If there’s been one identifiable darling of the late twenty-teens and early 2020 martech stack, it’s most definitely the Customer Data Platform (CDP). It’s seldom that you’ll hear about a data-driven marketer who doesn’t already have one or is at least searching for their perfect CDP. It may come as a surprise that this martech favorite is less than 5 years old, and has seen incredible transformation and recognition in the last 2 years.
At first, the CDP came onto the market to address the massive amounts of data marketers now own as a result of customers leaving behind more data across a growing number of digital channels, but this data was siloed and inaccessible. The Customer Data Platform was used to ingest data and unify it into single customer profiles, which could then be used to execute more personalized experiences – but CDPs could not make data actionable without the use of other platforms, thus making them incomplete solutions.
Today, the CDP market has grown to encompass both traditional data unification CDPs and newer sub-genres, like the SmartHub CDP. The SmartHub CDP fills in the gaps that earlier generations of CDPs failed to address and streamlines data from its raw form into an actionable Single Customer View. The SmartHub CDP then goes a step further and provides intelligent customer experience orchestration, all within one platform, to help marketers deliver the relevant, connected, customer-centric experiences today’s consumers expect.
Making the CDP smarter
The SmartHub CDP is fundamentally very similar to its CDP predecessors in that it unifies previously siloed or disconnected customer data — but here’s where the two platforms diverge. While the goal of a traditional CDP is to aggregate data and act as a source of truth for other marketing automation and intelligence platforms, the SmartHub CDP acts as an all-in-one platform for marketers looking to execute 1:1 experiences. To understand how the SmartHub CDP iterates on the original CDP concept and makes it stronger, let’s break down the platform:.’
- Smart: This technology drives real-time experiences that are informed by an in-the-moment and historic understanding of your customers and with predictive behaviors generated by AI and ML through real-time decisioning, self-serve predictive intelligence, and a 1:1 personalization. These features make sure customers are always moving forward with your brand and are given the next best action designed to get them to complete actions unique to your goals.
- Hub: The SmartHub CDP offers a one-stop-shop for marketers to connect to the entirety of their tech ecosystem like never before. In one platform, access information and orchestrate communications across marketing channels as well as the rest of the customer experience like customer support. The SmartHub CDP truly connects all channels and applications and triggers 1:1 customer experiences by being responsive to customer data and behaviors.
- CDP: And just like the traditional CDP, this component of the SmartHub CDP unifies your customer data into an actionable, real-time Single Customer View that is ready to be activated across any channel or application throughout the stack.
In this third installment of our SmartHub CDP explainer series, we’ll dive deeper into how the CDP component functions, and what it can do for your tech stack.
Create an actionable, unified single customer view
While the SmartHub CDP as a whole may offer much more than earlier iterations of the Customer Data Platform, there is still — at its core — the strengths of a robust Customer Data Platform. The CDP Institute defines a Customer Data Platform as “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems”. A SmartHub CDP provides marketers with access to a holistic single customer view, and as we’ve discussed, many more features.
Diving deeper, how are these profiles built and what goes into the Single Customer View?
Ingest and store data from any source
The CDP component of the SmartHub CDP routes in data from anywhere you choose — CRM, data lakes, etc. — regardless of the data type, structure, or complexity. Even your unstructured data, like event streams from your site, can be synthesized in real-time to sync up with customer profiles. This data is pulled into the Customer Data Platform without the need for brands to be continuously overseeing data processing or management. This means marketers have a self-serve place to access the entirety of their customer relationships — and have the peace of mind that the information will be stored indefinitely and always updated — without having to work like pseudo-data scientists to add in new data sources and make needed adjustments.
Provide a single, holistic view of customers
Once the SmartHub CDP ingests all of your data, it creates rich, always up-to-date profiles of every anonymous and known customer by pooling together all your customer data — historic interactions, real-time behaviors, and predicted future actions. In one place, marketers can access important information to guide the customer journey and decision making such as all prior transactions, on-site and offline behaviors, campaign engagement, product interactions, real-time activity, and other custom events and attributes.
These always-fresh profiles will update anytime customers interact with your brand — whether they opened an email, browsed online, or completed a transaction. This information feeds into the customer journey automation feature of the SmartHub CDP to ensure that your marketing is always being guided by complete, accurate, up-to-date insight.
There’s also no need to worry about duplicate customer profiles thanks to the SmartHub CDP’s advanced cross-device identity resolution. Rather than using only email to resolve identities, it uses additional identity keys, including customer IDs, cookies, device IDs, phone numbers, and other internal IDs. As customers interact with your brand and leave behind identity clues, profiles are stitched together to ensure you’re understanding customers, no matter where they reach your brand. And while stitching together known and unknown profiles is essential to accurate marketing, it’s not something that comes standard with many traditional CDPs — but is an integral part of the SmartHub CDP.
Use profiles to create hyper-targeted segments
With the help of the Single Customer View, it’s easier than ever before to move past simple segmentation based on demographic attributes. Within the SmartHub CDP marketers have a self-serve tool to create rich, precise segments in minutes based on any customer attribute or behavior.
These segments can be filtered to your brands’ unique needs and be made as broad or as granular as needed. Go deeper and segment with behavioral data (which is often the best indicator of intent) and create sophisticated, constantly-updated segments based on product interactions and advanced predictive features like predicted LTV. These are built easily and updated autonomously without the need for data science involvement to create and maintain segments. — you can depend on always having the best customers in your segments.
Delivering full circle marketing with the SmartHub CDP
Just like its predecessors, the “CDP” in SmartHub CDP can offer tremendous value to marketers looking to do more with their data. It’s time to take the power of the Customer Data Platform and put it in the hands of marketers to enable delightful 1:1 customer experiences across every channel. But, the CDP is not the full solution needed to execute personalized customer experiences.
In the following parts to our SmartHub CDP series we’ll break down the smart and hub components, to better understand and examine how they work and how they can help marketers reach their goals and delight customers in the process. If you’d like to learn more about how the SmartHub CDP is redefining the way marketers use their data, check out part 1 of our SmartHub series, or reach out to our team to see it in action.