If there’s one constant in the customer data space, it’s change. More and more marketing clouds like Adobe, Salesforce, Oracle and other platforms continue building or buying their own flavor of CDP or CDP-like functionality within their platforms. Even non-traditional companies like McDonald’s and MasterCard are snapping up companies to provide themselves CDP-like functionality in their tech stack. 

Why? Because Customer Data Platforms bring incredible value — namely the capability to build and widely leverage a view of the customer from diverse data sources. That view could be valuable for a whole host of customer-centric activities from customer service to personalization to IoT application, ML, AI and beyond. 

So where does a buyer start in a changing landscape when more and more CDP offerings are placed within the context marketing clouds? You start with asking yourself this question, “Should my customer experience and analytics strategy be focused on the data or on the marketing cloud?”

It seems like a simple question, but it’s an important one as you consider investing budget to get more out of your customer data. If you have thought about going all-in on a single marketing cloud or platform, you should first take a look around. 

The landscape of technologies powering customer engagement in a large enterprise is rarely based on a single ecosystem. Multiple lines of business use many different tools, clouds and platforms meaning that some part of your customer insights and experiences are at risk of remaining siloed if your chosen cloud or platform doesn’t play nicely with a competing (and possibly critical) piece of your stack. That very scenario is the reason integration was listed as a top technology requirement for MarTech buyers in the CDP Institute’s State of Customer Data.

The CDP Institute found that integrations with external systems is more important than price and features. That’s why a vendor neutral CDP matters more than ever today >> https://bit.ly/3ok9lD6 Click To Tweet

The more impactful risk? Customer experiences remain broken in a world where experience factors in as important as products and services.

Start With Thinking About the Data

In a changing landscape with many different buying options, you should think first about your data. We fundamentally believe that customer data is a company’s most valuable asset. Similarly, we believe that valuable customer data can come from anywhere, and it should be free to fuel any tool across the enterprise. 

To achieve this vision Tealium was built on the idea of a foundational, vendor-neutral data layer that focuses on:

  1. Unifying data from all sources online and offline (POS, call centers and more) in real-time to create a single view of the customer
  2. Resolving identity, enriching data and building actionable customer profiles and audiences
  3. Activating that data to every layer of the stack across marketing, customer service, analysis, and operational channels.

Tealium is focused on delivering trusted data to your business, no matter the CRM, social marketing platform, marketing cloud, APIs or analytics suite that your business relies on. We’ve built what we refer to as a Data-First Customer Data Platform as a natural evolution in our efforts to help marketing, customer service, analytics and data teams collect, understand and activate their customer data. 

Why Data-First and Vendor Neutral?

How can this data-first approach impact your business? If there’s a year that has better illustrated the fact that “change-happens”, than 2020 I’d like to hear about it. Customers change. Market environments change. Technology is always changing (if you don’t believe it, evaluate 2020’s MarTech Landscape and be sure to break out your magnifying glass). While data may change forms along the way, it’s usage is the one constant in this ever-evolving customer engagement challenge. Ultimately, to maximize flexibility, organizations should adopt data platforms that separate the execution of data from the management of data itself. 

Focusing on a foundational data strategy with your CDP provides agility to tool and build customer engagement and insight across business units. And a vendor neutral approach ensures that your CDP works with all the tools and marketing clouds you have today— and the ones you may have in the future.

Interested in learning more about customer data platforms? We wrote about 73 pages worth of information on it in our Definitive Guide to CDPs. It’s a seriously helpful tool for anyone starting to look into CDPs and you can download it completely free. 

Download The Definitive Guide to Customer Data Platforms today to learn how a CDP can help you integrate your marketing cloud with the rest of your customer experience tech stack.

Post Author

Hilary Noonan
Hilary is Director of Content at Tealium.

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