How to identify more customers with your CDP

16 December 2020

How can CDPs connect with up to 50% additional customers in real-time, through first-party data onboarding?

The customer experience landscape has grown exponentially over the past five years; just take a look at Scott Brinker’s icon salad of marketing technology vendors, which was nicknamed the ‘Martech 5000’ a couple of years ago. As of 2019, that martech headcount has reached 7040.

That’s a lot of clouds, suites, and platforms designed to deliver on the holy grail of marketing; personalization at scale.

But few of these categories have become as hyped and highly valued as the Customer Data Platform (CDP), which combines and orchestrates customer data across brand systems, channels, and devices. Seeing widespread adoption, some 78% of organizations either own or are developing a CDP, according to the Forbes Insights/Data Treasury survey.

Other research from the Relevancy Group suggests that the CDP landscape is still to blossom further, with 32% of marketers saying they plan to buy and implement a CDP in the next 12 months.

This generation of platforms, including the likes of mParticle, Tealium, Relay42, and Blueconic offers a synchronized, well-integrated view of the customer that can be applied across channels…finally.


The challenge: Customers, prospects, or suspects?

However, much of the time companies still can’t confidently tell the difference between a customer and a prospect; and customers have noticed that companies are treating them as suspects.

Think misfired ads at an existing customer, consisting of a specific offer only available to new customers.

That means there is still a significant disconnect somewhere between the activation of internal systems (CRM, data lake/data warehouse), owned channels (web, email, and app), and online channels (paid social, display, and programmatic).

This not only tells us that companies run the risk of losing their highest value cohort of existing customers to irrelevant targeting on external channels, but that there’s significant paid marketing spend being wasted due to a snowballing customer identity crisis.



CDPs alone are not a cure-all for 1:1 customer experience

Although CDPs do a great deal for customer data activation and orchestration, they are not a cure-all solution for the comprehensive, catch-all customer view organizations are looking for.

This is because CDPs are built by design to collate and orchestrate owned data identifiers such as customer email addresses, phone numbers, mobile devices, and website IDs; but they don’t possess the connective capabilities, nor the network, to match these identifiers with external online identifiers like advertising IDs and paid media.


Supercharging CDPs with connective first-party data onboarding

To achieve a precise, one-for-one customer match rate, CDPs can be paired with data onboarding solutions, which act as a connective bridge between owned and external identifiers.

First-party data onboarding adds value to a CDP; they work together rather than against one another.

Where a CDP serves as a unified hub for owned data activation and orchestration, an onboarding solution is an accelerator; supercharging your existing customer journey capabilities across online channels by verifying identities, and further building on customer profiles with a galaxy of additional identifiers to improve targeting and messaging.

According to Tim Norris at mParticle, “CDPs have become critical for keeping pace with modern consumers, but most CDPs are purposefully first-party centric. When it comes to mapping data and identifiers beyond a brand’s own channels onboarding can have a huge role to play. Enriching the CDP environment with non-endemic data and incremental identifiers, such as advertising IDs and other paid media attributes, only stands to improve overall customer addressability, and ultimately use case delivery.”


You’ve got the precision; now how about scale?

So CDPs resolve customer identities and apply data across owned channels, like web, email and brand apps.

First-party data onboarding solutions can bridge and accelerate the value of CDPs by verifying identities across external online channels, increasing match rates and extending the quality of personalization to channels outside the brand ecosystem.

But not all data onboarding solutions are created equal.

What about adding third-party data, like demographic or audience identifiers? This is where digitalAudience adds an extra bonus layer of profile enrichment.

Through real-time matching of profiles from one-to-one owned data to one-to-many online matching, you can scale up again to build look-a-like segments based on unlocking undiscovered customer attributes, to extend your most valuable audiences even further, such as ‘first-time home buyers,’ ‘family car owners,’ or ‘Barcelona browsers.’


Increasing CDP match-rates through different identifiers

CDPs offer unprecedented value for activating and orchestrating customer data across owned brand channels. But they miss blindspots between owned applications like web and email, and paid such as banners and real-time bidding: who are you really showing ads to?

And that’s where first-party data onboarding like digitalAudience comes in, working in tandem with CDPs to cross-reference, verify, and enrich profiles through the introduction of billions of deterministic data points captured with customer consent from sources beyond a brand’s own environment.

That means no more false-positives creeping through the net in the form of irrelevant display ads and no more rogue promos for products customers have already purchased.

Thanks to Customer Data Platforms, brands can now connect and cross-pollinate the wires, data, and value between apps in their marketing stack. But as data sources grow and a new golden age of personalization arrives, marketers need to be able to move beyond their own walls to recognize and reach customers.

To do this, brands don’t need another cloud, suite or platform to add to their mushrooming stack; instead, implementing a data onboarding engine that validates, enriches, extends, and activates their CDP’s dataset is an easy win and a dynamic duo capable of delivering results in the short- and long-term.