As businesses across the world prepare for Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR —the rule coming May 25 that restricts usage of online data gathered from customers—experts believe a comprehensive customer data platform (CDP) is essential to organizing your data safely and achieving GDPR success.
Why CDPs Matter
CDPs are ideal for marketers who need to consolidate customer information, effectively manage thousands of data points, segment audiences, run campaigns on multiple channels, generate important insights and enable seamless interactions with other IT systems—all while maintaining crucial customer consent agreements.
Under the new law, companies operating in Europe need explicit user consent before gathering online information about their audiences, and must remove aspects of that data upon request. Non-compliance could mean a fine of up to 4 percent of global annual revenues.
That partly explains why CDP sales have grown at an annual rate of about 50 percent in recent years and are expected to reach more than $1 billion by next year.
“From a marketer’s perspective, the most important considerations (for data management tools) include deployment speed, cost, flexibility, scalability, data depth, openness and marketer control,” notes the CDP Institute. “CDPs provide relatively strong performance across all these dimensions … (which) has made them an increasingly popular choice among marketers.”
Your Top CDP Choices
Popular CDP products on the market include Oracle, SAP and Lineate’s DataSwitch. While all work effectively to consolidate, organize and analyze your data, note the following key differentiators when making your decision:
- DataSwitch is an in-house platform you can own and license yourself. That allows you to remove the middleman, customize your own features and manage your own audience data while fully complying with the GDPR.
- SAP focuses similarly on audience data management but isn’t taken in-house; instead it acts as an overarching SAAS platform to handle data on your behalf.
- Oracle focuses less on audience management and data processing and more on security controls related to the GDPR, which can be less than ideal for brands that prefer to handle GDPR-related security on their own terms.
Before the GDPR comes into effect, take time to research the differences in various CDPs so you can find the platform best suited to the needs of your brand.