5 Things to Know About Seamless CDP Integrations

 In Martech

In our recent State of the CDP Report: How Organizations Buy, Implement and Use CDPs, consumers stated that the number one reason they switch Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) is due to lack of third party integrations. The message is clear: organizations are tired of CDP solutions that don’t integrate with their existing ecosystem of solutions and that add complexity instead of removing it. 

I wanted to dig further into this integration ecosystem challenge so I sat down with Robert Brower, Tealium’s VP of Technology Partnerships, to see how brands can avoid making a new silo in their organization by ensuring the quantity and quality of third-party integrations is a key piece of criteria in their CDP evaluations. 

Robert Brower, VP, Technical Partnerships at Tealium

Julie Graham: Our recent research shows how top of mind having seamless technology integrations are for brands when they’re switching CDPs and how integral they are to their success. Why is that? 

Robert Brower: Having a strong integration ecosystem allows for users to really be empowered when it comes to the martech stack they’re working with. For example, there are most likely multiple team members within an organization using data in different ways – someone running loyalty campaigns, a team member looking at the analytics of a retargeting initiative, someone else looking at various omni-sourced data inputs like Point of Sale (POS) and beacon stacks. You’ve got client-side and server-side data inputs happening while different people are harvesting different information from these data sources, in multiple ways. 

Integrations allow for the connective tissue of a CDP to be able to give different team members the ability to connect into their responsible parts of the overall data enterprise. And be able to plum the CDP with the appropriate information that it needs in order for it to be able to create the greatest degree of value. 

For example, let’s say that a customer walked into their favorite retail store, brought a coupon they found online and purchased an item in-store. Before paying the customer is prompted to provide their email address, which means this retail store is now closing the loop on who the customer is both online, and offline, when interacting with the brand. This customer may then be put into a loyalty audience segment – this means that different team members from that brand (who are helping to create great experiences for their loyal customers) can now mine their POS data from the shopping experience. 

By creating a really good integration ecosystem a CDP can plum the POS and use that information to serve a better experience within the campaign, the loyalty program perks, even in the call center. The CDP gives a brand the best possible view of its customers, because they’re using the best and broadest number of integrations within their tool. 

JG: Brands have a ton of data at their fingertips and when they’re looking to switch CDPs or bring another vendor on board, they’re challenged with the thought of possibly creating yet another silo in their organization. How can having such a robust integration marketplace help eliminate or reduce some of those silos that are being created? 

RB: This comes back to the breadth of an ecosystem. If a brand is using a series of technology tools to serve different outcomes –  i.e. Optimizely for A/B testing, Quantum Metric for friction, Qualtrics for surveys, MailChimp for email campaigns, Marketo for automation, and so on – they’ll want and need to be able to connect their CDP to all of those different solutions. 

But not only is the breadth of the ecosystem important – so is the depth. A brand will want their CDP to align to best-in-class practices so they can really help their customers in the next steps of their journey with that brand

Straight forward, seamless integrations allow for better experiences and help eliminate any silos because they are connecting data the source of each interaction, with the right tool that’s capturing it. 

JG: What are some stand out integrations or cool ways organizations or even Tealium is using different integrations within their stack? 

RB: One that Tealium is working towards now is around CCPA and GDPR since there’s such an enormous amount of effort being placed on compliance. Compliance Management Platforms (CMPs) are being purchased and adopted by brands at a pretty quick rate because they have to maintain compliance and governance. 

For example, let’s say a customer gets to a page that is a place they go often and all of a sudden they’re prompted with a new click agreement that they haven’t seen before, and they click quickly to agree to it. But what if inadvertently they click the wrong action or decision, and so instead of being able to maintain their digital identity with that particular organization that they may be very trusting with and a loyal customer to, they’ve now hobbled their digital lifestyle. 

The CMP in that example did the right thing because they gave that customer the ability to be compliant with reporting requirements, but at the same time they’re killing a portion of their customer base, their loyal customers. Because of click thoughts that aren’t well understood or certainly aren’t all acted upon. 

But by having a CDP (let’s say Tealium in this instance) that integrates with CMPs, the CMP would understand that the customer may have only been on that page for only 0.08 of a second, clicked something, and when he/she clicked they opted out of their digital citizenry of that particular customer. But wait – what if the CDP has audience information about them that shows they’re a VIP, book about 15 purchases on their site in a year, does more from their mobile device, and because they was on that compliance page for a very short period of time, they’re going to operate under the premise that she didn’t intend to take the choice that she took. 

So because of this CDP and CMP integration the brand can now reach back out to the customer to confirm they intended to opt-out, acknowledge that they know they’re a loyal customer and can provide more information to opt them back in. 

Joining CDP and CMP initiatives shows a very powerful integration example that aligns with compliance, governance and privacy as well as customer loyalty and retention. 

JG: It’s really checking the box more than just saying ‘we’re compliant’, it’s really getting these insightful and meaningful moments from the customer that’s going to inspire a more purpose driven journey. 

RB: You got it. It becomes a win-win for the CMP partner because they don’t want to sell a product that ultimately poisons their well, and it becomes a win win for the brand because their customers not only are now maintaining compliance, but they’re no longer shedding loyal customers. 

JG: Software Development Times recently dubbed 2020 the year of Integrations. Why do you think that is and what’s in store for integrations in the future? 

RB: Because of cloud functionality there’s now an ability for organizations to manage their stack in a more integrated and useful way. It creates a much faster reaction time in terms of being able to spin up new systems and applications, and it also creates a need for much more robust APIs to be written between the service and the platform of choice

Different people are going to use integrations for different things that all point back to the overall business strategy, but are tied to the expertise that those individuals have. Whether it be analytics, re-campaigning, loyalty, etc. 

Where do integrations continue to go from there? Not only is it the ability to bolt-in to a plethora of other solutions and tools, but we’ll be able to see example models of what a customer is expecting from the integration they’re using based on Machine Learning capabilities. 

You’ll start to see that the ML capabilities that Tealium is bringing into market now will really start to enhance the guided actions and outcomes and expectations that people are getting. So the ability to expect their expectation becomes much more clear. 

JG: In addition to ensuring there are a wide range of available integrations that a brands CDP of choice would have, what else is important for them to consider? What will set up their integration experience for success? 

RB: Brands should look for a CDP tool that has a strong team of Digital Strategists who will work with them to really help them understand the art of what is possible with their new customer data tool. They’ll also want to find a CDP that does a really good job of taking their service partners and enabling them to be able to have those conversations as well. 

Another key component to success is working with a tool that will help the brand make modifications and enhancements to the integrations within their ecosystem when needed. Brands that will do whatever it takes to make their integrations successful for their customers are really helping to ensure real business results. 

You can find out more about Tealium’s integration ecosystem of 1000+ vendors here

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