Customer Data Platform - Centralize Your Data Gathering

Marketing 18 minute read 18th October 2023

Do you want to equip your marketing team with more actionable data? Then, take advantage of a customer data platform to start gathering the right data. It’s a software package that enables you to gather data from a wide range of sources.

Furthermore, it’s important to choose the best customer data platforms for your needs. Therefore, we’ll explore the best option on the market so you don’t need to waste your time researching. Pay attention to the features you need so you can get the most value for your money.

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What Is a Customer Data Platform?

Are you wondering what is a customer data platform? Let’s figure it out by looking at the average customer journey. The typical customer journey involves multiple touchpoints across different marketing channels. For example, they might watch an advertisement on YouTube and then browse your website. Then, they may interact with live chat and a few days later see a post on Instagram.

Throughout the journey, it’s important to gather data about the lead so you can give them a more personalized experience. That’s where Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) come in. They can gather data about your customers from each interaction. The centralized database nature means different marketing teams can access the same data. Also, it will help you gather more information about customer sentiment.

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How To Build a Customer Data Platform

Do you want to know how to build a customer data platform from scratch? This is a big undertaking, and we’ll discuss the steps in this section. Use these steps to build databases for any industry — all you need is the right data.

  • Integrate the data: You’ll need to start by bringing data from a wide range of sources. This is first-person data such as the email address, customer name, phone number, age, and more. It’s important for consistent fields to be used to avoid data duplication.
  • Clean and organize the data: Next, you’ll need to ensure that your data is accurate. Otherwise, it will not be useful enough to serve the desired purpose. To improve the data accuracy, you’ll need to fix missing or incomplete fields and remove duplicates. Once the data is cleaned, you can organize it based on common and useful variables.
  • Implement identity resolution: Now, you’ll need to combine data from different sources and link it to a customer profile. This is where the hard work comes together into a meaningful database you can use.
  • Enrich the data: You’ll need to complete a final sweep to improve the practicality of the data. This might include chasing formats and entering missing details.

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Top Benefits of Customer Data Platforms

Now, let’s turn our attention to the top benefits of customer data platforms. This will help you decide if you’re willing to make the investment for your business. You’ll need to weigh these advantages up against the costs.

Unified Customer Profiles

Customer data platforms allow you to create unified customer profiles. These give users a 360-degree view of customers. Hence, marketers can understand a lot about their customers, including:

  • Interests
  • Purchase history
  • Behaviors

Every time a customer interacts with your brand, data will be recorded by the CDP. You can then use this data to build a profile. The power of CDPs comes from being able to gather data from multiple sources. Hence, you can improve the quality of customer profiles.

Get Rid of Data Silos

Data silos occur when customer data is stored in separate locations. This creates multiple customer profiles that have different data and offer varying insights. Eventually, the data from these silos can be funneled to a centralized database, but there’s too much lag.

In comparison, CDPs immediately gather all the data in a centralized location. This means everyone using the database can access the most complete data about your customers.

Better Personalization

With more data, you can increase the level of personalization with marketing campaigns. Therefore, you can increase the conversion rate since customers respond better to target marketing. The level of targeting improves the more data you have.

Improved personalization not only includes better marketing material but also finds customers at the right touchpoints. Therefore, you can find customers all over the internet where they are most likely to hang out.

Better Compliance and Data Privacy

Good quality customer data platforms will have strong data protection systems. This ensures that you can capture and store data in a way that’s not breaking any laws. However, it’s a good idea to find the services offering the right compliance and data privacy solutions.

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How To Choose the Best Customer Data Platform

Are you wondering how to choose the best customer data platform? There are many factors to consider, and we’ll share them in this section. Therefore, you can select the best software to figure out your customer behavior and create personalized experiences.

Operates in Real Time

Ideally, the CDP you choose offers the speed to operate in real time. This means that the centralized database gets updated immediately after a customer interaction. Therefore, anyone accessing the database has the most up-to-date data.

This also avoids scenarios where customers see too many of the same advertisements in a row. Systems where the delay is too long can lead to critical inefficiencies. Hence, the software may not always provide the best data to convert the lead.

Data Integrations

The primary role of a CDP is to merge data from as many sources as possible. Therefore, you should look for one that includes all the marketing channels that your business uses. This ensures that you’re able to gather as much data about your leads as possible.

Also, the CDP should constantly innovate to add new marketing channels to its roster. This ensures that as new digital channels grow, you can take advantage of them.

