The Top 5 Customer Data Platform Features You Can't Ignore

Top five CDP features to maximise the value of your customer data

Steve Jackson
Written by: Steve Jackson

Steve, an Analytics practitioner since 2002 works as a fractional CAO, digital analyst and marketer. He has written 3 books, Cult of Analytics, The Sucking Manifesto and Asking Why. Today he's heavily focused on customer data platforms (CDPs) and how to get the most out of them for his clients.

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Date Published: 2023-01-30

Customer data platforms (CDPs) are a must-have for any business looking to get the most out of their customer data. Shortly, with a CDP you can access, store and analyse customer data in real-time, allowing you to make better decisions and create more personalised experiences for your customers. But with so many features available on CDPs, it can be hard to know which ones are essential.

Which Are the Essential Features

From predictive analytics and segmentation capabilities, to integration options and privacy controls, there's a lot to consider when evaluating a CDP. Read on as we explore the five must-have features of any successful customer data platform!

Data Collection And Integration

When it comes to customer data platforms (CDPs), data collection and integration are critical features to consider. CDPs enable businesses to collect and store customer data in a single location, which can significantly reduce the time and effort required for manual data entry. Most act very similarly to tag managers in the way they handle data from websites for instance. In addition to that though, CDPs make it easy to integrate customer data from multiple sources into one unified platform, providing a comprehensive view of customer behaviour and preferences.

Integrating customer data across different channels allows companies to gain valuable insights into their customers’ needs and interests, enabling them to deliver better personalised experiences.

For example, by connecting online shopping behaviours with offline activities such as email marketing campaigns or in-store visits, you can build more complete profiles of your customers. This helps you tailor your marketing efforts to reach the right people at the right time with the most relevant content.

This helps you develop an effective CDP strategy that provides a complete picture of your customers’ buying habits so you can deliver tailored experiences that keep customers engaged.

Segmentation And Personalisation

Once you have collected and integrated customer data from different sources, the next step is to use this data to segment customers and deliver personalised experiences. Segmentation is the process of dividing customers into smaller groups based on certain criteria, such as behaviour, interests, or demographics. By segmenting customers, you can more easily target your marketing efforts and tailor messages that are more likely to resonate with specific customer segments.

Personalisation is the process of tailoring content and experiences to individual customers. For example, you may send a promotional email to one customer segment (remember our previous articles about Todd?) offering a discount on a specific product while sending another segment an email about a new product launch.

Personalised content can also be used in website design to ensure that each customer has an optimal experience when they visit the site.

By leveraging segmentation and personalisation together, you can create unique experiences for your customers that are tailored to their needs and interests. This helps build loyalty by showing customers that your business understands their needs and values them as individuals.

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(Top five features cont...)

Automated Interactions

Customer data platforms allow you to automate customer interactions. By automating certain tasks like responding to customer queries or upselling products, businesses can free up resources that can be used for more strategic activities. Automated interactions can help you streamline customer service and sales processes, which not only saves you time but also improves the customer experience.

Automation also makes it easier to track customer interactions and measure performance. With automated conversations, companies can get an in-depth view into customer behaviour and quickly identify areas that need improvement. This helps businesses provide even better experiences for their customers by making sure they are addressing their needs in a timely manner.

The combination of segmentation, personalisation, and automation can help you build relationships with your customers while increasing efficiency and improving the customer experience.

Analytic Insights

Analytic insights are another feature of customer data platforms that you should be aware of. With the right analytics tools, businesses can gain a deeper understanding of their customers and their needs. Whether you use your CDP to send data to Google Analytics or Adobe Analytics you can use the analytics tools to track customer behaviour on your website, create analytics segments, measure the success of campaigns, and identify areas for improvement.

Chat analytics (or surveys) also provide valuable insight into customer sentiment which can be used to tailor experiences and messaging to better meet their needs. If you have that data on your customer profiles you can use that too either to segment the online audiences using persona's or to combine data from multiple analytics systems to a single customer record in your data warehouse.

This help you make data-driven decisions about how to best engage with customers and keep them coming back. They also make it easier to identify trends and opportunities for growth. By taking advantage of multiple analytics systems and combining the information with a CDP, companies can develop privacy compliant strategies that are tailored to the individual needs of each customer, ultimately leading to more successful outcomes.

It's always been the case that with the right analytics tools in place, you will have access to actionable insights that enable you to make smarter decisions faster and deliver improved experiences for your customers.

However this author is seeing that a single source like Google Analytics alone is less useful than it was before. Only by removing the silo's can you truly take advantage.

Reporting And Visualisation

Reporting and visualisation are also useful features of customer data platforms. Having access to comprehensive reports gives businesses an in-depth look at their customers’ behaviours and preferences. Not all CDPs have these natively built into the toolset out of the box but you can often connect to other tools that you use and push data to them.

This enables you to identify opportunities for improvement, track performance, and ultimately make better decisions. Visualisations such as graphs and charts can help teams quickly understand the data and uncover trends that can be acted upon.

Trends & Patterns

Data visualisation tools provide you with a more efficient way to analyse customer data, making it easier to discover patterns and insights that can inform decision-making. Visualisations can also help with communication by providing an easy-to-understand representation of complex data sets.

By combining reporting capabilities with visualisations, customer data platforms provide you with a powerful tool for understanding customer behaviour. Through this understanding, you are able to develop effective strategies for engaging customers, improving experiences, and driving growth over time.

What a CDP does for you

The top 5 features you can’t ignore are data collection and integration, segmentation and personalisation, automated interactions, analytic insights, and reporting and visualisation. However, while these features are important and core to most CDPs it is the tip of the iceberg of what the platforms can do.

When shopping for a CDP, it's important to prioritise the features that will have the most impact on your business.

Considering these features when selecting a CDP will ensure you get the most out of your investment. A customer data platform with powerful functionality will enable you to better understand customers' needs and behaviours so you can provide them with an unbeatable experience every time they interact with your brand.

If you want to find out more about how CDPs can help I've put together a white paper you can download for free. Enjoy.

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