A customer data platform (CDP) is packaged software that creates a comprehensive customer database accessible by other systems to analyze, track, and manage customer interactions.
A customer data platform works best in conjunction with other marketing technologies. It can piggyback on current data management platforms (DMPs) and customer relationship management (CRM) solutions.
Marketers can design programs that boost revenue and improve customer retention. They can be exponentially more responsive to their customers as new channels gain popularity.
Since CDPs are sometimes confused with data management platforms (DMPs) and CRM solutions, it is good to understand the differences.
Marketing automation systems typically handle automated, repetitive tasks such as sending out mass email marketing campaigns, scheduling social marketing posts, or updating marketing campaign data. They’re also used for segmentation, lead targeting, lead scoring, and more. However, as the number of customer channels grow, marketing automation systems struggle to leverage data from all those online and offline channels in a way that marketers can use to build, deliver, and scale marketing campaigns across digital channels. Customers expect truly personalized marketing, and marketing automation systems aren’t designed to quickly deliver true omnichannel and cross-channel marketing campaigns at scale.
That is where a customer data platform (CDP) comes into play. A CDP can ingest data from online and offline data sources and unify it for that all-important single view of each customer. With this 360-degree view, marketers no longer have to make educated guesses. They can easily see customers’ channel preferences, their buying propensity, website behavior, and product preferences. With these insights, marketers can successfully target the right customers with the right strategies.
At the heart of a Customer Intelligence Platform is the creation of a single unified customer profile for each customer that combines profile, transactional, and behavioral data from across the business. A unified customer profile provides not only with a complete view of each and every customer in the business, it provides with a complete view of the entire business.
For all of their benefits, CDPs are limited in their analytical and AI capabilities. The next evolution of these platforms is the customer intelligence platform (CIP).
Customer intelligence platforms incorporate anonymous, third-party data as well as first-party data. They use machine learning for predictive models and recommendations, which produces more powerful, actionable insights. Customer intelligence platforms can share those insights with sales and customer service systems—not just marketing systems. This provides every customer-facing team member with more intelligence to communicate better and provide superior customer experiences. This increased communication of data and intelligence among CIPs and other systems will open up new opportunities, such as omnichannel attribution, through which marketers can identify and compare the results of marketing campaigns among multiple channels.
Find out more about Oracle’s CDP strategy, including CIP