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Accelerating customer data platforms with real-time decisioning

Accelerating customer data platforms with real-time decisioning

Tara DeZao, Log in to subscribe to the Blog

Marketers and customer engagement practitioners are finally grasping the critical need to nail data-driven personalization in the customer experience to sustain long term customer relationships and drive organizational growth. This requires marketers to go beyond first and second-generation solutions to something more advanced.

Enter the customer data platform (CDP)

Over the last several years, evolving consumer data and MadTech (the combination of marketing and advertising technology) landscapes have driven hyper focus toward customer data platforms (CDPs) as an integral part of MadTech stacks as the more advanced solution. CDPs, as a technology, proport to help users with customer data source management, data hygiene, identity management, and even some data security and compliance needs. Some CDPs deliver on these capablities. But some promise to do much more (such as analytics, insights, and even execution). As a result, the varied nature and the non-standardized definition of what a CDPs are has made the buyers' landscape overly complex, costly, and inefficient to navigate.

There’s no consensus on what classifies a technology as a CDP, in fact neither Gartner nor Forrester have a separate category for them. Though the CDP Institute has put forward a definition for the technology: “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems”, this definition is vague, it lacks specific capabilities, and vendors have seized on the absence of standardization and critical evaluators. There’s no consensus on what a CDP should or shouldn’t do and thus there has become a wide range of features that many vendors claim proficiency with. This has created an opportunity to sell entire packages of platform capabilities for data collection, hygiene, identity matching, analytics, decisioning, execution, and beyond in addition to the core functionalities of a data management platform.

To create the kind of personalized customer experiences that drive long term loyalty, brands do need all of those capabilities, however many of these technologies require specialization to actually deliver on their promise because getting the best capabilities (in areas like journey orchestration, advanced analytics, artificial intelligence for marketing, complex event processing, next-best-experience decisioning, and multi-channel orchestration) will not come from a data management platform. And brands also need to switch their mindsets along with their technologies.

Outcomes first, data second

Organizations that rely on what’s called a data-first approach -- where they try to load, clean, and organize their data before configuring or implementing technology -- miss the mark. What's most important for businesses is to understand:

  • What outcomes they want to achieve
  • What experiences they want to empower
  • What is needed to execute

Using a data-first approach may also mean time wasted as organizations try to gain centralized data consensus and implement data warehousing technology. In some circumstances it can take 18 to 24 months to implement a CDP. Without orchestration or decisioning capabilities, there’s a long lag time with a marketing stack that isn’t creating value.

Common CDP gaps

Since we’ve established that no one vendor can do everything that many of these technologies claim to do, there are fundamental gaps that marketers will need to fill in order to create the experiences that consumers now demand:

  • Real-time decisioning – Consumers move through the digital universe at warp speed and if a brand can’t keep up in real-time, precious engagement opportunities are lost. To keep pace with customers, brands need to be able to make decisions about how to engage in milliseconds with hundreds of data models across many channels.
  • Sales and service channel integration – Many organizations do not have digital channels connected to other critical avenues of the customer lifecycle like sales, service and agent channels. This is a blind spot because those interactions are critical to creating robust relationships.
  • End-to-end CX orchestration – Orchestration capabilities that deliver ROI and are real-time and robust enough to encompasses every marketing, sales, and service interaction across customers, products, teams, and lines of business.

This sounds like a lot because it is. The reality is that all of these capabilities in one place have eluded marketers to the point where many of them have cobbled together nearly endless combinations of marketing stacks, selecting from 9,365 martech and 1,488 adtech products in the ecosystem. The issue: one vendor won’t suffice yet hand-picking 100 won’t either.

Accelerate your data

We’ve all heard the infamous Beatles song and know that most of us get by with a little help from our friends. Pega’s Customer Decision Hub™ is the friend that CDPs have been waiting for - one solution filling the gaping CDP gaps - equipped with Pega’s Customer Data Accelerator.

Customer Data Accelerator connects to a brand’s CDP of choice to enable many of the missing capabilities mentioned above. Starting with an outcome driven approach, the Customer Data Accelerator leverages 4 critical components of Pega’s Customer Decision Hub™ to achieve the success and the results unique to each individual business:

  • Pega’s Analytic Data Model - Pega provides industry data models with best-practice recommendations for data required for specific outcomes, like improved cross-selling in digital channels or proactive retention.
  • Customer Profile Designer – Populate additional data elements (including aggregates and signals) into customer profiles – reducing implementation cycles & improving predictive model performance.
  • Pega’s Adaptive Machine Learning - Adaptive models evaluate your data attributes with every decision, using or discarding them based on their value to decisioning.
  • CDP Choice Connectors - Leverage best-practice framework to streamline integrations between Customer Decision Hub™ and Customer Data Platforms.

Whether organizations have a CDP in production, have licensed one but not yet deployed or are considering a CDP but have yet to buy, Pega’s Customer Data Accelerator is here for you, like a true friend.

Contact us to find out more about getting Customer Data Accelerator is helping businesses drive a 2X increase in conversion and why Pega is the leader in real-time interaction management.

Activate real-time data. Deepen customer relationships.

Tap into your customer’s behavior in the moment – so you can deliver relevant, engaging, human experiences.

Learn more

Real-time decisioning, real results

Read this study to learn what real-time decisioning is, how it’s defined by the market, and how early adopters are seeing massive success from it.

Learn more

Tags

Product Area: Customer Decision Hub Topic: Customer Engagement

About the Author

Tara DeZao, Pega’s Product Marketing Director for AdTech and MarTech, helps some of the world’s largest brands make better decisions and get work done with real-time AI and intelligent automation.