In 2013, David Raab, the founder of the CDP institute, published a blog post about a new type of software emerging. A software that brought customer data from different sources into a singular platform to perform predictive analytics and guide marketing across multiple channels.
He said, “Given how much vendors and analysts love to create new categories, I’m genuinely perplexed that no one has yet named this one. I’ll step in myself, and hereby christen the concept as ‘Customer Data Platform’.”
Since then, the CDP has steadily gained awareness and, in the last two years, interest has been on a sharp incline.
As more and more companies bring a CDP to the center of their tech stack, you might be asking yourself – do I really need another tool? Like anyone who has experienced the benefits of a CDP first-hand, we’re here to tell you that, yes — for most modern businesses, a CDP is a need-to-have.
In this blog, we’ll share 8 reasons you need a CDP, why Ortto is the ideal CDP for any online business, and more.
What is a CDP and why is it different to a CRM or DMP?
At a very basic level, the CDP, CRM and DMP all collect customer data. But the type of data they collect, the way data is collated and structured, and the use cases are quite different.
A CDP (customer data platform) unifies and structures customer data from marketing, sales, product, finance and support into a single customer profile to give you an end-to-end view of the customer journey. Because a CDP tracks event-based data, you can track and act on your customer’s actual behavior, rather than relying on time-based messaging. A CDP has a two-way data pipeline, meaning you can funnel information back to other platforms.
A CRM (customer relationship manager) collects flat file data like email correspondence, sales notes, and customer information, with some data ingested through integrations, and some data entered manually. Most CRMs do not have a two-way data pipeline. As the name suggests, the CRM is primarily focused on customer relationships.
A DMP (data management platform) collects 2nd and 3rd party data and retains it for a short period of time, with the primary goal of building an advertising audience based on that data.
A CRM is best used to help a sales team or customer success team manage one-to-one interactions with known customers. A DMP is used for advertising to new customers. A CDP can be used by every department across a business, from sales to marketing, product to support.
To learn more about what makes a CDP different from a CRM and which is right for your business, visit this blog.
8 reasons you need a CDP
If you are not using a CDP yet and you’ve struggled with any of these common business problems, it’s time to upgrade your tech stack.
1. The customer journey is more complicated than ever before. A CDP will simplify it.
Customers have thousands of touchpoints with your brand — and a CDP can capture them all. Emails, online transactions, offline transactions using loyalty cards, website and in-product activity, advertising, and more are ingested into your CDP to give you a deeper understanding of your customer and their journey.
With a deeper understanding of who your customer is and how they have interacted with your business, every team is empowered to make data-driven decisions about customer communications, marketing messages, website or product optimizations, advertising budgets, and more.
2. Your customers expect a high level of personalization.
With all of this data at your fingertips, creating hyper-personalized connections with your customers can be achieved at any scale. Given that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions and 76% get frustrated when this doesn’t happen, no business can run the risk of anything less.
Ortto brings your CDP and marketing automation together so you can send personalized messages across email, SMS, and pop-ups at every stage of the customer journey. Features like dynamic content give you the ability to connect with your customers one-to-one to deliver the kind of experience customers have come to expect.
3. Data silos will prevent you from making informed decisions. A CDP tears them down.
With all your data in one platform, you can track the performance of every campaign and message with more accuracy and answer tough questions like ‘Which advertising partner brought in the most high-quality leads?’ or ‘How does customer success impact MRR?’
Ortto has built-in revenue attribution to make reporting on performance beyond click-throughs and open rates simpler. Plus, you can use cohort analysis to find out how different audience segments react to campaigns and messages. All of this is accessible to anyone across the business in real-time, meaning you can find and act on insights as and when you need to rather than waiting for an SQL query to come back to you via the data team.
4. Vanity metrics are not enough. You need to gain deeper insights from customer journey analytics.
Marketers can’t afford to wait weeks or even days to get the insights they need on things like campaign performance or ROI on advertising efforts. With all of your data integrated into one CDP and easy-to-use reports and dashboards at your fingertips, you can answer the tough questions and act on insights.
