With in-depth data, we can personalize interactions with customers, market to them at the right times, create a more enjoyable experience, and overall, close more sales.
That’s no secret. However, capturing all of this data, organizing it in one place, and making use of that data has been a struggle using traditional tools such as web analytics, CRMs, and marketing automation.
You typically have to spend a lot of time somehow combining all of this data in order to get a complete picture of your customer. Even then, this process is limited and you can’t fully take advantage of this data to completely personalize your marketing campaigns.
This is where Customer Data Platforms come in and aim to fix this problem.
In this article, we’ll define Customer Data Platforms, the difference between them and traditional marketing tools, their benefits, and even a list a few Customer Data Platform options. Follow along:
What is a Customer Data Platform?
The Customer Data Platform Institute defines a Customer Data Platform (CDP) as the following:
“A Customer Data Platform is a marketer-managed system that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems”.
But what does that really mean?
In layman’s terms, a CDP is basically a system that pulls together all the data you have on a customer in one place. This way, you can create a unified view of that customer and you can see every action they’ve taken since first interacting with your company.
Ideally, you would be able to discover:
- When that person first visited your website
- How many times they’ve visited a specific page on your website
- When they opened one of your emails
- When they clicked a link inside that email
- How many times they opened your emails
- Even information on mobile app sessions, social media comments, purchase orders, and chat history would be accessible
In essence, a Customer Data Platform aims to pull together data that once existed in multiple platforms (such as email marketing platforms, CRM, analytics, etc.) and makes all of that data available in one place.
Customer Data Platforms vs. CRM vs. Marketing Automation: How Are They Different?
You may be thinking, “Don’t CRM or email marketing platforms such as Hubspot and MailChimp already do this?”. Not exactly. Customer Data Platforms differ from these two traditional tools in a few ways:
1. CDPs Provide More Data & Deeper Insight
The data that CRMs and email marketing platforms offer is limited. CRMs typically offer basic information and allow you to store customer information such as addresses, emails, etc. Some may even track interactions such as email opens and live chat or email conversations.
The same goes for email marketing platforms such as MailChimp. These platforms will store a customer’s email and track email activity but they miss other key areas such as web activity, mobile app activity, and so on.
However, CDPs aim to combine all of this data into one place and try to capture a customer’s entire interaction with a company. A true CDP would have data on a customer’s chat history, email history, website visits, mobile app sessions, purchases, social media interactions, and anything else that would involve an interaction between them and your company.
2. A CDP Combines All of These Platforms into One System
Ideally, a true CDP will have all of these capabilities in one platform. From your CDP, you’ll be able to track web analytics, store customer data, send emails, run marketing automation, etc.
What Are the Benefits of Using a Customer Data Platform?
Having all of this data under one house can be huge. Instead of having data in a host of different places (such as email activity from MailChimp, chat interactions from Zendesk, web activity from Google Analytics, and purchase activity from say, Shopify), all of this data in stored in one place.
Benefits of using a CDP include:
1. Having a Single View of Your Customers
The most obvious reason to use a CDP is that you can get a “single view” of the customer. You can see their entire interaction with your company in one place, rather than trying to somehow manage and collect this data from multiple tools.
2. Being Able to Personalize Customer Interactions
Having all of this information in one place can allow you to personalize a customer’s entire experience with your company.
You can personalize names in emails, send out a coupon directly after a customer has visited a specific page on your website, enter them into a marketing automation process when they’ve had a chat with your company or send them an email when they logged onto your app.
The possibilities are really endless as to the type of personalized experiences you can craft for your customers. This all goes into to creating a stronger connection between you and them.
3. Being Able to Create Insanely Targeted Campaigns
With all of this information at your disposal, you can now create insanely-specific targeted campaigns.
Do you want to target customers who have visited your pricing page within the past month, have opened up and clicked in your last three emails, downloaded your mobile app and have been actively using it for the past two weeks, and have also contacted your company via email or your live chat widget?
You can do that.
Using a CDP gives you an immense number of options as to how you can segment your customers.
Customer Data Platform Options
Since CDPs are relatively new, there aren’t a ton of providers out there. However, we’ve listed a few of the top players in this list of Customer Data Platforms:
We collect and give you information such as:
- When a customer visited your website, what pages they visited, and how long they spent on that page
- What emails a customer has opened from you, when they opened it, and what links they clicked
- Contact information such as the person’s name, email, what company they work for, where they’re located, etc.
All of this information is then organized into your “LeadBoard” and each of your different customers or leads are given a score to gauge how engaged they are with your company:
Using a CDP is really the next level of marketing automation.
Providing an entire customer’s interaction with your company all in one place, rather than trying to make do with a suite of separate tools, really gives marketers and salespeople an immense amount of opportunity. It also saves time as you’ll no longer have to dig through data from multiple sources.
Instead, you can see a unified view of your customer all in one place and create insanely targeted and personalized marketing campaigns for your customers. Something that will not only create a stronger connection between you and your customers, but it will also help to close more sales.
Getting started is super easy. We will provide a tracking pixel for your site and emails and we will help you getting connected to as many touch-points as possible.
If you want to get started using a Customer Data Platform today, try LeadBoxer’s free 14-day full access trial.