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CDPs: The Next Era of MarTech

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CDPs: The Next Era of MarTech

by Arturo Mendiola


According to the Customer Data Platform Institute, a CDP is defined as: Packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems. CDPs serve as central source and repository of customer data – where internal teams can capture, structure, and unify customer data across multiple sources, including things like customer preference center data. CDPs also enable activation of this data to create personalized experiences at scale through various touchpoints, channels and devices (digital campaigns, websites, ecommerce, apps, email programs, etc.).  

CDPs have gained a lot of traction as they come with capabilities to help marketers realize individualization, omni-channel orchestration, privacy compliance and analytics for performance measurement and attribution. With these advanced capabilities, CDPs are really becoming the next stage in the evolution of the martech stack. The good news is products in the market, like Sitecore’s CDP, can help brands accelerate their transformation for modernizing their technology ecosystem. This aligns directly with the CXO’s objective of also modernizing the customer experience to be seamless and cohesive across channels and internal departments. 

Packaged software 

The CDP is a prebuilt system that is configured to meet the needs of each client. Some technical resources will be required to set up and maintain the CDP, but it does not require the level of technical skill of a typical data warehouse project. This reduces the time, cost, and risk while giving business users more control over the system – even though they may still need some technical assistance. 

Creates a persistent, unified customer database 

The CDP creates a comprehensive view of each customer by capturing data from multiple systems, linking information related to the same customer, and storing the information to track behavior over time. The CDP contains personal identifiers used to target marketing messages and track individual-level marketing results. 

Accessible to other systems 

Data stored in the CDP can be used by other systems for analysis and to manage customer interactions. 

— Customer Data Platform Institute 

“85% of marketers noted data unification across marketing systems and sources is the biggest benefit of a CDP.” 

— CDP Institute Member Survey 

Capabilities and benefits of a CDP

Capabilities of a CDP

  • Data structureIngest data from multiple sources, including first-party and third-party data

  • Identity resolutionIntelligent mapping to combine collected data into a single "golden" record or profile for reach customer.

  • SegmentationOrganize customer profiles into audience segments for analytics and marketing

  • Decision modelingBuild models (rules-based or AI/ML driven) to generate insights based on the available data

  • Testing and analyticsConduct tests and create reports to learn how to best optimize your marketing and CX efforts for better outcomes

  • Connected experience activationOrchestrate customer engagements across all delivery channels and customer touchpoints creating highly personalized and relevant experiences.

Benefits of a CDP

  • Customer at the centerCDPs better prepare brands to manage customer experiences and market with the audience in mind. Customer-centered marketing is not possible if you do not know your customer

  • Single source of truthCDP's collect and unify data from disparate sources, enabling multi and cross-channel marketing with comprehensive, trusted data.

  • Eliminate data silosCustomer data provides value across the entire organization. CDP's enable access to that data across departments accurately, securely and efficiently.

  • Operational efficiency and agilityEasy integration (through APIs), along with shared audiences and business rules means that the tech stack can respond to changing customer needs with greater agility.

  • Data privacy and complianceA centralized master record for your customers means you can more easily manage compliance with data privacy regulations like GDPR and CCPA

Transforming data sources into connected customer experiences 

CDPs provide marketers with one source of truth for customer data and up-to-the-minute business intelligence — eliminating potential dead-ends and leading to more connected experiences for customers. Personalization capabilities provide the ability to activate the data and intel that’s stored within the CDP to craft personalized user journeys that amplify digital engagement and create more engaging conversion pathways, regardless of touchpoint or device. 

Learn more about how your organization can achieve a single view of 360-degree customer data to activate automated omnichannel experiences through our Humanizing Customer Data series. Join our roundtable discussion (Opens in a new tab) on April 7th at 11:00am for the second installment of our three-part series on this topic. 

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