
#2: Cloud Vendors Fixing Self-Imposed Silo Issues
Many cloud executives don’t want to admit as much, but the nature of their suites impede marketers’ ability to truly reach and resonate with their audiences.
Why? Because even though there are plenty of powerful tools (e.g., email software, mobile tools, adtech, etc.) within their suites, none of them consistently “speak” with one another — meaning marketers don’t have a legitimate single customer view with them.
Breaking down these data silos across the business requires a lot of resources, time, and energy on the part of marketing and/or IT — bandwidth few teams have today
So, the clouds are now adding their own CDPs to help their users unify their customer data.
But since they usually only allow customers to integrate data collected from tools in their suites, marketers are forced to continue investing in cloud tech, not best-of-breed tools.
As long as this is the case, marketers like you will need a purpose-built solution (see: pure-play CDP) that unifies and activates data in a data- and technology-agnostic manner.
#3: Clouds Trying to Compete with Built-for-Purpose CDPs
Whether it’s through the addition of proprietary tools or acquisition of existing ones, Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle, and other leading marketing clouds will certainly continue to stake their claim to a portion of the martech marketplace (and, in turn, market share).
But the customer data platform is growing its footprint right alongside these suites.
- 43% of companies indicated they’d deployed a CDP in 2019, while 31% noted were in the process of doing so. — 2019 Gartner Marketing Technology Survey
- 50% of brands using a CDP stated their platforms have helped them achieve core business objectives. — 2019 The Relevancy Ring Customer Data Platform Buyer’s Guide
- 89% of B2B marketers said the most important CDP benefit was the ability to build a single customer view. — 2019 CDP Institute Member Survey
As long as built-for-purpose CDP adoption continues to rise at enterprise brands and mid-sized companies worldwide, the cloud providers will attempt to pitch their CDP offerings as just as capable as their pure-play peers.
The truth, though, many are just starting to understand what it means to build single view of the customer for marketers, while some pure-play CDPs have been at it for nearly a decade.
(You can discover why in our breakdown of the marketing cloud CDPs.)
Analysts on the Customer Data Platform
You can tell where we stand on the customer data platform — both in terms of its efficacy for organizations across industries and how it stacks up to other marketing technologies.
But what do the prominent martech industry analysts have to say about the CDP? More specifically, just how valuable do they think the platform is for marketers and brands today?
Here’s what chief analysts at some of the most renowned consultancy firms and industry groups have to say about the current state of customer data platforms.
Forrester: CDPs Must Continually Evolve to Aid Marketers
“Adapt or die” is already a common expression among marketers. Routinely modifying their marketing to better meet customers’ demands is a must to survive, let alone thrive.
The same mantra applies to martech as well. Specifically, the customer data platform, according to Forrester VP, Principal Analyst Joe Stanhope and Analyst Stephanie Liu.
Their 2020 CDP guide for B2C marketers explores how platforms must adapt to marketers’ ever-changing needs to remain relevant and worth the investment:
“To remain competitive … CDPs must deliver clear value to B2C marketers. They need to achieve functional competency and extend their automation and intelligence capabilities to drive better business outcomes for marketers.”
And they’re right. Providing capabilities like predictive machine learning models, customer journey analytics, and advanced segmentation is how the CDP can not only improve marketing KPIs, but also drive revenue and increase operational efficiency for brands.
It’s also how leading customer data platforms can separate themselves from the pack of competitors who lack this now-essential functionality for marketing professionals.
Gartner: CDP Enables Real-Time Customer Engagement
Gartner Senior Director Analysts Benjamin Bloom and Lizzie Foo Kune detailed in their 2020 Market Guide for Customer Data Platforms why the CDP doesn’t have to be the sole database in marketers’ stacks, pointing to CMOs’ satisfaction with similar martech.
But the duo did note the CDP is the one type of martech that makes real-time marketing based on real-time data a real possibility — and no longer a pipe dream — for brands:
“The CDP is not necessarily a substitute for an enterprise’s database of record, but it can effectively ensure that customer profile data, transactional events and analytic attributes are available to marketing when needed for real-time interactions.”
The analysts stated other solutions offer real-time marketing features.
They added, though, it’s the “packaging” and “productization” of these features in the CDP that compel many brands to invest in the martech to execute real-time marketing.
CDP Institute: Platform Provides Complete Customer View
Raab, meanwhile, has noted businesses in need of a single source of truth now grasp just how much the customer data platform can help their marketing teams achieve their goals:
“CDPs have become popular because they … give users open access to complete customer data. Buyers understand this to mean all data, with full detail, stored over time, presented in a unified customer view, and available to any system that needs it.”
This insight shouldn’t come as much of a surprise, given the name of Raab’s organization. But his point is valid nonetheless: Marketing leaders are becoming increasingly aware of the CDP’s superior functionality — particularly data unification — compared to other martech.
Raab acknowledges there are certain customer data platforms that offer some, but not all, of the features and capabilities of CDP. He added that makes it especially important for marketers and their leadership to carefully evaluate the CDP landscape to find the best fit.
Speaking of which …
Finding the Best Customer Data Platform
Before you can build a CDP business case, you need to conduct a thorough examination of the existing customer data platform landscape to investigate all your options.
As with other principal business technologies your team onboards and implement in your stack, you’ll need to prepare an extensive CDP RFP that outlines your precise needs.
Additionally, you, your team, your CMO, and your leadership will need to list the most critical questions you have about the platform, including (but certainly not limited to):
- What data does your CDP collect from other systems and channels? And what information and identifiers is it able to store about customers?
- How many people should operate the CDP? Do we need train existing in-house staff or hire an outside specialist to handle our tenant?
- What kind of customer support does your team offer? Do they only help users onboard, or do they provide ongoing assistance as needed?
