Firms have thrown money at CRM systems, data warehouses, data sheds, DMPs and other technologies. And now they are being urged to invest in something called a customer data platform (CDP).
What’s that? It’s a “unified, persistent customer database that provides data transparency and granularity at the known, individual level,” according to Enterprise Customer Data Platforms: A Marketer’s Guide, a new study by MarTech Today.
We’ve heard that before. The study adds that "a CDP can identify customers from many different data sources by stitching together information under a unique, individual identifier. The CDP then stores its own copy of the data."
We’ve heard that before, too. Is this a new name being put on an old technology? More to the point, what can it do for email marketers?
The study claims that it can help integrate known and anonymous user data with any external platform, including email, CRM, point-of-sale and website, etc.
What’s more, a CDP uses email addresses, phone numbers and postal addresses to standardize and clean records to create a customer profile. Presumably, this can facilitate personalized email campaigns.
The study claims this is needed. Research, for example, shows that the leading obstacles to marketing success are:
Okay. But is a CDP the answer?
In today’s martech environment, integration is central to everything. “Most brands have data trapped in disparate systems — systems that were never designed to integrate with one another,” says Derek Slager, CTO and co-founder of Amperity. “As a result, marketers have historically lacked the complete picture of their customers, one that includes a full transaction history from online and offline purchases, rich PII (personally identifiable information), and connected data from CRM, social, loyalty, clickstream, mobile, and any other source of customer information the brand might possess.”
Slager’s advice? “CDPs solve this problem by unifying data from all of these sources.”
This service is invaluable for email marketers, he adds.
“The success of any email marketing has always depended on the quality of a marketer’s customer data,” Slager says. “And historically, marketers have lacked accurate profiles on their customers. With CDPs, email marketers can now stitch together data from all their disparate sources to create higher quality, richer customer data, enabling better personalization and customer experience.”
As Zane Halstead adds in Content Standard that martech integrations allow visibility into all aspects of a firm’s marketing efforts “and eliminate unnecessary work from the marketing team.” As for email, teams can run into bottlenecks if they are “constantly having to navigate different email marketing tools looking for information for a single campaign,” he notes.
The MarTech study isn't pitcingh for one system, by the way: The report lists multiple CDP providers (and has ads from some of them). It's the idea that counts, it seems to say.