High-tech companies are leading the industry in the adoption of Customer Data Platforms (CDP). According to a recent Gartner report, 71 percent of the companies that are using CDPs said they considered themselves to be aggressive technology adopters. In this same report, enterprise marketers in Canada, UK, and the US reported 52 percent had full deployment and were actively using a CDP, while 26 percent said they were in the process of implementing a CDP and 12 percent said they were likely to do so within the next two years.

The uptick in the adoption of CDPs is being driven by early ABM users who are looking to improve their marketing programs and take advantage of the latest capabilities available that allow for more persona-based engagement. These marketers are using CDPs to create a unified customer database that can provide them with a single source of customer information.

After adopting Automated CDPs, companies are able to improve revenue operations by synchronizing planning, data quality, lead management, data management, measurement, and analytics. This can lead to higher conversions, repeat purchases, and more cross-sell and up-sell recommendations. Companies are also seeing an increase in better lead conversion, better customer experience and average revenue per customer.

Here are some key takeaways that high tech adopters have found Automated CDPs deliver that are applicable to marketers in other industries.

#1 Unified Customer Data at an ID Level: One of the key reasons for adopting an Automated CDP is that it offers a singular, unified view of customers giving marketers full context behind their customer data. Tying this data to a singular customer allows them to see the touch points across their journey.

For example, last-click models can fail to attribute value over marketing channels. By only looking at the first or last click, marketers don’t have a full understanding of the other touch points and how they contributed to brand awareness and conversions.

CDPs unify identities by associating many identifiers that deal with a specific customer and combining them into a customer identity. They do this by collecting a new lead, analyzing its characteristics, and then matching that new lead to other data in the system. Once this match is made, it can tie the data to an account in other systems. Some of the methods of identification might include a postal address, email address, phone numbers, account information, personal identifiers, chat transcripts, website visits, emails, and social media posts.

CDPs maintain full information about customers, allowing marketers to look at older data that they may not have considered to be relevant when it was initially captured but may contain a wealth of information at a later point. Marketers can find unexpected patterns and then identify them within their data.

#2 Faster data capture: Companies are able to capture and ingest a variety of data types quicker. This is made possible because they don’t have to worry about mapping new data to an existing data model.

Here, the key takeaway is that companies are using CDPs to tie customer sentiment in social media posts back to the customer. This allows them to identify brand advocates.

#3 Security for PII: A CDP should be able to handle Personally Identifiable Information (PII). At a minimum, it will store personal identifiers and do simple matching. An example would be an exact match on IDs across data sources and deterministic ‘stitching’ of related identifiers (i.e. email and phone number on an account linked to phone number and postal address on a shipment, making email, phone number, and postal address all connect to the same master ID). Most can also track anonymous identifiers (i.e. cookies or devices) and later connect them deterministically to PII if a connection is made (i.e. log-in on a device).

#4 Faster response to customer actions: High tech early adopters are leveraging CDPs because they offer real-time information, enabling them to react to customer behaviors faster. They are able to create new offers and update campaigns quicker to better match their customer’s needs. They are also being used to enhance ad targeting on the web. They are able to identify customers that have made a purchase and remove them from an audience list.

#5 Automated data prep: By using a CDP, a company’s data prep can be automated. CDPs offer the ability to reformat data so they can be used for predictive analytics and business intelligence. This can save time and it means a data scientist doesn’t need to be on staff to do manual data prep.

In the case of a leading multinational cybersecurity company implementing ABM to maximize sales and marketing ROI, they wanted to combine their Salesforce CRM and marketing data with agile user management to maximize return. The challenge was that their data came from multiple sources with incomplete records in a variety of formats. The data had to be normalized and the gaps filled to make it usable in campaigns. The CDP was used to match new account data with existing data in Salesforce. This significantly reduced marketing costs while simultaneously improving their data quality.

Some companies may have already built integration for their existing systems. Unfortunately, these typically do not follow a hybrid approach. With a hybrid approach, data unification is automated allowing marketers to bypass common industry challenges with data quality. It integrates a CRM and marketing automation platform into one tool.

CDPs Increase Customer Lifetime Value

While not every CDP offers the same functionality, by taking a look at how high tech early adopters are using CDPs, marketers in other industries can better understand the benefits CDPs can deliver. Using a CDP can help marketers effectively segment customers, allowing them to provide more personalized and customized offers that are more valuable to their customer. This improves forecasting and lead conversion rates, which can ultimately increase customer lifetime value.