Can a Center of Excellence Solve CDP Buy-In Challenges?

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Getting buy-in for a CDP requires alignment from key stakeholders around goals, priorities and implementation.

Customer data platforms (CDPs) can enable data-driven decision-making and process optimization across the entire enterprise by allowing all departments – from sales, to marketing and customer service – to draw from the same unified data set.

But to get to this place of ROI and data-enriched value, stakeholders across the enterprise must be engaged and included in the CDP implementation process from the earliest stages of review. Stakeholders must be aligned strategically on the core issues and goals surrounding customer data and its benefits.

While technology is typically the primary concern when deploying a customer data management platform, leaders must also consider the people, culture, and processes that can provide the largest barriers to CDP implementation success and ROI.

If you can get everyone on board with the concept of centralized data management with a CDP, the software can empower your teams to integrate data-driven practices more seamlessly than ever before. Democratized data empowers developers, customer service, sales, and marketing to act quickly and decisively in real time to customers’ wants and needs.

Create a CDP Center of Excellence

So, how do you get people from different departments together to think about issues like customer data management?

A CDP Center of Excellence (CoE) is a team of specialized employees whose mission is to provide strategic planning, gain buy-in, and establish best practices surrounding a single subject or goal. CoEs serve to educate the company on a subject, motivate employees to collaborate, and align them around goals and KPIs.

Companies will use the CoE model when there is a knowledge or a skills gap in a company. A CoE will have managers along with implementers to ensure all levels are being addressed in the group. A CoE can be temporary or permanent, pending on the business needs and internal skills sets.

For example, a CDP CoE would include key stakeholders like digital marketers, IT and technology, data specialists, line of business (LOB) reps, customer service, sales, channels, and operations. All would serve to benefit from a CDP implementation done right. If you are working with external vendors, having them and their technical implementation team in the group would be beneficial too.

Define Your Goals and CDP Use Cases

In the CoE, the primary objective of the group is going to be defining goals and challenges, creating use cases, and establishing best practices; from CDP implementation and operation, to overall data management, data governance, and leveraging data for business value.

CDPs can be used for a wide variety of use cases, but one of the top goals is to integrate disparate data from multiple sources into a single centralized repository. This is a critical step to being able to create single customer view profiles that can be used across an organization. Other popular use cases for a CDP include omnichannel marketing, personalization, improving the customer experience, AI-powered marketing automation, and overall process optimization.

Early Buy-In From the Top Matters

In a complex global enterprise, there are going to be many stakeholders from across the company that need to be included in CDP implementation plans. It is critical to get them involved at the earliest stages. Don’t wait until you purchase a CDP to set up a CoE around data management or customer data. People need to understand from the inception what is involved in running a CDP, and what they will get out of it.

Part of what makes a CDP useful is unifying data from across systems and teams. In order to get that data, especially in a dispersed or decentralized environment with many business units, you will need buy-in and agreement from those groups to get access to their data.

Making the Case for a CDP

Organizations that use a CDP effectively can empower different business units to work independently, but towards shared goals. The earlier you get buy-in from key stakeholders across the business, the more likely you will be successful in your CDP implementation, and the more likely you will see measurable ROI from the project.

Creating a CoE is a great way to create those relationships across departments, and create mutual benefits from the project. The CoE will also allow you to set priorities, define use cases, and align on metrics and KPIs.

Read More: Who Should be on Your CDP Implementation Team?

Brian Carlson
Brian Carlson
Brian Carlson is the Founder and CEO of RoC Consulting, a digital consultancy that helps brands establish the optimal balance of content, technology and marketing to achieve their goals.
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