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Customer Data Platform – Makes Your Marketing Sexy Again

December 17, 2019   |
   Arjun Krisna

Almost all the tools in the martech stack strive to deliver a 360-degree customer profile. Be it marketing automation platforms, customer experience management platforms, CRMs and so on. But the problem that most marketers face is that all these individual 360-degree views are stuck inside each platform. So, marketers are still on the look for a platform that gives them a complete view of their customers breaking all these data silos and giving them the transparency into every stage of the customer lifecycle. 

For example, marketing automation platforms provide their share of the customer information gathered across multiple channels such as emails, ads, website and more. But they cannot ingest offline information or bring back information from CRM, which can potentially lead to sending outdated and confusing communication. 

So, how to power your marketing automation platform?

Behold, Customer Data Platform (CDP)

CDPs can not only supercharge your marketing automation platform but your behemoth marketing stack with the right information. 

What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

According to the CDP Institute, “A Customer Data Platform is packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems”

To elaborate, a CDP is a SaaS solution that helps marketers get a complete profile of their customers by ingesting data from multiple customer-facing channels such as website, email, app, live chat & offline. 

This compiled customer data can be segmented in multiple ways and sent back to any system to personalize marketing campaigns. Let’s say you want to send emails to people from your target accounts who visited particular pages on your website. Using a Customer Data Platform, you can easily unify website behavior information and company details (using a data enrichment tool). Now, this complete customer data can be sent to your email marketing platform to trigger automated drip campaigns. 

So, what about visitors who didn’t give their email IDs on their first visit (probably the majority of your visitors), you can still unify their behavior and company information and send the profiled user data to ad MI platforms such as Facebook & Google Ads and retarget them with relevant offers.

This is just a quick example of how the Customer Data Platform (CDP) can help marketers in their day-to-day activities. 

marketing for dynamic customer journeys

Core Capabilities of a CDP

The core capabilities of a Customer Data Platform include the following,

Collect: 

CDPs can ingest first-party, individual-level data from both online and offline sources. 

Beginning from collecting unique identifiers such as cookies, email IDs, names and postal addresses, subsequent attributes such as pages browsed, lifecycle stage, demographic & transactional information are also collected without any limits on storage in real-time.

Track unique identifiers and attributes without writing any code

Unify: 

CDPs have the ability to combine profiles at an individual-level across sources. 

This enables marketers, identify users logged-in across multiple devices, deduplicate customer records, aggregate users at an account level and also match 3rd party user data with existing personally identifiable customer information. 

Segment:

Simply having a unified customer database isn’t enough unless that information can be used effectively. CDPs can effectively segment customer data (eg: viewed pricing page more than 3 times + company size greater than 100 employees + CRM lead stage ‘warm’) and send this actionable information in a usable format to multiple platforms to help marketers get the best out of their customer data. 

Learn more about user segmentation

Sync:

CDPs can effectively send these segments not just to ad platforms but to email marketing tools, marketing automation platforms, CRMs, customer success platforms and more diverse execution channels. 

Take a look at some of the platforms that can be integrated

CDP vs Related Technologies

TechnologyCustomer Data Platform (CDP)Data Management Platform (DMP)Customer Relationship Management (CRM)Data Warehouse
PurposeCollects & unifies customer data from multiple sources to create a unified customer view. This data can be sent back to any platform.Collects anonymous 3rd party customer information to send only to advertising platforms.Manage customer information collected during specific engagements. Typically used by sales and customer support teams.Collect and process raw data to support analysis
Preferred byMarketingMarketingSales & SupportManagement team
Customer lifecycle stageAcquisition, Conversion, RetentionAcquisitionRetention
What can the customer information be used for?Craft personalized messages across website, email, chat and ad platformsCreate personalized adsPersonalized email or chat outreachNo direct customer interactions
FEATURE COMPARISON
Identity ResolutionYesNoNoNo
Single customer viewYesNoYesNo
Advanced segmentationYesYesNoYes
Data ActivationYesYes (but only ad platforms)NoYes (but only for analytics tools)
Campaign optimizationYesYes (only ads)NoNo
Omnichannel engagementYesYesNoNo
GDPR complianceYesNoYesYes
CDP complements existing tools

CDPs in the market (or) CDP for Marketers: Which should you choose?

While CDPs put marketers in charge of the entire system, they tend to require huge developer assistance to get started. In a way, the current CDPs in the market, have turned in to the very same problem that they once set out to solve – “enabling marketers to get the customer information they need without going through any hassle”. 

