Powering Digital Transformation with Customer Data Platforms

The customer data platform (CDP) market is a newer field of customer data management and analytics that is growing with force. According to a recent Markets and Markets study, the global CDP market reached approximately $2.4 billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $10.3 billion by 2025. This digital transformation of the customer life cycle is attributed to a number of factors: growing marketing and advertising campaigns across industries, gleaning data from newer customer commerce channels, and a desire to better leverage smart analytics and artificial intelligence.

Also Read: What is Digital Transformation?

Transforming Customer Engagement with CDPs

What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

A customer data platform focuses on the centralization of customer data. Although all existing systems will continue to collect customer data and store it in their separate platforms, a CDP is designed to collect all of that data in a unified customer database, which all of the other systems can access as needed. Because CDPs collect data from all of the relevant customer platforms in the network, CDPs usually include the following types of customer data:

  • Website and e-commerce site interactions
  • Email and ad engagement
  • Mobile app behaviors
  • Search queries
  • In-store interactions

CDP vs. CRM

Although customer data platforms share some similarities with customer relationship management (CRM) platforms, they extend past the marketing-sales pipeline found in a CRM. CDPs offer more comprehensive use cases that are intended to work with business strategies like business intelligence, long-term customer programming, and the development of retention strategies. Most importantly, CRMs are mostly limited to a few key integration or API opportunities, whereas a CDP is specifically designed to integrate customer data across multiple systems.

Also Read: How Your Customers Help Guide Your Product Messaging

Customer Data Platform Providers and Solutions

The customer data platform market is relatively new, but several startup companies have entered the market, and even a few larger tech providers have developed their own CDP solutions. Enterprises have a few different choices when they’re selecting a CDP: they can choose an out-of-the-box solution from an existing vendor, or they can build their own with open-source APIs and third-party consulting firms.

If you’re looking to get started with a customer data platform, start by researching these top market performers:

  • Tealium
  • Treasure Data CDP
  • Salesforce Interaction Studio
  • Bloomreach Engagement
  • Blueshift
  • Adobe Experience Platform
  • Dynamics 365 Customer Insights
  • Oracle CX Marketing
  • Listrak
  • SAP Customer Data Cloud

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Digital Transformation and Benefits of CDPs

Data Democratization

Customers won’t directly see this benefit that makes communication and project quality thrive: data democratization. Customer data platforms unite all customer data in a single platform dashboard, so as long as an employee has the credentials to access company systems, they can see the same customer data as everyone else. Sales, marketing, finance, and business intelligence platforms traditionally operate separately and collect different kinds of data about customers, but with a CDP, all of this data is collected in one place. The same customer data is now available to all relevant employees at all levels, from the cashier at a local store to the top C-suite executives. With this knowledge, any employee can better personalize the customer experience.

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Improved Data Quality

When enterprises remove systems silos for customer data, they inherently improve data quality. It’s likely that those disparate systems all collect different types of customer data, but never produce a full customer profile because a certain data field is not relevant to that system and is collected somewhere else. Enterprises typically have several inaccurate customer profiles that could be updated by the information found in a separate system. CDPs remove the barriers between systems and help enterprises to identify errors so they can consolidate information into the most accurate customer profile.

Detailed Customer Profiles

Customer data platforms provide enterprises with basic demographic and transactional information, but they also show details like customer service interactions, web browsing habits, and a more detailed glimpse at the types of things they buy and the channels they use to purchase them. With increasingly detailed customer profiles, enterprises now have the opportunity to create highly customized and targeted ad campaigns. They can even customize it to the degree that they won’t advertise a product that a customer has already purchased or returned, thus increasing overall ad engagement.

Enhanced Trends Reporting

When an enterprise’s customer data includes everything from demographic and transactional data to behavioral and channel-based interactions, their executive team has more information to work with for trends and business intelligence reporting. As a bonus, many CDPs offer embedded analytics or integrations with top analytics software.

Customized Customer Programs

A more accurate collection of customer data, collected in real time from several sources, makes new customer programs possible. Customer rewards and loyalty programs receive input from multiple sources, which means that customers are rewarded and recognized for their brand interactions regardless of where they happen.

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Shelby Hiter
Shelby Hiter is a marketing content writer with more than five years of experience in writing and editing, focusing on healthcare, technology, data, enterprise IT, and technology marketing. She currently writes for three different digital publications in the technology industry: Datamation, Enterprise Networking Planet, and CIO Insight. When she’s not writing, Shelby loves finding group trivia events with friends, cross stitching decorations for her home, reading too many novels, and turning her puppy into a social media influencer.

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