In the digital ecosystem, there is more and more data and more and more atomized. Divided between different tools, services, software and servers, data is fundamentally linked to the success of the business. If they are essential today, they must also be organized, structured and available for the various business applications that they are supposed to feed and enrich …

 

This is where the CDP (Customer Data Platform) There are two issues behind this new trend: the collection and processing of data on the one hand, and the way in which it can be activated in order to contribute to the growth of the company. If marketing automation has considerably served the activities of marketing teams over the past five years, times are changing towards a redistribution of cards within brand CRM architectures.

CDP and marketing automation: back to basics

A CDP (customer data platform) is above all a new generation of decision-making tool based on a Data Lake type architecture and dedicated to massive, real-time processing and activation of customer data. A CDP is able to unify the data of your customers from all communication channels and from different source systems. It is a global system that aggregates very diverse data from interactions with the brand’s contact points such as social networks, call center, email marketing, purchase history, customer support information, etc.

Marketing automation is a strategy that automates low added value tasks using the power of data to create custom scenarios. It is an approach that is particularly used in the promotion of content (management of shares and publications), but also in email marketing in order to send the right message to the right person. To be functional, automation depends on scenarios previously constructed by humans which it can then replicate continuously.

Marketing automation is a feature that is found in many tools, where CDP is more a tool and an organizational structuring of data. The CDP also incorporates many functionalities within it, such as the management of a wide variety of customer data, the management of complex targeting and segmentation, identity resolution, easier integration of 3rd party data and the ability to just like marketing automation solutions, more or less complex campaign workflows. CDP can therefore be seen as a super-tool, a kind of 3-in-1, capable of going much further than a simple automation tool.

Solutions that respond to changing demand

The emergence of automation in the marketing community has been made possible by the growing volume of data. Where a small team can handle sending newsletters, registering for webinars and interacting with customers when data is scarce. This quickly becomes impossible when it comes to processing an exponential volume of data with structured or unstructured data, different categories of personal identifiers or linked to devices with which it is a question of creating bridges. The same is true when it comes to creating new types of segments or audiences on the fly and “pushing” them via algorithms or rule systems to operational activation systems such as a marketing automation solution.

It is to respond to these new challenges that CDP has a vocation to develop, in particular to allow automation to enter a new cycle if it wants to continue to develop. It has had its heyday in the multi-channel and cross-channel era.

Relatively silotic data management schemes where cross-functional communication was not the priority. Today, in the era of omnichannel, the necessary absolute convergence of data requires new tools and new approaches. And that’s where automation integrated into a CDP can make all the difference.

This therefore necessarily goes through a system of convergence and data unification where real time becomes the norm.

Email: always at the heart of marketing strategies

It is sometimes said to be dead or at the end of its life, replaced by instant messaging, mobile notifications or other communication systems. However, it is always present and always as essential. 83% of consumers say that email is their preferred communication channel for exchanging with a brand, far ahead of Facebook with 38% (Emailmonday study).

Harris Interactive even pointed out that 81% of American consumers are more likely to make additional purchases, either online or in a store, as a result of emails based on past purchasing behavior and preferences.

Within databases, email is used as a unique identifier. It is thanks to him that we can combine data from various sources, collect public information and target more precisely his messages. 87% of B2B marketing professionals use email to lead nurturing (CMI-B2B Content Marketing Research study).

It is a kind of digital passport which, when combined with a CDP, can allow marketing professionals to create authentic and meaningful levels of personalization in order to deliver the right message, at the right time, on the right channel and the right terminal.

Automation is dead?

Automation as we know it, with these generic messages with irrelevant objects and inappropriate content, yes. It is from the knowledge of your customers that your business growth and your marketing performance will come.

Automation today needs to be responsive and intelligent to work well. It is an integral part of the customer journey as well as the purchasing experience, whether in B2B or B2C. The CDP is therefore the heart of the system. Automation only replicates scenarios based on this data. That’s why the two shouldn’t just work together. They must be fully integrated to be effective.

The CDP naturally opens the way to a new way of working for marketers. By focusing on unified data, compliant with regulations and bypassing internal silos, it contributes to enriching customer experiences and accelerating decision-making. Not to mention that the CDP is also a tool that is evolving. Indispensable for the near future where artificial intelligence, machine learning and deep learning can make all the difference in order to make the best use of customer data.

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