Enterprise CDPs: 7 Key Capabilities You Should Expect

To  compete with brand leaders like Amazon, Netflix, and Google with data-driven marketing baked into their DNA, large organizations are increasingly exploring the benefits that an Enterprise CDP can have for them. 

While every CDP promises to unify and connect all customer data, not all of them can do so at enterprise scale and speed. To make that a reality, enterprises need a solution that can return results on billions, even trillions, of customer transactions and events in a matter of seconds. 

The right Enterprise CDP can provide a foundation for future marketing innovation by connecting and unifying any and all data sources, empowering marketers to create AI-driven microsegments on the fly and on a self-service basis, driving extreme personalization at scale by leveraging individual customers’ comprehensive historical data, and more.

As you consider your CDP options, here are seven capabilities an enterprise-grade CDP solution should provide. We break down why each capability is critical, and why, if a particular CDP lacks any of them, you should think twice before investing in that particular solution.

  1. Fast Time to ROI

Most enterprises have many customer data systems housing online, offline, behavioral, and demographic data and with many so-called “CDPs”, it can take 6+ months – and lots of your own IT resources- to get all that data into the CDP. Besides the initial delay, this means you are likely to encounter added costs and delays whenever you want to add new data source or data type. Beware of solutions that require this amount of time to incorporate all your data. Look instead for a solution that ingests all your historical data in weeks rather than months, both to accelerate your return on investment and to avoid ongoing costs and delays. 

  1. Centralized, Cross-Channel Segments & Audiences

Customer attributes – the building blocks of audience segments – are critical in activating your customer data, but with many CDPs, your marketing analysts cannot define customer attributes within the CDP itself. In this case, intervention from coders and/or data experts is usually required to create or update attributes outside of the CDP which can add cost and unnecessary delays. Instead, ensure your CDP enables marketers and/or marketing analysts to do this work themselves using intuitive business-friendly tools. 

  1. Data Science Model Activation

Your data scientists need access to the latest and greatest data without being weighed down by massive data prep time and their insights should be actionable immediately. Beware of a CDP that can’t ensure access to the latest data seamlessly, ensure that it is analysis ready upon export, or that can’t immediately and seamlessly incorporate findings (e.g. customer scores) back into the CDP, so marketers can start leveraging them right away. 

  1.   Marketing Self Service & Direct Access to Customer Data 

One of the most critical capabilities of a CDP is to empower marketers to use their business expertise without having to wait on IT to provide or validate audience data.  With intuitive tools that allow for self-service building of segments and orchestration across channels, marketing teams can truly take campaign execution into their own hands.  Ensure your marketers are truly enabled to drive 1:1 personalized messages at scale (i.e. personalization-at-the-edge), by looking for a CDP that offers inbuilt intelligence to pull individual customers’ historical behavior and automatically chooses the optimal channel(s) based on that past behavior.

  1.  Robust Holdout & Marketing KPI Measurement 

CMOs are under pressure to demonstrate business value and maximize the value of their marketing spend. In a multichannel world, that requires a holistic, multi-channel approach to testing and measurement. Many CDPs only measure in silos at the channel level, without allowing you to consistently and accurately measure lift and ROI across channels and campaigns. Look for a CDP with sophisticated, cross channel measurement capabilities, such as the ability to manage control groups seamlessly across any and all channels (i.e. via multi-level holdouts) to ensure that you are getting a holistic view of marketing performance. 

  1. Governance and Permissions at Scale 

An enterprise marketing organization consists of multiple teams. To serve them all at scale, a CDP should provide enterprise-grade tools to manage teams, roles and data governance. Otherwise, you impose significant limits on access to the CDP—and defeat the purpose of self service in the enterprise.

  1. Extreme Speed

Marketing data consists of millions or billions of customer transactions and events and any  solution that is not engineered specifically for marketing data will be quickly overwhelmed. Beware of a CDP that prevents marketers from asking questions and getting answers based on all the historical data in the CDP in a matter of seconds. To support data-driven marketing at scale, the CDP must be built for extreme performance. 

Clearly, there are many factors to consider when evaluating an enterprise CDP. By arming yourself with the knowledge of a data-first CDP architecture, understanding must-haves, and asking key questions to drive the deeper discussions about your enterprise’s unique needs, you will be able to make a more informed choice.

Save our infographic below for easy reference and download our Enterprise CDP Buyer’s Guide here to learn more about the core capabilities you should be on the lookout for.

7 Showstoppers: Key Capabilities You Should Expect from an Enterprise CDP

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