Can CDPs Move Beyond Marketing and Advertising Channels? SAP Has the Answer


SAP introduces its customer data platform

SAP yesterday launched its customer data platform (CDP). The announcement was made at  SAP Customer Experience LIVEOpens a new window , held online on October 14–15.

As customer experience becomes an increasingly important differentiator of brands around the globe, many are turning to CDPs to help power unique, personalized experiences for a variety of marketing uses. But too often, this narrow marketing focus has impeded the true potential of an effective CDP. SAP says its Customer Data Platform is planned to go beyond marketing by adding rich context to commerce, sales, and service experiences, with relevant, timely marketing. In so doing, SAP Customer Data Platform aims to deliver personalization, based on its ability to collect and manage customer data. This will enable organizations to know the customer at every touchpoint and effectively drive relevant conversations and create lasting customer loyalty.

Also read: 12 Ways to Truly Help Marketers Leverage Customer Data Platforms

SAP Customer Data Platform is specifically engineered to tackle four key opportunities to increase brand reach and effectiveness:

  • Connecting every data source in the organization: When several data sources individually store customer data, the result is data silo proliferation and customer view fragmentation. With SAP Customer Data Platform, customer data can be ingested and resolved from every source within the organization, including first-party CRM data, second-party, third-party and offline data, and event and activity streams, along with transactional, behavioral, experience, and back-office data. No matter what the source, the data is maintained, with context, on top of the operational data to connect systems that require high confidence in data quality. This results in living, breathing, unified customer profiles updated in real-time and in the moment.
  • Respecting customer data with a holistic data privacy strategy: In today’s data privacy landscape, brands need to understand how, when, and where customer data can be used. By understanding the core purpose of why the data is collected, SAP Customer Data Platform can help enable a more holistic privacy strategy, merging inbound data to a profile only if required consents have been obtained. This enhances transparency into data collection practices and the reasons for which data is processed, helping to underscore a brand’s commitment to the data privacy of its customers.
  • Understanding large volumes of data: SAP Customer Data Platform offers powerful segmentation and activity indicators calculated in real-time to help obtain a true understanding of customer preferences and behavior. This provides a data foundation for audience-building and activation necessary to deliver relevant, personalized, and omnichannel engagements. Centralizing this audience management helps brands deliver consistent experiences across their marketing, personalization, commerce, service, and sales solutions, which is essential to a customer-first strategy.
  • Hyperpersonalizing engagements based on a comprehensive view of the customer: SAP Customer Data Platform helps unify vast amounts of back-office operational data with front-office and experience data. This fuels engagement solutions across the organization with actionable, permission-based, customer insights in real-time, leading to relevant engagements at the right time and place in the preferred channel and on the customer’s terms.

SAP Customer Data Platform: Revolutionary or Evolutionary?

SAP had announced that it was developing a new Customer Data Platform last year. SAP used Gigya’s ID management platform to develop its CDP. However, in a crowded marketplace where players like Microsoft, Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce have already cornered a big part of the market, is SAP’s CDP a little too late to the party?

Also read: Customer Data Platform: Build Vs. Buy? Exclusive Expert Insights for 2020 and Beyond

Not really – the SAP Customer Data Platform unlike most CDPs, does not only rely on marketing and advertising data sources but also pulls data from other parts of the enterprise (think customer service, logistics, etc.)

SAP Customer Identity and Access Management and SAP Enterprise Consent and Preference Management solutions are woven in to help ensure a secure and compliant digital profile. SAP Customer Data Platform serves as the connective tissue of the real-time profile, powering a customer insight foundation to deliver relevant conversation whenever the customer wants to engage with the brand.

Also read: Is your customer data anonymous enough?

“We did not invent CDP, but SAP Customer Data Platform opens the concept to a new world of opportunities,” SAP customer experience president Bob Stutz said. “SAP Customer Data Platform is one of the most advanced enterprise-grade CDPs. It can truly deliver personalized experiences that nurture anonymous users into known, loyal customers using the customer’s preferred channels, unifying vast amounts of front-office, back-office, and experience data as only SAP can.”