On the path to digital relevance, many tools can help us achieve our goals. To name a few, there are CRMs, marketing automation platforms, CDPs and DMPs.
Here, we’ll zoom into CDPs. We’ll explore how this solution can make us more relevant to our current and potential clients and, as a result, become more impactful and produce better results.
First of all, we should talk about what a CDP is. It stands for Customer Data Platform, but the name can be a bit confusing. That’s because it’s not just for clients, but also leads or prospects. Basically, it’s for all known users. A CDP is a software or web service that gives us detailed knowledge about users and their customer journeys. In other words, it offers a 360-degree view of users through first-party data.
To sum it up, a CDP is a database that collects three different types of data:
1. Personal data
This is the data that allows us to identify a user. It takes them from anonymous to known. Within personal data, we can usually find basic identification information like emails, but we may also get usernames, IDs or phone numbers – any field that allows us to unequivocally identify the user.
Other personal data could include first and last names. It’s very important to differentiate these two fields. That’s because in the future we may want to personalize communications, but it can be difficult to figure out which is the first name and which is the last because of the different ways of writing names in different countries, compound names or if users get confused and, for instance, write their last names in the first name field.
All of this data can be obtained through forms, social logins or even through external services that allow us to identify IP addresses through geo-localization to figure out characteristics like gender. For example, there’s a 68% chance that someone named Joan is a woman in the United States. But in Spain, 69% of the time, the name Joan refers to a man.
2. Transactional data
Here, what’s most interesting is focusing on the source of the data. The first thing most of us might think of is eCommerce, but the source could also be an enterprise resource planning (ERP) system or loyalty cards used in physical stores. As we can see, one of the key functionalities of a CDP is its ability to absorb information from various sources.
3. Behavioral data
This may be the most important type of data for staying relevant, although it’s one of the most overlooked. This data has to do with digital tracking. What emails does a specific user open? What types of links do they click on? What color do they use for filters? How do they usually purchase products? Have they visited the page with prices? Have they downloaded the app? Do they use the app? There is a long list of questions you can ask here.
CDP use cases
Now that we know what a CDP is and what types of data we can find in it, let’s get to the critical question – how can a CDP make us more relevant to our clients?
Having all the data in one place is the easiest way to analyze and interpret it. We can draw conclusions related to a user’s customer journey and boost our audiences thanks to the ability to unify profiles through filtering attributes.
The unification of data helps us to be relevant to users who have visited certain URLs and have a bigger impact by displaying messages related to that page on other channels, for example, advertisements on social media or even phoning them from a call center.
A CDP can generate and maintain real-time customer data records, including all the points of contact and transactions. Let’s imagine that a user added a product to their online shopping cart that was sold out. Then, the user is identified in a physical store after they used a loyalty card. This could trigger a sales recommendation that’s sent to the vendor. The message could inform them that the customer tried to buy an item that was out of stock, but the physical store has the product now. The sales associate could tell the customer and generate a sale in a win-win type of communication.
Let’s imagine that an email subject that reads: “Dear Manuela, bundle up because it’s getting chilly.” This is made possible by CDPs, which allow you to collect information from various sources. We’ve separated the first name from the last name in the registration field. We’ve analyzed the IP address through an external service to determine that Manuela is most likely a woman in Spain. We can also use other services where we input her location and get a weather forecast. With all this information, we can send content with women’s clothing because there’s a high likelihood that she’s a woman. We can call her by her first name, “Manuela” because she’s given us that information, and say “bundle up because it’s getting chilly,” based on weather data specific to her location.
To undertake marketing actions, you have to know the users very well. So often, different data are in silos and we need to bring them together and link them up with user interactions. Working with the data, we can determine which products to recommend and personalize the offer at both the ideal time and channel. For example, we have a user who is looking for a savings account. They’ve signed up for our email updates but never open them. We’ve just come out with a new deal that they would be especially interested in. When the user enters our website, we could send them a text message with the deal or even program a phone call.
Thanks to CDPs, we can have a unified profile that’s available across the different channels, allowing us to personalize messages and become more relevant. We’ve already touched on some examples of personalization, but I’d like to mention another aspect that is equally as important but not as well known. At Multiplica we have the motto: “Make it more human.” So, instead of getting an email from firstname.lastname@example.org, wouldn’t it be more interesting if it was sent by Luis, the company’s content director? Or maybe Maria, the head of marketing? If we take this approach we achieve two main goals. First of all, personalization – making the communication more human since the user understands that there is a real human behind the message. The second is deliverability. Emails sent from people are more likely to be classified as regular emails and not end up being filtered into the promotions tab.
Exceptions are the most time-consuming parts of the process since they can’t be automated and have to be managed manually. A CDP can help us improve this operational efficiency. Let’s imagine that a client calls us after a sale to report an error in their order. If the agent who takes the call doesn’t have access to their customer lifetime value (CLTV) or past interactions with other departments, it will be a lot harder to treat them in the best way possible. On the other hand, if the client is classified as TOP and we see their case file and that they’ve already been in touch through various channels, we can serve them better and faster. This improves both operational efficiency and user experience.
If you are interested in improving your clients’ experiences and boosting your results through relevance, a CDP may be very helpful. If you want to implement one at scale or make the most of the tool you already have, don’t hesitate to get in touch. At Multiplica, we’re always thrilled to help with these types of projects.