The CDP Service Layer

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With the rapid proliferation of customer data platforms (CDP Institute counts more than 100 vendors) comes a need for support. On AdExchanger Talks this week, Actable CEO Matt Greitzer discusses the nascent competitive set of service companies that has emerged to help companies configure and deploy their CDPs.

“If you’re a marketer today, you’ve got data from your website, email, mobile app, events, in-store and other sources,” Greitzer says. “There is this incredible need for some way of utilizing data. That’s the function of a CDP – to stitch data together from different sources.”

As with most software companies, CDPs would prefer not to provide managed services directly, though it happens sometimes (“because they need to create power users and because most of the power users are in their organization,” Greitzer notes.)

Long term, a services ecosystem is likely to emerge, and we’re seeing the beginnings of it now.

Turns out, CDP consulting and execution services bear scant resemblance to traditional agency services. Among the differences: Clients have less tolerance for error when their first-party data is at stake than they do with campaign work.

“Marketers have media budgets set aside for testing,” Greitzer points out. “In the first-party data space, because you’re dealing with existing customers, it kind of has to work.”

Additionally, CDP success is harder to quantify since the goals are extremely broad.

“In advertising we’ve come up with a lot of proxies,” he says. “It’s sometimes harder to evaluate success if you’re creating an orchestration campaign across somebody’s customer base. What’s your benchmark and what’s your outcome? How do we say … we drove a 20% lift in revenue across your entire business? That’s a harder thing for someone to get their head around than a 10% incremental lift in view-based conversions in this particular ad campaign. Because you’re dealing with a much broader set of data and potentially a much broader impact, measurability becomes more of a challenge.”

Also in this episode: Are there really 100-plus CDPs?

 

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