HP’s Future-proof CX Stack: Pivoting From DMP to CDP

A Bright Future Beyond DMPs - How HP’s First-Party Data Is Driving Customer Acquisition With a Better CX Stack - webinar

With the death of third-party cookies forcing changes to its tech stack with a strict timeline, HP knew they needed to adapt swiftly with a CX stack that offered flexibility with their existing infrastructure and democratized access across first-, second- and third-party data.

With nearly 85 years of experience bringing best-in-class technology to living rooms, classrooms and board rooms, HP has a sharp understanding of what’s important — and given current market instability, looking ahead is more important than ever.

We sat down with Kumar Ram, Global Head of Marketing Data Sciences and David Preston, Manager of Marketing Data Sciences to learn more about how HP is reimagining its longtime DMP-powered acquisition strategy and designing a future-proof customer experience stack centered around first-party data.

Take a look below to hear what we discussed, or if you’re more of a listener, you can catch the conversation with HP here.

The DMP Disruption

The DMP has been a core asset in how HP drives customer acquisition dating back to the mid-2010s — enabling the brand to expand data access across HP-owned data, HP.com and enriched data from partners like Acxiom, target awareness on paid channels and then retarget those with higher propensity to convert.

“The majority of our focus was on our CRM data. HP historically has had a pretty decent CRM with north of 200 million customers back and we put that data to very effective use, but most of our targeting was limited to email, direct mail, and those sorts of tactics.”

– Kumar Ram, Global Head of Marketing Data Sciences

The team’s priority around composable architecture, data enrichment, customer profiling, audience segmentation and activation to paid properties pointed them toward ActionIQ.

HP's DMP migration and CX stack playbook

Starting Small and Expanding

Once the cookie deprecation bomb sent a wave across the adtech ecosystem HP was quick to pivot away from its soon-to-be obsolete technology. The brand sought out a near-term solution to maintain its DMP use cases – shying away from a large-scale infrastructure overhaul that would likely take over a year to start generating results – while offering the opportunity to expand across the organization as part of a longer term vision.

“Our objective was not only to be able to execute many of the DMP use cases – creating segments, offering media platform and database connectivity to media channels and more importantly being able to assess performance – without the use of cookies, but also to establish a platform that we can evolve beyond marketing into more of an ‘enterprise CDP.”

– Kumar Ram, Global Head of Marketing Data Sciences

“It’s critical to think about the customer experience holistically,” said Justin DeBrabant, Senior Vice President of Product at ActionIQ. “What HP decided to do was actually build out for one of those verticals first to deliver value quickly.”

But let it be known – in today’s landscape, a customer data platform (CDP) is not a 1:1 replacement for a DMP.

“The DMP world offers a marketplace of third-party data and with a CDP, you’re relying more on first-party data, but that doesn’t mean that you’re not relying on third-party providers for identity or data augmentation,” said DeBrabant. “Part of the evaluation here is figuring out how you seamlessly plug in those third-party providers, and it might not be the same marketplace that you had access to with the DMP.”

“As a platform, ActionIQ is designed to offer a hub where you can plug in third-party datasets and collaborate with second-party clean rooms or data providers – providing a flexible, configurable framework for pulling in the assets you need, stitching them together, making them available to audiences and then activating downstream.”

Future-Proofing Your CX Stack With a CDP

Democratize Data Access Across Marketing

In order to scale with speed and efficiency, the team at HP knew they needed a CX stack and environment that allowed the marketing team to access insights and build audiences with ease and flexibility, while staying targeted and secure.

HP is able to execute seamless experiences with ActionIQ by harnessing AWS S3’s scalable storage capabilities to meet the challenges of a growing customer base.

“With ActionIQ, we can democratize the data and still be able to ensure that we have everything that’s needed to make sure that our customers are being targeted with consent and not over-targeted.” – David Preston, Manager of Marketing Data Sciences

“A shift like this is more than just the technology. It’s about the people, the process and the technology, and making sure that you’re aligned internally such that you can get the most out of this,” said Justin DeBrabant, Senior VP of Product, ActionIQ.

Embrace Owned Data

Throughout the time HP leveraged the DMP for acquisition, owned customer data fell to the periphery meaning a lot of untapped value. They needed the capabilities to unify all the data assets they have in place to create a complete view of the customer built from clean, connected and authenticated insights as a foundation for their CX stack strategy.

Increase Visibility Into Campaign Performance

Historically, given the channel complexity at HP, achieving full visibility into how segments behave had always been a challenge and thus was an important element to consider in a new solution. With the CDP, the HP team is able to leverage metrics to inform a tactical and personalized approach to nurturing customers to conversion.

What’s Next for HP?

Continuing to Reimagine Third-party Data

Moving to a first-party data construct doesn’t mean doing away with all other data types completely. The team at HP is reimagining how to augment their first-party data with different data types, and data coming from different sources and data providers. By wrapping their arms around the entire data ecosystem, the HP team can augment their data strategy, rather than detract from it by removing any datasets completely.

Secure Data Sharing and Collaboration With Data Clean Rooms and Retail Partners

Getting the full visual into performance means getting a visual into the 80% of sales happening across the different channels that HP’s business reaches, including retail partners like Amazon, Best Buy and more. Having a path forward for bringing audiences into data clean rooms in a secure way is a critical priority.

“For us it’s very important to have a mechanism to share data with our partners while maintaining privacy compliance. ActionIQ enabled us to broker the discussions with clean rooms and data partners like Snowflake and InfoSum which has been key for us.” – Kumar Ram, Global Head of Marketing Data Sciences

Expanding CDP Capabilities Across the Company

HP wants to evolve beyond marketing use cases and expand usage across the enterprise. As part of their long-term vision for their enterprise CDP, they want the self-serve insights to go beyond their marketing team, to potentially include sales, support, warranty and more.

“We see numerous opportunities within the enterprise where the CDP can start driving value but from day one, is even though our objective was to get this rolled out for marketing, in the long run, we don’t expect this to be a marketing-specific platform. We’re happy to hand over the reins to our IT organization with the expectation that we can evolve the use cases to support anything above and beyond marketing,” Ram added.

What’s Next for Your CX Stack?

Third-party cookies are a dying breed, and security regulations will keep coming. Are you ready for what’s to come? Find the right partners to future-proof your organization with speed, scale, and (maybe most importantly) security.

Read more about how to protect your acquisition strategy amidst the deprecation of third-party cookies in our guide, 12 Acquisition Strategies for Watching the Cookie Sunset or reach out to our experts talk about how you can build a tech stack designed for the future.

ActionIQ is an Amazon ISV Accelerate Partner and is available within the AWS Marketplace.

Ariane Sedghi
Ariane Sedghi
Senior Product Marketing Manager
Ariane is a dynamic product marketer supporting enterprise businesses in delivering authentic customer experiences. She drives impactful customer programs and thought leadership across ActionIQ’s expansive client base — educating the market on the value of ActionIQ that has powered growth for brands including The Washington Post, Michael Kors, Docusign, Conde Nast, Hertz and more. Find her on LinkedIn.
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