Customer Data Platform Implementation: 4 Ways to Prepare Your Business

  • CDP Technologies
  • Organizational Change
Mackenzie Johnson
Mackenzie Johnson
Partner Marketing Manager

The size of the customer data platform (CDP) market was forecasted to grow from $3.5 billion in 2021 to $15.3 billion by 2026.

Why? Because more businesses are focused on providing superior customer experiences — and implementing a CDP has become the cornerstone of their strategy.

But deploying a CDP isn’t the same as implementing less transformative technologies. To maximize the benefits, brands should prepare to align their people and processes.

Along with leading marketing and technology strategy firm and ActionIQ partner Method Partners, we’ve rounded up four key ways brands can support CDP implementation to guarantee success.

Customer Data Platform Implementation - 4 Ways to Prepare Your Business

Customer Data Platform Implementation: 4 Ways to Prepare Your Business

1. Solidify Goals and Use Cases Before CDP Implementation

It’s important to align your organization around specific objectives and application scenarios before rolling out your CDP.

Understanding your organization’s top priorities — and then determining a measured and phased approach to implementation — will enable you to hit the ground running. And once the vision is established, you can begin mapping out how different teams throughout your organization will support this strategy today and in the future.

“An organization should start by defining the operating model to activate and manage the CDP,” said Christian Detlefsen, Strategy & Analytics Partner at Method Partners. “By providing governance, use case design, business alignment and execution oversight, you can turn the CDP from a tool into a game-changing capability.”

From here, you can determine what aspects of your customer engagement may need to be adjusted and the appropriate way to roll out the CDP solution.

“Any process that involves touching customers must be evaluated — this usually includes marketing campaign lifecycle, lead management, touch governance, performance and journey reporting, analytics and insights processes,” Detlefsen said.

Customer Data Platform Implementation - Understand Your Team’s Organizational Readiness

2. Understand Your Team’s Organizational Readiness

A CDP isn’t a typical marketing technology point solution. For example, if an organization purchases a new email marketing tool, it wouldn’t have to recalibrate its organizational structure.

“Rolling out a CDP for the first time can be more challenging than other types of tools because it doesn’t just make certain tasks easier or more effective,” Detlefsen said. “It can transform the way organizations work.”

Companies should evaluate the teams, processes and systems that will be impacted by the introduction of a CDP and identify how they will unlock the platform’s potential.

Determine your team’s readiness when it comes to responsibilities surrounding the CDP and prepare for collaboration.

Take an employee-centric approach by understanding the skills of your existing team, spanning both technical and semi-technical professionals. From there, align your team’s skill sets to the CDP.

“With a CDP, the way marketers implement a campaign requires collaboration,” said David Rewalt, Senior Director of Marketing Services Partnerships at ActionIQ. “Since teams are working off of one canvas, it’s important that planning be collaborative.”

Teams must think more holistically about the entire customer lifecycle.

“With a CDP, organizations have the ability to connect the whole customer journey from acquisition to retention and nurture,” Rewalt said. “As opposed to passing a user to another department for nurture once they’ve become a customer, the entire lifecycle stays within the CDP.”

This not only facilitates a more connected experience for customers, but a work environment that helps different teams view customer journey management more comprehensively.

Reimagine Ways of Working Following CDP Implementation

3. Reimagine Ways of Working Following CDP Implementation

Prior to implementing a CDP, many brands must manually manage many components of the customer journey. That changes when IT, data and business teams are able to automate customer engagement at every stage of the customer lifecycle.

“With the introduction of a CDP, campaigns that previously took months to deploy are now able to go out in days,” Rewalt said. “With these new efficiencies, traditional processes are not only shortened but reimagined.”

Enabling business teams to more easily access and take action on customer data will free up other teams — such as IT and data analytics — to focus less on support requests and more on optimizing their own areas of expertise.

According to a Forrester Total Economic Impact study commissioned by ActionIQ, brands can expect a 40% increase in data analyst efficiency as well as a 25% boost in marketer efficiency.

“Teams are able to achieve performance in less time,” Rewalt said. “This reprioritization allows organizations to redeploy efforts to higher-value projects to ensure continuous optimization of campaigns to understand what really works.”

CDP Implementation - Prepare for Future Growth

4. Prepare for Future Growth

Your CDP will introduce powerful new capabilities into your organization. After initial implementation, explore ways to build on existing use cases.

“Test new audiences, try new things and determine new ways to make campaigns effective,” Rewalt said. “This is an iterative process that should be maintained on an ongoing basis.”

For example, after implementing a CDP, brands can begin taking advantage of features such as predictive analytics to identify the likelihood of customer churn or uncover strategies proven to increase average order value.

Keep in mind, your CDP may represent a very new approach to business operations for both technical and non-technical teams. Continuous education and support should be prioritized while teams adapt to new processes.

Customer data platform implementation is not a one-and-done affair — it’s the introduction of a transformative technology that can grow alongside your business and support new CDP use cases over time.

Learn More About Preparing For Customer Data Platform Implementation

Download our Change Management Best Practices guide to understand how to support CDP implementation to maximize value.

Mackenzie Johnson
Mackenzie Johnson
Partner Marketing Manager
Mackenzie is an innovative marketing strategist who's passionate about the convergence of complementary technologies and amplifying joint value. With extensive experience across digital transformation storytelling, she thrives on educating enterprise businesses about the impact of CX based on a data-driven approach.

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