The need for comprehensive consumer database tech has become top of mind for digital marketers and advertisers as the industry shifts further toward a data-driven culture. This demand has led to the creation of the customer data platform (CDP), which signals good news for marketers—but they’re not the only ones who stand to benefit. Here’s what publishers need to know about CDPs and how this technology can drive revenue for their companies.
Defining and comparing data platforms
Publishers need to understand their options before they can determine which data solution is best for their business. The newer CDP model is unique in several ways when compared to traditional CRMs or data management platforms (DMPs).
CDPs and DMPs both store data from multiple sources in one place to provide a cohesive view of the information, allowing users to manage their data with ease. However, DMPs use anonymous, segmented second and third-party data such as IP addresses, device IDs, and cookies to build temporary user profiles. In contrast, CDPs primarily gather first-party data, identifying individuals by name, email address, login, and other factors to create customer profiles.
The use cases for these two platforms also differ. DMPs focus specifically on targeting audiences through display ads. CDPs, however, enable marketers to segment and target customers in various stages of the buyers’ journey, connecting with them through different channels such as email and social media. The most significant advantage to the CDP is the level of customer insight it delivers.
Proven benefits for publishers
As publishers and advertisers alike grapple with an increasingly complex ecosystem of data privacy regulations, the shift toward marketing that’s driven by first-party data is already well underway. CDPs are uniquely positioned to steward publishers through this transition and help them build greater trust with their audiences. The platform enables companies to simplify compliance because it collects proprietary data that has a clear source, as well as tracks opt-outs.
Publishers can also benefit from the data quality and agility that CDPs offer. The platform gives users the flexibility to gather data in any way—for example, by API or direct database queries. It also stores detailed customer information such as content browsing behavior, email clicks, webpage views, and transactions. With more insight into customers’ behaviors and preferences comes greater opportunity to generate revenue. After all, data-driven companies experience 30% more growth than their competitors.
CDPs offer additional value by helping publishers organize and manage content, as well as improve engagement with both identified and unknown readers through a cohesive customer experience delivered across multiple devices. For example, The Boston Globe used a CDP to increase its premium content subscriptions, as well as its advertising revenue. The Economist also grew its digital subscriptions by threefold using the platform, while at the same time reducing the cost of its acquisitions by 30%.
How to leverage the technology
While CDPs are typically managed by marketers, their impact on customer experience can benefit entire organizations. Breaking down silos and working cross-functionally with a customer-centric approach can accelerate growth in companies and help reach revenue goals.
CDPs also enable other systems to access the data they store, so publishers who currently use DMPs need not feel pressure to abandon the technology—in fact, the two platforms complement one another. Because DMPs excel at driving new website traffic, CDPs make the perfect partner to capture data from those new prospects, and deliver personalized campaigns that nurture relationships and convert to sales. Further, publishers can export segments from their CDP into their DMP to create accurate lookalike audiences for lead generation.
In today’s media landscape it’s imperative that publishers choose solutions that can scale with their business. CDPs can set publishers up for profitability by helping them gain a deeper understanding of their customers, and tailor their content and delivery accordingly.