Defining the Customer Data Activation Platform (CDAP)

There are some things about data that we can say with absolute certainty. Things like, it’s complex, its key to decision-making, it’s increasing at an unprecedented rate. And, for most of us marketers: we’re not utilizing data to its full potential. We’re not even close.

While we gather loads of information about our customers and prospects from across all the channels through which they engage with our brands, that data is disconnected and dormant. Most of us are far from having a true view of who customers are, their interests, or their intentions. And using data to glean actionable insights in a timely manner to better engage customers? That’s for marketing teams with endless resources.

The problem lies in current martech stacks and processes that place channels at the center, rather than people. We build campaigns for paid media, email, SMS, and so on, in the hopes of catching interest, but because every channel has only a partial view of our customer, the experience falls flat. But when we flip the order to focus on the customer and use deep, actionable intelligence to create cross-channel experiences around them, the output becomes much more valuable.

Marketers are starting to realize that current data systems―DMPs, CRMs, CDIs, MDMs etc.―can’t achieve this switch. To make sense of all the essential data that’s available and use it to deliver intelligent customer engagement across channels, marketers need a Customer Data Activation Platform.

What’s a CDAP (“SEE-dap”)?

In simple words, the CDAP helps brands deliver intelligent engagement on every touchpoint on the tools they already use, by activating a Full Circle View of their customers. It’s what makes 1:1 marketing at scale possible.

For example, let’s say you have 100 customers. Breaking that amount of people out into segments and marketing to them in a relevant and personal way is doable. You’d know each and every one of them by name, and you’d know their preferences by heart. But what happens when you have a few million? And what happens when those few million live across time zones and oceans? How can you market to millions of people effectively, 24/7, in a way that continues to feel as personal and relevant as it would if you only had 100 customers? Or, better yet, just one.

With a CDAP, no matter how many customers or touchpoints you have, you can be sure that each interaction is based on real-time customer insights, consists of the right content, and is happening at the exact right moment in the channel it’s most likely to drive action.

Data in, ROI out

In other words, the CDAP is a bridge between your siloed data and your execution channels. It’s the complete package of customer profiling, predictive intelligence, and automated decisioning.

The CDAP’s “secret sauce” isn’t much of a secret. It’s just really, really good, deeply integrated AI. Here’s a breakdown of how it works:

Level 1: Full Circle View

The first step to customer data activation is piecing together Full Circle, single customer profiles. These profiles capture the complete histories and real-time behaviors of each customer from their interactions across channels, devices, and systems. The CDAP creates these comprehensive profiles for each identifiable and anonymous customer and reconciles cross-device identities.

This level of customer profiling within the CDAP is a continuous, ongoing process that automatically updates each individual profile as interactions happen, meaning you always have the most up-to-date customer understanding.

Level 2: Predictive Intelligence

When you have millions of customers, you can’t look at each individual Full Circle profile to determine the next best actions. Instead, you need to automate the process of gaining insight into what each customer is likely to do, want, and respond to so that you can tailor marketing actions accordingly.

Predictive Intelligence taps into the auto-updated Full Circle View to derive actionable intelligence and inform marketing touchpoints for each customer. What’s more, its self-learning abilities continue to optimize marketing actions with feedback from each campaign activity. The CDAP’s pre-built―yet easily customizable―predictive modeling surfaces which customers are at key points in their customer journey with your brand and what will drive them to take the desired actions through the following:

“The WHO”: Predictive Segmentation connects you with customers at key decision points
“The WHAT”: Predictive Recommendations delivers content, products, and offers tailored to in-the-moment interests
“The WHEN”: Predictive Engage Time reaches customers when they’re most responsive
“The WHERE”: Predictive Channel-of-Choice finds them where they’re most receptive

Level 3: Automated Decisioning

Full Circle View and actionable intelligence create a great foundation, but that foundation can’t actually provide value until you do something with it. That’s why the last level of the CDAP, automated decisioning, is essential. This is what activates the real-time predictive intelligence from the Full Circle View and uses it to guide campaign execution and customer interactions across channels based on how customers are interacting with your brand.

Automated decisioning is also what lets marketers infinitely scale their campaigns by automating the millions of decisions that need to be made about which customers to engage and how to best engage them. And because the Full Circle View is constantly updating, so is the decisioning―meaning it doesn’t matter how often your customers change their tastes or their behavior; the CDAP continuously adapts the next best action accordingly. With the following capabilities, marketers can deliver the exact marketing actions that will drive each customer down the path to conversion:

Journey Flows: Create individualized, cross-channel, multi-stage, adaptive customer experiences.
Live Personalization: Personalize every customer interaction for in-the-moment relevance.
Audience Sync: Improve targeting effectiveness by messaging only the right customers across channels.

Put your data to work — not to sleep

One final thing that we can say with certainty is that when data is activated, it works for us. Plain and simple. When it’s properly utilized, marketers can connect to their growing customer base on a personal level and stay relevant. We can build brands that feel like trusted friends rather than impersonal salespeople. We can scale intelligent customer engagement and create marketing campaigns that break through the noise. And isn’t that everything we’ve been asking for?

But putting data to work is no simple feat. It requires 3 elements ― customer profiling, predictive intelligence, and automated decisioning ― working together, in unison, in real-time. That’s the CDAP.