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Klaasjan Tukker, head of product marketing, Adobe Experience Platform

Despite all the priority marketers put on personalizing digital experiences, they often aren’t utilizing personalization in ways that consumers find personally meaningful. While the massive shift to digital has changed what is possible when it comes to delivering engaging, personalized customer experiences, it has also raised the bar on consumers’ expectations. 

Digital-first consumers want and demand personalized experiences that are fast, easy, familiar and trustworthy. For brands, this means traditional strategies for maximizing conversion and basket size are not enough: They must adopt new methods for successful personalization.  

Brands are leveraging CDPs for personalized — and empathetic — experiences

Personalized experiences are empathetic moments between the brand and the customer. When done right, they prove that brands understand and care about their customers. A recent Adobe study found that 76% of consumers think it’s essential for brands to show empathy, demonstrating they see things from the consumer’s perspective. This includes understanding their frustrations and knowing what’s most important to them, even when that means not contacting them. 

Executing truly empathetic, personalized experiences at the scale and speed that digital demands is difficult. B2C brands grapple with a growing mass of channels, devices and touchpoints across thousands and even millions of consumers. B2B brands struggle to understand the nuances of the whole customer they’re trying to reach versus the at-work persona that’s usually reflected in their data. 

Brands that want to participate in the digital economy fully must commit to making the digital experience a personalized experience, which requires fundamental changes to their data strategies. Gaining a deep and empathetic understanding of consumers that’s instantly actionable is the key, and enterprise-grade customer data platforms (CDPs) are an essential tool for unlocking that data’s potential. 

Leading brands are already using CDPs for competitive advantages. For example, Spanish sporting giant Real Madrid C.F. is leveraging an enterprise-grade CDP to innovate its approach to fan engagement. The CDP collects fan insights and activates those insights across various digital channels to provide the highly personalized content needed to connect, excite and drive deeper engagement.  

However, not all CDPs are created equal. Marketers should be prepared to ask the following questions of their CDP before purchasing or upgrading.

Can the CDP work in real-time, and is that important?  

Amid debate over what constitutes “real-time” for CDPs and whether — or when — that matters, the most important thing brands should consider is if a CDP can update and refresh profiles as soon as new data arrives, taking action on it right away. This enables all experiences to be personalized with the latest and most significant understanding of the customer, including what they might have done just seconds ago. If it can’t, the experiences a brand delivers will always be one (or many) steps behind the consumer, making it difficult, if not impossible, to meet, let alone anticipate, their expectations for meaningful communication.   

Is the CDP purpose-built?

Like any sizzling sector, vendors in the tech space see the opportunity and want a piece of the action. As a result, many CDPs in the market are either assembled from disparate technologies obtained through acquisitions or built by untested organizations. If the parts don’t play well together, latency and other issues can harm a brand’s ability to personalize quickly and at scale. Marketers should ask whether CDPs have special capabilities to leverage first-party data effectively and if the solutions can interface with the tools and workflows their teams already use. B2B brands should ask whether the CDP can unify person and account profiles to understand their customers comprehensively. 

Does the CDP make data governance simple?

Data governance is a complex, constantly evolving environment. A strong CDP offers governance capabilities built into the core and initial design; they’re able to act like traffic lights — ensuring compliance with dynamic rules and regulations, honoring consumer consent and preferences and flagging exceptions or violations. CDPs should also include pre-built and custom data labeling capabilities that happen at the point of ingestion, which ensures regulatory considerations are addressed comprehensively. The right CDP will lighten oversight burdens for teams and give them the ability to focus on creating and delivering the right experiences for consumers. 

Can the CDP assemble a comprehensive customer profile?

According to Forrester, “CDPs help solve a long-standing problem for marketers: Effective customer data management, commonly called the 360-degree view of the customer or single version of the truth.”  

One of the most important benefits of a unified customer profile is personalizing experiences at an individual level. To achieve that, CDPs can’t simply warehouse or manage data; they need to give brands access to the known (PII) and unknown (pseudonymous) data for every customer. Without this kind of data, CDPs cannot support critical personalization capabilities like intelligent segmentation, respecting personal preferences and adherence to privacy and regulation standards.

Is the CDP scalable, flexible and extensible?

Marketers don’t need another disconnected solution, and CDPs should integrate seamlessly with existing technology stacks without putting extra strain on IT. In addition to being efficient, this capability is essential to brands’ ability to orchestrate personalized experiences across the entire customer journey, analyze the effectiveness and apply learnings to make those experiences even more effective for both consumers and companies. And finally, due to their critical role in business outcomes and the necessary investments brands make in them, CDPs must be built to support the current complexity of an organization and scale with new needs and opportunities. 


Brands succeeding in today’s digital economy are elevating the value exchange for both companies and consumers. When brands deliver personally valuable experiences, they earn a more significant share of consumers’ attention and wallet. Enterprise-grade CDPs purpose-built for a cookieless world can help brands avoid unnecessary detours that frustrate consumers and employees alike and help companies realize the total business value of what reimagining customer relationships can deliver.

Sponsored By: Adobe

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