3 Questions: CDP Institute’s David Raab

The explosion of customer data has created new opportunities for marketers. It’s made the ability to build consistent omnichannel experiences, enable companies to increase customer engagement rates, and gain deeper consumer insights. But, it takes a nimble and agile team with a universal approach to managing customer data to piece together all of the fragmented data before it can even be leveraged.

Today’s marketers are adopting a new approach to customer data — ideally with a neutral foundation that makes all of the data sources work together. Solutions like Tealium’s Universal Data Hub are becoming must-haves for organizations.

We sat down with David Raab, founder of the Customer Data Platform Institute, who has been tracking the evolution of this industry. We got a chance to ask him about the main catalyst for the boom and what other implications this solution will bring to the MarTech industry.

What forces in 2016 caused the shift to take hold for a CDP solution?

There’s been recognition for some time that marketers need unified customer data. I think they are just becoming aware of CDPs as a solution to the problem. This is in part because CDPs are becoming better known and understood and in part because many companies now have a “marketing technologist” function whose job is to design an overall architecture; once they do that, the need for something like a CDP becomes clear and they start looking for CDP-like solutions, and finding them.

Does having a CDP affect the other MarTech investments in the organization? If so, how?

It makes it easier to buy other solutions because you can focus on decision-making and execution functions, without worrying so much about the data management capabilities of those systems. You also start looking for systems that are designed to work with external data sources. This is increasingly common but still changes the universe of available options.

As marketers take the lead in evolving an organization’s use of customer data, how can they best work cross functionally?

This is a big problem because there are so many separate groups within marketing itself, often organized along channel lines: Web people, email people, media people, etc. So first marketing needs to get all those people working together. Then marketing needs to look at other departments such as sales, service, and operations. They all use customer data and customer contact tools. Like the groups within marketing, each external department tends to want its own systems so it has control over its own results. But the cost of that is now too high because customers demand that everyone in the company work together to give the customer a consistent, highly personalized experience. So marketers need to start by illustrating the ways that working together will benefit the customer experience and thus ultimately the company itself.  Specific use cases are the key to convincing people to cooperate.

Read more about the growth of Customer Data Platforms from David Raab and the CDP Institute in the new paper, “Customer Data Platform Industry Profile”.

See how Tealium’s Universal Data Hub provides a central location for implementing every marketing vendor, managing data collection and enrichment, building omnichannel profiles and consolidating data for business intelligence needs. This means every team and vendor works with the same customer data in real-time, ensuring consistent customer experiences and greater efficiency throughout the organization.

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