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Questions to Ask Before Starting a CDP Project

Questions to Ask Before Starting a CDP Project
Author – Alejandra Remolina

Collecting and managing customer data correctly is becoming increasingly difficult for retailers, making Customer Data Platform’s powerful tools to leverage the customer data within the entire organization.

In our article “Build or Buy: The Customer Data Platform Edition” we explain the 6 key factors you should take into consideration when deciding whether to build or buy a Customer Data Platform, concluding that, for the majority of retailers, it is in fact easier and faster to purchase a CDP solution.

Now, the big question is: which CDP is better for your company? Choosing between two or more Customer Data Platform vendors is a big decision retailers have to face with so many solutions in the market. To help you make a decision, we have created a shortlist of the typical questions you may ask yourself your team before starting a CDP project.

Let’s get started:

1. How many customer data sources does your company have? (i.e. POS, eCommerce, Web, social, mobile app, IoT, servers, CRM systems, etc), and is all this data accessible to the rest of the organization?

Most companies have a wide assortment of customer data sources, and more often than not,  several siloes of data exist, making it difficult for the entire organization to work together to create a seamless customer experience. Removing data silos is key to getting the right information at the right time when it comes to decision-making. 

The best way to remove data silos is by consolidating your data into a data warehouse. It’s true that the lack of proper technology, like a Customer Data Platform (CDP), is the biggest barrier to both eliminating destructive data silos and helping growth teams share data across their organizations to improve their day-to-day operational efficiency.

2. Does the CDP solution easily integrate with all your data sources?

Companies need to take control of their data, but it’s very often that data comes from a silo where the company may or may not control. One of the biggest challenges for retailers is to create a single view of the customer,  which is not possible if the platform doesn’t provide the appropriate APIs and or integrations needed for data collection. . The best CDP solution is the one that enables companies to transform customer data into first-party data that they can control.

3. What are some of the indicators you should evaluate from different CDP vendors?

The capability of managing data is very common for the majority of Customer Data Platform solutions, but only a few are capable of activating your customer data and boosting monetization, and depending on your long-term goals you might need one solution or the other

To be sure your CDP is able to help your organization achieve the best results you need to figure out if it complies with the following:

  • The capability of collecting data from different sources and providing a single customer view: This is the first step and the key base to leverage correctly within an organization. Make sure your CDP allows you to collect customer data from a wide variety of different sources, cleanse the data and consolidate it into a 360° customer view with the entities your organization needs for decision making.
  • Enhancing personalization through powerful segmentation: Only a CDP that enables you to create complex audiences that easily integrate with your marketing stack will help you boost your personalization efforts
  • Insights and intelligence (including AI) 
  • Analytical capabilities: By unifying data, it is easier for you and your team to analyze your customer data and have a better understanding of sales performance, purchase behavior, and category development.
  • Activating data: This is one of the most important capabilities to monetize. Actionable CDPs allow retailers to activate customer data, for example using it to boost loyalty programs and personalized offers in one single solution
  • Security, Stability & Scalability:  A CDP should scale and grow with your business without needing to be replaced as the amount of the data you’re processing increases.
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4. Is CDP imperative to the company’s digital transformation?

When it comes to centralizing customer data within an organization, There are many technologies that enable retail digital transformation such as ERPs, self-checkout systems, and AI bots, but retailers need to achieve data governance through Customer Data Platforms first to make sure different departments are working with the same precise and accurate data.

5. Is the CDP solution we are looking into reliable and scalable?

Before choosing any CDP vendor it is essential to make sure the solution can scale and grow with your business without needing to be replaced as you expand into new geographies or increase the volume of data you’re processing, and only with the help of some technological partners, CDPs can meet that expectations. Make sure that your CDP solution is built on top of a state-of-the-art, well-known cloud solution. This will ensure that your CDP  is a scalable system that quickly collects, process, and analyze big datasets.

6. Will the CDP solution truly help your company leverage and activate customer data?

Some Customer Data Platforms allow businesses to work optimally on different hyper-targeted marketing actions based on the information collected, enabling retailers to activate customer data in different ways, for example, targeted offers, personalized loyalty programs, product recommendations, website personalization, and more.

Interested in learning more about how a Customer Data Platform is built? contact us for a demo.



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