A customer data platform (CDP) may be a fantastic tool, but if used incorrectly, it can be disastrous.

Whether you're just getting started or thinking about partnering with a CDP provider, you'll be sorry if you don't consider some frequent implementation concerns.

Examine these typical blunders carefully and have an open — and critical — discussion about each one. (Don't forget to share this with your data team.)

Mistake 1: Rushing it

Early victories and a speedy return on investment are wonderful for business. "We're in a great big hurry, so go slow, take your time, and do it well the first time." Undoing a disaster is much more expensive than spending the effort to organize your use cases, record assumptions, test ideas, and think things through.

Mistake 2: Having no concept of identity

A CDP's primary job is to produce the fabled "golden record" for each of your customers. To accomplish so, you'll need a mechanism to combine data from many sources. What criteria will you use to combine those records? Each individual has many email addresses (which change over time) and utilizes multiple devices (which are sometimes shared, and also change over time). What connects the data pieces in such a manner that they point to a single person? Nothing. Or, at the very least, nothing perfectly. Get used to that reality or you'll drive yourself insane.

Mistake 3: Not taking into account other sources of truth

CDPs promote themselves as the one source of truth for your consumer data. That does not imply that you must utilize them in that manner. It's feasible that distinct sources of truth will exist for different use cases. Example: · Even if you have such information in your CDP, your ESP may be the source of truth for e-newsletter sign-ups and opt-outs. · Even if you import everything into your CDP, your fulfillment system may still be the source of truth for subscription information. In a similar vein, it's a good idea to tag or label information so you know where it originated from.

Mistake 4: Overlooking analytics

Because it is said that "what gets measured gets done," it is critical to measure and report on the things that drive your business. When working with data and computers, we tend to believe that measuring should be straightforward, yet this couldn't be further from the truth. Consider the state of web advertising. There is a lot of data movement back and forth between different systems when working with a CDP. However, a 1:1 relationship is not always possible. So, even if you're integrating all of your client data from various systems into a CDP, you should consider which metrics are most important to your organization. It is not always the CDP.

Mistake 5: Organisational silos and lack of internal buy-in

A CDP is frequently assigned to the marketing department, despite the fact that it necessitates extensive IT participation. Consider how successfully your marketing department works with your IT department. Is that going to be an issue? (Answer: most likely.) Don't forget that your own organizational silos might be your greatest impediment to success. When a problem arises, you don't want all of your directors defending their own vendor connections and blaming everyone else. You must build a climate in which all impacted parties have a vested interest in the CDP's success and communicate with one another.