5 Key Areas to Consider During the CDP RFP Process
CDP RFP Selection Process
In a recent webinar, Seth Solomons, former CMO of Equinox, spoke with the CEO of Simon Data, Jason Davis, about the CDP RFP and selection process. They begin by observing exceptionally complicated martech space; numerous products and platforms in the space rarely work seamlessly together. However, a customer data platform (CDP) is the light at the end of the tunnel. It allows these various platforms to communicate by bringing all customer data points into one place and turns them into actionable insights.
However, the CDP space is also vast. They offer a variety of solutions for various problems. Which begs the question- once you’ve established you need a CDP, how do you go about finding which one best fits your organization’s goals?
Here are the five areas to be sure you hit during the RFP process:
- Data management
- Analytics and intelligence
- Cross channel orchestration
- Privacy, security, compliance
- Platform and services
Data management is collecting and storing data in a secure location. This collection helps companies optimize data usage while still keeping the data protected.
There are three main ways a CDP helps with data management- ingestion, access, and profile unification. These three pieces work together to give you a complete customer view.
Data ingestion is the ability to gather, standardize, and validate data from online and offline sources. Next, this data is stored in a centralized location to be accessed, used, and analyzed. In other words, no matter where your data is coming from, a CDP can receive and translate it into a unified customer profile. This profile is like the holy grail of understanding your customer- everything you need to know about them in one place.
Moreover, this information is also available for every team to view. Making data accessible to all departments is crucial to the success of cross-functional teams. Not only does it free up time from having to do manual data pulls, but it ensures everyone is using the same information when running a campaign. All teams being able to view the same data is also essential to cohesive analytics.
Analytics and Intelligence
Data analytics and intelligence is combing through existing data via modeling, reporting, and transforming to find actionable insights that can support company decision-making .
We live in a data-driven world. All companies want to make informed decisions based on what they know about their customers. However, there is often a workflow bottleneck between ideation and execution based on the bandwidth of the data team. What a CDP offers is assistance in segmentation, experimentation, and predictive modeling to speed up the workflow.
The exploration and understanding of target audiences cannot be a function of your data engineering teams. It has to go into the marketers’ hands. After all, marketers will ultimately define and execute campaigns over the segments. A CDP should offer assistance in segmentation, experimentation, and predictive modeling to speed up the workflow. This streamline enables data engineers to quickly and easily get data into the system while empowering marketers to build intuition and experiment with slicing and dicing audiences.
During the RFP process, be sure you should have a clear idea of what segmentation capabilities come out of the box and how the building capabilities work. The goal is to find a platform with an easy-to-use interface that allows non-technical roles to work independently of their technical counterparts.
Cross Channel Orchestration
Cross channel orchestration is the ability to deliver customers rich and meaningful experiences through whichever channel they may be interacting with you.
A customer’s path to purchase is more complex than ever. Additionally, many customers use multiple channels when buying or researching products making tracking their customer journey increasingly difficult. Without a CDP, team members find themselves bogged down in carefully constructing segments for every necessary end channel. However, bigger problems start to arise when every channel doesn’t fall under the responsibility of an “omnichannel manager.”
This lack of orchestrated messaging will often result in inconsistent, duplicate, or over messaging for customers. However, orchestrating customer journeys from a single place can help that confusion. The unified customer view updates in real-time and allows all of marketing to look at the same data. It also enables all teams to use the same segments for overall consistency and deeper personalization.
Privacy, Security, Compliance
Data privacy, security, and compliance all serve as different pieces of best practices around data. However, they are all designed to protect your organization.
Companies handle a ton of customer data. Customers gave this data under certain pretenses. They are entrusting companies to use their information wisely and thoughtfully to enhance their brand experience. The last thing any company wants is to lose their customer’s trust by mishandling their data.
Likewise, CDPs inherently handle massive amounts of PII and other customer data. Therefore, their technology and security practices must be certified as compliant with privacy laws.
While data privacy is about how a company uses and shares customer information, security is what the company does to protect said data. There is an abundance of measures a company can take to protect data stored on their server. What’s important is you are asking the right questions about who has access to your data, how they mitigate risk, and what happens when a breach occurs. By understanding these questions, both know how secure your customer information is and that you aren’t at fault if something would happen.
Platform and Service
We touched on this at the beginning of this blog, and I’d like to revisit the depth of CDP options. There are a variety of CDPs, most of which do similar but different things. It is crucial to understand the platform’s offering and how it aligns with your business goals.
Another point Seth touched on in the webinar, which he cited as his reason for choosing Simon, is service. You want to look for a brand that treats you like a partner and is available to give you the support you need throughout the onboarding process. Your goal is to find a CDP that understands your company goals and wants to be there to help you achieve them. The RFP process is in place to ensure your company finds the best solution for its needs.