This post answers three questions B2B Marketers and RevOps professionals often ask us about how to make the most of a CDP.
Whether you’re a marketing, a sales, or a RevOps leader, chances are you already know how valuable it would be to unify your customer data, insights and interactions once and for all both at the account and contact levels. Many businesses are investing in CDPs (Customer Data Platforms) with exactly this goal in mind. But why is a CDP actually beneficial to your company, and what are the explicit ways it can solve your problems? And once you’ve checked those items off your to do list, what can your business accomplish next?
To help you get a sense of what a CDP makes possible, here are three typical questions businesses have about CDPs, along with our tips on how to get the most from yours.
1. How can you use a CDP?
A CDP’s chief value lies in the lasting customer relationships it creates. When paired with sophisticated machine learning, a CDP can generate a complete view of your customers that allows you to engage them across their preferred channels in real time. In short, a CDP truly makes your customer data actionable. To illustrate, here are three powerful use cases for CDPs:
- Customer Lifecycle Automation: A CDP leverages all of your client data to continuously identify, understand, grow, retain, reactivate, and nurture both lapsed and active customers using AI-powered customer analytics. With these insights, you can create individualized interactions for precisely the right offer, at the right time, through any channel, for each customer across every stage of the buyer’s journey and customer lifecycle.
- Personalization: A CDP can build custom audience segments to accurately target customers based on data characteristics such as intent, purchase behavior, communication preferences, location, and basic demographics. This same CDP can also build a complete profile of your prospects, making it possible to offer them exactly what they need and determine how best to reach them.
- Cross-sell / Up-sell: An experienced sales professional can show you the next best product or offer to cross-sell or up-sell to each customer. An AI-driven CDP surpasses those first-level recommendations, however, by highlighting deep patterns and trends that drive meaningful cross- and up-sell opportunities with exceptional precision.
2. What should you look for in a CDP?
All CDPs create a unified customer database, but certain kinds of CDPs offer specialized business benefits in addition to that core functionality. The Customer Data Platform Institute classifies CDPs according to these three categories:
- Data Access CDPs provide standardization, transformation, identity linkage, aggregation, segmentation, and data sharing.
- Campaign CDPs have analytical capabilities that can be used to craft select messages for individuals. In this respect, they differ from CDPs whose segmentation features can only be used to create lists.
- Analytical CDPs feature predictive modeling or machine learning capabilities that can go far beyond the segmentation function. Specialized analytical features include data visualization, attribution, product recommendations and forecasting, among other advancements.
When evaluating a CDP, it’s important to select one that meets your needs. Since every CDP provides one comprehensive view of each customer and prospect at both the contact and account levels, you’ll reap significant business benefits from that feature alone. But depending on which kind of CDP you choose, you may be able to drive even greater business results. Here’s a glimpse at the enhanced value a B2B company can unlock using Zylotech’s self-learning platform, which is an analytical CDP.
As you can see in the image above, Zylotech gradually enriches your existing customer data so that you can finally gain a complete view of each customer. Even better, it makes these new insights actionable by generating predictions and recommending specific actions to take. With complete profile information at your fingertips and accurate targeting, you can turn your customers into product evangelists, win back marketing spend that was previously hamstrung by ‘dirty data,’ and offer compelling deals to customers at the exact moment they are thinking about making a purchase.
3. What are the results you should be aiming for in a CDP?
You can evaluate a CDP’s performance by measuring several outcomes, such as the amount of revenue it generates, the efficiency gains it enables, and the business KPIs it helps your company attain. But along the way, you’ll likely discover that the meaningful customer data found in a CDP provides strategic business advantages that go well beyond these core results. For example, whereas your marketing team might once have had to grapple with incomplete and inaccurate data that prevent them from properly segmenting customers and personalizing their experiences, they can now be confident that the data upon which they rely is both up-to-date and accurate.
That’s already a huge win for most businesses, but even that important outcome doesn’t scratch the surface of what a CDP makes possible. With a CDP, your business will also be able to fully maximize the value of all its existing marketing and sales technology investments, generating greater overall ROI from its technology spend. While RevOps once had to turn itself into a pretzel just to corral and correlate disparate data sets, a CDP empowers RevOps to break down the silos between sales, marketing, CX, finance, and the rest of the organization. Once that’s accomplished, teams can begin to normalize the practice of measurement and evaluation, continually generating actionable insights that enable game-changing business growth.
Making the most of a CDP involves enabling the use cases that matter to marketing, sales and RevOps, of course, but they’re just the tip of the iceberg of what your business can achieve once it unifies its customer data. By unlocking powerful insights that enable dramatic business growth, you can quickly advance from low-hanging fruit to pie-in-the-sky, big picture strategic wins that once seemed like a distant dream.
Curious to learn how high quality data can help your business thrive? Check out this blog post: How to go from bad data to good quality data in your business.