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Mi3’s In-depth CDP investigation

The Digital Balance team have offered Mi3 insights relating to CDP deployment and what we are seeing in the market.

Andrew Birmingham, the editor of Mi3, has been conducting an in-depth multi-part investigation on the use, and pitfalls, of Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) in Australian business. The Digital Balance team have offered Mi3 insights relating to CDP deployment and what we are seeing in the market.

The CDP market in Australia is running red hot, with circa 500 companies now using customer data platforms or currently implementing.

But it’s the brand stories that really explain the appeal. The experience of Jetstar, Chemist Warehouse, News Corp, Moët & Chandon, SCA and a bunch of others suggest major marketing efficiency gains, strong customer growth, more effective advertising and the ability to save a packet by avoiding wastage. Plus better using all that first party data in an ad ecosystem in the middle of major structural upheaval.

Part 1: ANZ market closes in on 500 sites; Jetstar, News Corp, SCA, Chemist Warehouse, Karbon and CIAA unpack business impact; Segment dominates with over 330 customers, Tealium strong in enterprise, Lexer in retail, Adobe on the rise

The CDP market in Australia is running red hot, with circa 500 companies now using customer data platforms or currently implementing. Segment dominates in volume terms with more than 330 customers, up from 50 just three years ago. But Tealium is capturing a big chunk of the loot thanks to its enterprise dominance. Together with Lexer (70-80 clients covering almost 110 brands) and Adobe, these four vendors have over 90 per cent of the installed based that Mi3 has identified. But it’s the brand stories that really explain the appeal. The experience of Jetstar, Chemist Warehouse, News Corp, Moët & Chandon, SCA and a bunch of others suggest major marketing efficiency gains, strong customer growth, more effective advertising and the ability to save a packet by avoiding wastage. Plus better using all that first party data in an ad ecosystem in the middle of major structural upheaval.

You can read all of Part 1 on Mi3

Part 2: Identity, media efficiency and effectiveness, personalisation and privacy driving uptake – prepping for AI could fuel a second wave

There are north of 30 corporate use cases driving the current stampede for Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), per industry analysts like Gartner. But when Mi3 grilled tech industry heavyweights and their customers, only a few consistently emerged: digital identity, media efficiency and effectiveness, personalisation and regulatory compliance — especially privacy. And now there’s a new incentive: It turns out the work required to get CDPs humming also helps organisations become more AI ready.

In Part Two of Mi3’s investigation, they spoke with marketing and digital leaders from University of Tasmania, Nova Entertainment and Suncorp about the business imperatives driving their decisions (they use Oracle, mParticle and Adobe respectively).

Mi3 also interviewed execs from CDP platforms Segment, Tealium, Adobe, Salesforce, Celebrus, Amperity, Meiro, and more to get a handle on what’s driving demand – and where capability gaps remain a challenge.

Mi3 was told by Richard Taylor, managing director of Melbourne based digital agency Digital Balance, that data loss [due to the lack of digital identity] could be as high as 20 per cent in the case of legacy systems. 
“You might successfully move data from 100 per cent of customers, but you might only get 80 per cent of each record to transfer successfully,” he said.

You can read all of Part 2 on Mi3

Part 3: Buyer Beware – integration challenges far more difficult than vendors let on; ANZ, Carsales on where to start, hot tips; experts on industrial sized cans of worms

ANZ Bank’s digital sales by volume have surged from 28 per cent a few years ago to 70 per cent today. That creates a huge lake of first-party customer data that can be deployed to optimise media, build better CX and ultimately increase the share of wallet and lifetime customer value. It’s little wonder then that the bank is now investigating a CDP.

Carsales is at the other end of the journey. Its CDP went live in Q2 2022, and it’s starting to reap the rewards, including match rates for clients closing in on 60 per cent. So one brand is just getting started and the other is live.

But in Part Three of Mi3’s investigation of the CDP market they interrogate the difficult in-between moments marketers must navigate, and – buyer beware – it’s much messier and more complicated than the slick sales pitches let on.

Fights over data ownership, significant technical integration problems, and serious limitations with all those out-of-the-box connectors the vendors like to brag about creates risks to project deadlines, and in the worst cases, career advancement. Sometimes just identifying who has credentials and getting them to share can take months. And then there’s the simple (yet apparently not) question of whether you need a CDP at all.

Don’t expect huge amounts of help with those [out of the box] connectors either suggested Digital Balance’s Technical Lead, Paul Broomfield. 

“They kind of just leave you on your own when you’ve got the connector. They’ll say to you, we can plug into something. Here it is, here’s documentation, go nuts.”

Data transformation is a big problem, he said. That includes issues such as rationalising name or date fields, or character-based or number-based fields.

“It can be very tricky doing all the mapping of all the different fields. Transformation is a big thing. And data transformation is also trying to map out the fields you actually want to capture as well.”

Broomfield gave the example of a client who wanted to connect their Voice of the Customer application to a CDP.

“They wanted to pull the data [from experience management platform Medallia] into their CDP. The fields inside Medallia are just random numbers and letters. So the discovery session with the Medallia team goes ‘Is ABC-123 the first name or is it the last name? That needs to be mapped into whatever the first and last name are in your CDP platform’.”

Richard Taylor, Digital Balance Managing Director said the example creates a compound problem – connectors within the connectors.

“In that case, there’s a Medallia team that owns the platform. They own the credentials for it there. And the logins for the CDP team might be different with their own set of credentials, and no access to Medallia themselves. So, who talks to whom in the business? And how do you get those people to find each other in some instances, to allow that connection?”

You can read all of Part 3 on Mi3

Beyond the conversion rates, the upsell, and the media efficiencies, the stand out feature of many of the CDP projects interrogated across Mi3’s four-part market investigation was the wider impact on the organisations and the role the CDP projects play in driving organisational and cultural change.

In this final edition, CDP program leaders unpack how their new capabilities and insights are changing the way the company works – future-proofing against major data privacy shifts now washing through the entire digital landscape.

Alongside the tech, the series wraps up by looking at capability investments brands must simultaneously make in order to generate the best return from a CDP investment – and not be left with expensive kit they can’t properly operate.

Plus, why consent management platforms, or CMPs, may need to sit at the top of the martech stack.

You can read all of Part 4 on Mi3

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