Real-Time CDP, Real-Time Customer Experience
by Matt Skinner
posted on 05-16-2019
The market for customer data platforms (CDPs) has grown rapidly. This growth is in large part fueled by the desire of B2C and B2B organizations to provide improved customer experiences. CDPs promise to meet this desire by unifying customer data from across the organization so that it’s easier and more efficient for all teams to work together to provide coordinated and personalized, multichannel experiences.
As a key component of customer experience management, our Real-time CDP supercharges modern marketing use cases for both B2C and B2B organizations. It also provides a unique offering in the market for teams who want to provide more profound, meaningful and differentiated customer experiences.
This article provides a look at our perspective on the CDP landscape and how our Real-time CDP offering can add value , whether used as a stand-alone solution or integrated into other Adobe solutions to support both B2C and B2B use cases.
Continuous data insights benefit everyone
One appealing aspect of Adobe’s Real-time CDP for both marketing and IT is its ability to provide continuous data refreshes that keep people and account profiles updated. For IT, having all customer information in a unified view makes it possible to resolve customer identity issues so that systems used by marketing teams can access consistent profiles in real time. This data enables richer customer insights and the ability to deliver a better B2C and B2B buying experience.
At the same time, marketing teams benefit because they gain insights into what actions customers have recently taken online or offline. This additional knowledge gives marketers the ability to run campaigns that are timely and relevant or to serve up a compelling offer in real time based on that data.
These types of use cases help retain customers, advance existing customers, and build higher loyalty. And, fundamentally, this is what both marketers and IT are looking for a CDP to deliver.
Navigating a complex CDP marketplace
With close to 100 vendors that now go to market as customer data platforms, the CDP market landscape can be difficult to navigate. Many CDP point solutions are in fact existing software, repurposed to be positioned as customer data platforms. Because of this, there are also considerable differences among CDP products, including the way they unify customer identities, the types of data they ingest, or their ability to power the multichannel personalization use cases marketers are ultimately trying to achieve.
Most point CDPs, which tend to focus on specific capabilities at the expense of broader features, can’t meet the more critical customer experience use cases, like these:
Simultaneous support for B2C and B2B data
Unified people & account profiles
Native platform connectivity & identity management
Robust audience segmentation
Cross-channel campaign orchestration
Activation of real-time audience profiles
Responsible governance of customer data
Instead, they often offer little more than connectivity between systems via APIs.
Point CDPs also promise to connect disparate systems but end up creating further complexity for IT and marketing teams tasked with building entirely separate known and unknown customer personas in two different systems.
As a result, marketers can be left with inaccurate data sets and reports, manual work to reconcile, and a slowdown of campaign execution, while IT ends up with another new system they need to implement and manage.
Another concern we’ve heard is the risk of giving first-party customer data — one of the most valuable assets for any organization — to a startup or independent entity with uncertain prospects. Trusting your data to a startup that may go under due to lack of funding is a serious risk.
Some enterprises may also have homegrown CDPs or CDP-like systems that have been built by their IT teams to bring internal data sources together for insights and activation. These systems may assist with low hanging use cases, but they can fall short of real-time CDP capabilities, especially for marketing teams and users because the system was not originally designed for them. It can also be difficult and expensive for internal teams to maintain integrations and develop new features. Adobe’s Real-time CDP can help augment homegrown systems to open up new use cases for the mutual benefit of IT and marketing teams across B2C and B2B brands.
Additionally, many CDPs also lack the robust governance controls required to responsibly manage sensitive customer data in today’s privacy-sensitive environment. Whether complying with a regional policy like GDPR or CCPA, or ensuring marketing use cases adhere to organizational policies, it has never been more important for teams to market responsibly.
This confusion and these risks have led many enterprises to ask for a better approach.
How Adobe Real-time CDP stands out
Our Real-time CDP offering is unique compared with both CDP point solutions and offerings from large marketing clouds. For starters, it’s flexible and open in the way it integrates with data sources and activation touchpoints, so it can be used effectively with all external adtech and martech solutions. This starts with our proprietary and open-source data model, Experience Data Model (XDM), that allows for flexible data schema customization that fits your unique data needs. Our platform architecture also accommodates both real-time streaming data and petascale data analytics in data lakes, making it possible to create a customer data model representing all your customer data, no matter which data sources you use. Plus, our offering not only provides a “golden record” of people and accounts— it allows enterprises to solve the greater issue of delivering seamless multichannel, personalized experiences with confidence at scale.
Additionally, Adobe’s Real-time CDP offering is unique because B2C and B2B data can conveniently live alongside each other inside a single CDP offering, allowing for the creation of unified profiles of people and accounts. For B2B brands, this means they can unify account records from multiple CRM systems and marketing automation systems into a single account profile that updates in real-time using Adobe’s identity management and people-to-account matching. Adobe’s XDM mentioned above supports the ingestion of both B2C and B2B data sources into a single CDP instance including people, leads, accounts, opportunities and more, all while maintaining the ability to segment audiences based on B2C or B2B data and their individual records. It’s the first enterprise-grade CDP that is purpose-built from the ground up to support companies that have B2C businesses, B2B businesses or both!
Other large marketing clouds with CDP offerings are attempting to tie legacy solutions together using recently developed or acquired integration technology that lacks a single data profile or data store across systems. This is evidenced by limited prebuilt integrations that only permit connectivity to other products in their stack. In contrast, Real-time CDP is powered by Adobe Experience Platform — the first purpose-built customer experience management platform in the market supporting B2C and B2B use cases. This allows us to offer the following benefits across the enterprise:
Real-time, Unified People & Account Profiles
Dozens of B2C & B2B Data Sources and Destinations
Accurate identity management and person-to-account matching
Open and extensible architecture
Machine learning and AI through Adobe Sensei
Patented data privacy and governance framework
Being able to tap into these additional functionalities makes delivering personalized experiences at scale possible in a way that point CDPs or even other large marketing clouds don’t come close to achieving.
And with a shared identifier and storage powered by Adobe Experience Platform, our track record of integrating across Adobe Experience Cloud is unmatched. At the same time, customers can also make their data available to external systems that are beyond the Adobe ecosystem. This provides unprecedented connectivity to other components of marketing tech stacks.
While there are CDPs that can achieve components of delivering dynamic, personalized experiences on any channel, we remain the leader in providing digital experiences. And ultimately, what sets the Adobe Real-time CDP offering apart from the competition is the fact that it was built to drive world-class customer experience management by a company that understands deeply what’s required to deliver seamless personalized experiences across every channel.
Topics: Digital Transformation
Products: Audience Manager