Companies rely on their marketing teams to get customers interested in their products or services and, ultimately, drive revenue. Though it may sound simple, marketers must face several daunting challenges to accomplish those goals. They have to keep up with the demand for personalization and targeting, find ways to understand their target audiences better, and manage massive amounts of data.
Even for the strongest marketing teams, dealing with all these challenges can be very difficult. Having the right tools makes all the difference. In particular, the best CDP tools can transform your marketing efforts.
Learn how to use a customer data platform (CDP) to improve your marketing efforts dramatically below.
How a Customer Data Platform Can Help Your Marketing Efforts
A customer data platform is a software solution aggregating your company’s first-party data into a centralized location. Using a CDP offers benefits across your enterprise, but this software is particularly beneficial for marketing departments.
Think about the many different sources of customer data that your company operates. These sources may include business intelligence tools, your website, live chat tools, analytics tools like Google Analytics, social media pages, and more. Each of these sources individually offers helpful information about your customers, but that data often ends up in silos — isolated from other teams and related data.
How valuable would it be to combine data from all these sources so you can see the whole picture? That’s precisely what a customer data platform does.
With a CDP, you can see all of your company’s data about a customer in one place. For example, you can analyze their purchase history, social media activity, website activity, and conversations with customer support all at the same time.
Specifically, some of the marketing applications of CDPs include:
- Creating a customer profile for a 360-degree view of each consumer
- Offering personalized customer experiences in real-time
- Nurturing and scoring leads more accurately for more conversions
The unified data and customer profiles within a customer data platform are incredibly useful for marketers. For instance, they can use the CDP to develop better audience segments and create personalized content targeted to those segments.
How to Select The Best CDP Tool
If you decide to use a customer data platform at your company, one of the first things you’ll have to do is search for the right option. While there are many different customer data platforms available, only one is the best CDP for your enterprise.
Here are some things to consider during your search:
Involve CDP Stakeholders
In all likelihood, your marketing team members won’t be the only internal stakeholders with something to say about your new customer data platform. Other teams like the customer support, sales, and IT teams may also be involved. You’ll need to put together a team of all these internal stakeholders to get their input during the decision-making process.
It’s not enough to find a CDP that aligns with the needs of one or two stakeholders. Your customer data platform must be the best match for all the stakeholders’ needs to be worth the investment you’re making. The only way to find that customer data platform is to involve all your stakeholders and get their thoughts.
Determine Use Cases
Through discussions with stakeholders, you can narrow down the precise use cases you have for your new customer data platform. The CDP will bring all your first-party data into a single, unified database, but you need to know exactly how that will help your business. Why do you want a CDP for your enterprise? What difference do you hope it will make, specifically?
Consider your use cases for the customer data platform and put together a list of the most important ones. As you evaluate customer data platforms, ensure they can fulfill your selected use cases.
Within marketing, some potential use cases of CDPs include:
- Developing targeted multi-channel marketing campaigns
- Segmenting audiences for more personalized customer experiences
- Understanding the customer journey better
- Finding “lookalike” customers to your existing audiences
If you choose a customer data platform that doesn’t match your use cases, it will end up being a waste of time and resources. The best way to ensure your end users adopt the CDP and get the most out of the software is to choose one that aligns with your business’s needs.
Look for Elements of the Best CDPs
Once you narrow down the list by talking to stakeholders and determining your use cases, the next step is to look for core elements of top customer data platforms. The best CDPs share certain traits, such as:
- Advanced analytics: Your customer data platform will likely have incredible amounts of data. This data is only useful to your marketing team after analysis pulls out the relevant details and insights, though. The best CDPs contain analytics features and even AI analysis tools to help your team use the data.
- Real-time integrations: All customer data platforms aggregate data, but only some are able to ingest data from your software tools in real-time. Choose a CDP that can process data immediately to avoid unnecessary delays.
- Data privacy and security: Collecting large quantities of data creates risks for your enterprise. High-quality CDPs include data privacy and security features that help you comply with security standards like the GDPR.
Customer data platforms that have some or all of these elements are among the top options. You may also want to consider data integrations (whether the customer data platform can integrate with all of your software products) and identity resolution features.
Customer data platforms unify your company’s first-party data, which can lead to a total transformation in your marketing efforts. Choose the best CDP for your company’s needs by involving internal stakeholders, determining your use cases, and looking for key elements like data security compliance. To find out more about the marketing applications of customer data platforms, contact Live Earth’s data experts. We can help you break down data silos in your enterprise and find valuable insights to improve your marketing efforts.