If you have found your answer to whether you should build your Customer Data Platform or buy it, you have another question to answer. How to select the right CDP for your organization?
When you go through the feature list of the most popular CDP vendors, you can find that a CDP typically comes bundled with over 40 features that span across Data and Identity management, Web and App interactions, Analytics, and Cross channel campaign automation.
In this scenario, is it wiser for a brand to just map their business needs to product features and make a CDP buying decision on the basis of the best match? Are there other points that should be considered while making a CDP purchase decision?
In the following sections, I would like to make this purchase decision easier for you by covering the key areas that must be evaluated before you take the CDP leap.
1. Organization Readiness
If the answers to the following questions are ‘Yes’, then your organization is well placed to embark on the CDP journey.
- Is your organizational leadership ready to embrace a customer-centric approach against a channel-centric approach?
- Do you have multiple product or brand lines marketed to your customers?
- Do you have multiple customer ordering or servicing channels?
- Is there a need to engage with your customers across various marketing channels?
- Do you want to derive analysis and insights about your customers from a single location?
2. Use Cases to Be Implemented
It might be quite tempting to go for CDP because you need to unify all your data in one place, however you need to be clear on the end goals that you would like to achieve after this unification process.
You need to clearly define use cases so that you can make your evaluation process more efficient, evaluating only those vendors who specialize in your area of requirements.
And the best way to go about defining use cases is through discussions with all business stakeholders whose teams would potentially use the CDP. In this way, their inputs are also brought in this process, giving you all the answers on why you need a CDP – or what your CDP definitely must have.
Here are some examples of common use cases:
- Create a single view of the customer
- Personalized targeting
- Create consistent experiences for customers across various marketing channels
- Make data available to build ML/AI applications that predict customer behavior
- Ensure data governance by creating a complete trail on all incoming and outgoing data. In BFSI sector, it can also be for fraud detection through identity resolution.
Once you have defined the use cases it would be easier to evaluate CDP vendors that fit your needs.
3. Expected ROI from CDP
This is the final key item that should be considered in your decision-making process.
At this stage, it is important to weigh all the potential benefits that are expected to accrue from a CDP vis-à-vis the foreseeable costs that are tied to a CDP.
The ROI calculation can include the following:
- Revenue opportunities created by CDP
While there is no easy and direct way to measure the revenue uplift generated by CDP beforehand, some bit of research can help. You can look into the websites of CDP vendors that you have shortlisted and you would likely find case studies of other brands in your (or similar) industry. These case studies are highly likely to mention revenue uplifts from their CDP experience. You may also contact former colleagues or contacts who are in companies similar to your own and ask them about their experience and uplifts after using CDP.
- Operational Savings
This includes the savings in terms of the time and effort of your marketing, engineering, and IT teams that would have otherwise gone into countless integrations and maintenance activities while making the data accessible to marketing and related teams.
- CDP Costs
CDP-related costs include a one-time setup cost and the ongoing maintenance fees of the CDP platform. There may be additional costs in the form of professional consulting services provided by the CDP vendor.
With the ROI calculation, you will be better positioned to evaluate the CDP vendors that offer the best value for your business.
Choosing a CDP is no easy decision given the complex nature of this solution, but making careful considerations in your decision-making process can go a long way in selecting the right CDP for your organization and also make it a deployment success.