Starting from system access restrictions to customizing incoming/outgoing customer information, configuring a CDP system makes marketers depend on their IT teams. This IT dependency and delays are actually stalling marketers from accessing customer information on the fly. 

Here’s an example to explain why marketers can’t afford to lose time while collecting customer information. Say a SaaS company wants to send emails to its trial users to convert them to a paid plan from Intercom but they have no visibility into their customers’ subscription statuses. It became absolutely critical to integrate their subscription billing software with Intercom at the earliest. Else they would be sending both their trial and users the same onboarding sequence, which hampers brand image. Which literally translates to ‘Not caring enough about your customers’.

The native integration between the two platforms only worsened the problem by forming duplicate entries as it was not able to logically match the user IDs. However, their CDP was able to effectively resolve user ID issues between the two platforms and helped in obtaining a unified customer profile accessible inside Intercom.

That’s how Anova Golf used CustomerLabs CDP to personalize its marketing outreaches. However, implementing this using a regular CDP might have taken tons of developer help and time but it took just two days for them to implement using CustomerLabs CDP – The CDP for the Marketer.

Anova Golf employed CustomerLabs’ No-code Customer Data Platform for  three important tasks:

  • Identity Resolution
  • Audience Building
  • Data Activation

Here’s a quick tour of our No-code Customer Data Platform for Marketers

CDP – Common misconceptions

A CDP is just an integration platform

Reality: ‘Connecting cloud applications’ – the similarity between a Customer Data Platform and common integration applications such as Zapier and Automate.io stops here. CDPs go a step further and help in ingesting customer identity, behavior, descriptive and qualitative data from multiple sources. Profile & segment them to send it to any platform in a usable format to trigger personalized campaigns. In other words, a CDP will be your primary data hub that you can depend on to power your marketing tools rather than just creating 1 to 1 integrations.

CDPs are for marketers only

Reality: While marketers can get the maximum benefits from a Customer Data Platform. The compiled customer information can tie all your business functions such as sales and support teams by empowering them with all the missing data they yearn for inside their CRM and support platforms. While current CDPs in the market claim to be marketer-owned systems, CustomerLabs CDP focuses solely on the marketer & is on its way to change this into a marketer-managed system. 

Your CDP will be your “Single source of truth”

Reality: While CDPs have the capability to be your single source of truth for all your customer data, it also has the ability to make any of your existing platforms your single source of truth. We cannot deny the fact that platforms such as Hubspot & Salesforce are purchased with an intent to make them an end to end data hub by most organizations. These systems, however, have that capability but they will not be able to interact effectively with platforms outside their cohort. A Customer Data Platform can effectively communicate with all your existing platforms & send customer data to the tools you want in real-time. 

CDPs need extensive IT support

Reality: This is not a myth when we consider the other CDPs in the market. While CDPs promise to make marketers lives easier, they still make them depend on their IT teams to get things done. This to and fro between development and marketing teams make marketers rethink their CDP investment. However, this is not the case with CustomerLabs. Our intuitive platform empowers marketers to connect and compile customer data from multiple platforms without any developer interference. 

A CDP is just an Enterprise Data Warehouse

Reality: While data warehouses do help in gathering customer information from multiple sources such as marketing automation platforms, websites, ad platforms, expos & conferences and industry databases, the cost of maintaining a separate, expensive software to load, transform and model customer data is insanely high. It also requires an expansive team of developers & data scientists to manage this information. However, CDPs can enable even the most complex marketing-focused organizations to get a comprehensive customer database without going through all this hassle. 

From personas to people

While marketers depend on fictional characters to create tailored content, CDPs can give a complete view of their customers. 

In a way, a CDP is your first step to understanding your customers. 

A comparison between marketing persons & CDP information

Benefits of a CDP

A single customer view is one of the biggest advantages you can get out of a CDP, but it does not stop with that. Here are some of the major benefits that marketers will get out of their CDP investment.

Break customer data silos

This is perhaps the biggest roadblock that marketers face in their daily lives. For example, as a marketing unit, you work for hours together to get the perfect content for your latest ad campaign. You trigger this ad to a specific segment. 

Looking at the results after a few days, you see that a certain number of your subscribers have in fact signed up and expressed an interest in your service. This data enters your CRM as an MQL. After a few weeks despite repeated follow ups these leads go cold (happens for any business). You decide to run reactivation campaigns to this specific segment by just pushing this information to ad platforms. However, without much information about their behavior you will end up reaching only a handful of your audience. Using a CDPs cookie enrichment technology you can effectively enrich the cookies with user behavior information and sync them with your ad platforms to retarget specific users which significantly increases your audience match rates.  