- How do your customers ensure their CDPs sync seamlessly with their other solutions (e.g. email service providers, CRMs, marketing analytics tools)?
- What is the average time to value for your customers’ main use cases with your CDP compared to the typical time to value of other martech?
- How quickly can customer data be ingested from and pushed to other business and marketing technologies? Do you offer real-time processing?
- Does your CDP help ensure compliance with regulatory measures like General Data Protection Regulation and the California Consumer Privacy Act?
Our customer data platform RFP toolkit offers plenty more questions you can ask prospective vendors. But it’s these kinds of Qs that can help you get going with your request for proposal outline — and on your way to getting the best-fit CDP for your organization.
Let’s fast forward to the moment you and your team pinpoint the ideal CDP to take your marketing to the next level. Now, you can work on making the case to your C-suite to get it.
Downloading our customer data platform business case eBook is your best bet to crafting a compelling sales pitch to deliver to your executive team with marketing colleagues.
But there are several, must-include details and insights you need to incorporate in your pitch deck to persuade decision-makers at your brand to get the CDP:
- Pinpoint your initial business use cases: You now know how world-class brands use the CDP to achieve their marketing goals. Now’s your chance to relay how you’d use yours in the period immediately following onboarding (e.g., first three, six, and 12 months) to extract value from it and upgrade your lifecycle orchestration.
- Assess the CDP’s organizational impact: Beyond the marketing objectives you’ll achieve, explain how the solution can enhance operational efficiency companywide. Note marketing will “own” the system and data that goes in and out, but other teams, like sales and customer service, can benefit from complete customer data access.
- Detail existing martech shortcomings: No CEO wants to hear the (typically high-cost) tech they invest in doesn’t provide the desired ROI. But you can justify the allocation of marketing spend for a CDP by pointing to other brands’ successes with the platform — including competitors — to illustrate the martech’s efficacy.
Itemize the (presumably) numerous questions you have about the CDP for your RFP, continue to research the market in the meantime, chat with sales reps at potential vendors, and — ultimately — decide which one works best for your particular business needs.
That’s how you end up with a best-in-class CDP that can take your strategy to new heights.
Customer Data Platform Resources
Now you know the customer data platform’s origins, the must-have features a CDP requires to actually be considered a CDP, and how the database solution helps today’s top brands accelerate their marketing and make the most of their other martech.
But your education shouldn’t stop here.
Check out the resources below for more insights into the martech that can enlighten you about advanced CDP concepts and the benefits it offers both B2B and B2C brands.
Blog Posts on CDP Features and Concepts
- Investing in a Customer Data Platform: A Guide: Learn how you can both identify the right CDP for your business and pitch your preferred platform to your C-suite.
- The MarTech Stack Evaluation Guide for Marketing: Find out how you can effectively audit your existing marketing technologies and incorporate a CDP in your stack.
- Clearing Up Customer Data Management Confusion: Discover the differences between data management solutions and why the CDP is superior to all other databases.
- First-Party Data: The Future of Marketing: Get in-depth insights into what is now the most valuable marketing asset for all every brand today in our explanatory guide.
- Crafting an Ideal Customer Profile for Marketing: See how you can build persistent profiles by unifying PII for all contacts across systems and channels into a CDP.
eBooks on Customer Data Platform Benefits
- What Is a CDP? And What Isn’t a CDP?: Need more info on what the CDP entails (and how it differs from CRM, data lakes, and other technologies)? This eBook is a must-read.
- CDP vs. DMP: Differences Between the MarTech: Many marketers remain curious how the CDP distinguishes itself from the DMP. Our guide compares and contrasts the tech.
- The CDP Proficiency Framework for Brands: Use our CDP assessment to determine how you can utilize a CDP for your business use cases and develop a roadmap for success.
- The New Customer Engagement Model: Our eBook explains how you can modify your engagement model to better connect with customers and comply with data laws.
- Building a Business Case for a Customer Data Platform: Make a compelling case for a CDP to your leadership team by using our handy business case guide for marketers.
Webinars on Popular CDP Trends and Topics
- 10 Customer Data Platform Use Cases for Marketers: We break down how brands — from retailers and publishers to financial services firms — take advantage of our CDP.
- Why Brands Will Abandon Marketing Cloud Suites: BlueConic COO Cory Munchbach notes why companies will ditch cloud suites in favor of CDPs in the years ahead.
- AI for Marketing: Overpromised & Underdelivered, Until Now: Learn how you can implement advanced AI use cases (e.g., predictive churn and CLV models) with a CDP.
- Data Privacy: Compliance & Consent Management Tips: See how BlueConic customers comply with GDPR and the CCPA using our consent management functionality.
- How to Write a CDP RFP Based on Your Business Needs: Our request-for-proposal toolkit can help you and your team craft an RFP that accounts for your business needs.
Our Customer Data Platform Case Studies
- goba Sports Group Unifies Data for Marketing Efficiency: See how the sporting goods retailer drove its CPA down 24% and increased ROAS 59% with BlueConic.
- Advantage Rent A Car Drives 25% Lift in Direct Bookings: Discover how the car rental agency boosted bookings through personalized website experiences for visitors.
- Holland.com Increases Its GDPR Consent Rate to 75%: Read how the Netherlands’ tourism branch grew its site visitors’ consent opt-ins by 2.5 times through A/B testing.
- Behind the Digital Transformation of Bob’s Discount Furniture: Watch our MarTech East session with the furniture retailer to see how they transformed digitally with BlueConic.
- Boston Globe Media Grows Reader Engagement by 70%: Learn how the news organization better engaged its readership through individualized subscription offers.
Want to learn about our leading customer data platform (and how it can help you liberate your data)? Request a demo with our team today to get a tour of our pure-play CDP.