Customer Data Platform: the importance of identifying, unifying and managing customer interactions
In the current scenario, companies that do not use technology to enhance the customer experience lag behind, especially within the digital environment. In this context, data has a direct correlation in contributing to this buying journey, amplifying engagement, and loyalty rates. Thus, the Customer Data Platform (CDP) emerged as a new and powerful marketing tool to assist in this process.
If you are not yet familiar with the term CDP, you should start including it in your dictionary, as it is here to stay and promises to revolutionize digital marketing regarding consumer engagement. Follow this article from Lima Consulting to understand how this feature will change the course of customer relationships on the purchasing path.
What is a Customer Data Platform?
The Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a tool that unifies consumer data from online, offline, anonymous, and identified sources into a single platform. These data can come from registration databases, transactional records, consumer engagement, privacy data, among others. This allows analyzing, modeling, and even predicting customer behavior based on various available information points, enabling more accurate audience segmentation and personalized communications and content.
Its promise is precisely to unify, analyze, and activate customer information to break traditional data, technology, and channel silos within an organization. This is because a good CDP has native connectors with various marketing tools – CRM, media, UX, analytics, etc. – which enables the integrated use of audience data. It is also capable of custom connecting with any other tool that lacks native connectors.
Thus, various marketing tools traditionally adopted for audience segmentation and relationship can converge and expand to cover the customer journey entirely within a single platform, from the first contact to post-sales.
The CDP emerged as a solution that relieves business teams from the need to unify dozens of consumer data existing in each of their martech, CRM, or primary user data storage tools. By unifying them, the platform helps teams better segment the audience, enrich customer information, work on individual-level communications, and free up time for teams to focus on strategic actions rather than technical or manual dependencies.
CDP and Digital Marketing
In general, the Customer Data Platform is a trump card for digital marketing that has been a bet for major players in the market. With the premise of simplifying the routine of marketing professionals, it is the solution to a gap that needed to be filled: the unification of data from digital and offline sources, as well as their touchpoints for activation in a single platform.
The CDP also provides significant and actionable insights, helping these professionals deliver consistent, targeted, and contextually relevant experiences across all channels. To enable team autonomy and flexibility in their actions, the CDP offers a no-code and user-friendly interface that assists in data activation and allows personalization across multiple channels. Here, the guiding principle is to simplify.
By following our partners, CDP vendors, Lima has noticed that most of their Marketing Clouds use this platform as the central gear to activate consumer data connected with multiple tools. This is the case for Salesforce, Adobe, Twilio, and Insider.
Artificial Intelligence in insight-building
As mentioned, CDPs are designed with marketing professionals in mind and are highly intuitive and practical to use. To offer a robust real-time environment capable of handling large datasets, some CDPs make use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) technologies to give teams the option to optimize and scale analysis, hypothesis generation, and customer interaction-related tests.
Programs and campaigns can be visually configured using simple yet sophisticated user interfaces. All data is collected through ML algorithms, which means there is no need for an exclusive IT team to maintain the power of your CDP.
What is the added value in practice?
A Customer Data Platform is capable of ingesting and unifying customer data from any online or offline source. One of the main advantages of a CDP—and what makes it truly effective—is its ability to communicate with a multitude of platforms and aggregate and exchange data.
This means you can integrate it with the key systems that a marketing team uses, enhancing the effectiveness of these tools collectively. Some examples include integrating the CDP with Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platforms, Content Management Systems (CMS), AB Testing Tools, Marketing Automation Tools, Media Audiences, among others.
It supports the entire set of customer data, efficiently reading them for various purposes. As a result, it contributes to user acquisition through different digital channels, as well as the activation, retention, and renewal of acquired customers. It also aids in improving conversions and discovering upsell and cross-sell opportunities for products, providing personalized recommendations, among other purposes.
Thus, it becomes evident that implementing a CDP only adds value to the applied marketing strategies. Below are five of its main capabilities and contributions that serve common objectives for any business.
Unified customer view
Undoubtedly, the CDP’s significant advantage is offering a 360-degree view of customers to better understand them and effectively reach them with marketing efforts. It collects primary and secondary data, normalizes and structures them into relevant information, and finally sends the audiences to activation platforms, where professionals work on actions and campaigns.
Real-time behavior analysis based on historical data, past purchases, and probability of purchases enables the segmentation of different customers. Segmentation is essential as the CDP has to deal with data from thousands — or even millions — of consumers.
