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If you’re familiar with customer data platforms (CDPs), you may know that they provide a unified view of individual customer records. It’s a tool every marketer needs, but what role should your CDP play in helping to improve customer experiences?

We sat down with Sheryl Kingstone of 451 Research, a part of S&P Global Market Intelligence to learn more about getting the most value from a CDP across the customer journey, covering topics ranging from leveraging AI and machine learning in the customer data strategy to data privacy and security. Here are five takeaways we learned from our conversation:

  1. Be data-centric: Customer experience is the new differentiator and unified customer data is what helps manifest better experiences. CDPs bring together behavioral and transactional data and enable businesses to deliver mass personalization to their customers.
  2. Operate in real-time: CDPs must deliver real-time insights as it is even more essential than ever in today’s world where a digital experience has become essential to reaching customers. Experience—not pricing or products—is going to be the future, according to Kingstone. Having the right information to engage and connect with customers with automated, real-time actions will be essential during COVID-19 and beyond.
  3. Learn from machine learning: AI and machine learning are core components and differentiators of CDPs. When applied to the customer journey, AI and machine learning enable organizations to scale and provide each customer a unique journey with contextually relevant experiences.
  4. Build on a trusted platform: Trust and security are non-negotiable priorities for all organizations, and those priorities must extend to CDPs. Data fidelity must be maintained, and data stored must be secure. Kingstone notes that consumers are becoming less trusting of businesses and are concerned about how they are using data.
  5. Think the entire stack: CDPs should connect across the marketing technology stack to ad platforms, marketing automation tools, CRM systems, and data analysis tools to drive actions and meaningful business outcomes across the customer journey. It’s about using new technologies that are empowering IT and line of business and enhancing the customer journey across sales, service, marketing, and commerce.

Microsoft Customer Insights is a self-service customer data platform that empowers every organization to unify and understand customer data to derive insights that personalize experiences and processes.

Kingstone’s insights on choosing a CDP? “It’s all about the power of the platform. Don’t look at features, functions, and use cases. Look at what the platform can do for you. Can it connect the data within your organization, and can it scale and support your resources on demand? It’s all about the data and the insights that put the people and the processes together that are going to be the platform of the future.”

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