Effective customer engagement is incredibly complex in our modern, always-on era. Consumers interact with your organization through a multitude of channels—smart phones, tablets, televisions, laptops, smart watches, and, with the rising Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem, even home appliances. This proliferation of touchpoints complicates your marketing programs and, to be successful, requires a solution that can integrate the variety of data points into a single source of truth for engagement.
Solutions like data management platforms (DMPs) have attempted to fill this gap, as has marketing automation software, but the simple truth is that these systems don’t allow for visibility into all your marketing data across the various channels of customer engagement. What’s necessary is a customer data platform (CDP), which integrates customer data across channels and allows for enhanced visibility into every single interaction with customers—both known and unknown.
Further, CDPs store personally identifiable information (PII) and can be used to craft hyper-personalized customer experiences across channels. This is in contrast to a DMP, which has historically only functioned well for online ad networks and only at the audience level, or a marketing automation solution that operates primarily through email campaigns and landing pages. The current rise in IoT devices further complicates cross-channel campaigns, necessitating a CDP that can bridge customer touchpoints versus a DMP that functions in only one channel.
Bringing Awareness to Customer Data Platforms
CDPs are, unfortunately, still not that well known in the broader marketplace despite their power in making marketing programs vastly more effective. That’s why I’m proud to announce that RedPoint has joined the Customer Data Platform Institute, launched Monday by Raab Associates. The CDP Institute is designed to offer vendor-neutral education about CDPs and drive broader awareness of the solution class to marketers like you and other customer engagement professionals.
We joined the CDP Institute because we believe in its mission to help educate marketers on managing their customer data and how to create unified customer views. We’ve been living this mission for years, as part of the RedPoint Convergent Marketing Platform, we offer one of the few true customer data platforms on the market today. In our most recent update to the solution (released September 2016), we added new capabilities like listening activities to allow for real-time and transactional messaging, as well as opened the platform to accept data from gaming, IoT devices, appliances, vehicles, ad tech, and cloud-based services like Microsoft Azure and Amazon Web Services.
Customer Data Platforms in the IoT Era
CDPs also take on new importance as the Internet of Things revolution reaches more corners of everyday life. There are now smart coffee makers, smart refrigerators, smart watches, smart thermostats … the list gets longer and longer every day. Because customers interact with organizations through each of these channels, you need a way to determine the next-best action across all these touchpoints to limit repeats and drive personalized engagements.
A DMP can’t do that, and marketing automation tools are ill-suited for the task beyond emails and web pages (this isn’t to say DMPs or marketing automation solutions aren’t useful; they are, but not for cross-channel campaign management). A CDP, on the other hand, can integrate data from smart devices throughout the home and serve up that data for internal analysis. This can give marketers the opportunity to determine which offer to provide next to the consumer using their smart device: provide a coupon for coffee pods? Offer to deliver a gallon of milk? Send out a reminder for an annual physical?
The possibilities are endless from a marketing perspective, but only if you can access the right data to make that decision. Customer data platforms enable the creation of a “golden record,” or unified customer profile, which allows organizations to make the right offer to the right person at the right time and craft powerful experiences that drive long-term consumer loyalty.
I encourage you to check out the Customer Data Platform Institute at http://www.cdpinstitute.org and take a look through their resources. You’ll be glad you did.