This directly impacts the marketing team’s work since advertising uniformly to all customers at once is an outdated and inefficient practice. We know that each individual — or a group of people with similar profiles — requires specific communication to meet their brand expectations.
Thus, audience segmentation is vital to provide insights for more accurate marketing actions and create more targeted campaigns, which tend to contribute to increased ROI (Return on Investment).
One of the factors that contribute to an exemplary user experience is real-time personalization. Based on consumer behavior and using references from previous purchases, items added to wishlists, among others, CDPs allow creating highly robust customer profiles to deliver personalized content and recommendations based on their preferences.
A Customer Data Platform is an ally when it comes to reaching the right audience with the help of advanced functionalities like predictive segmentation. This way, you can target audiences with a higher propensity to purchase through ad channels like Facebook and Google, significantly improving your Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS).
Analytics/BI and Insights
All analytics data can be imported from their respective applications to the CDP and displayed as one of the views for any client. Therefore, there is no need to open multiple tools to unify data and gain valuable insights from them.
CDP as a Marketing Ally for Customer Prospecting and Retention
The trend is that over time, the CDP becomes increasingly essential, becoming a critical element of a company’s modern data infrastructure. It optimizes the routine of marketing professionals, enabling even non-technical teams to execute data-driven tasks more efficiently and seamlessly.
This helps them better understand their customers’ journeys, execute targeted personalization campaigns, and improve the product experience. It will be easier to communicate the right message to the right user at the right time and channel. Consequently, there will be a higher return on efforts to impact the customer, contributing to the company’s profits and financial health.
A good Customer Data Platform provides insights for the business comprehensively. Thus, it will be possible to know how to improve your marketing strategy from customer prospecting to their post-sale retention. Understand how the CDP helps with that.
With a Customer Data Platform implemented, your team will have access to all online and offline purchase behaviors of a specific customer, as well as transactional data, interests, and most active channels.
With a 360-degree view of their habits and real-time personalization, your team can develop a marketing strategy that offers incentives for them to acquire new products. For example, it will be possible to segment them and other high-conversion customers to send personalized push notifications and email messages with attractive offers such as discounts and early access to new releases before the general public.
Reaching New Leads
Armed with predictive insights generated from the CDP, your department can both identify high-value potential customers and find new customers likely to make a purchase. Based on their past behaviors, the CDP can generate predictive segments with a high probability of purchase or target a specific user’s lifecycle stage.
With this, the marketing department can seize the opportunity to create promotional campaigns in which ads, emails, overlays, etc., will be delivered with the help of accumulated data in the platform. This will encourage the targeted audience to get to know the brand, leading to strengthened awareness, relationship building, and the loyalty of new customers.
Choosing a CDP
When choosing a Customer Data Platform, some points should be considered. The first is to understand if you need this platform or not, analyzing how your company can benefit from adopting this technology. It is important to keep in mind that there is a wide range of CDPs in the market, offering different features of a customer data platform.
To select the right vendor for your needs, pay attention to the platform’s functionalities. Above all, they should make your team’s routine more productive. Therefore, make sure that the tool delivers features such as:
- Unification of data from all customer touchpoints in a single environment;
- Collaboration for your omnichannel strategy, allowing connection with tools/platforms at all customer touchpoints;
- Provision of intelligent dashboards and reports, enabling you to track the key performance indicators (KPIs) ideal for the marketing strategies used by your company. This feature is offered by more comprehensive platforms like Insider’s;
- Ability to collect, unify, and activate data in near real-time;
- Full personalization to meet specific demands of your company, fit your dimensions, and help visualize the return on investment (ROI) more accurately.
Specific CDP Methodology with Lima Consulting
Lima Consulting is a technology solutions consultancy, a reference in CDP, that has a specific methodology for implementing this solution. It consists of three phases:
1. Think: Initial phase of the project with Discovery/Assessment, to map use cases and potential outcomes;
2. Build: This phase involves the basic implementation of the solution, focused on delivering high-quality technical output based on the previous phase, with operational efficiency.
3. Run: It maintains the continuous flow of work to address the backlog of use cases, improve everything done in the Build phase, and create a factory of customer experiences through data usage, with continuous monitoring to ensure value delivery to the customer.
If you want to increase your company’s revenue by reducing media investment costs and reach your target audience more accurately with the help of a Customer Data Platform that aligns with your business, rely on Lima Consulting Group. Request the contact of one of our professionals to support the construction of your business’s digital future!