A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a software platform which creates a persistent, unified customer database that
can help the companies to gain a meaningful 360-degree view of their customers and, above all, their satisfaction. After all, customers who have been loyal to a company for a long time represent a reliable source of sales. Some of these software may provide marketing performance measurement analytics, predictive modeling, and content marketing.
Nowadays, customers attach great importance to providers always knowing who they are, what their customer history looks like, what they want, and of course at all times and across all channels. A meaningful and personalized customer journey or experience is increasingly becoming a decisive criterion for whether a customer remains loyal to the company or an interested party becomes a loyal customer. Optimizing the individual customer experience is therefore a top priority.
A customer data platform is a preconfigured system that is able to query customer data-carrying systems via standard connectors and combine the data extracted from there into a database, standardize it there and use it for analysis, segmentation or campaign purposes. In addition, CDPs can make this data available to other systems and communication channels for further processing. Standard connectors are also usually available for data exports. These data transfers can take place in (near) realtime.
At first glance, Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) seem like a modern, dynamic, lean and fresh version of the classic campaign management system (KMS). While a KMS is more workflow-based and often based on relational data models to automate campaign processes, CDP systems aim to provide a holistic customer-centric view and customer interaction on all digital channels such as web, email, mobile, online shop or social to optimize – i.e. from customer-centric data storage in big data technologies to sending e-mails in real time. With the constantly new buzzwords such as CRM, KMS, CDP, DWH, Data Mart, DMP, CMP and so, the CRM world is becoming increasingly confusing. It is important to keep an overview: For which purpose or in which customer lifecycle phase do I need which solution?
When a customer calls the call center, there they are identified in Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and their history is visible to the call center agent on the monitor. Let’s assume that the customer expresses an intention to terminate, which the employee on the hotline notes in his profile. The customer visits the company’s website at a later date. The CDP has since taken over the information on the intention to terminate the contract. The customer is not logged into the website, but the company knows his session ID from his previous online visits and can therefore offer him an attractive offer to extend the contract in real time. If successful, further sales are secured over a certain period of time. Typical shopping cart dropouts could also be identified using the information from other touchpoints. With an offer tailored specifically to them, they could become buyers and with subsequent measures, for example via email marketing, they could also become loyal customers.
How can companies manage to design the customer experience in the various channels so that a sustainable customer relationship is created? An essential point: the use of uniform customer data. Often, customer data comes from different and separate systems that have not been created to share their data with other systems. Standardizing this data and combining it into meaningful customer profiles is one of the basic functions of a customer data platform.