What is a Customer Data Platform?

Data Platform

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) provides a centralized HUB for customer information. The CDP ingests data from multiple disparate sources, aggregating and organizing it. The CDP acts as a system of record for multiple business functions, including sales and marketing, which use it to improve personalization, timing, and content for customer interactions.

What Data is Collected?

A customer profile may contain data gathered from multiple internal systems, research data, partners, third-party data aggregators, social media feeds, and more that include:

  • Interaction data from systems such as Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and service desk applications.
  • Behavioral data collected from marketing automation data, chats, ad clicks, website clickstreams, mobile applications, call centers, help desks and billing systems.
  • Attitudinal data that indicates customer sentiment, and satisfaction from sources such surveys, social media, customer reviews, news articles and videos, and third parties, employee interaction data, and customer service support logs.

How is a CDP Different From a CRM System?

CRM systems such as Salesforce focus on recording interactions with customers and prospects. The purpose of a  CDP is to record the customer experience with your product or service. Both the CRM and CDP systems can help guide the customer journey with your business. The CDP goes further than the CRM in that it drives a customer 360 view for personalization of customer interactions. The CDP is more agile and real-time, as it can select what ads to present when retargeting based on the most recent interactions.

Feeding the CDP

The CDP needs to gather data from a broad array of systems. These include:

  • Email marketing systems such as Marketo and Hubspot track whether a subscriber opened an email and collect data on clicked links. For example, this information helps personalize the best follow-up action for individual email contact.
  • Mobile devices can inform a vendor when the customer is in or close to a physical store so the business can make real-time offers.
  • Social media channels such as Twitter feeds reveal interest in certain brands or propensity to purchase a particular product type.
  • Website logs inform the CDP about what landing pages or product pages most interest the visitor.
  • Commerce systems can confirm specific purchases and help transition a sales prospect to a customer; messaging can change from selling to adoption, support and retention.
  • Web advertising tells the CDP which ads or keywords resulted in clicks.
  • Website experience systems uncover problems with customer interactions that inhibit the successful execution of transactions.

Customer Segmentation

Segmentation allows a business to group like customers to improve targeting and personalization—micro-segmentation at a more granular level can help fine-tune marketing activities to match customer interests closely. Customer segmentation makes better use of marketing budgets by using more costly tactics on customers most likely to purchase or upgrade a product or service.

Benefits of a Customer Data Platform

Doing a better job of matching messaging and tactics to customer profiles improves campaigns in the following ways:

  • Segment customers into a spectrum of potential value so effort and expense are not wasted on prospects that are unlikely to purchase or who are a poor fit for the service or product.
  • Improves the return on marketing investment through higher campaign engagement.
  • Customer satisfaction is higher as communication is more personalized and relevant.
  • Sales cycles are shortened thanks to more dynamic adjustments to changing customer interests.
  • Higher conversion through better-qualified prospects passed from marketing to sales.
  • Provide better insight into the customer’s lifecycle to the whole organization, from sales to support, using comprehensive customer profiling.

How Actian Helps

The Actian Data Platform helps a business create comprehensive customer profiles in the following ways:

  • Built-in data integrations to internal and external data sources accelerate the creation of unified customer profiles.
  • Uses the fastest vector processing and columnar database technology to deliver real-time analytics and customer insights.
  • You can deploy Actian Data Platform analytics instances wherever your data is, whether on-premises or multiple public cloud platforms. All instances can be seamlessly connected to provide unified profiles wherever needed.

Learn more about the capabilities of the Actian Data Platform by visiting Actian’s website and signing up for a 30-day free trial.