If you are looking to improve your tech stack to know your customers better, have unified and progressive user profiles, and deliver better customer experiences across all channels, it’s very likely that you need a customer data platform.
Since there’s a wide variety of CDPs in the market and they do not all fully deliver the capabilities of a customer data platform, we prepared a great question list for you to think about when choosing the best vendor for your needs.
What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?
How To Choose Customer Data Platform in 5 Steps
A Customer Data Platform is a software that allows you to unify customer data across all channels, keep that data organized, and make it easily available to all related departments in your enterprise to serve various goals. Keeping such detailed data in a unified way helps you know your customers in a more detailed way and offer them personalized experiences. The main goals of a CDP can be summarized in 6 points:
To find out all about what a CDP can do for your business, check out our previous blog: What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP).
There are a few things to consider when choosing a CDP. First of all to understand whether you need such a platform or not, refer to our previous blog that details how to understand if you need a CDP.
Before considering a particular CDP vendor, analyzing the goals of your business, and the needs of different departments in your business is key. You need to be able to answer how you will benefit from detailed and unified data on your customers. Some fundamental questions to consider are:
As you answer these questions, communicate with the teams who will be using and benefitting from this platform. The teams who will be interacting with a CDP on a daily basis will give the best answers to these questions and will guide you in the right direction.
After clarifying your needs and goals, you need to evaluate the capabilities of any Customer Data Platform by understanding and comparing how it performs across the following categories.
1- How does the platform collect data from various customer touchpoints?Customer touchpoints are changing and increasing. Your interactions with customers range from web, email, apps, social media channels in addition to offline stores. Your CDP needs to be able to easy collect and unify data from all these touchpoints
Look for standard integrations like Web SDK, App SDK, and APIs to connect your data from all channels and ask if it can it collect data and behavior from:
2 – How does the platform enable onboarding data from your existing technology stack?
Chances are high that you might already have your own tools for collecting data. Ask whether the CDP can easily integrate with these systems or has the ability to extend it with API for other tools. Can the CDP:
3 – Does the platform collect and aggregate data in real-time?To meet the increasing personalization demands of your customers, your data needs to be collected and updated in real-time. In the vendors you’re considering, look for how the data is collected and distributed to your touchpoints and how much it can support real-time use cases.
With timely data, you can tailor your personalization campaigns in a much more relevant and effective way, and convert leads without losing time.
4 – Does the platform create unified customer profiles?
Solving the problem of data silos is the main goal of all CDPS. The information your customer data platform provides should be able to deliver a 360-degree view of your customer profiles. It should help you know the difference between a VIP customer from an “At-Risk” customer and take appropriate action to improve your marketing strategy. To understand the scope of the unifies data, ask vendors if the platform can:
5 – What are the different types of segmentation supported by the platform?
It is vital to have effective segmentation for all your marketing campaigns. Segment capabilities that rely on a trait, behavior, predictive and rule-based segmentation are the ones you should look for. As the platform, if its segmentation capacities can:
There are numerous customer data platforms in the market and their number is increasing every year. In order to find the one platform that truly delivers the capabilities of a CDP, you need to carefully evaluate vendors. Aside from the questions we prepared for you, understand whether your vendor has expertise in your particular domain, has experience with other clients like your brand and make sure they complement your brand by plugging the gaps in your ecosystem.
Stay tuned to our blog as we explore more topics on CDPs.
With 12+ years of experience in consulting, building, and marketing technology products for clients across industries, Srikant is a product leader, storyteller, data fanatic, and UX/usability enthusiast. He often appears as a speaker on panels about personalization and optimization and has a passion for building simple solutions to complex problems, and is currently pursuing that at Insider.