What it takes for CDPs to go from being a system of record to a system of intelligence

November 11, 2021

The customer data platform (CDP) space is pretty crowded with many acquisitions and vendors entering the market over the last few years.

There are a range of capabilities that varying CDPs have to offer businesses. Basic CDPs align with the original definition of a CDP coined by David Raab back in 2013, that is “packaged software that builds a unified, persistent customer database which is accessible to external systems”. This is the fundamental purpose of a CDP, data is fragmented and, in order to understand customers better, businesses need to build a single customer view to offer a more seamless customer experience.

However, smarter CDPs do more than just aggregating, storing, and sharing data. Gartner’s CDP definition encompasses the intelligence that’s required in terms of analytics and orchestration:

“A customer data platform is a marketing system that unifies a company’s customer data from marketing and other channels to enable customer modelling and optimize the timing and targeting of messages and offers.”

Four CDP Functions

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) outlines four key functions of CDPs as shown below from Ingestion to Activation.

The common quest in the industry is that of the single customer view, the representation of the customer in the holistic sense. The challenge is that some businesses aren’t thinking ‘then what?’ and therefore, not seeing the added value in a more intelligent CDP. Because smarter CDPs do the thinking for businesses based on built-in analytics and are able to calculate and deliver the optimal customer experience that can be delivered via real-time interaction management (RTIM).

Businesses need to be looking at their CDP as a smart hub, not just a source of data that gets sent to legacy rules-based marketing engines. These deliver more batch and blast or ‘spray and pray’ communications that don’t account for real-time changes or context. But in the real world, there’s room for both and no need to throw the baby out with the bath water.

Increasing Intelligent Interactions

At NGDATA, our approach isn’t rip and replace, it’s more co-exist and complement because transformation isn’t an overnight sensation. Our Intelligent Engagement Platform works alongside existing marketing automation platforms and programs – enhancing them with rich insights and clever decision-making.

We provide out-of-the-box algorithms that inform our next-best-offer engine, so businesses can use predictive analytics that assess purchase propensity, eligibility, and customer preferences – figuring out the opportunity index in real-time.

The way in which we offer intelligent decision-making at scale is aided by our core opportunity index calculation:

A Brain Filled with Customer Intelligence

I often refer to NGDATA’s Intelligent Engagement Platform as a next generation platform. Being pure-play, our focus is to consistently enrich our platform with industry expertise and learnings – and that’s how businesses access top-class data science at scale. Meaning businesses can rapidly roll out new use cases with the best martech automation, data models, workflows and development practices gathered throughout the last 10 years.

Our customer analytics foundation has led to us being recognized by Forrester as a customer analytics focused CDP, scoring highly in customer data management and customer engagement analysis. And BCG places us in the ‘Intelligence and Decision-Making’ category in their assessment of key players in the CDP-crowded marketplace.

A Competent & Clever CDP

Forrester’s B2C CDPs Need to Survive Before They Can Thrive report states:

“For CDPs to be worthwhile of B2C marketers’ attention and provide solutions that legitimately advance marketers’ customer engagement strategies — they must mature on two axes: functional competency and automation and intelligence.”

This means CDPs have to move beyond simple data storage and aggregation and get better at facilitating real-time interactions with more sophisticated analytics.

It’s not about getting a ‘Jack of all trades’, but rather getting a smarter CDP that works harder for your business by driving more accurate customer engagements, enabling true 1-to-1 personalization.

Going from system of record to a system of intelligence to always offer the next-best-experience to customers.

The Pyramid of Personalization Potential Pyramid

If you want more than an average CDP for your business, get in touch and I’d be happy to chat through the real intelligence that goes into a smarter than average CDP.

Or if you’re interested in finding out more about us, watch our customer engagement video.