April 7, 2020

The Leading Tips for Ignoring the Hype of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs)

Data PlatformsLike most trending technologies, customer data platforms (CDPs) have their hyper-cutters and believers, and those individuals who create market confusion. Most brands and marketers have invested in CDPs, and leading marketing technology providers have bought into it or have started acquiring it.

However, some researchers have cut through the hype, with 1 Forrester report claiming that CDPs tend to under-deliver and over-promise and ‘don’t have the critical capabilities for solving cross-channel orchestration, identity resolution, and data hygiene.

The CDP Institute has already begun the charge to make things less confusing by launching the RealCDP, which is a program designed to reduce the confusion plaguing the Customer Data Platform industry. At the end of the day, it’s brands and marketers who will be tasked with getting the most out of CDPs, and as we step into the new decade, we’ve decided to uncover the leading tips on how you can make the most from a customer data platform.

Keep an Eye on Compliance Issues and Data Complexities

Buyers of CDP must be aware of the mistakes businesses make when they enter into a CDP engagement. Some of the main hurdles you will face include data governance, the ill-informed total cost of ownership, enterprise data complexities, adjoining technical dependencies, compliance issues, and immature internal analytical capabilities. All these issues make ROI and adoption slower and pose a problem for organizations that are keen to adopt Customer Data Platforms.

Even though CDP product offerings have mushroomed and matured rapidly over the past couple of years, the technology offerings that underpin the ‘build’ solution has simplified and matured.

Prioritize Business Use

Most CDPs are technically complicated, and there’s a tendency to evaluate them based on feature-fillers, but you understand that these platforms are designed to empower marketers. The key to vetting solutions lies in how well they are matching up against business use cases.

You must ensure that your firm evaluates CDP vendors according to 9 key business scenarios, but none of the 3-dozen major CDPs in the market are capable of more than 2 or 3 use cases. Therefore, it’s vital that, as a customer, you should prioritize your business use cases when adopting it.

Know about Your Data Landscape Readiness

Most organizations tend to underestimate the readiness of their data landscape when it comes to CDP, risk delays, cost increase and limitations, build or buy. Readiness issues include master data management, stewardship issues, compliance, and data governance.

Corporations with high availability of unidentified or anonymous behavioral and interaction data have a large and transformative opportunity. However, the solutions are complex, and the risks involved are extremely high.

Understand Your CDP Path to ROI

Midsize enterprises and single brands with simplified data environments should focus on their marketing activation objectives. The CDP product landscape has plenty of options, and multi-brands with large ecosystems, sophisticated advanced analytics requirements, and complex enterprise data systems require a maturity roadmap that goes beyond marketing activations.

Therefore, you must consider both build and buy scenarios because source data volume, variety, veracity, and velocity are crucial considerations for defining an effective approach. The fastest path to ROI has proven to be an iterative approach that is based on identifying and proving a limited number of high-value cases that have limited initial data sources.

Test Before Buying Your CDP

It’s imperative that you test out the software before investing in it, but that’s not something most organizations do as they pick key pieces of their stack without first testing out the platforms. This is just like buying a car after you watched the salesperson drive it around the lot. To comprehend what the CDP offers, you must get behind the wheel and test it for yourself.

This may be tricky, but it’s something that can be done with a CDP. You can employ your use cases for testing vendors through the RFP/demo process. It’s not easy, and you will need to get your data house in order to take advantage of the testing process. However, once you’ve done it, you’ll have a clearer idea about the operational requirements you’ll need to address when deploying any new CDP.

Understand the Analytics and Data Science Maturity

Organizations that are thinking about adopting and implementing a CDP tend to have parallel aspirations that revolve around data science maturity and analytics. These can be approached in tandem if you have a single/shared solution.

However, the advanced analytics components are often overlooked, and this includes the likes of well-governed data sets exposure for intellectual property and exploration, the ability to test analytical models, and data science workbench.

Looking at the Big CDP Picture

So, where does Customer Data Platforms stand from an organizational point of view? Well, for the most part, CDP has emerged as a standard in the modern marketing technology ecosystem, which is driven by the promise of delivering a single reference point for customer data. The core construct is to have a central customer profile that comprises of analytical insights for consumption, interactional, behavioral, and transactional attributes for consumption on the customer experience landscape.

The main use cases and business owners are generally focusing on optimization, omnichannel personalization, and orchestration through journeys and segments. The early adopters have even started looking at complex use cases that are based on machine learning, and artificial intelligence, and even use cases that are outside the marketing spectrum.

by Bobby J Davidson

We love our company and we love what we do.  Check out the ‘Why Percento‘ page to learn more: Love of Technology and Business!  As the President of Percento Technologies International, I provide day-to-day leadership to the company’s senior management and I am personally involved in the strategy, business development and sales activities of the firm.

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