Smart Customer Data Platforms could be the biggest aide for a brand to stay fighting fit in the highly competitive revolutionary era of martech.

The innovations in marketing technologies like marketing automation and AI are evolving to meet global business objectives. Accessing and analyzing customer data to strategize accordingly to support growth has always been a top challenge for B2B marketers. This makes Data analytics and AI critical for today’s marketing strategies.

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Traditionally, CDPs ingest customer data from multiple sources and centralize on a single platform, while also making the data available to external systems of analysis for engagement and insight. Clearly, shifting martech functionality and features from one bucket to another won’t really help marketers plan and execute their customer engagement strategies Newer, more evolved platforms need to allow for seamless leverage of this data form one tool to another, often real-time.

Forrester in its latest report on CDPs and the need to deliver value, has confirmed that – to compete in an already-crowded industry, CDPs need to serve a purpose beyond data centralization, focusing on two axes to mature with marketer demands:

  • Driving better business outcomes for marketers, delivering long-term value by creating a foundation of AI-driven features, such as automated decision-making and real-time segment discovery.
  • Offering features beyond simple data centralization to span the entire customer journey, which allows marketers to better comprehend customer behavior across channels.

To ensure that the CDPs add enough value for brands to be competitive, in the future, they must evolve and provide the expected core functions seamlessly delivered by various technologies, then the existing available ones in the market. Also, to deliver long-term value, CDPs will need to fine-tune these core functions, as well as the orchestration and automated decision-making abilities of tools, among other intelligent features.

With unclear use cases, sweeping promises, and increasing noise from Marketing Cloud vendors, marketers need to be cautious. They need to chart out a clear view of their core needs, their business objectives, and marketing goals, before deciding on the tools and the underlying platform. They need to chart out the expected benefits the solutions must deliver.

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While most martech vendors are facing challenges to offer tools and features that keep up with marketers demands, ‘they will need to work on delivering intelligent solutions that work seamlessly with CDPs to fill this gap.

It’s time for the CDP platforms to buckle up and strengthen marketing tech tools to deliver next-generation insights, clear-cut use cases, and vastly improved customer experience, and drive strategic outcomes.