Customer data platforms (CDPs) are designed for one purpose: to unify customer data across functional and channel-specific data silos into an always-on, always processing customer profile available throughout the enterprise. Many IT departments have had this capability for decades, but CDPs add the twist of making the unified data easily available to business users.
This accessibility is a massive departure from traditional data management tools. With a CDP, business users such as marketing teams can access customer data in real time without putting in a request to the IT department. This ability to access data at the moment of need is transformative. With a CDP, marketing can more easily target consumers because they don’t need to wait for IT to pull the necessary data. More than that, business users in service and sales can easily see relevant information that could help them close a sale or respond to a service issue.
Data accessibility is just one of the reasons brands need a CDP. Three other reasons are that CDPs:
- Break down data silos. Customer data platforms unify data from multiple point solutions into a central portal. This eliminates functional and channel-specific data silos that have developed organically over time as new point solutions were added to the marketing technology stack. Because CDPs break down data silos, they enable access to information across the organization and streamline the day-to-day work of customer engagement professionals.
- Provide visibility into non-linear customer journeys. The modern customer journey is dynamic, flowing from channel to channel and back again in a dizzying array of steps that may not end in a purchase for months – if ever. Because the journey is dynamic, interacting with the customer through multiple disconnected point solutions won’t provide a full picture of the purchase journey. The ability of CDPs to provide a complete, coherent view gives the marketer a complete picture of all customer behaviors, preferences, and interactions with the brand.
- Enable contextually relevant interactions. Customers expect a one-to-one engagement experience with their favorite brands, and don’t care about the complexity involved in delivering this experience. A customer data platform provides the single point of data control that’s required to personalize interactions across channels, providing the right customer information at the right time to drive personalized customer engagement based on data-driven insights.
The modern, connected customer has upended the traditional dynamic between brands and consumers. Brands now find themselves seeking ways to meet customers through their preferred channels with relevant messaging. Customer data platforms are foundational to achieving this goal. The insight into consumer behavior across engagement touchpoints of a CDP empowers marketing with the intelligence they need to personalize interactions and provide relevant messaging in a crowded field.