March 24, 2021
 min read

The CDP Conversation Between Agencies & Clients


If you’re curious about the drawbacks or benefits of adopting a CDP in the context of external vendors — such as freelancers or agencies — then you’re in the right place. You’re also in the right place if you’re an agency brushing up on your martech knowledge so you can better advocate for what’s best for your clients.

CDPs & Privacy

The high-profile data breaches that have become part of the news landscape over the past couple of decades have inspired the deliberate siloing of data. The thinking is likely based on a mental model like “don’t put all your eggs in one basket.” There’s a perfectly reasonable argument to be had on the other side of that divide.Because ultimately, data privacy isn’t about the accessibility of data but rather the type of access: is it usable, or is it usable and visible. By providing access to usable but not visible data, a marketer-focused CDP’s no-code UI allows non-technical stakeholders to safely manipulate segments, workflows, and cross-channel experiments without posing any security risks. So if your Email Gurus™ or Social Media Ninjas© are at an agency, you can rest assured that they’re getting the full value of your data without risking customers’ privacy.

The Tidal Wave of First-Party Data

When Chrome drops cookies, customer acquisition and engagement will become primarily reliant on first-party data. This is a great victory for individuals’ privacy, but more than a few marketers are concerned about their capabilities to personalize and build customer relationships in the future. The insomniac marketer who gets out of bed in the middle of the night to cry into a literal box of cookies might have this inner dialogue running through their rattled brains:

“Now I can’t acquire new customers or drive incremental sales without you, Cookies. And Cookies, you told me I didn’t need to fully invest in an operational 360-degree view of the customer. You told me you would take care of me, Cookies, but now you’re leaving me?  “I don’t even know how to work with first-party data. I don’t know if we have enough. I don’t know where it all is. Cookies, why hast thou forsaken me? “This company hasn’t really been in the relationship-building business with its customers, and now it’s on me to turn us into George Clooney at a cocktail party overnight. Nooooo!!!

Centralize the Data on the Dinner Table So No One Goes Hungry

As our CEO and co-founder Dr. Jason Davis emphasized here, not only is your first-party data cheaper; used properly it’s more effective at driving meaningful results. Assuming you’ve read or at least skimmed the contents of the rest of the CDP Buyer’s Guide, we’ll skip comparing types of CDPs and those general topics and instead focus on why and how agencies, brands, and CDPs work great together.

Increased operational efficiency

With functional, secure data seamlessly accessed from one UI, in-house marketers can build cross-channel segments for immediate use by the agency, and vice versa. Brands won’t just collaborate over strategy, copy, and KPIs; they’ll now be able to creatively test and learn in a secure data environment.

Improved ROAS

By putting first-party data in the center of your strategy, you can improve ad match rates and reach with known-customer profiles and also improve retargeting efforts. Additionally, with real-time data ingestion and a home base for customer profiles and universal segments, spend-efficient workflows could be employed to reduce your reliance on walled-gardens and expensive ad publishers. The other cost-saver is dynamic suppression: if a customer buys those red shoes, you don’t want to send them a discount code for those red shoes two weeks later nor do you want to throw away money pestering them with social and search ads for that pair of red shoes.

Streamlined costs and workflows

The amount of effort and wasted time required to manually build segments and incorporate new data sets dwarfs the minutes it takes to do so in the right CDP. A good CDP can also eliminate superfluous technology in your or your clients’ marketing stack with more flexible integration powers. By iterating on and increasing the sophistication of marketing’s automation with triggered journeys, everything from new campaigns to new data models can begin to move more quickly.

Increased revenue generation

There are a number of ways a powerful orchestration CDP can increase revenue. Speed-to-market: With real-time data ingestion that can bypass your data warehouse for immediate operationalizing and segments that can be built on the fly by anyone on the marketing team, your ability to execute and iterate on campaigns just got a lot faster. Better personalization: With identity resolution, a 360-degree customer profile, cross-channel orchestration, and cross-channel triggered workflows fully realized thanks to the increased speed of data, you can get closer to the dream of reaching the right person, right place, right time, right message. Increased wallet share: Improved data visibility and functionality can also increase customer wallet share through targeted repeat-purchase campaigns and the ability to train a model that uses comprehensive customer data to spot cross-sell or upsell opportunities.

Having “The Talk” (About CDPs)

Armed with the knowledge that CDPs are the engines that can power a world-class marketing program fueled even only with first-party data, agencies and their clients can begin conversations about how they can begin to strategize moving into a hybrid model before moving onto a future-focused strategy powered by first-party data and merely supplemented with third-party data.

Questions to Ask

Clients → AgenciesAgencies → ClientsDo any of your clients currently use a CDP?Do you currently or have you ever used a CDP?If so, which? And are they happy with it? What are their primary use cases?If so, how can my agency leverage the power of your first-party data?Have you ever collaborated with a client through a CDP or leveraged data via a client CDP?If not, can we discuss planning for the move into a world with much less readily available third-party data?How do I merge first- and third-party data?Do you have other data sources you'd like to leverage for targeting or content in campaigns?How can we get more campaigns out with the same service hours?How are user identities mapped across sources? Do you have a single customer view across all your data sources?How can we do more thorough experimentation and operationalize learnings?Are you satisfied with how fast you can get your campaigns out?To learn more, check out our CDP Buyer’s Guide if you haven’t already, and see here how a marketing-owned data strategy gave one of our subscription clients a 300% lift in engagement over the course of one year and nearly 1,500 active segments.

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