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2018: the year of the
Customer Data Platform

If it were up to us, the year of the Customer Data Platform would have happened a long time ago. Happily, in 2018 it has, and industry watchers have finally declared 2018 the year of the Customer Data Platform.  CDP is a very new type of tooling, so let us explain what it is and what it can do for you. Put simply, it is a central repository for customer data, that is made available to marketers. That may not sound revolutionary, until you realise that customer data is usually stored across a minimum of 25 systems, even in medium-sized companies, and that these separate systems often don’t communicate. Moreover, most marketers don’t even have access to the customer data directly, and rely on BI for even simple tasks such as creating a customer list for campaigns or for basic reporting. So a CDP not only makes the data available, but connects it in such a way as to truly empower marketers. A CDP is an incredibly powerful tool, and we are very excited to see it finally recognised and adopted across many industries and in companies of all types and sizes.

Now that MarCom has evolved into MarTech, most marketers have to deal with a multitude of technical systems. Just look at the image of the Marketing Technology Landscape by Scott Brinker and the sheer number of technical solutions leaves you dizzy.

How do you make sure you’re getting the best out of your MarTech tooling? How do you feed the tooling with quality customer data? and how do you create one truth about your customers for analysis and reporting? The answer – a Customer Data Platform delivers unified customer profiles that marketers can use in all channels and provides a solid basis for reporting to analyse and measure the performance of your campaigns.

Many times, companies try to solve these challenges with existing systems, such as the CRM. Obviously, CRM systems contain lots of useful data, but they don’t contain the really important stuff like web, email, and mobile data.  You can of course integrate these sources into your CRM, but that involves a huge amount of time, effort and money). Besides that, it makes it very difficult to switch to another system; it really is the ultimate lock in and more fundamentally not optimised for marketing activation.

Setting up a pseudo Customer Data Platform by integrating all data into one leading application is a dead-end street and it fails time after time, because it is too complex and basically not the right way to do it. This is exactly why Customer Data Platforms were developed. These platforms bring data from various channels together and  allow you to create uniform customer profiles. These profiles can then be made available across your entire MarTech  stack for email marketing dynamic web content, for multi-variate testing, and  much more. Using the omni-channel profiles you can really see what customers do and determine how to best respond to thatwith the added benefit of being able to measure precisely the results of your campaigns.

A CDP is an incredibly powerful tool, and the foundation of all marketing campaigns.

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