Thinking of Implementing a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?
Pause before you take the leap…

For all marketers, data has become key to successful marketing campaigns and engaging with customers. Consequently, many organizations are taking the leap in investing in a CDP that will enable them to integrate all data points and obtain a unified view of the customer.

However, many companies investing in a CDP fail to recognize that they are not only investing in marketing technology. They will need to invest in many ‘behind-the-scenes’ principles to achieve their expected outcome. Implementing rigor and discipline around data, developing new processes and a governance model, creating new team structures, and mandating adoption and use of the platform are only a few of the internal changes companies will need to make.

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a software that aggregates and organizes customer data across a variety of touchpoints and is used by other software, systems, and marketing efforts. CDPs collect and structure real-time data into individual, centralized customer profiles.

These customer profiles are built by integrating data from a variety of first-, second-, and third-party sources. This includes your CRM and DMP,  web forms, transactional systems, email and social media activity, website and ecommerce data, and more.

One element that is often overlooked when moving to a CDP is that the technology will only be as good as the data it houses. Data hygiene is the single most important lever companies can pull to deliver an optimal customer experience and it requires discipline, sustained effort, and structure. Inaccurate or ‘dirty’ data will inhibit businesses’ ability to increase revenue, deliver growth, and increase customer satisfaction.

So, what is ‘dirty’ data’and how do you clean it? Dirty data can derive from inaccurate customer information inputs by customers or internal employees, incomplete, outdated or duplicate records, use of wrong data fields (which in turn leads to incorrect email addresses), wrong phone numbers, misuse of first and last name, and the list goes on… Cleaning up data will require organizations to changes processes across functional areas, often including removing manual data entry and automating data capture processes, increasing training and understanding of the systems/tools across functional teams, and implementing new data import processes.

Investing in a CDP is more than an investment in marketing technology, it is a long-term organizational investment which will require changes that companies need to be prepared to make if they want to reap the full benefits of the platform.

Three tips for implementing a CDP:

  1. Data hygiene– Most CDPs will come with proprietary tools to correct data, such as address validation, email validation, merge/purge to eliminate duplicate names for direct mail campaigns, etc. These tools do a pretty good job at cleaning up basic data, however, there are many third-party tools that provide a superior service that you might want to use in addition to your CRM platform. Let us know if you need help.
  2. KPIs – Aligning on the CRM metrics and KPIs you want to focus on, as a company, will be an important step in ensuring the success of your program. It will also enable the proper analytics dashboard setup of your CRM platform.
  3. Org– The implementation of your CDP/CRM technology will require rethinking your organizational structure to ensure you have a CRM champion for the company, who is able to work in an omnichannel fashion across your company’s cross-functional teams.

 To learn more about CDPs and how to leverage your investments, contact us!

Written by: Lauren Reimer, Sr. Consultant