CDP to Customer Journey, 4 Marketing Trends That Will Change 2020

by Patrick Tripp Senior Vice President, Product Marketing, Cheetah Digital

Today’s marketer has more challenges than ever before with the explosion (and confusion) of the CDP industry, consumer data privacy legislation and the walled gardens of internet giants. The industry is changing rapidly and the best marketers will adapt quickly to changing consumer preferences, building trust and emotional loyalty with them along the way.

Customer Data Platform


As customer data platforms are becoming increasingly necessary for enterprise marketers, it is also becoming more complex to choose the best fit CDP platform amongst the pool of new and old vendors.

CDPs Have Officially Jumped the Shark

It’s no secret that CDPs are at a fever pitch. New entrants are joining the space rapidly, each using slightly different smoke and mirrors messaging than the next to present the perception of true data management and unification.

According to David Raab, Founder of the CDP Institute, “The CDP industry faces two challenges. First, many firms offering a CDP or CDP alternative fail to build the complete, shareable customer database that is the heart of the CDP concept. Second, legitimate CDPs vary hugely in the additional features they provide, leaving buyers confused by the range of options.”

Beyond the range of options, many brands have data scattered across multiple platforms, adding to the confusion. In fact, one Deloitte study shows 62% of U.S. retailers have more than 50 systems holding consumer data.

Consumer Data

As such, cloud vendors are moving away from the term CDP, instead trying to create their own cloud environments with acquisitions of other smaller, more targeted vendors, especially those in the machine learning space. In 2020, marketers will look to unify all sources of data, and they won’t necessarily look to the IT team to get it done.

Marketing Channels Will Make Way for Customer Touchpoints

In the year ahead, marketers will focus less on marketing channels and more on moments of value and engagement. It’s a futile effort for marketers to plan and plot strategies based on channels when consumers no longer follow linear journeys.

Marketing Channels

It’s also no longer productive for marketers to produce a one-way dialogue, following customers from channel to channel. Instead, marketers should lean into moments —  being in the right place, at the right time, with the right offer.

The challenge for brands is to always be ready — at any second, via any touchpoint —  to provide hyper-relevant content to the customer. Moment-based marketing requires brands to invest in the technology that will help them to understand customer context and make lightning-fast decisions on the best way to engage in real time.

Customer Journeys Are Ripe for Reinvention

The customer journey, as we know it in the traditional sense, no longer exists.

In the past, a customer could go from receiving an email to clicking on a link to make a purchase — a simple, two-step path. Today, journeys can be long and winding with multiple touchpoints before making a purchasing decision, resulting in journeys that are far more complex and difficult to piece together.

Customer Journey Map

The good news is we no longer have to draw a journey map or prescribe certain steps. We now have the capability to use machine learning to help us decide what to do next.

In 2020, we’ll see more marketers step away from the complicated customer journey and instead rely on analytics and machine learning to help drive specific touchpoints guiding us on which path to take.

The Value Exchange Is the Way Marketers Will Succeed as Brands

research study conducted by Twilio and Lawless Research found that 94% of consumers are annoyed by the communications they receive from companies.

Engagement with a customer is not always about selling or marketing, but about removing friction from their daily experience. For example, if you are an airline provider, sharing notifications to your customers about flight delays, gate changes, new services available, etc., removes the hassle, stress, and confusion out of the customer’s experience. Through these types of changes and personalized notifications, marketers can generate more value with every touchpoint.

Marketing Touchpoint

To generate this value, marketers will need to rely on value exchange marketing, utilizing zero-party data or data freely provided by the consumer, to create real-time, personalized engagements. We will start to see consumers provide data proactively because they will have a better understanding of how the brand is leveraging it and know that the brand plans to use it in a way that can help their experience.

The Twilio report also reveals that 75% of consumers have rewarded businesses that communicate in the way they prefer. Brands who give customers what they want and effectively include value exchange as part of their strategy to drive real-time engagement will be the ones to succeed in 2020 and beyond.

Article originally appeared on Martech Advisor –

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