CIOs, CMOs & CDOs: The Keys to a Successful CDP Implementation

Two silver keys on a blue background

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are an essential MarTech investment for organizations targeting multiple markets, building new product capabilities, and aiming to improve customer loyalty.

But before you get to the results, you need to ensure your CDP selection and implementation get off to the right start. To do that, you need buy in from the C-suite – namely, the the Chief Information Officer (CIO), the Chief Digital Officer (CDO), and the Chief Marketing Officer (CMO).

Each role comes with their own set of expertise, feedback and know-how to ensure your CDP implementation roadmap is aligned, optimized, and set up for success. Here’s how these three key roles can work together.

The CMO: Partnering with Marketing

When defining initial CDP use cases, organizations should focus on the areas that have the greatest opportunities to grow the business. For many organizations, this is the marketing team, led by the CMO.

The CIO and CDO should recognize the opportunity of focusing data strategies on customer data, and in particular, servicing the marketing department’s business objectives.

Partnering can be a collaborative win for the CIO, CDO and CMO. Marketing improves customer loyalty and drives growth in highly competitive markets. Meanwhile, the CIO and CDO can integrate, centralize, and analyze data, enable self-service capabilities, and align solutions with data privacy compliance and regulations.

The CIO & CDO: Leading CDP Selection

Let’s take a few moments to discuss how a CDP is selected. CIOs should take the lead on identifying the need for a CDP and the growth opportunities they enable. The CIO leads the due diligence, evaluating the scalability, security, and flexibility of different CDP solutions. 

CIOs should lead the discussion with their CDO, CMO and other key leaders on the strategies, goals, and targeted business outcomes around technology, innovation, and data-driven capabilities. 

The team should look at market and customer-centric use cases, as well as opportunities to target new markets, pilot new products, and improve customer experiences. Focusing on growth opportunities enables business model evolution, helps the team shift away from legacy business practices, and leads to investments in quality improvements, automations and other operational benefits. 

In addition, the CIO and CDO should review the business opportunities, integration needs, compliance factors, and technology capabilities of CDP vendors. CIOs will need to manage and interact with assorted personality types on the selection team, including those who may overanalyze, and others who jump to a decision without sufficiently reviewing all factors.

Read More: How to Choose the Right Customer Data Platform

Planning a Successful CDP Implementation

Effective CDP implementations require an integration strategy, along with a plan to achieve both short-term wins and long-term value. CDP implementation is like a hike through the woods: you first need a trail map, the right gear, and perhaps a guide.

In an episode of our Customer Data Perspectives podcast, Kim Davis, editorial director, MarTech, spoke to host Isaac Sacolick about planning a CDP implementation. Davis notes three important questions that need to be answered:

  1. What’s the current state of our data?
  2. What do you want to be able to do with the customer data?
  3. Have you got the staffing and people who can operate it?

According to Sacolick, the current state of the data refers to creating an inventory of data sources, reviewing data quality, and evaluating approaches to creating unified customer identities. How you want to use customer data depends on the business objectives.

CIOs and CDOs have an opportunity to provide the technical foundations, collaborative agile practices, and proactive data governance to deliver a fast time-to-value and strong ROI on a CDP implementation. The CIO and CDO must develop a strong partnership around how to effectively use customer data, starting with the CMO on growth opportunities.

Establishing a CDP Implementation Team

Aligning leadership across data and marketing teams establishes a firm baseline to guide your CDP implementation efforts. The next step? Creating a multidisciplinary team of marketers, customer support leaders, technologists, data engineers, and privacy officers ready to weigh in and collaborate on executing the implementation with efficiency.  

Learn more about creating a winning CDP implementation team here. Staff Staff
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