The power and beauty of a CDP – or customer data platform – comes from its ability to harness customer data to create meaningful personalized experiences. But there’s a big difference between data and wisdom, so it’s important to take a good look at your data strategy to make sure you can get the most value out of a CDP.
Here are 5 tips we recommend to set yourself up for CDP success.
1. Find a CDP that’s linkable
The Holy Grail of a CDP comes with a unified profile where you can link data from disparate systems to see all the ways your customers interact with your brand. To do that, you’ll need a key that unlocks your ability to link data together, which is where the right CDP comes into play. CDPs give you many ways to create links: email addresses, names, phone numbers, locations subscriber keys, device data – in various combination – to create that unified view. The best CDPs are ones that are able to aggregate both internal platform data as well as external source data. An example of this is Salesforce CDP – not only is data across Salesforce clouds aggregated into the customer data platform, but it also ingests data from external systems with its native connecters to truly provide that holistic unified experience across every touchpoint.
2. Identify your use cases
It’s easy to get stuck in the “analysis paralysis zone” when getting started with implementing a CDP. You’re simultaneously excited about all the things you can do with a CDP, but also overwhelmed by potential ways to get there. That’s where our expertise as consultants comes in. We find the best way to get started is simply to identify use cases in a classic value to effort grid, and begin ranking based on how many of the organizational objectives they achieve. This helps take the emotion out of making the starting point decision, and gives you a visual on which use cases are most important to build out a pilot program. The results of this exercise will look something like this, with some clear low-hanging fruit.
3. Start small and work in bite sized chunks
We find a lot of organizations waste endless cycles on discovery, when the easiest way to get started is simply just to get started. You have your use cases identified, so now it’s time to start with a pilot program. Pilots let you quickly get your software into productive use, create proof points on the positive impact of your CDP, and take learned lessons into future implementations. When we help clients orchestrate their pilot program, we always start by looking at the data that will support your highest impact use cases, and to start with the easy stuff. You’ll learn a lot along the way that will help when it comes to tackling the more complex challenges.
4. Keep an eye on fresh & accurate information
The great thing about CDP data as opposed to other data initiatives is that the data is best when it’s fresh and representing your customer today vs. your customer five years ago. For many use cases, this eliminates the need to clean up large swaths of historical data. However, you will want to make sure that the data that is getting brought into your CDP is accurate, since accuracy is what drives the most impactful personalized real-time interactions. It’s a good idea to gut check your data set and look for values that may be commonly misspelled, entered incorrectly, or just don’t make sense. We find that user-entered preferences are often better experiences since the user can have the opportunity to tell you what they want to hear about as well and are responsible for submitting their information, which makes it more likely that the information captured is correct.
5. Create a roadmap for scale
A useful byproduct of the prioritization exercise is often a roadmap where you can see how you bring each part of your organization into the CDP, and how you can start to run parallel paths of process and data changes to get ready for further implementation.
One big reminder when it comes to creating roadmaps: the key foundation for our road map was organizational priorities. And as we know, these can change! It’s important to re-evaluate your road map quarterly to make sure you’re still on track to deliver use cases that will bring the most value to your organization.
To learn more about getting started with a CDP, watch our webinar we hosted alongside our partners at Salesforce where we discuss actionable steps to create a 360 unified profile.