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Guide | March 11, 2021

Customer Data Platform Use Cases

The list of Customer Data Platform use cases is almost as long as the number of unique 360º customer view profiles you can make with a CDP. Understanding your CDP use case lets you choose the best Customer Data Platform for your needs.

What Is a CDP?

A Customer Data Platform is software that compiles information about web users from different sources, including website visits, app downloads and in-store purchases, to name but a few. The Customer Data Platform managed system uses this customer data to create a persistent, unified and sharable customer database to provide a 360-degree view of each consumer.

A CDP works by integrating the omnichannel customer data into one unified system, and segmenting it into a single customer profile based on identified features of each individual person. CDP technology is mainly targeted at marketers and eCommerce sales implementation.

What Can a CDP Be Used For?

As data-driven digital transformation experts DataEM point out, companies can use CDPs to grow their business, beat the competition and make money by:

  • Extracting, unifying and exposing data to manage it

  • Measuring and analysing data

  • Prediction and optimisation of data usage empowered by AI

  • Driving demand generation for outbound campaigns

  • Enabling real-time interactions

  • Orchestrating Omnichannel decisions

Their inspired CDP Periodic Table presents CDP use cases in a way that’s familiar, easy to understand and conveniently categorised into different elements.

CDP Periodic Table

[Image source]

Specifically, a CDP uses these capabilities to undertake many data-driven customer actions and reach advanced insights. Some of the most common reasons why people use CDPs include:

  • To power Omnichannel personalisation. Thanks to their ability to pull data from different channels and systems and use it to create a single customer view, CDPs are uniquely capable of giving marketers an understanding of what each and every consumer needs and wants, which channels are best to interact with that consumer, and how.

  • See also: How CDPs Can Optimize Your Omnichannel Retail Strategy

  • To integrate with other marketing tools. Since many companies have used DMPs and CRMs before, and are reluctant to let go of these, CDPs are expressly created with the capability to share the unified customer database with any of these systems via APIs or database queries. In this way, the CDP is used as the central processing tool in the data marketing tech stack network.

  • To collect raw data. Other data acquisition and management systems may need to clean and store data in an organised way, rifling through and deciding in a brief instant what is important and what isn’t. CDPs, on the other hand, are able to extract stored data from a cloud-based storage system such as one that uses data lake architecture to conveniently retain all information. In this way, CDPs help to ensure that consumer data that may be useful isn’t lost before it enters the data management phase.

  • To incorporate Artificial Intelligence into business procedures. Firms that are intent on using AI as a tool to expedite and improve business processes, but are unsure of where to start and what technology would best suit them, may often start with a CDP. AI empowers CDPs to speed up the process of estimating future customer behaviour with look-alike modelling, and it makes this process more accurate by predicting the probability of propensity models being correct.

  • To replace third-party cookies. The upcoming phasing out over the next year to get rid of tracking cookies that collect third-party data means marketers and business leaders are looking around for a replacement technology that will still be able to provide valuable, data-driven customer experience personalisation, while respecting the data privacy rights of users. For many, it’s clear that a CDP is the answer.

How to Develop your CDP Use Case

Option 1: Online CDP Use Case Generator

The impartial CDP Institute has a highly developed tool for transforming business needs into a standard use case format – the CDP Use Case Generator. This free tool automatically generates a use case for your CDP project when you input a series of information about the problem you want to solve, your solution to the problem, the goals you have for this use case, the type of data you need and other such details.

1. Start by going to www.cdpinstitute.org/Use-Case-Generator and select “Click here to get started”. You will be taken to a form in a new tab where you have to fill out your email address, name, title and company, then click on “I agree”.

2. In a new tab, the Use Case Generator tutorial will begin to download as a pdf file.

3. Open the downloaded instruction manual. It is a 10-page document that leads you through the process of filling out the Use Case Generator. On page 10 there is a link to a Google Form, which is the Use Case Generator itself.

4. The Use Case Generator on Google Forms is 16 pages long and should be completed as per the instructions in the tutorial document. You should have all the necessary information to hand before you begin.

5. Once you submit the form, your tailor-made use case will be emailed to you as an attachment. If you need to go back and make modifications to this document, you will need to send an email explaining the case to the email address given in the tutorial pdf.

Option 2: Speak to an Expert

Another way to learn more about your use case for a Customer Data Platform is to talk to an expert in the field, who can guide you. The benefit of communicating with a real person is that they will be better placed to understand your needs and offer bespoke advice.

Instead of unilateral efforts on the part of the company, developing a CDP use case works better when it is a collaborative process that involves selecting the right type of CDP and customisable features for it that are needed for the specific business sector.

International solutions agency SmartOSC has offices in the USA, Singapore, Vietnam, Australia, Thailand and Japan with staff trained in implementation of Customer Data Platforms for business success. All their phone numbers and contact details can be found on their contact page, and they are available to talk about customer data management, omnichannel marketing and digital transformation at any time.

For other CDP inquiries specific to the Asia-Pacific region, APAC CDP providers Antsomi can be contacted at [email protected]. As developers of the first AI-powered CDP in the APAC region, they have a vast store of knowledge about CDPs to help eCommerce retailers, marketers, financial institutions and other organisations find the right CDP use case.

Decide What CDP You Need

Only once you have settled on a definite use case for your CDP, complete with end goals, KPIs and the systems or channels to be used, will it be clear what type of CDP your project will need and how to move forward.

Types of Customer Data Platforms are segmented according to their functions and features. These range from the relatively simple task of creating a unified, sharable customer database, right up to the most advanced CDP feature of suggesting and delivering integrated marketing solutions, personalised for each user. Do your research and analyse your current business capabilities and where your weaknesses lie to find the right kind of CDP for you.

When you’re clear on what kind of CDP would work best for your company’s needs, building on and around your existing technology stack to fill the holes, the next step is to decide whether it’s better to build or buy the CDP. There are pros and cons to each one, either going it alone or enlisting the help of an experienced software provider, so consider carefully what makes most sense for your particular business needs.

And that’s it! Now you’re ready to implement your new data marketing strategy with your Customer Data Platform, and fulfil the demands of your CDP use case.

Contact SmartOSC for more details on using a CDP to empower business processes, and be sure to sign up for our newsletter for more insights like this every month.


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