What is Salesforce CDP – Customer Data Platform ? Essentially, Salesforce CDP simplifies and connects records from different data sources to create a single customer view. Previously called ‘Customer 360 Audiences’, Salesforce CDP is a separately purchased App that sits within your Salesforce CRM and embraces Marketing Cloud. It is designed to meet the needs of modern marketers who crave a unified understanding of, and relationship with, their customers across channels.
The Single Customer View is Much Needed
Indeed modern marketing teams very much need a single customer view as this is still missing today. ‘Only 28% of global marketing leaders say they are completely satisfied with their ability to create personalised omni-channel experiences’, according to research by Salesforce (Salesforce State of Marketing, Fifth Edition). Another Salesforce study indicated that the average marketer has about 15 sources of consumer information within their organisation. This means that data unification is a marketer’s biggest challenge.
In a single customer view, a shopper who reads your emails about product line A, goes to your store to buy product line B, and visits the catalog at your website about product line C, will be merged into one single, combined identity profile. Etc. All these 15 sources of consumer information could be mapped to integrate.
There’s probably more to Data than you think.
There is known customer data (could be found in a CRM), and pseudonymous data (i.e. data that can be linked back to a customer but that is nonetheless anonymous; e.g. cookie data, IP address, device used). Known data could be found in your CRM, while pseudonymous data could be found on a DMP.
There are also different categories of customer data. There is basic personal data (unique: like email address or mobile phone number; or non-unique: like first name or postal code — which can be in your CRM), there is interaction data, attitudinal or preference data and behavioural data. All this makes up a customer profile.
Behavioural data built up over time, becomes Insight. It indicates which offers to give to whom, and who to include in a certain highly tailored email campaign to offer most value to individual customers.
Tailoring your marketing to attitudinal or preference data can make a huge difference in customer joy, purchasing and loyalty. Customer truly vary in communication channel preferences, how they like their communication presented. All this aside from their preferences to your product variances and use cases.
Combining all this data is pure power to please customers. Think of it as being able to offer your customer a coupon to have their favourite coffee drink in their favourite coffee house, just before she usually takes her coffee break. The right data must be collected, integrated, accurate (read: updated), and actionable for you to be able to make this happen.
You get the picture. There is a lot to data, which is why a CDP today is most interesting to modern marketers to unlock their next level of marketing sophistication.
How does Salesforce CDP Work?
Think of this app as a central hub, where the customer records from your Salesforce Service, Marketing, and Sales clouds are mapped to a unique customer ID.* (*see our prior Salesforce roadmap videos where the Customer ID concept is really well explained.)
Through that central ID, all data become related, searchable and actionable. A great 360˚ view of all data from a customer. Add Einstein, Salesforce name for its artificial intelligence, and you have yourself an immensely powerful tool to help you make the best sales, marketing, service decisions.
Customer 360 started as two products, with Customer 360 Audiences as the lead product. It’s a Customer Data Platform (CDP) (hence it’s new name..), with some Master Data Management (MDM) capabilities.
Who needs the CDP functionality vs. who needs the MDM capabilities, depends on the business use case. In a Salesforce org, that probably translates into the role of the Salesforce user. Someone in a Marketing Manager – role needs a CDP, a pool of demographic and behavioural data to get the right segmentation. In contrast, someone in a Customer Service role needs an MDM, because he wants to see everything about the customer in terms of cases, complaints, requests for refunds, etc.
Salesforce CDP = C360 = Customer 360 Audiences
What’s in a name? Salesforce sometimes takes a bit of time to find the right name for its latest innovations. Before May 13, 2021, we referred to Salesforce CDP by the name of Customer 360 Audiences. As Salesforce Customer 360 Audiences was quite a mouthful, we often shortened that to C360. Today, the same product is called Salesforce CDP.
The concept of Salesforce CDP, then called Customer 360, was launched as a central part of the Salesforce vision (*see our prior Salesforce roadmap videos where the concepts behind C360 are really well explained).
Customer 360 has since been a slogan for Salesforce as the company actively worked towards offering companies a complete view of their customers, on a 1:1 level as well as on an aggregate level.
Today, Customer 360 Audiences links Sales, Service, Marketing, IT and (artificial intelligence) Analytics and Reporting. Salesforce Customer 360 is not part of Salesforce Marketing Cloud. Rather, the other way around. It is broader than any Salesforce Cloud, and it links between them.
Salesforce Customer 360 is optimised for scale, i.e. a data lake.
Salesforce CPD Introduction Videos
This video shows how Salesforce CPD creates connected profiles and allows you to built audiences, so you can create meaningful, humanised moments on any customer journeys. So, your marketing performs at is best.
Meanwhile, this video on Salesforce CDP’s predecessor, C360, explains the platform in the context of your business systems built on Salesforce. As the introduction video explained, you can access C360 Audiences (CDP) directly into Marketing Cloud’s Journey Builder to create tailored experiences — as one of several ways to use the data for marketing or purchasing journeys. It truly enables you to become a data-driven business.
Salesforce CDP – Recent Enhancements
Of course, Salesforce never stands still. The most recent CDP enhancements as of June 2021 are:
- Segmentation Improvements
- CDP ‘s Tableau and Datorama Integration
- Enhanced Calculated Insights
- Interaction Studio Integration
- Activation Improvements
Marketing Cloud Audience Builder vs. CDP
Wait? Why buy a new Salesforce product? Doesn’t Salesforce Marketing Cloud already have Audience Builder? The answer is: “Yes, but… ” IF you have already bought SFMC Audience Builder, then that functionality is still honoured. However, new customers are pointed towards purchasing CDP instead. While 3x the price, it’s also a gateway to x-times the benefits.
SFMC Audience Segmentation Options Today
Let me explain what your segmentation options are today with an example. Say you want to market in Marketing Cloud to a segment consisting of people who have opted-in, who live in London, and bought a ticket in the last 3 months. In Marketing Cloud, you can use:
- Data Filters and Data Relationships (Easiest and for all to use, freely included in SFMC).
- Automation Studio with SQL queries (Requires SQL coding skills, freely included in SFMC).
- Audience Builder, If you have it in your SFMC org. (A paid add-on to SFMC)
- Salesforce CDP. (A paid product for SF CRM).
Out of these 4 options, CDP is by far the most technically advanced. It’s perfect for highly innovative companies who perform leading edge marketing. Is that you and your company?
Salesforce CDP- How to Get Started
If you are seriously interested in CDP as part of your overall sales, service and marketing solution with Salesforce, we would be happy to organise a demo for you.
We have successfully installed it in other companies, with great success right from the get-go (Think: 800,000 matches profiles in just the first week of data integration. That’s a huge saving and an incredible data enrichment for better marketing to nearly a million customers.)