The results were as follows:
- 57% felt hindered in their ability to carry out broad digital transformation
- 22% felt their data and analytics capabilities were lacking
- 13% were unable to improve targeting and personalization
- 10% endeavored to build better marketing automation
- 9% wished to better understand their customers’ journey.
Marketers undeniably face a wide array of challenges, but the above priorities demonstrate that understanding and making use of customer data is key to each and every one of these.
It is therefore unsurprising that the Customer Data Platform  (CDP) – with its ability to address those challenges cited above – is fast becoming the ‘heartbeat of modern marketing’ (McKinsey ).
In the previous two parts of this series, we looked at how a Customer Data Platform can help with personalization  and what the essential components are that make up a CDP . In our final installment, we’ll look at exactly how a CDP can help with addressing the challenges that CMOs encounter, such as those listed above.
Data and analytics capabilities
First and foremost, a Customer Data Platform – as the name implies – unifies data from an array of sources, such as your CRM, mobile, transactional, website, email and third-party data, to name a few. It audits, integrates and stitches data from these sources to form a ‘single source of truth’ for all customer data, on a platform designed to maintain the highest levels of data integrity.
Bringing together fragmented data silos in this manner ensures that the customer profile is being captured in the most complete way possible, which is essential for deriving true customer insights and more accurate analytics.
Customer Data Platforms additionally plug into a wide range of marketing automation  and performance tools, and marketing performance tools. Making use of consolidated customer data in this way, combined with seamless integrations with visualization and reporting tools, means that Customer Data Platforms are more able to assist CMOs in using their customer data to understand their business and empower their teams.
To really demonstrate this point, let’s look at how the Customer Data Platform solution aligns with the priorities laid out by CMOs in the above report.
1. CMOs are feeling hindered in their ability to carry out broad digital transformation
Overhauling their digital environment was key to more than half of the CMOs in Campaign’s survey. But when asked what comes first – the data or the transformation – it seems counterintuitive to carry out digital transformation before you’ve got your data sorted.
Data drives both digital and offline, and without it being cleaned and collated in the Customer Data Platform, digital transformation is limited to channel-only optimization. However, once this is achieved, you are opening up a world of possibilities for digital transformation.
We find that the biggest practical application of this is being able to adopt a data-driven approach  to marketing channel attribution . With the Customer Data Platform combining your streams of siloed data, CMOs can understand how the myriad of touch points across multiple channels in a complex customer journey each contribute to a conversion, accurately assigning a value to each.
2. CMOs feel unable to improve targeting and personalization
An immediate byproduct of this full view of the customer journey is the ability to target and personalize appropriately. It’s quite simple logic really – a more granular understanding of your customers and their journeys enables marketers to create more personalized experiences.
Granular interactions help marketers understand how content is performing, while machine learning models sit on top of the CDP to help ensure the right content is pushed to the right customer at the right point in their journey, increasing customer satisfaction and driving conversions.
Ultimately, being able to accurately track the activities of your customers, provides a clearer understanding of their needs and wants, leading to more successful targeting.
3. CMOs are endeavoring to build better marketing automation
A Customer Data Platform makes data available to a number of systems and applications, including marketing automation tools (e.g. Pardot or Marketo), real-time product recommendation engines, campaign and customer journey management software and performance marketing tools (e.g. Kenshoo or Marin).
Marketers can therefore seamlessly integrate the CDP with their marketing software of choice, to build campaigns and send emails and display ads on both web and mobile. Additionally, a CDP allows you to automatically pull or push results to third party reporting and visualization tools – enabling the CMO to get a thorough understanding of their campaign successes.
4. CMOs wish to better understand their customers’ journey
Siloed data not only prevents a holistic view of the customer, it also turns the customer journey into a series of disconnected campaigns. It is near impossible to successfully implement a marketing strategy with only a partial view of this journey.
The CDP, however, enables CMOs to view the customer journey from a customer’s perspective, a view that cuts across functions and channels. This holistic view of the customer journey empowers CMOs and their marketing department to fully understand which parts of the journey are, and aren’t, performing.
From this, they are given the visibility to appropriately conceptualize what actions need to be taken to improve.
This concludes our series on how to use a Customer Data Platform to personalize your marketing. Read the previous installments in the series:
Content produced in association with Fospha . Click here  to read our collaborative content guidelines. Views and opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of ClickZ.
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- ^ Campaign (www.campaignlive.co.uk)
- ^ Customer Data Platform (www.clickz.com)
- ^ McKinsey (www.mckinsey.com)
- ^ how a Customer Data Platform can help with personalization (www.clickz.com)
- ^ essential components are that make up a CDP (www.clickz.com)
- ^ Fospha (fospha.com)
- ^ marketing automation (www.clickz.com)
- ^ data-driven approach (www.clickz.com)
- ^ marketing channel attribution (www.clickz.com)
- ^ Fospha (fospha.com)
- ^ Click here (www.clickz.com)