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Is Your Organization Ready for CDP?

In our previous blog post on Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), Brian Esham wrote about the goal of these technology platforms as well as the features and benefits they provide for marketing. While these systems bring rich capabilities, they require internal team alignment across a company, to achieve the greatest success. So, a bigger question to address as you pursue a CDP should be “Is my entire organization ready for a CDP?”  

Early Business Buy-In   

Deciding on a CDP solution requires alignment with Marketing, IT, Business Intelligence, and Analytics, as well as any other business stakeholder in the organization that holds valuable customer data. Many times, we have seen platform decisions made with only one party at the table. Typically, that result is a very disjointed implementation, fractured internal alignment, and ultimately loss of product adoption.  

While, on the surface, this appears to be a marketing department decision, always remember that there will need to be a significant amount of data wrangling, modeling, and resolution activities that need to take place. There will be discussions about reporting and analytics, how that data feeds back into the CDP, and how the campaign insights drive into developing a better customer experience. There will need to be conversations about new segmentation strategies, persona development, and activation channel expansion. The only way this endeavor will be successful is through the alignment of all internal stakeholders. And that alignment needs to happen early!  

Everyone Benefits  

In our previous article, key benefits were discussed for how marketers get the most out of a CDP. But guess what? Everyone else can benefit from it, too:  

  • Relieve pressure from IT resources  
    CDPs can provide marketers with easier segmentation capabilities. This can greatly reduce or eliminate the reliance on IT resources for audience requests, remove the need to build complex SQL queries into data warehouses, and reduce the overload of data query requests that may place a strain on your IT organization.  

  • Consolidate the tech  
    When considering CDPs, there is always the discussion around ‘Point vs. Enterprise’ solution. With a solution like Salesforce’s CDP, seamless, pre-developed integration between their Sales, Service, Marketing, and Commerce data is completed quicker and easier. This kind of ROI is where a true enterprise CDP can start to pay dividends and reduce the technical debt across your organization. There are times that point solutions do make sense, but the integration and customization time and costs for these types of solutions make it very difficult to manage and maintain over the long term.   

  • Provide marketing a data playground  
    While many organizations rely on IT’s access to the data (ie. warehouses or other data repositories), CDPs can allow marketing similar access to this data, while keeping them isolated from entry and access to the actual “source of truth.” This allows security, compliance, and protocols to stay intact, while confidently allowing the marketing team to run their own data experiments and segmentation planning activities independently. 

  • Geek out your Analytics team  
    CDPs are a powerful tool when the data feedback loop is closed. Since the data in the CDP is unified, analytics and reporting across all channels and data sources give the ability to target and segment faster, smarter, and more efficiently. This brings speed to the organization to allow for faster responses to campaign performance, which also maximizes spend in the right channels with the right audiences. The teams have been begging for data unification and you may have just brought on a champion in the fight.  

Who’s Gonna Own It?  

Product ownership is always one of the biggest challenges that we encounter in full product adoption. Typically, when we conduct implementations, only one or two stakeholder groups are present for giving out requirements, working through the implementation, and maybe even receiving the training. It’s critical to define product owners early in the process and across all parts of the business. Also, it’s equally important for each stakeholder group to be engaged in the requirements defining process, the overall implementation, as well as the training and enablement. For an investment in a CDP to truly be successful, Marketing, IT, and Analytics all need a governing role and accountability.  

In conclusion, the best thing syou can do to set your organization up for CDP success is: Align early. Assign owners. Agree on vision. Support together.

Does this sound like something your organization is ready to implement? Talk with one of our CDP experts about next steps!