A CDP is a marketer-controlled system that unifies data into a single customer view. Large
Gartner defines a CDP as "a marketing system that unifies a company's customer data from marketing and other channels to enable customer modeling and optimize the timing and targeting of messages and offers." While customer data platform vendors will vary on specific functionalities and integrations, to be a true CDP, the platform must be a marketer-friendly web-based interface that enables:
Because some CDP capabilities may overlap with other solutions, marketers can confuse other technologies with CDPs, such as DMPs, CRMs, and MSPs.
CRM solutions were founded in B2B technology and have evolved to try to accommodate some B2C use cases. CDPs, on the other hand, were specifically developed for the B2C world. CRMs have traditionally been limited in what channels and data sources they can ingest, whereas a CDP is able to bring in customer data from any online or offline source.
Before the advent of CDPs, most marketers used Marketing Service Providers (MSPs) to house their database of customer profiles, transactions, product, and campaign history. Most MSPs lack real-time updates, behavioral data, and modern connectivity to other systems. CDPs offer a robust real-time environment that can manage massive data sets.
According to Gartner's 2017-2018 Gartner CMO Survey, marketing leaders invested two-thirds of their budget to support customer retention and growth, and spending on activities that focus on existing customers is outpacing spending on new customer acquisition. Customer analytics is a top priority for CMOs as they seek to inform these decisions. In short, marketers have reached the limits of what third party audience-based marketing can do, and they want to double-down on their own first party data.
Not all customer data platforms are created equal, so it is important for companies to define their core use cases before beginning CDP vendor evaluation. For enterprise brands, these four use cases tend to be the most sought after:
1. Outbound Marketing
Use cases centered on segmenting customers based on value, behavior, and attributes so marketers can deliver 1:1 content on every marketing message, across every outbound marketing execution channel. Examples, which are all based on any number of real-time customer attributes, include:
2. Digital Advertising
Use cases that engage customers through digital advertising, where first party customer data is used for acquisition and retargeting campaigns. Examples include:
3. Customer Experience
Personalization-focused CDP use cases for 1:1, relevant customer interactions and offers on the website and all other customer-facing systems. Examples include
Use cases that calculate and predict key marketing metrics such as attribution, lifetime value, clusters, likelihood to buy, etc. A CDP should make these available through direct query access, the CDP UI, and APIs. Examples include
While most CDPs are able to solve very basic use cases, brands with many channels, many sources of data, and many points of interaction with customers need more from a CDP. When choosing a customer data platform, enterprise brands should seek a CDP that:
There are many resources out there to help companies choose the right CDP for their business. Here are a few to get you started:
AgilOne is the only customer data platform built to support advanced enterprise needs, with the most flexible and full-featured platform on the market. A few key aspects position AgilOne as the top choice for B2C brands across all verticals:
AI and Machine Learning
AgilOne's calculations and machine learning bring the single customer profile to life, enabling deep insights for analysis and intelligent segmentation and action. With our platform's capabilities, marketers can easily access and explore customer data with interactive queries, cube reporting, template reports, and dashboards.
AgilOne can cleanse and standardize data across all sources such as postal address, name, and phone number, as well as enrich customer data with first and third party attributes like income and demographic, social profile data, genderization, and geocoding. Our platform ensures data accuracy with exact and fuzzy matching to dedupe and stitch together online cookie and profile data and offline customer data into a single, persistent ID, even if there is only a partial name, address, or email match.
Unifying Online and Offline Data
AgilOne's pre-built connectors and APIs easily combine first party customer, transaction, and engagement data from every location and channel so you can gain insights and deliver consistent, orchestrated experiences. Additionally, our services and engineering teams can work with you to create custom, flexible, enterprise-grade integrations to ensure all of your company's data is unified and actionable. Through these integrations, customer, transaction, and engagement data from every location and channel can be used to deliver consistent customer experiences.