The Customer Data Platform (CDP) Institute is a vendor-neutral organisation that aims to help marketers manage customer data, particularly through customer data platforms. It has a focus on educating marketers to understand more about how customer data platforms can help them to solve critical marketing problems and data needs. It therefore provides educational materials on the issues, methods and technology used to manage customer data. Here are just a few ways in which it supports marketers in both their job and their professional development.
Chronicling martech experience
It is always helpful to hear about the experience of others before buying technology. Best practice is good, but sometimes it is also helpful to hear about what is less good. For example, the recent CDP Institute members’ survey highlighted an interesting finding: B2B companies are significantly less happy than B2C companies with their martech investments. This might make B2B companies think twice about investing—but the Institute has also shared findings about what the most satisfied companies did differently. One of the biggest gaps was that satisfied martech users were more likely to be doing more for themselves, rather than relying on IT departments. In other words, businesses are more likely to get value from investments in martech if they empower marketers to get on and use the technology.
The CDP Institute has a focus on providing practical help for its members. For example, last year it launched a program that it called RealCDP. This provides certification for customer data platforms, through a checklist of five core capabilities required by these systems. Vendors that meet requirements are able to display a ‘RealCDP Certified’ badge on their websites. This helps buyers be confident that they are included in the scheme. The program also includes checklists and vendor information to help buyers to find the right CDP for them. These templates and ‘finder reports’ are available free of charge, and the institute also publishes evaluation guides and vendor profiles to support buying decisions.
Actionable and tailored recommendations
Businesses considering martech—or any other form of technology—can find it hard to navigate through all the options and decide which one is best. The CDP Institute has a track record of developing clear information that enables users to make informed decisions. For example, in one report, it grouped CDP vendors into four categories by function: data, delivery, analytics and campaigns, with a very clear description of when you might need each. For example, if you need predictive models, you need an analytics CDP. If you are struggling to generate tailored messages, then you want a campaign CDP. This makes it much easier for potential buyers to decide what to buy. These categories map directly onto business needs.
Peer support and expert advice
There are some very practical issues that need solving in marketing, and particularly when considering the use of martech. Almost 60% of marketers in one survey reported that they were struggling to obtain a 360° view of their customers. The CDP Institute provides help on this type of issue. For example, its CEO and founder, David Raab, is taking part in a webinar to talk about this issue next week. The institute also provides access to its own webinars and case studies to support marketers in their professional development.
One of the functions of a body like the CDP Institute is to keep an overview of the industry, and alert businesses to potential problems. This is particularly important when minds may be focused on other things. For example, in a crisis such as the coronavirus pandemic, businesses are focused on getting the job done and simply trying to ‘keep the show on the road’. Developing systems for remote access has often had to be done extremely quickly. They have not necessarily had time to think through all the security implications. However, the CDP Institute has been quick to alert CDP users to potential problems, including where data leaks and breaches are most likely to occur, and which vulnerabilities should be plugged as soon as possible.