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CDPs - the unsung hero of your MarTech stack

Author: Tiffany Staples


As a marketer, you’re always looking for ways to get ahead of the competition. You want to be able to reach your target market with laser precision and deliver personalized messages that resonate – and you want to do it all while maintaining a tight grip on your marketing budget. Meanwhile, empowered buyers demand an extraordinary level of customer obsession from the brands they interact with. Including a CDP in your MarTech stack is the key to delivering it. 

To achieve the level of customer attention required to be successful in today’s hyper-competitive environment, organizations must focus on five priorities:

  • Drive revenue with customer experience
  • Differentiate with digital
  • Build an insights-driven organization
  • Excel at customer-obsessed marketing
  • Maximize the business value of technology

For each one of these, you need customer data. Not just any customer data - extraordinary data! And a platform to capture, enrich, and deliver that data to drive maximum value from it.

Enter the customer data platform

A Customer Data Platform helps you collect, unify, and activate customer data from multiple sources. This data can come from online interactions, offline interactions, CRM systems, and more. Once the data is collected, it’s stored in a centralized location so it can be easily accessed and used by your marketing team.

According to Forrester, “a successful digital customer experience strategy in part relies on technology to track and manage customer data across sessions and touchpoints.”

A Customer Data Platform, (CDP), is an increasingly important component of an organization’s MarTech stack. According to Forrester, CDPs are used to assemble customer profiles, orchestrate customer interactions, and accelerate data delivery to analytics and engagement tools. Pretty important stuff for customer experience and personalization, right? Yet only 25% of B2C marketers currently use a CDP.

Maybe it’s just a case of confusion – too many choices. A modern marketing technology stack may include several data-focused components, and sometimes the differences between them are subtle. Here’s a quick cheat sheet:

Enterprise data warehouses, data lakes, etc. are typically built and managed by corporate IT departments and integrate data from various sources into one comprehensive database. The difference between the two is that in a data warehouse the data is structured, i.e., organized and formatted in a specific way. In a data lake the data is stored as-is. Both store vast amounts of data, but the purpose is to store it for later use.

A data management platform (DMP) helps companies centralize, organize, and manage their data. DMPs are primarily used in advertising and marketing because they enable audience segmentation and targeting for various campaigns, mainly by storing anonymous cookie data for display ads. It collects and uses the data but doesn’t capture it.

Targeted solutions like integration hubs to connect various technology systems, and attribution solutions to determine impact of marketing efforts are also great at using existing data, but it must come from somewhere else.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) systems help companies manage relationships with current and potential customers by storing information about them, such as demographics and past interactions with the company.

A CDP can be many things, but in essence it’s a solution that collects and unifies customer data from multiple sources to build a comprehensive customer database, accessible by other systems. This enables firms to capture, analyze, and segment customer data, including both anonymous and personal identifiable information. The concept of a CDP isn’t entirely new, but the approach to customer data capture and activation has evolved considerably over the past few years. As noted in the 2022 Gartner® Market Guide for Customer Data Platforms, “Marketers’ frustration with disconnected customer data inspired a confusing spectrum of solutions from providers.”

As CDPs became popular, dozens of vendors flocked to capitalize on the new marketing technology. Most jumped on the activation side of CDP because it’s sexier. They boast great promises of all the amazing things you can do with personalization and customer experience - but the reality is that without the data behind it, none of the activation matters.

This is why 90% of CDP implementations fail – without the data, it’s impossible for a CDP to deliver on its promises to “fix all your problems.”

Why include a CDP in your MarTech stack?

In marketing, personalization and customer experience are key. So are metrics. You need to understand who your customers are, what they’re doing, what they want, and how your campaigns are working. All of this requires data. You need to capture, analyze, and understand the data, then activate it in the form of relevant offers, campaign optimization, and budget strategy. A CDP (ok, the right CDP) will get you there.

Analysts and enterprises agree, a CDP is a critical component of the MarTech stack. Gartner’s view of the value a CDP provides is that: “The unified view of the customer, enabled by the CDP, creates more efficient marketing through better targeting and coordinated orchestration, provides better visibility into the full customer journey, and enables personalization, thereby improving the customer experience.”

