What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?
A Customer Data Platform – or CDP for short – is a database software that connects different data sources and systems. Customer data especially is traditionally spread out through different sources and tools. With a CDP, you can connect all these sources and combine the different types of data like transactional, behavioural and demographic data. The result? a complete 360° overview of every individual customer.
Why do you need a CDP?
In the past, various tools like CRM, web analytics tools, data management platforms etc. were very useful to collect data from one specific area. Over time, these tools created silos because they were difficult to connect. For instance, the type of data you would get from a CRM would be very different than that of a web analytics tool.
The power of a Customer Data Platform is that you can unite all these data points to unveil new insights on your customers. As a result, you can proactively adapt and personalize the customer experience or send information your customers need at specific times.
So… How does it work?
Contrary to data warehouses or data lakes – which also collect and connect data sources – a CDP doesn’t require too much technical knowledge. Setting up a CDP requires some expertise, but once the set-up is complete, a CDP is very accessible and easy to use.
This is partly thanks to the customer-centric view of a CDP. The platform creates customer profiles and automatically connects and updates all available online and offline data sources on that specific customer. Since all data is centralized in one location, it can be easily visualized for individual profiles.
The CDP then connects to built-in or third-party tools (think marketing automation tools, analytics, campaign tools…) to execute marketing activities and perform analyses. Because the customer data is unified and complete, you can start taking concrete actions to improve the customer experience across all channels.
With Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights – which is Microsoft’s CDP – you can even combine customer data with IoT and operational data. Connecting both online and offline data from all possible sources will give you a complete single view of your customers. You can then leverage these insights to improve the customer experience with specific and directed interactions.
Customer Insights even has prebuilt AI models that can make predictions and recommendations. For instance, you could know when a certain client is ready to cross- or upsell. Or you can optimize your website, app or webshop based on preferences and analytics data.
The added advantage of keeping your CDP in the Microsoft ecosystem? Microsoft Power Automate will allow you to automatically link actions to certain customer signals or triggers coming from the CDP. For instance, if you know a customer has a significant life event coming up, you can automatically send a marketing email congratulating them and offering a special discount.
Turn prospects into fans
With Customer Insights, you can optimize customer journeys in realtime, turn prospects into fans and improve the retention and loyalty of your clients. All the advantages of the personal approach, enriched with deeper AI insights and predictions.
Curious to know more? Check out our customer engagement solutions!
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