2019: The Not-so Year of the CDP
Having been in the
The CDP category suffers more from the breadth of companies and what they do than actual depth. That fact makes the category near pointless. To achieve all the promises of a CDP, you would have to work with multiple CDP companies to succeed. The category has become an oversimplification of a bunch of companies that handle various marketer needs around customer data, but none live up to the hype.
In 2019, marketers need to create lasting relationships with their customers, and they can achieve this by breaking through the CDP noise. So how does a marketer deal with the cacophony of voices telling them how to manage their customer data? First, relax. Our industry loves hype and a new acronym is just the thing to whip up a frenzy. Here are the important things you need to focus on in 2019 based on what we learned from CDPs in 2018.
Ease and speed of implementation
I have spoken to dozens of marketers who licensed advertising or marketing technology only to be burdened with multiple months, if not years of implementation. In this industry, spending all of that time inefficiently is just not acceptable! Getting a strategy in place, data collection started, customers modeled and engaged across dozens of channels should take weeks, if not days. It’s all about the implementation and
While customer data could be simply classified as first-party data collected by a marketer, having access to second- and third-party data to augment, enhance, and enrich your knowledge of your customers and prospective customers
Practical vs theoretical: Walk before you run
There are more than a few companies that began life as data collection companies classified as CDPs. For many of these companies, while the pieces are there, combining them to form comprehensive customer management and engagement strategies
When approaching the data you have available, start small and work up from there. Centralize all of your customer data and use that data across your most impactful channels, likely search, social, display, and email. Use your website as another engagement channel, personalizing the experience in-line throughout the site or around and over the site. Leverage the full canvas to create experiences for the customer that delight them and that drive engagement and sales.
Managing your customers is great, but as a marketer, your goal is to drive results. Those results can be brand awareness, affinity, or just plain sales. The technology you use should first and foremost help you achieve—and hopefully exceed—your goals. The quantitative gain you receive should far outweigh the cost of any technology you are using. Managing your customers and delivering personalized messages across every channel is only helpful if you can determine and optimize its efficacy. Having every data point, engagement, and interaction tied to a single customer (and customer ID) will allow for real omnichannel attribution and give a marketer the truest perspective on how their advertising and marketing initiatives are driving results.
Dare I say it—yes, 2018 was the year of the CDP, but 2019 will be a further extension of that. A deeper dive into the offering, if you will. Having a single view of the customer, and a single platform to manage those customers and engagement across multiple channels, will continue to provide the foundation for true personalization. By learning from the key tactics that CDPs have boasted in the past year, marketers can achieve a truly comprehensive set of capabilities that respond to real challenges and deliver consistent and seamless messages to their customers regardless of context, device or channel.
But the marketing technology evolution won’t stop there! Keep your eye on the next evolution for data management: Customer Intelligence. Now that marketing has become an enriched data experience, marketers want a more holistic approach to reaching customers. That’s where the concept of Customer Intelligence comes into play with expanded CDP capabilities that open the doors to the whole organization’s data resources. So is 2019 the year of Customer Intelligence? You bet.