Filling Your Marketing Automation Toolkit
Here's why a cdp could make a difference
Marketing automation is a term that covers a lot of ground.
It can be as simple as an app to manage your consumer emails or as complex as a full tech stack to control every part of your marketing process.
If you’re thinking of shifting to the more complex end of the scale, where do you start? And, more importantly, how does it all work? What’s going on behind the scenes when ads pop up for a specific consumer or an email journey kicks off? Where does all the data come from?
Enter the customer data platform (CDP). Used in conjunction with an automation platform, a CDP plays a crucial role in personalising and optimising your digital advertising.
Here’s what you need to know.
An automation platform does the grunt work on your behalf, personalising content, feeding it to your consumers at the right place and time and ensuring consistency across interactions with your business. For example, an automated nurture journey uses data from consumer actions to personalise emails and ad placement, drawing the consumer in based on their needs and interests.
It sounds simple, but a lot is going on in the background – with a massive amount of data driving it all. A CDP aggregates data from all over the place and feeds it to your automation platform and other systems in a usable format. It’s a vital part of the automation toolkit, making it possible to manage vast volumes of complex data at speed.
HOW DOES IT WORK
Your CDP is a crucial integration layer in your automation stack, connecting data sources to automation platforms like Acoustic, Braze or Adobe. It pulls data from your CRM, browsing tracker, sales system, data warehouse and even the marketing automation platform itself. Then it sorts and analyses the data to be used more effectively. There’s no limit to the number of data sources or formats used – it’s whatever will be most valuable for your marketing team.
With all this data on hand, a CDP can also streamline and improve your analytics process so you can make smarter business decisions.
WHAT CAN A CDP DO FOR YOU?
Of course, if you’re running a business, you’re probably less interested in the tech details and more interested in the results a CDP can deliver.
Here are some of the ways a CDP can support your marketing automation platform:
cENTRALISED, ACCESSIBLE CUSTOMER DATA STORAGE
A CDP acts as a centralised repository for all your crucial customer data. Pulled from your CRM, sales platform and other systems, this data is about demographics, purchasing, browsing and behaviour. The CDP collects, stores and – crucially – processes the data so your automation platform can create personalised content to target individual consumers. Better yet, it can feed analytical variables into your marketing automation platform to make those personal connections.
For example, instead of receiving generic messages about your homewares business, consumers will get ads for towels that match the bathmats they bought.
dEEPER INSIGHTS THROUGH data integration
Does your marketing automation platform give you a comprehensive view of consumer data, or is it more surface-level? A CDP can make deeper insights more accessible by integrating with your platform. With in-depth consumer details on tap, your platform can target audience segments more effectively and provide personalised interactions across various channels and touchpoints.
Instead of targeting ‘women aged 30-45’ for your gym, you can get ultra-specific: ‘women aged 30-45, who live within 3km of the city centre, and have shown interest in gym classes or exercise equipment’. The more precise your targeting, the more likely it is to hit the mark.
Boost effectiveness with Analytics
Analytics and reporting are a must for marketing success – and a CDP can also be helpful here. It can create and manage complex analytics variables, helping you gather fast, actionable insights about consumer behaviours, preferences and trends. Better yet, it can feed those variables into your automation platform for immediate insights. Instead of a slow or unwieldy analytics process, you have all the data you need from a wide range of sources accessible through your CDP. As always, the better your analytics, the more effective your marketing can be.
Customised to your data needs
Some businesses have hundreds of databases across various departments, each with its own system. Others have privacy requirements that make sharing and processing data more difficult. Some need real-time marketing updates, while others are happy with weekly reporting. A CDP lets you create a custom data management approach to suit you. Pull data from your chosen sources, integrate it with your current systems, and ensure that all the data you’re using is up to standard.
CDP's, data lakes, data warehouses - what's the difference?
We’re talking about CDPs – but you may have heard about data warehouses and lakes too. They’re all part of the complex world of data storage and automation tools, each with its benefits and downsides.
CDP: focuses on data for a single purpose – for example, marketing automation – making it more manageable and effective.
Data warehouse: as the name suggests, a data warehouse is a bigger, broader solution. It collects, groups, analyses and stores structured data in one place, usually on-premise rather than in the cloud.
Data lake: this cloud storage solution takes things even further than the standard data warehouse. A data lake captures, stores and processes raw or processed data in almost any format. Because a data lake casts such a wide net and includes a wide range of formats, you’ll often need third-party tools or apps to extract and analyse the data.
Case study: New cdp delivers retailer millions in extra sales
Although this large retailer had a large amount of customer data, it was not centrally located or configured for marketing analysis. To address this issue, Datamine created an analytical CDP, comprised of multiple source systems which tied the customer information together — providing a strong platform from which to drive communications.
The Cdp difference
Marketing automation has moved from a handy extra to a must-have. Beyond simply speeding up critical marketing tasks, it lets you personalise, analyse and target in ways that aren’t otherwise possible.
Building an automation tech stack isn’t about one full-service system – it’s about layering and connecting the solutions that fit your needs. A CDP slots into the space between the data warehouse and the automation platform, providing accessible, integrated data at scale and advanced analytics capabilities for deeper insights. That level of data access and integration is essential for marketing automation success. It helps you make the ultra-personalised connections that most consumers want, provide a consistent experience at every touchpoint, and maximise your marketing spend by focusing on the right audiences and channels. Even better, because a CDP can be tweaked and integrated into endless configurations, it can be customised to meet the data management needs of your business.
Want more from your marketing automation? Get in touch to talk to the experts.