How To Successfully Implement A Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

author-icon-1 Maulik Dudharejia

category-icon Digital Marketing In Sitecore

In this blog, you will understand what a Customer Data Platform is and how you can implement it. You will also get to know how a Customer Data Platform (CDP) is beneficial to your business.

What is a Customer Data Platform?

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a platform through which you can collect, unify and structure your customer data post which you can also analyze the data. Another thing you can do using a Customer Data Platform is activate omnichannel marketing campaigns based on the data analytics that you have obtained.

For marketing, commerce and businesses, customer data has become extremely important. Through different touchpoints, you can collect this customer data to identify and understand the consumer behavior as well as the preferences of your target audience.

When you use a Customer Data Platform, you can eliminate silos and disjointed profiles of customers. You can get the biggest ROIs on your organization’s assets and put them to better use.

Key use cases of a CDP

Some of the most key use cases of a Customer Data Platform (CDP) which have proven to be quite effective and result oriented are:

Privacy: You can get the data on which customers have consented to receive your marketing messages. This will help you reach out to only those customers who are of high value.

Support: When you understand what your customers want, you will get clarity and understanding of each of your customers’ history and buying pattern. This way, you can improve your customer support service.

Customer Lifetime Value: Through the CDP, you can predict and calculate the CLV accurately. This way you will get a chance to prioritize some of your most valuable target audiences.

Scaled personalized experiences: When you already have customer profiles and understanding of what they prefer and what they dislike, you will be able to make their experiences more personalized and unique.

Business Intelligence: With the help of customer insights, reports and customer data analytics, you can take data-backed, wise business decisions for the future development of your business.

How a CDP is beneficial to your business?

With a well-planned CDP implementation, what are the things that you can expect? Most of the organizations who have gone for a Sitecore CDP implementation have observed that the costs were reduced, the revenues were increased, and there was a combination of improvements.

  • Accurate customer profiles will help you in eliminating a lot of work that was done based on guesses.
  • Reduction in the gaps of your understanding of the consumers' needs as you get all the structured data of your customers.
  • You get to understand your audience in different ways due to the segmented, structured customer profiles.
  • Data-backed, real-time decision-making helps you in increasing conversion. This will also drive up your campaign performance. 
  • When using a CDP, you will create repeat customers and a repeat customer is bound to become a loyal customer.

Implementation phases of a CDP

For implementing a CDP, thoughtful planning and strategy is required. To get the most out of it, you must consider these five phases of implementation.

Assessment of readiness:

Most of the times, the CDP implementation starts with a focus on stakeholders and the objectives and targets. It is critical that you assemble the right team for rolling out the Customer Data Platform. 

Note down the current capabilities of your business and the needs of the future, both from the perspective of technology and business. After this, set up realistic objectives which are also aligned with your customer goals.

Round up your operational readiness, personnel and resources and keep track of it all. Check if there are any dependencies that need addressing.

Define a value creation model:

Select which use case you are supposed to prioritize. Map the current customer journey for that particular use case. Note all the relevant touchpoints that will act as a source for data to the CDP.

Define how to measure success and achievements. It could be through key conversions, gains from operational efficiency, or any other metrics that you decide. Try to identify fewer complex opportunities to increase the chances of more wins.

Activate the Customer Data Platform:

Once the above-mentioned phases are completed, you are ready to connect the CDP with the data sources to begin all the work. The CDP will start identifying customer profiles and unifying it. It will also reconcile the duplicate data.

The technical team will also have to integrate a new CDP layer with your business systems which are connected with customers. It could be experience channels, CRM, support, email, even social media.

Deliver personalized experiences across channels:

Once the CDP is activated, you can let the new customer profiles get the execution of the personalized marketing campaigns. You will have defined key segments and structured audience data with which you can run experimentation.

Go through multiple iterations to test and refine your initial campaigns. This way you will be able to achieve the results that you are seeking.

Pave the way for a broader adoption:

When you have the first use case in your CDP, you can evaluate it and understand the progress it is making. You can even decide what parts need adjusting and where to make improvements and changes.

It is extremely important in this phase to onboard more and more internal users. Use the time for offering training and support for each department so that they can also fully leverage the capabilities and the power of CDP.

CDP implementation will actually lead to a lot of benefits for your business and more importantly marketing department.

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