Getting Buy-In on a Data-First CDP

There’s more customer data available to companies than ever before, and data-driven professionals from all industries are being tasked with taming this wilderness through a multitude of technology solutions. From the stalwarts of the tech stack like the CRM and tag management to newcomers like machine learning automation, companies are looking for better ways to manage the unbelievable amount of customer data that’s being created by more sources than ever before.

One of the key ways that people being tasked with managing customer data are looking to excel today and in the future is by investing in a data-first Customer Data Platform.

But wait— what exactly is a data-first CDP? Here’s an excerpt on the category from our 2020 State of the CDP Report:

Data-first Customer Data Platforms prioritize the quality of the data being collected and transformed for use. By building an independent data layer that all systems can tap into for timely and consistent customer data, it breaks down silos to empower solutions across the entire enterprise. It also gives organizations the flexibility to address future use cases that may be hard to imagine today, without the need for costly retrofitting.

Put another way, a data-first CDP treats data as its own asset to be optimized, rather than just a means to an end. This makes it easier to control data quality across the organization, which ultimately aids in building trust in data.

It also enables robust data governance features that are increasingly necessary to comply with data privacy regulations. For example, data-first CDPs often include built-in consent management features that obtain user consent for data collection during website visits or other digital interactions. As data privacy regulations proliferate, not having a data-first CDP will become a major liability.

For data-driven marketers, analytics, and CX professionals, choosing a data-first CDP is a critical technology choice. It helps solve many of the biggest frustrations like

  • lack of insight into the individual experience;
  • the persistent threat of ungoverned customer data;
  • and an inability to provide clean, correlated data to downstream applications.

While Customer Data Platforms have become a staple of the tech stack, there’s a wariness around the technology thanks to the over-saturation of the market with vendors who don’t offer the CDP functionality users need, such as real-time capabilities, data governance, and the ability to ingest data from any source.

Customer Data Platforms are confusing for many people. If you’re evaluating a data-first CDP for your company, getting buy-in from key stakeholders will mean assuaging fears and building bridges. Rest assured, the payoff is worth the effort.

Use the quick checklist below to help you get buy-in from stakeholders across the organization for a data-first CDP.

*Data provided in this checklist comes from our 2020 State of the CDP report.

Tip #1:

Connect the value to use cases and business goals

Why it matters: Companies understand the value of the CDP, but some are struggling to find ones that meet both broader business goals and fill specific use cases. That’s part of the reason why 85% of companies are satisfied with their CDP, and yet over 50% are still planning to switch CDP providers in the next 12 months.

While many CDP providers can demonstrate value for specific use cases, the transformative power of a data-first CDP needs to be demonstrated through strategic business value and tactical use cases.

Internal stakeholders need to see how data-first CDPs can help keep costs down by reducing the number of hours being spent by IT and analytics teams on data preparation, improving the data quality fueling downstream CX tools, and reducing risk by improving customer data governance.

Tip #2:

Bring in the Right Stakeholders Early

Why it matters: The most successful CDP deployments bridge the gap between different organizations by providing a common language through which to share customer data. Not all companies have a culture that treats data as a shared, company-wide asset.

To get a complete single view of the customer, marketing data needs to be unified with customer support data, in-store and point-of-sale data, all alongside the consent preferences. Bringing stakeholders in from the organizations that oversee this data at the beginning of the process will ensure there’s less push-back later on in the buying cycle or, worse, after deployment.

Tip #3:

Convey the Value of Future-Proofing Data

Why it matters: Customer data isn’t going away (information like name, email, and purchase history will always be relevant), but the privacy rules that regulate its use and the channels through which it is activated are always changing. When we asked, 62% of organizations using a CDP right now said they will be absolutely essential for complying with data privacy regulations by 2025.

That’s why, even if you’re only looking to address a few use cases at the moment, it’s worth investing in a full-featured, data-first CDP that’s flexible enough to map to different stages of a company’s lifecycle. As privacy laws change and your MarTech stack evolves, a data-first CDP can remain a single source of truth for all of your customer data. This will greatly reduce pain down the road of ripping out and replacing a critical piece of your infrastructure.

Plus, a data-first CDP sets you up for a future driven by artificial intelligence and machine learning by providing it with clean, correlated data, which reduces a lot of the prep time required to get machine learning programs up and running.

Tip #4:

Promote Data Literacy Internally

Why it matters: Data literacy, or the ability to “speak” in the language of other organization’s data sets, is one of the biggest roadblocks to tearing down the silos that exist between technologies and departments in almost every company. According to Gartner, 50% of organizations will lack sufficient AI and data literacy skills to achieve business value this year. So not only is a lack of data literacy holding back companies today, it’s holding them back from keeping pace with their industry-leading rivals who are on the cutting-edge with AI.

Since data-first CDPs help do the work of translating disparate datasets into a single language, they’re a perfect companion for data literacy initiatives. Whether you’re looking towards furthering your company’s digital transformation, bringing your company into compliance with new consumer privacy laws, or delivering real-time, personalized experiences for your customers, data literacy will play a key role in solving those challenges.

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Resource Type: Fundamentals
Topic: Customer Data Platforms
Product: AudienceStream Customer Data Platform
Vertical: B2B
Business Issue: Digital Transformation, Operational Efficiency, Single View of the Customer (Infrastructure)