Data Accuracy

Customer data that’s not accurate may prove to be useful or misleading. Therefore, find CDP software solutions that have high accuracy levels. You should do background research on a provider to see what current customers are sharing about the accuracy levels.

Fewer data accuracy means you can use the created databases without manual intervention. However, when your marketing teams have to second-guess the accuracy of data, it can lead to hesitation. Having better data leads to better marketing, and that reduces customer attrition.

Advanced Analytics

The amount of data that’s produced by CDPs can be overwhelming. Their primary function is to equip marketers with the information they need to set up campaigns. Hence, it makes sense to choose CDPs that come with advanced analytics solutions.

The analytics software should be comprehensive enough to dig in deep where needed but also provide info at a glance. Evaluate the analytics software by looking at the range of graphs offered. Also, note the customization and export options are available. This can help you improve your omnichannel marketing efforts.

Custom Audience Segmentation

Industry-leading CDMs allow you to create highly custom audiences. Therefore, marketers can use any data point to craft high-ROI marketing campaigns. Personalized campaigns are what customers expect nowadays, and they start with great data.

Security and Privacy Compliance

The CDP must be fully compliant with the laws regarding data collection. This is a serious issue because some of the biggest privacy sanctions have led to fines in the billions of dollars. Hence, it’s a good idea to see what steps the company has taken to patch security flaws in the software.

Also, do background research to figure out if the software has broken privacy regulations in the past.

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Customer Data Platform Examples To Consider

Are you looking for some of the top customer data platform examples? In this section, we’ll share high-quality CDPs that you can try today. This will save you time since there’s no need to research the marketplace for yourself.

  • Segment: This solution is a good choice because it has a free trial option for up to 1,000 monthly visitors. Also, there are more than 400 integrations and lots of cross-channel customer engagement. Furthermore, you can take advantage of many marketing automation triggers and sequences.
  • Emarsys: This is another CDP with many different channels and triggers to provide a comprehensive approach. The software provides a holistic view of each customer, and there’s plenty of AI technology, too. The quality of the one-on-one engagements means that you can drive revenue growth. Offline channels are also included, which is great for marketers using traditional channels.
  • Optimove: Choose Optimove if you’re looking for a CDP that offers a 360-degree view of your customers. The service does a great job of pulling in raw data and transforming it into something useful for marketers. Also, there’s micro-segmentation and predictive modeling to assist with marketing campaigns. Note that it’s a cloud-based CDP and provides real-time data activation capabilities.
  • FirstHive: This CDP is a top choice for those who want predictive recommendations. Therefore, marketers can quickly create personalized marketing campaigns that are optimized. Also, FirstHive is one of the best options for marketers dealing with manufacturing, finance, and retail clients.
  • Lytics: You can expand your brand marketing and advertising capabilities with Lytics. The customer insights provided empower marketers to create highly training experiences. Also, advanced machine learning is utilized to assist marketers in creating winning campaigns.

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Customer Data Platform vs. CRM

It’s important to compare a customer data platform vs. CRM to understand the differences. This will help you understand why you need a CDP if you already have a CRM. Also, knowing the differences ensures you can use them to their advantage.

  • Difference 1: CDPs are used for non-customer-facing roles like leadership, product design, and marketing. Whereas CRMs are mainly used by salespeople and customer success representatives. This means that both software solutions are useful but should be deployed by different employee types.
  • Difference 2: The data gathered by CRMs is more manual, whereas, with CDPs, there’s a higher level of automation. Also, CRMs gather data that’s more specific, and there’s a goal already in mind. In comparison, CDPs gather as much data as possible, and their use is determined later.
  • Difference 3: Finally, CDPs are used better to understand customer behavior and general information about them. In comparison, CRMs are used to improve the quality of personal interactions with your customers. There is some overlap in this area, but the intended use of the data is different.

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Customer Data Platforms - Are They Worth Using?

To conclude, harnessing the advantages of CDPs is a no-brainer. They help you create personalized campaigns by gathering customer data from every corner of the internet. Also, they adhere to customer data laws to ensure your marketing efforts are legal.

The cost of using a customer data platform pays for itself in the form of more sales. Also, the advanced automation tools make life easier for marketers. Hence, marketers can engage in higher-level thinking instead of micromanaging each campaign.

Do you want to take advantage of further ways to improve customer satisfaction? Then, you can use the services here at Beambox to provide guest Wi-Fi. This will allow your customers to stay connected while building their customer profiles. So what are you waiting for? Start your Beambox free trial today and start growing your business.

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