Customer data platforms or CPDs are programs that allow businesses to unify customer data across multiple channels.
This type of software also organizes data and makes it easily available to all employees who are authorized or need access to them.
Due to the more organized, consolidated collection of customer data, a CDP can help you get more out of the technology. With the information gathered, you will gain a better understanding of your consumers, which will allow you to create more personalized marketing campaigns and strategies.
The collected data will also enable you to design customized shopping experiences for your customers, which will boost their loyalty to your business.
Investing in Your First Customer Data Platform
Purchasing your first CDP for your business can be challenging. The variety of products available in the market can make it hard for anyone to zero in on the best solution.
Requesting a customer data platform demo can help you narrow down your options. By having a specialist show you the ins and outs of the product and how to use it, you will get a better picture of the benefits it offers.
The demo will also help you determine if the product is easy to use, meets the requirements of your business, and is a good fit for your company.
Having an idea of the key features the best CDPs have can also help you make the right decision regarding which software to invest in.
If you want to know which features differentiate the best CDPs from mediocre ones, read below:
1. Comprehensive Data Collection
Top-rated CDPs collect first-party, individual-level data from customers.
Individual-level data consist of your customers’ identity information, such as names and email addresses. They can also include other attributes like consumer demographics and their behavioral interactions with your company.
The program gathers this data from numerous online and offline sources and touchpoints. These include your website, app, social media channel, email, and data from visits paid by your customers to your physical store.
But aside from simply gathering data, the best CDP should be able to unify the collected information from all these touchpoints.
To check if the CDP collects information from the right touchpoints, check the built-in integration. This can come in the form of API, App SDK, or Web SDK.
These systems can connect data from all channels and ask customers if they can collect data and behavior from desktop and mobile websites, apps, POS, and call centers.
2. Data Enrichment
The best CDPs not only collect and unify customer data; they can also cleanse, deduplicate, standardize, and enhance information gathered from the different touchpoints.
Some CDPs only have limited data quality capabilities or do not come with this feature. Having access to this capability can make your work (as well as your team’s work) less time-consuming and more efficient.
Additionally, these programs update the collected information continuously and automatically for various campaigns and uses in real-time.
This data enhancement feature allows your team to tailor your personalization strategies in a timely, more suitable and effective way.
3. Customer Profile Unification
A CDP that can consolidate profiles from multiple devices and different customer records to the correct individual they belong to is also a valuable tool to have for your business.
Aside from removing duplicate information, such as a customer who uses different email addresses and contact numbers, a good CDP can consolidate them. They can even combine or group customers into a household or account when necessary.
When your business has access to a more organized set of information, aside from providing personalized experiences, you will be consistent in carrying them out across various channels.
As a result, you will be able to boost customer loyalty, which is also a key factor that can drive more first-time consumers to your shop. You can also provide a high-impact virtual brand experience that will set your business apart from the competition.
4. Dynamic Segmentation
In marketing, segmentation means dividing the marketplace into parts, or segments, to create specific, more definable and effective actions. This strategy helps retailers customize their products to meet the needs, desires, purposes, and paying abilities of their customers.
A CDP worth investing in offers different types of segmentation capabilities or, at the very least, allows users to create and manage rule-based customer segments.
More advanced CDPs come with predictive analytics that automates and recommends new segments.
A customer data solution with segment capabilities that rely on a trait, behavior, and predictive and rule-based segmentation should be on top of your list. With this feature, your marketing team will be able to apply this strategy successfully in their campaigns.
5. Machine Learning Capability
CDPs that can make customer data actionable and provide hints and ideas on how you can use them to increase engagement are also must-have business tools.
Many CDPs cannot provide any intelligence to their collected data, while others offer only rudimentary numbers or rules to boost customer engagement.
The best customer data platforms should have configurable intelligence features that your team can apply across the different channels.
Additionally, a CDP with advanced machine learning capabilities to drive authentic individualized relationships with customers will also work to your advantage. The data you will obtain will make it easier for your marketing team to create successful personalized campaigns.
This, in turn, will boost overall customer engagement.
6. Platform-Wide and Cross-Channel Configurability
A configurable, agile customer data platform ensures you can use this solution for a long time. It helps future-proof your business since it will constantly meet the continuously changing needs of the consumers.
Moreover, it will support your business as it faces the constantly changing market.
For these reasons, it is important to invest in a customer data platform that you can configure to meet all specific needs end-to-end.
Additionally, your CDP should also be cross-channel-capable. Your team should be able to use the collected data on all channels from a central point.
A CDP that will allow you and your team to manage all of your marketing channels, such as email, social media, SMS, and ads, will also make it easier for everyone to set up and execute successful campaigns using real-time data.
When finding a customer data platform to invest in, aside from getting an idea of these features, identify your reasons for getting the software and how you intend to use it. The right software should answer all these requirements during implementation and in the long run.