Chess figures on a dark background with smoke and fog - strategy concept

A customer experience strategy is only as good as your organization's ability to implement and execute that strategy. All those months of planning and 10,000 foot thinking can only get you so far if you cannot leverage those plans to move the needle on your customer-facing marketing campaigns and the business plans you support.

Getting all the pieces in place to execute customer-centric strategies is no small feat. This can include budgeting, bringing on staffing and training for skills, setting governance rules, defining roles and responsibilities, and enabling collaboration across groups — all with the requisite metrics and tracking. Putting any type of marketing strategy into operation, especially in global enterprise organizations, is a significant undertaking that requires pre-planning, organizational buy-in, and sometimes even systemic changes in process and technology across the full organization.

If you are a digital marketer who has been tasked with developing customer-centric marketing campaigns to support evolving business strategies, you have even more challenges to getting those strategies into the market. For digital customer-centric marketing strategies to be successful, you need to understand your customers behavior wherever they may be. And in addition to that broad level of behavioral insight, you need to be able to leverage that data to affect how you digitally communicate and connect with those customers.

In order to be successful you will need the appropriate customer-centric martech infrastructure and related platforms that will allow you to serve up tailored digital customer experiences (DCX) across touchpoints through the full buyer journey. Without a solid technology foundation to realize and implement your strategies, those plans may account to nothing more than lines on a piece of paper.

Putting together a plan around your technology and how it will support the execution of your customer-centric strategies should be top of mind for any digital marketer who is serious about delivering on data-driven campaigns and showing ROI to their business. Luckily, there is a platform that has been specifically designed to provide centralized management of customer data to provide a 360-degree DCX, and it is called the customer data platform (CDP).

A CDP Enables DCX Strategy

There are two key elements that are critical to ensure the success of your customer experience strategy. The first is your organization, including its processes and technologies. To be customer-centric, customers needs have to be the primary concern for the whole organization. Making customer engagement or satisfaction a primary KPI is a good example of moving towards a more customer-centric model.

The second is your ability to gain customer insights. To really understand those customers in detail and across multiple touchpoints, you need to deploy a data-driven martech stack that can measure the efficiency of changes you make to the customer digital experience. A CDP allows you to get a detailed understanding of your customers persistently over time, giving you a level of holistic insight into your customers that simply was not available before.

While there are a variety of solutions that can be employed to accomplish portions of these mandates, only the CDP has been specifically designed to support customer-centric initiatives. A CDP is not only capable of taking in customer data from multiple digital channels, including outside non-digital channels such as customer-support and in-store shopping, but depending on the particular platform, it can analyze data, make it actionable, and activate it to affect the CX at all phases of the purchase journey. CDPs are capable of accepting data from a variety of formats and sources, including, but not limited to, customer support data, web data, purchase history — both in store and online, social media engagement data, and weather data.

A CDPs primary focus is in managing all types of customer data. Enterprise-grade CDPs like the Arm Treasure Data CDP can accept both first-party and third-party customer data, allowing you to create unified ‘golden’ profiles of known customers. For even better targeting of audience segments, the Arm Treasure Data CDP can create segments using machine learning to improve campaign targeting over time. With the help of AI insights into a customer’s path to purchase, as a marketer you will be able to deliver the right message, to the right people, on the right channel, at the right time. An intelligent CDP like the Arm platform not only allows you to fully deliver on your customer-centric marketing plans, but enables higher performing campaigns.

CDP is the Core of Martech Stack

The CDP should be thought of as the keystone of your martech stack, at least in terms of its management of customer data and ability to deliver actionable insights based on that data. It is designed to be easy to hook up to the rest of your stack, usually with lots of pre-built application programming interfaces (APIs) to make integration easier. These built-in APIs allow the CDP to ingest data and push out insights to other supported martech apps like personalization software, allowing the CX to be tailored with behaviorally-relevant content and visuals.

A CDP will need to plug into a variety of martech solutions to allow for full management of the buyer journey. What solutions you need will be relative to your particular applications. But without a doubt, the most important martech component to supporting your CX strategy is a central data management system. Without a data management platform to direct those systems regarding your customers behaviors, the rest of your martech stack won't be able to fully manage the experience.

Conclusion

Developing effective customer experience strategies is hard. Implementing those strategies, especially in a global enterprise environment, is even harder. For those cutting-edge digital marketers who have been tasked with customer-centric initiatives, technology concerns need to take prominence in planning and consideration. Before you get too deep into putting all the martech pieces together to execute your strategy effectively, make sure you start with the right foundation and infrastructure to provide the customer insights you need to activate your campaigns. For many, a CDP is the appropriate solution to ensure the successful execution and optimization of customer experience strategies.