Customer Data Platforms are today’s water-cooler chat topic of choice. Many thought leaders have been quick to sing the platform’s praises, making professionals eager to implement the solution in their own organizations. This leaves decision makers with the difficult task of selecting the ideal vendor. Luckily, we’re here to help. Our own Chief Growth Officer, Josh Francia, evaluated 30 vendors during his CDP search. According to him, here are the five big questions you should ask before buying a CDP:
What key goals do we have in mind for this platform switch?
It’s important to go into your evaluation with both high level and detailed goals in mind. This makes the process as smooth as possible. Also, this gives vendors a chance to offer custom solutions and provide demos that can communicate real value. When it comes time to make a selection, it makes the comparison process that much easier as well. Check out our CDP Buyer’s Guide for more ideas and helpful directions.
What major pain points should the solution alleviate?
A good CDP will feel like a marriage of your marketing and data science teams. The platform should eliminate common roadblocks like lag times from getting data and insight from technical teams to your marketers, incomplete or siloed customer data, and lag when offering real-time personalization. Ultimately, your pain points will be unique, and you’ll need a solution that is tailored to your goals.
Are the customer data profiles the CDP would create customizable to your needs?
To get the most accurate and up-to-date view of your customer possible, choose a partner that can ingest data from any source needed. Then, rationalize that data and present it in a format that meets your business needs and provides relevant intelligence.
What’s the company’s AI ethos?
It’s very common for AI-enabled software companies to be protective over what makes them tick, but the blackbox approach does a tremendous disservice to customers. Seek out vendors who offer white-box AI, so you know exactly how conclusions are reached within the platform, and can make any customizations needed to fit your business requirements.
Does the system have enough storage for all your product and catalog data, in addition to your customer data?
While most CDPs can handle lots of customer data, not all can properly ingest and understand other forms of data, such as catalog or product data. It’s important to make that distinction early on in the buying cycle to weed out offerings that can’t keep up with your needs.
Can the platform offer the speed you need?
Is personalization real-time, or just “close” to real time? Increasingly, offering in the moment messaging as a response to actions is the way to win hearts and win business. It’s important to test thoroughly and get proper references to be sure your CDP can ingest and output data to channels in true real time. Not just “quickly”.
Whether bringing on a CDP is a far off project, or in the plans for your upcoming quarters, the value of lining up what is of value to you in question format as soon as possible is beyond helpful to your search. If you’d like to learn more about Blueshift’s Customer Data Activation Platform, and what makes our offering different, check out our CDAP guide. Curious to see our platform in action? Reach out to our team to see our demo.