Forrester sees customer data as a linchpin for relevant experiences, with CDPs having emerged to help organizations meet this mandate and deliver against “the need to drive seamless, targeted, and rich multichannel digital customer experiences.”

While all of this is true, it’s critical to have the RIGHT customer data solution in place – without a true first-party data solution to capture, contextualize, and connect customer data for activation in real-time, you’ll never achieve the results you deserve.

An effective customer data solution provides infinite value, but here are 4 core benefits:

  1. Increased efficiency: A CDP can help you increase the efficiency of your marketing team by providing quick and easy access to customer data. No more wasted time searching through multiple systems for the information they need!
  2. Improved accuracy: With a CDP, you empower your marketing team with accurate and up-to-date customer data. This is because CDPs automatically clean and deduplicate data as it’s collected.
  3. Greater insight: By collecting data from multiple sources and unifying it in one place, CDPs give you greater insight into your customers’ behavior and preferences. This allows you to create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.
  4. Singular customer view: By combining customer data from multiple sources into a single database, a CDP can build a comprehensive identity graph for every individual. With this 360-degree view of the customer, marketers can deliver more personalized outreach and quickly adjust campaigns in response to changes in customer needs based on real-time insights into customer behavior.

If you’re looking for a way to give your marketing team a competitive edge, then you need a Customer Data Platform. A CDP will help you collect, unify, and activate customer data from multiple sources -enabling you to create more targeted and effective marketing campaigns.

The Celebrus difference

Celebrus’ multi-patented technology has been capturing, transforming, and delivering customer data for instant activation since 1999. Our philosophy has always been understanding customers as individuals by capturing complete individual-level data from across channels, devices, and sessions – with no agonizing tagging required. This first-party data, which includes both behaviors and experiences, is captured whether a customer is a known individual or not.

After collecting this highly detailed behavioral and experiential data, Celebrus transforms and enriches it to enable the creation of rich and deep contextual understanding about individuals. This data is then delivered for use in two ways:

  • The creation of comprehensive first-party customer profiles to deliver the most valuable data into systems of engagement in real-time to power one-to-one omnichannel personalization and marketing automation.
  • The delivery of the complete, detailed, and enriched data in micro-batch via an extensive data model into systems of insight to underpin the creation of advanced customer analytics and discovery of previously hidden intelligence.

These capabilities are delivered via the Celebrus CDP into single or parallel systems to help organizations create deep customer insight and orchestrate seamless omnichannel engagement. With Celebrus CDP, customer profiles are updated and delivered in real-time and at scale.

  • Customer profiles at scale. Celebrus enables the creation and activation of comprehensive customer profiles at scale across devices, channels, domains, and time to meet the needs of even the largest enterprises dealing with multi-millions of website and app sessions every month.
  • Tagging free. Celebrus’ tagging-free technology is a single data capture system across all digital touch points and beyond, providing one source of customer data truth across the entire organization – no more fragmented, disconnected data silos.
  • Capture everything once. The data is captured once and used many times in multiple ways across a business, including for marketing, loyalty, fraud prevention, product development, finance, and more – effectively reducing the cost and complexity of customer data capture.
  • GDPR compliant. The first-party and on-premises nature of Celebrus data capture relieves data governance, compliance, and security concerns, and streamlines data provider management.
  • Behavioral and experiential data. The data captured goes beyond detailed behavioral data (what someone interacted with) to experiential data (what someone experienced on the site, enabling creation of deeper customer context and understanding.
  • Data enrichment. As well as the rich and granular data captured by Celebrus’ own software, the ability to ingest data from multiple other sources creates highly enriched profiles, adding huge value for both customer analytics and one-to-one personalization.
  • Real-time data delivery. Celebrus data is captured, contextualized, and delivered in milliseconds to feed customer profiles and decisioning systems in true real-time.
  • Easy integration with enterprise applications. Celebrus understands that many organizations don’t want to rip and replace existing technologies or rely on one vendor to meet all their MarTech needs. Our vendor-agnostic, flexible approach focuses on building deep integrations with leading systems to accelerate time-to-value and maximize ROI on both existing investments and Celebrus.

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