Ortto offers advanced analytics including built-in revenue attribution and cohort analysis to help businesses operationalize their data and make better decisions.
5. Precise targeting is essential to end advertising wastage and generate higher-quality leads.
In a CDP, you can create audience segments based on any combination of data including transactional, marketing, product and website activity, and support along with the usual demographic and geographic. This means you can build hyper-precise audiences of customers that can be targeted using email, SMS, or pop-ups, or synced to ad platforms like Facebook, Google and Twitter to be used in retargeting campaigns or as data sets for lookalike audiences to be built from.
And because your data is dynamic and your ad platforms are connected, audiences on every platform will always be up to date.
6. Agility is crucial in an ever-changing world.
In an ever-changing world, agility can be the difference between thriving and only just surviving. A CDP enables businesses to connect their tech stack with turnkey integrations, APIs, and webhooks. This means you are never tied to your tech, and can add new tools as they become relevant without causing headaches across the company.
In addition, a CDP like Ortto offers countless ways to automate otherwise time-consuming tasks. Whether it’s updating records, alerting sales teams to new opportunities, sending messages to customers, or sharing audiences with different platforms, every automation saves you time that can be better spent on big picture thinking and growth strategies.
7. Data privacy and security are crucial to your success as a business.
Privacy regulations and customer security concerns are changing the way companies collect and use customer data. A CDP will help your business keep better records of customer data and avoid slip-ups that may occur when customer records are being downloaded and uploaded to different platforms.
With each new privacy regulation that comes into play, there is an increased need to segment audiences according to their preferences, and control permissions for data use. A CDP enables you to make these changes as necessary to keep your customer’s data safe.
8. Cookies are crumbling and machines are getting smarter, making your first-party data more important than ever.
Third-party pixels and cookies aren’t going to disappear overnight, and they will continue to be an important part of data collection. But, even though it’s been a rocky path to third-party cookie removal for platforms like Google’s Chrome, it feels inevitable that third-party data will take a backseat in marketing.
With a CDP like Ortto in your tech stack, you can gain more control of your first-party data now, to set yourself up for a future with fewer cookies.
Speaking of the future, machine learning and artificial intelligence (AI) are reaching their tipping point with predictive analytics and one-to-one communications getting more powerful every day. In a CDP, your data is clean, consistent, correlated and organized, meaning AI can be trained to make accurate predictions on your customer’s behavior. In other words, the machines are only as smart as the data you feed them.
What makes Ortto different?
The Google trends graph we shared at the start of this piece is just one indication of the demand for CDPs. That demand is being well and truly met by a large number of players who are adding a CDP to their product offering or building a CDP and a brand from scratch.
We recently listed out the 10 best customer data platforms to consider for your business and, in our research, discovered two overarching themes that make Ortto unique: Accessibility and flexibility.
Let’s start with accessibility. Ortto brings the CDP, customer journey, and customer journey analytics together to enable businesses to build their growth engine in one unified platform. Every part of the platform is intuitive and user-friendly, meaning anyone across your business can access the data they need, build customer journeys, and analyze results.
Because Ortto offers three capabilities in one platform and was built with accessibility in mind, it’s an incredibly affordable option for businesses of all sizes and shapes.
“We wanted to make Ortto affordable and build a CDP that gave marketers a view of the customer in an event-based world and right across the journey by connecting data sources,” says Ortto CEO and co-founder Mike Sharkey.
Now on to flexibility. Ortto gives marketers more options with a range of features that other CDPs generally do not offer including:
Behavioral and event-based data tracking
Visual journey builder with templates
Form builder, pop-ups, and capture widgets
Lead and engagement scoring
Advanced email send features
Drag and drop email builder
With these advanced features, you can build personalized, omnichannel marketing campaigns that make sense in the modern world and draw deeper insights to grow.
A CDP is becoming an essential part of every business’s tech stack. It will help your business grow today, while setting you and your data up for the future. With Ortto, you get a CDP as part of an all-in-one growth engine, at a fraction of the cost. Sign up today to start seeing the benefits firsthand.