A CDP is marketing technology that brings customer data — both online and offline — into a single location, streamlining analysis, testing, targeting, and other marketing-related activities. It provides the right data at the right time to provide personalized experiences across channels and interactions.
This is achieved through a five-step process: the capture, collection, and analysis of data; creation of unified profiles; segmentation; prediction and testing; and activation/personalization. Together, these provide a seamless customer experience.
Data collection: Right now, marketers are dealing with silos of data located in numerous places — Google Analytics, Facebook Business Manager, Twitter, email, ecommerce, point-of-sale systems, and more. A CDP can aggregate these sources and more into one place, along with offline data, such as in-store interactions. Having the data collected in one place, without having to integrate multiple spreadsheets from a variety of places, allows for more straightforward analysis. It allows marketers to separate actionable information from the rest of the noise of the data.
Profile unification: Much of the marketing data that is currently available is generalized. That means it is not connected with a particular customer. While this can be helpful in creating generic marketing personas, which have historically been the go-to tool for making assumptions about customer behavior, they are just that — generalized assumptions. They are not specific to any one user.
In the circumstances where data is specific to a single customer, small differences — such as a slightly misspelled name, inclusion/exclusion of a middle initial or suffix, title/position or multiple addresses/phone numbers/emails, social media handles —can spawn new records. This creates both frustration for the customer and a challenge for marketers as it yields incomplete and confusing profiles. A CDP streamlines the process of reconciling these broken profiles into a single customer record, allowing for nuanced understanding of specific customers, as well as generalized personas.
Segmentation: Once data is gathered and cleaned up, it can more easily be segmented into various audiences. This simplified process allows for the development of more specific communications and advertising plans.
Prediction + Testing: Hand in hand with segmentation is testing. Data that is more quickly and easily segmented makes for a much more streamlined A/B testing process. This straightforward process allows marketing teams — without the assistance of IT or other technical teams — to experiment in real time with offers and promotions that can help cement a customer relationship. This level of testing extends beyond offers and promotions. It is possible to test images, image placement, content types, button locations, and more. Every interaction offers an opportunity to see what resonates best with your customers.
Activation + Personalization: With detailed, granular behavior information, the CDP enables marketers to activate customers across channels and develop personalized experiences. Customers will receive the best next interaction to meet their needs — perhaps personalized content specific to their interests, or a coupon that will lead them to click “purchase” rather than simply saving items in the cart for later.