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The “platform” in customer data platform

October 4, 2016 | By

This is part three of a series and the previous ones about the “customer” and the “data” are easy to check back to.

The last word in CDP is “platform.” This is actually the most interesting part of CDP because it means that we’re going to talk about what you can actually do with a CDP.

A CDP, as defined by David Raab, is “a marketer-controlled system that builds a multi-source customer database and exposes it to external execution systems.” To be able to connect to all kinds of systems and databases, now and in the future, Raab specifically used the word “platform.” A platform is ‘a framework on which applications may run’. In the context of CDPs, the benefits of a platform are critical:

  1. A platform that is inherently extremely open, with documented and accessible APIs, and highly available for everyone to store and to retrieve customer data. The whole premise of a CDP is that it’s a gigantic ‘switchboard’ of customer data, so getting data in and out should be extremely easy.
  2. It should also provide extreme flexible ways to collect data, because the more data the CDP has, the more all the other systems connected to the CDP have as well.
  3. It should be easy as possible to leverage the data

Intro to BlueConic

BlueConic is the only CDP in the market that really follows up on the promise of the platform. All of our API documentation is online, and everything you see in the product is actually based on plugins, a small piece of software that adds a feature to the platform – in this case, BlueConic – and can be installed or removed independent of BlueConic itself. We even split up our R&D teams into a platform team and a plugin team.

The whole reason for this is that we wanted to make it as easy as possible for us and for our customers to add value on top of the data. This means we have an incredible amount of out-of-the-box plugins, divided into categories such as:

  • Insights: loads of visualizations of your customer data, from simple line charts to show growth, to advances segment discovery widgets
  • Connections: all kinds of out of the box connections with other systems like MailChimp, ExactTarget, Salesforce, Google Analytics, Facebook and many many others
  • Dialogues: lots of web interactions, ranging from wysiwyg changing of your website for specific segments to NPS tools to lightboxes or slide-outs
  • Listeners: dozens of data collectors, from simple click recording to deep form listeners or funnel listeners

add_plugin_gallery

All out of the box plugins can be found in the gallery in BlueConic. They are so deeply integrated in BlueConic, that most customers don’t even know that they are actually using plugins. The most amazing part: if a customer wants to build their own plugin, that’s great too, just start here.

So, to summarize, the platform part of a CDP is about being an open platform to connect the CDP easily to all kinds of other systems, and to make it as easy as possible to leverage the value in the customer data.

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