architectural platform with multiple components covered in grass. a human laying down at the center
PHOTO: Martin Reisch

Today’s marketers are faced with a variety of challenges, from having to master new technologies and platforms to the limitations in how their multichannel marketing technologies handle customer data management and customer analytics. Digital experience platforms (DXPs) present one effective approach to simplifying the growing number of applications they use to build and execute campaigns by consolidating tools for email marketing, personalization and the customer journey measurement and analysis. However, successful marketing and ad campaigns are only as good as the customer data being used for segmentation, personalization, ad attribution and more. This is why a customer data platform (CDP) can act as such a foundational component of a DXP.

CDPs and the Data Silo Dilemma

A DXP that includes a CDP provides marketers a single view of customers across every channel informed by analytics and machine learning. This allows them to pool their data to engage with customers effectively and consistently. Without this “single source of truth,” built from a cleansed, resolved, persistent customer record, marketing teams must take action off of inaccurate or incomplete data, which leads to the lack of clear customer insights necessary to drive more strategic, and more impactful, campaigns that meet business goals.

When a DXP contains a CDP, marketers stand to benefit in a variety of ways. For one, it helps solve the challenge of data silos. Without a DXP, the data that would be siloed in content management systems, CRM platforms, personalization and email marketing programs, which are generally disconnected, meaning the data lives in different databases, leading to less than stellar customer experiences.

One example of how this disconnect sets up a marketing or ad campaign for failure is through ineffective segmentation, which is at the heart of all marketing efforts. Using inaccurate or incomplete customer data also leads to inferior customer experiences due to poorly built segmentation efforts. Bad customer segments can manifest when customers are put into the wrong “bucket” and are then targeted with ads for products meant for an older demographic, for example. Not only does this reflect poorly on brands, it could also negatively affect customer loyalty over the long run.

A DXP is most effective at managing content, delivering experiences and ensuring relevance when it is built on a foundation of data and customer intelligence. A CDP combines data from online and offline sources, which is already cleansed, deduped, etc. This cleansed single customer view is shared with DXP applications to power campaigns at scale. This leads to much more personalized and highly relevant campaigns and seamless customer interactions through a variety of marketing channels, including:

  • Personalization — Better data fuels unparalleled insight and understanding of customers to orchestrate more authentic and personalized campaigns.
  • Email — The data record used for email marketing campaigns can be better optimized for geographic location, for example, or to create segments based on who has or hasn’t purchased products recently.
  • Advertising — The data that powers segments for social ads can be refined to opt-out specific individuals who may have already purchased a specific item.

Related Article: Is That New CDP Truly a Customer Data Platform?

Remain Open to New Options

Most DXPs are really just a conglomeration of single-point solutions that do not integrate easily with other technologies or applications outside their own closed ecosystems. Not only do closed platforms make integrating with a mature CDP next to impossible, this type of DXP inhibits free-flowing customer data because the various tools are still disconnected from each other. This means customer data remains siloed and harder to access by marketers (if at all), driving up costs for companies that must use their own IT resources or consultants to create even basic integrations to stitch the pieces of the martech stack together.

Open DXPs, which are built as an API-first solution, provide marketers with more options, and along with the added support of a CDP, can confidently deploy highly relevant campaigns, gain deeper and better insight to customer behavior and leverage these insights across all future ad and marketing campaigns. Rather than focusing time and resources on integrating disparate data sources into one bucket, marketers can do what they do best: create engaging customer experiences that are designed to forge long-term brand loyalty.

Related Article: Beyond CDP and Bust: The Looming CDP Reality

Ready for What's Next

An open DXP approach can help future-proof a business. As we develop new ways to connect with customers and they become the next big thing (Alexa anyone?), marketers will be able to assess these trends and adopt those deemed more than just a flash-in-a-pan, moving more quickly to integrate new technologies and platforms. The ability to quickly jump on new trends and technologies are second nature to open systems, and open DXPs and the CDPs that support new and novel approaches to increasing customer engagement and delivering more relevant experiences are where marketers and brands can shine for years to come.