Which Customer Data Platform is Right for You?

The goal of most profit-maximizing companies is to optimize the productivity and efficiency of their operations, services and processes in order to minimize costs and maximize revenues. While these are incredibly imperative to any business, the success of any B2B or B2C organization also depends on the quality of its customer acquisition and customer retention. Similarly, how well a company interacts with its target audience and existing customers hinges on its ability to manage, extract and utilize its customer data. One the most effective ways to optimize a business’s customer interactions is through a high-quality customer data platform.

What is a Customer Data Platform? And How Can it Help My Business?

The customer data platform (CDP) market in 2020 was valued at about $2.4 billion. By 2025, that figure is expected to increase at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 34% and climb to a forecasted valuation of $10.3 billion. Businesses across all industries and sectors are investing in improved, centralized customer data management. But why? What makes a customer data platform a financially beneficial investment?

A customer data platform, in its simplest form, is a software system that collects, organizes and tracks customer data across a variety of preset touchpoints. CDPs don’t just aggregate data, they share it as well. Most CDPs have the ability to interact with other software, systems, and department operations in order to centralize customer data and maximize its utility company-wide. One of the objectives of this software as it relates to other company functions is to create individual, shareable customer profiles using structured real-time data. These customer profiles allow executives to develop products, experiences, and marketing strategies that specifically tailor to the needs and behaviors of their clientele. 

Selecting The Optimal CDP Provider

The one caveat of implementing CDPs is having to choose the CDP provider. Like any tool, a customer data platform needs to be able to accommodate the demands, processes, and environment of its user. Considering that each enterprise has its own method of data collection, touchpoints, data needs, and consumer base, having the optimal CDP provider is an important decision. To help our clients select the ideal CDP provider for their organization, here are a few of the top-leading customer data platform brands, their benefits, and their limitations.

Segment

The selling point of Segment is its versatility and ease-of-use. Segment is an easy-to-integrate CDP that focuses on reducing the number of unnecessary steps required to share and send data between other systems and software. More than 20,000 companies across over 70 countries use Segment to power their customer data solutions, including the growing online delivery startup Instacart as well as the established clothing retailer Levi’s. For businesses looking to alleviate pressure on their dev team and increase data flexibility at the same time, Segment is for you. 

The one weakness of Segment, however, is that not all of its integrations are seamless. This is a theme that will persist across most CDP providers. After all, CDP’s can only collect and manage the data they provided and, depending on the cleanliness of this data, it may be difficult to seamlessly integrate a CDP without proper data preparation. If integration becomes messier, that is when you will need to call on your IT department, or dev team, to provide technical assistance.

Optimove

Unlike other customer data platforms, Optimove has a tighter focus in terms of its scope; specifically CRM marketing. One of the most popular Optimove features is its ability to coordinate self-optimizing customer journeys that marketers can then use to create quality interactions with their customers across all of their channels. By prioritizing the customer relationship management side of CDP, this provider is particularly valuable for companies in the retail, apps, SaaS, and gaming industries.

The biggest criticism of Optimove is often the timeliness of its data. Because Optimove uses Artificial Intelligence (AI) to power its marketing automation tools, the insights received may be based on less-than-real-time data. For some organizations, this may be a negligible consequence, for others it could be deal-breaking. Similarly, one should be cognizant of the cleanliness of their data prior to integrating Optimove, especially since it doesn’t offer a free trial. While its services are very effective for the right client, AI may struggle with messier, complex data inputs. If you want help cleaning up your data, it is recommended to consult with a third-party data analytics consultant.

Exponea

This is one of the highest rated CDP providers on G2, and for good reason. Exponea’s CDP offers fast integration; no-lag, real-time data analytics; and personalization at scale. For larger companies, the latter feature is invaluable. Based on the amount of data one generates as a large corporation, the last thing one would want is for their size to compromise the quality of insights provided by their CDP. This is one of the most reliable and efficient end-to-end customer data platforms available on the market, particularly for businesses looking to combine advanced customer data analytics with omni-channel campaign execution.

Is a CDP a One-Stop-Shop Solution for Customer Data Solutions?

An honest answer is yes and no. As defined by the CDP Institute, a vendor-neutral resource for marketers and businesses, a Customer Data Platform is a “a packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.” CDPs do not establish the channels that allow them to collect their own data. That responsibility rests on the organization itself. Therefore, the success of one’s CDP implementation depends on the quality of first-, second-, and third-party data sources it receives in addition to the other supporting systems it requires. For instance, the types of touchpoints and metrics an organization employs may directly affect how structured the data it manages actually is.

One of the easiest ways to incorporate a CDP quickly and effectively and with minimal hassle is by seeking expert assistance. Through superior data management techniques, our team at Enabled Concept can help create a smooth integration process that allows you maximize the ROI of your CDP investment long-term. To help optimize the value of your CDP, contact us at Enabled Concept today.

Posted in

Ron Bisaccia