Track & predict the entire customer journey

No matter which stage your customers are in their buyers journey, you can exactly pinpoint them using a Customer Data Platform. You will have visibility into not just their ad and email behavior but also deeper insights into how many times have they visited your website, what are the common features that they currently engaging with inside your app, have their questions been answered by your customer success teams and much more. 

No more ‘Personalization Fails’

A huge nightmare for any marketer even today is when their email addresses their users by the wrong name or much worse, addressing them as ‘Hello {FIRST_NAME}’. Even in the modern marketing era, things like these are bound to happen. So, how can you avoid them? The only solution here is to integrate all existing platforms. A Customer Data Platform solves this problem by integrating all existing tools & fills up missing information with the aggregated data & fallback mechanisms – completely eliminating personalization fails!

Advanced customer insights

CDPs don’t stop at just sending actionable information to other platforms. With access to quality customer information, CDPs can become a powerful platform for customer analytics. Tracking multiple interactions across various channels give CDPs the power to create spot-on attribution reports, customer journey reports, ROAS reports, Funnel & Cohort reports. 

Create your own marketing reports 

How companies use Customer Data Platforms

Re-engage cold leads with relevant ads:

A popular messaging software saw a huge drop in the number of marketing-qualified leads converting into sales opportunities. The occasional nurturing emails proved futile and they were desperately looking for new ways to re-engage with these leads. Using CustomerLabs CDP, they were able to integrate their CRM and ad platforms within two days. This resulted in showing relevant ads to all the non-responsive leads based on their lifecycle stage. The company saw a massive 60% increase in its opportunity conversion rates. All this with zero developer interference. 

Notify sales teams about target accounts: 

A fast-growing subscription and commerce platform invested heavily in their account-based marketing efforts and wanted to notify their sales teams when contacts from target accounts visit their website. They used CustomerLabs CDP to connect Hubspot, Clearbit and Slack. Once an anonymous user visits their website, visitor information is enriched and compared with the target database in Hubspot and saved as a segment inside CustomerLabs CDP. This information is sent to sales teams through Slack.  

Visualize user journeys using BI tools:

An event tech company wanted to improve its customer analytics by getting exclusive insights into their visitors’ behavior. By implementing CustomerLabs CDP, their marketing teams were able to track all the data they need in the front end. This information was then sent to a cloud data warehouse. Their infinite customer journeys were neatly visualized using Tableau, thus equipping their marketing team drive better conversions. 

Frequently asked vendor questions – CustomerLabs CDP

  1. How easy or difficult is the implementation of your product?

Unlike the other CDPs in the market which consumes weeks or some cases months of development & marketing time and efforts, it only takes two days to implement CustomerLabs CDP

  1. Does your CDP require coding knowledge?

No. CustomerLabs CDP is the first no-code customer data platform that helps users without coding knowledge get the customer data they need.  

  1. Does your CDP have a marketer-friendly interface?

CustomerLabs CDP is a marketer-first platform with intuitive screens at every step of the way. Marketers can easily collect user data, combine user information from multiple platforms, segment them and send it to the platforms of their choice. All this without writing a single line of code.  

  1. What platforms can we integrate with your customer data platform?

‘Sources’ from CustomerLabs CDP helps you integrate & bring/send information to any platform that supports webhooks without any developer interference. 

  1. How easy it is to create segments in your platform?

CustomerLabs CDP gives marketers the flexibility to segment their customer data any way they need without having to write any custom queries. These segments can be sent to their email marketing, ad or CRM platforms to take relevant steps.

  1. Can your platform identify users & take them from anonymous to known customers?

With Identity resolution being the focal point of CDPs, CustomerLabs CDP can effectively manage and merge all forms of identity and associated user data.

  1. Does your CDP include GDPR compliance features?

As a central unit for all customer data, CustomerLabs CDP is committed to making it easier for companies to comply with the GDPR.

Talk to our CDP experts today
What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

To elaborate, a CDP is a SaaS solution that helps marketers get a complete profile of their customers by ingesting data from multiple customer-facing channels such as website, email, app, live chat & offline. 

Does CustomerLabs CDP track anonymous and known users?

Yes, CustomerLabs CDP track anonymous users as well as known users and unifies the customer data into a single 360 profile.

Does CustomerLabs CDP bring data from other sources?

CustomerLabs CDP can bring data from website, CRM, Email Marketing etc.

 
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