Establishing and following CDP best practices when evaluating any large software project is the first step to a successful implementation. This is even more crucial when establishing CDP best practices for a customer data platform (CDP) since it serves as a centralized data management system that all groups of an organization will feed data sources into to produce a unified single customer view (SCV) profile. This unified profile can then be used as a single source of truth across an enterprise so all employees can align around it to provide superior contextualized messaging and customer experiences.
The CDP.com staff talked to the leading MarTech and CDP industry luminaries and trend-setters, getting advice and suggestions for best practices when selecting, evaluating, implementing, and using marketing technology like a CDP.
CDP Best Practices When Selecting, Implementing and Using a CDP
- Engage Future CDP Stakeholders
“A top CDP best practice is to engage potential users before the CDP is purchased, so you can base requirements on their actual needs. Too often, the CDP project is run by a small team of “true believers” who move quickly but fail to build a base of support among the people who will ultimately use the CDP data. This results in delays after the acquisition as these people are brought up to speed.” – David Raab, CDP Institute; @draab
- Invest in Data Hygiene
“Investing heavily in your underlying data hygiene is key to realizing the power of your CDP. As is committing the time and planning to fully define your data strategy and the business use cases you’re focused on delivering.” – Carlos Doughty, Martech Alliance; @CarlitosDghty
- Integrate Social Media for CLTV
“It may sound obvious, but connecting Facebook as both a source and as a destination is crucial. It opens up a tremendous amount of use cases. It’s one of the most powerful ways to calculate the CLTV of a marketing campaign and create profitable custom audiences based on your data.” – Greg Blackman, Product Pair; @imgregblackman
- Establish Your CDP Roadmap
“As with any transformational practice, it’s important to define a vision statement and identify the targeted business outcomes for a CDP implementation. This creates a north star for the stakeholders involved in selecting, implementing, and iteratively improving a CDP.” – Isaac Sacolick, Star CIO; @NYIke
- Understand Your Data Before Ingestion
“Making sure the data is clean before ingesting into the CDP platform. If you do not control the data cleansing aspect and need to use the CDP platform to clean it, then make sure you understand the ins and outs of the dataset you’re bringing into the CDP. If you do not understand the data from the ingestion stage, then you run a high risk of having low stitch rates, or very inaccurate profiles in the Profile Pool.” – Jason DeBalso, Sogeti; @sogeti
- Use Variety of Data Types
“Don’t limit yourself to just email marketing data. There’s so much data available within an organization, along with data vendors like Acxiom that you can create robust profiles and really deep personas based on data, not just an educated guess. This can influence your marketing strategy, channel plans, even your content strategy when you start learning more about your customers.” – Zack Wenthe, Treasure Data; @zwenthe
- Use Location Data
“CDP is made far more useful with the addition of rich audience and human movement data to understand consumer behavior in the moment in both the physical and digital world. – Karen Steele, Near; @karenmsteele
- Create a Clean Data Feed
“Making sure you have standardized and clean data to feed into a CDP. Good data needs to be complete, timely, relevant and reliable. Cleansing your data with a CDP involves validation and sanitization, merging of duplicates, and purging of out of date information. Don’t forget that the value you get out of a CDP is only as good as the data that goes into it.” – Brian Carlson, RoC Consulting; @bcarlsonDM
Getting the Most From Your CDP
A CDP is a big investment for any organization. While it’s important to have the right CDP solution in place for your needs, there are other factors that have a big impact on whether you’ll realize the business value you’re seeking from your investment.
Spend the time to do the planning and align stakeholders before, during and after implementation to help break down silos and maximize use across the organization to realize ROI.
A CDP is only as valuable and useful as the data that is fed into it. Knowing how critical data preparation best practices are, not surprisingly our group of industry leaders all see getting data properly prepared for ingestion as a top CDP best practice.
Do the proper planning and due diligence up front to ensure a successful CDP implementation that will realize business objectives for your organization quickly, and ensure your digital transformation stays on track.