Top Ten Checklist for an Enterprise Customer Data Platform

There’s plenty of excitement among marketers today about customer data platforms. So we’ve put together the ten most essential functions of an enterprise-grade customer data platform to help simplify the must-haves.

The explosion of customer data has created many opportunities to adapt your business to meet the needs of your customers. A few big players, such as Amazon, Uber and Netflix, who have successfully harnessed customer data are outperforming in their ability to deliver a great customer experience, faster and cheaper. The gap between those who have achieved a data driven, customer-centric business and those who have not is growing rapidly. The tricky part to closing that gap is unifying your data from disparate silos in a way that is relevant, timely and actionable. An enterprise customer data platform (CDP) solves your customer data problem so you can focus on your business.

The Enterprise Customer Data Platform

An enterprise CDP brings all your data together for a single, actionable view of your customer. It empowers you to gain valuable insights in order to better know your customers, engage in meaningful ways along the entire customer journey and measure your success. A CDP is a cloud service that gives you the ability to track, manage and automate processes that create a personalized customer experience without the need for heavy lifting from IT.

Here are the top ten must-haves for an Enterprise Customer Data Platform:

  1. Unite your data for a single, complete view of your customer.
    Your CDP must integrate with all your data sources, including PoS, IoT, web, SaaS, and mobile, including offline, batch and streaming. This allows marketers to know each and every customer interaction to build the most complete profile of the customer.
  2. Make your data work for you instead of you working to define your data.
    While this may seem technical, it’s important that you use schemaless ingestion to aggregate data from different sources with ease. This gives you access to data that you didn’t know existed, even as it evolves over time. Without schemaless ingestion, you must know the format and structure of the data in detail before you receive it and then tell your system how to receive the data, or it will be lost.
  3. Look for a CDP with dynamic profile segmentation that allows you to better know and target your customer. Dynamic profile segmentation lets you define (model) your customer in different ways with great intricacy and refinement. This allows marketers to target very specific types of customers for personalized messaging.
  4. Maintain a persistent view of all your customer data without limitation.
    All data should remain available to your campaigns indefinitely and not be purged. Many CDP vendors purge data after 90 days. You want the ability to query your data for insights without limitations of scale or data history. For example, in retail, customer insights from last year’s holiday season are critical when creating engagement strategies for next year’s.
  5. Personalize engagement and marketing programs in real-time, with robust workflow combined with dynamic segmentation.
    To reach customers or prospects in a timely manner, you want to take action immediately and deploy a targeted response based on a customer interactions. This enables each customer experience to be personalized on your website, in your marketing programs, on social campaigns and in advertising.
  6. Leverage machine learning for predictive outcomes and advanced analysis.
    Take your analysis to an entirely new level by using machine learning to discover information and to direct targeted responses that would be otherwise impossible or certainly infeasible.
  7. Insist on proven scalability to ingest and process billions of events every day.
    In addition to quantity of data ingestion and query processing, scalability determines the speed at which your analysis can be performed. Don’t get stuck with a CDP that can’t grow with your company, or handle enterprise scale.
  8. Demand the flexibility and adaptability that your business requires.
    Let’s face it…there’s complexity involved when you do business at scale. You need a CDP that enables you to conduct your business in unique ways, grow, and adapt with change. A one-size-fit-all will not drive competitive advantage.
  9. Confirm enterprise-grade security.
    Verify that the CDP has security credentials and governance practices to meet enterprise compliance. For example, ensure customer data is encrypted at rest and in transit.
  10. Speed your time to value and empower your line of business by removing the heavy lifting from IT.The majority of your integrations should be provided out-of-the box. Add professional services by your enterprise CDP provider to handle customizations. Make extensive IT projects a thing of the past.

At the end of the day, your martech stack is only as good as the data going into it, so a CDP needs to handle these top ten points to empower your best marketing performance.

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Rob Parrish
Rob Parrish

Rob Parrish is Director of Product Management at Treasure Data. Prior to Treasure Data, Rob worked most recently as a Data Scientist & Product Manager at Radius Intelligence focused on enabling predictive data products for SMB-focused marketing teams, and, at Nomis Solutions, helping consumer banks with pricing optimization.

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