Why You May Require Customer Data Platform Consulting?
A customer data platform (CDP) is critical in the world of digital customer engagement. Understanding a customer’s behavior and what they do are important factors for any business if it wants to stay relevant.
These days, because of a combination of factors, many companies, especially those that are consumer-facing such as e-commerce sites, have either bought or built their own CDPs. From a fistful of vendors say about 10 years ago, today, there are literally 100s of such vendors in the CDP market.
CDP buying has been boosted by two factors. The Covid-19 quarantine periods globally literally forced thousands of businesses to go “digital first” overnight. Due to this tectonic shift in the market, digital channels became a more important part of the marketing mix. As a result, managing prospects and customer interactions across owned and paid digital channels became more important.
Table Of Contents
- Why Do You Need To Invest In A CDP Today?
- For Which Companies Is A CDP Ideal?
- Key Questions To Ask Before Finalizing A CDP
- Challenges You May Face After Buying A CDP
- Importance Of End-To-End Customer Data Platform Solutions
Additionally, third-party cookies will soon cease to exist. The number of third-party cookies has decreased due to concerns about privacy. Ad platforms no longer use cookie-based targeting. Nowadays, companies rely on their own cookies (first-party data). And that again has led to companies flocking to buying CDPs.
Why Is It The Right Time To Invest In Customer Data Platform?
Now is the right time to invest in customer data platform architecture because businesses are recognizing the value of customer data and the importance of having a holistic view of the customer.
In order to be able to leverage and drive optimal value from your customer data, you must be able to integrate it across all of your touchpoints with customers.
Therefore, investing in a customer data platform is important for the following reasons:
1. Global Business Environments
Many companies today face complex global environments where one size doesn’t fit all and due to different regulations, cultures, languages, and levels of sophistication, you must adapt your technology and business processes. To be successful, you must be able to adapt as your business evolves over time, and in order to do this, your customer data platform must be flexible enough to adapt and respond quickly to global situations.
2. Increasing Regulatory And Social Requirements
Over the past several years, there has been an increase in global regulatory and social requirements, so it’s more important than ever to have a common data platform that enables you to meet global regulations. Many companies in industries such as financial services, insurance, health care, and retail have to comply with these regulations. However, it is difficult to change and implement new regulations after the fact.
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A good customer data platform allows your organization to develop and maintain a common digital data architecture that can flexibly capture and exchange information as required by regulations.
For Which Companies Can Customer Data Platform Be Useful?
A customer data platform can be useful for companies that want to better understand their customers and improve customer engagement. Depending on the needs of your organization, a CDP can help you answer many different types of questions and it enables you to better engage with your customers.
If you want to improve your customer loyalty, for example, a CDP can help you identify new ways to better understand your customers and build upon existing sources of data.
What should Customer Data Platform Include?
You need to consider your end users’ needs when choosing which types of data to build your platform on top of.
Here are some questions you can ask yourself about your users:
1. Does your organization collect a lot of data? If your organization collects a lot of data, like customers’ age, gender, and geographic location, consider a CDP that relies on these types of data. You will then be able to offer your users more personalized and contextual information.
2. Does your organization have a small IT team?
If your organization does not have an in-house data management or technology department, you may want to consider a CDP that is easy to implement and use. You do not want a CDP that requires a lot of work from your staff or IT specialists to set up and manage. Look for a CDP that has a free trial period to allow you to test out the product before you buy it.
3. Does your organization want to leverage a cloud solution?
Cloud-based CDPs are very convenient for your organization as they allow you to be more agile since you don’t have to download software or manage your data. If your organization is looking for a CDP that will help you reduce administrative work and costs, Cloud-based CDPs are definitely worth considering.
A CDP’s role in breaking down data silos is to integrate with other marketing and customer-related systems to collect and manage customer data. This allows companies to have a more complete view of their customers, which can help them create more targeted marketing campaigns and improve customer service.
Key Questions to Ask Before Finalizing CDP
Although the aim of this post is not really to help you decide on a CDP, very quickly, before you choose the right CDP for your business, you need to understand how you’re using data or planning to. How much data do you already have about your customers?
Do you have an established marketing and CRM system that is tied to your existing systems, or are you just starting to get a handle on your customer data?
What is your data governance process like?
A lot of companies don’t know where their customer data is stored, or what policies are in place to make sure that their data is secure.
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Challenges You May Face While Using Customer Data Platform
So you are one of those businesses that did not go through the motions and purchased a CDP all the while thinking that a customer data platform would “magically” resolve all your customer and marketing issues. Or build an in-house one.
Now, you have started to realize that there are challenges in using the CDP; indeed to understanding just how the technology works. That’s where you need customer data platform consultancy, someone who will do some hand-holding for you to help you eke out 100% performance out of your CDP.
There are growing cases of many companies failing to implement CDPs after buying one. Much of the challenge of deploying any technology is human. You need a team to help your business navigate the intricacies of your incoming data before going ahead and building your database. There are services out there that make building a modern data stack a breeze.
So there are two ways of getting your hands on a CDP – either buy an off-the-shelf one or develop one in-house. You may be motivated to buy an off-the-shelf customer data platform due to many reasons, but it might not be the right fit for your business. What you need instead is finding an alternative that might eventually turn out to be relevant for your particular business.
Investing in an off-the-shelf CDP will pay off when you are not trying to fit specific requirements, or are experimenting in a sense to understand whether that software will provide value for your business.
Off the shelf, CDPs typically come built-in for integrations; integrations to the digital marketing ecosystem like Google or Facebook, and so on. Your business may or may not have in-house expertise in managing this plug-n-play. That’s where you will need to call in a consultant.
On the other hand, choosing to develop these capabilities yourself or relying on different third-party toolings would require a higher development effort and require time for some things that only need to configure within a CDP.
- Ensuring that the customer data platform is able to integrate with all the necessary marketing and sales applications used by the organization. There are several parts of the data warehouse that you will have to build, either by using the built-in connectors or using a third-party API to pull data from other systems. The first step to achieving seamless integration for your organization is to identify the full set of required integrations.
- The next step is to map out the necessary processes and data flows so that the various systems become integrated. This will involve creating (or evaluating) all the data sources, integrating them, and creating the scripts that push data to the data warehouse and pulling it from the same.
- The last step is to add the system operators and administrators (the people who actually use the data warehouse), in order to enable them to visualize and exploit the insights derived from the data stored within the system.
Importance of end-to-end Customer Data Platform Solutions and Services
End-to-end customer data platform solutions and services for your enterprise can help you to manage and understand all of your customer data, in a single system. This can make it easier to identify and target your most valuable customers and to create more effective marketing campaigns. Sometimes, a single platform can be the catalyst that makes your customer data more relevant and actionable.
Ensure clients are aware of and benefit from the available features of Customer Data Platforms. Contribute to the design and development of the solution.
Unify different data sources to build holistic customer profiles and unlock the full potential of the CDP. A comprehensive and consistent customer profile can be used across channels and across your entire marketing stack.
CDP consulting will help you get the most out of your customer data management platform, including:
- Help you design your customer data strategy
- Help you with your data marts
- Drawing up a roadmap charting the use of the CDP
- Help you with the actual implementation of Your CDP
- Get all the integrations right
- Help you create a 360deg view of every customer and help develop customer segments
- Help with reporting and analysis
- Provide maintenance and support
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