Forbes Insights: The Rise Of The Customer Data Platform And What It Means To Businesses

Treasure Data and Forbes Insights recently partnered to present a broad ranging survey, Data Versus Goliath: Customer Data Strategies to Disrupt the Disruptors, that uncovers the attitudes and perceptions of today’s marketing leaders. This article, written by the Forbes Insights team, highlights some of the key takeaways from the survey and originally appeared on the Forbes website on June 20, 2018.

For years, marketing executives have sought an elusive 360-degree view of their customers, and the nature of customer data analytics and designing the customer experience (CX) is evolving dramatically within today’s organizations.

There is an emerging approach to bringing customer data into one place: the customer data platform, or CDP.

The good news is that much of the data to inform these questions is being collected and stored by enterprises or their partner organizations today. The bad news is that this data is typically maintained in separate systems, across organizational silos, and often cannot be surfaced at the time it’s needed to contribute to, or enhance, a specific customer experience—let alone inform a larger customer experience strategy.

For the most part, we are still in the early stages of customer data analytics, as indicated by a new survey of 400 marketing leaders, conducted by Forbes Insights and Treasure Data. According to the survey, it still takes marketers too much time to analyze and draw conclusions about the success of a marketing campaign or a change to the customer experience—47% say it takes more than a week, while another 47% say it takes three to five days.

And the tools and solutions to accelerate CX development still need to be put into place. A majority of executives, 52%, report that while they are leveraging a variety of tools and technologies in functions or lines of business, there is little coordination and there’s a lack of the right tools. Only 19% report having a robust set of analytics tools and technology services supporting customer-data-driven decisions and campaigns.

Yet there is an emerging approach to bringing customer data into one place: the customer data platform, or CDP. This new generation of systems is designed to bring all this disparate data about customers into a single intelligent environment and provide a synchronized, well-integrated view of the customer. These platforms are seeing widespread adoption across enterprises, as supported by the Forbes Insights/Treasure Data survey. Some 78% of organizations either have, or are developing, a customer data platform.

Understanding This New Type Of Platform

Customer data platforms are more broad-based than the traditional CRM systems that have been in place in many organizations for years. While CRM systems are designed to enable management and analysis of a particular customer channel, CDPs bring data from across corporate channels into a single platform. Although CRM and business intelligence solutions have provided some intelligence about customer trends, CDPs tie customer data directly to marketing and sales initiatives.

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