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Customer Journeys

Optimizing the Customer Journey with a CDP

May 24, 2022 4 minute read
Why should you consolidate your customer journey data with a customer data platform?
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Customer Data Platform

With varying degrees of success, organizations have been trying to organize data for almost as long as they’ve been collecting it. It’s worth the trouble because the information helps them shape the paths that guide people toward their products. Further analyzing customer data makes the customer journey as smooth as possible for consumers. 

And while modern technology has helped organizations move past handwritten ledgers for data collection, sometimes too many tools can be a hindrance. 

When an organization has customer data stored in a bunch of different tools, keeping it organized is challenging. In 2021, enterprises around the world used an average of 110 software applications, usage that’s only expected to increase. How’s an organization supposed to track, organize, and use customer data to improve the customer journey when it’s spread between so many applications? 

Customer data platforms (CDP) have become the ideal solution for data-driven customer journey mapping. Let’s explore some ways a CDP works perfectly for customer journey data.

Achieving a single customer view

The most impactful function of a CDP is that it takes customer data and consolidates it into a unified customer view. Each time a potential customer interacts with one of your organization's digital properties — whether it’s a website, mobile application, or chatbot — that behavior has the potential to tell a story. 

A CDP collects diverse first-, second-, and third-party data and puts it in a central location where marketing departments can see it in one view. They can then use that view to create personalized campaigns. 

There may be trends that user segments share, and there may be outlier interactions that magnify gaps in user experience — whatever the case may be, data-driven customer journeys begin with the information housed and processed by a CDP. 

From there, you drive optimization. 

Mapping the customer journey

Customer journey mapping (CJM) calls for you to zoom in on every customer touchpoint across your organization’s digital properties. While a CDP may collect all the customer data from these touchpoints, it’s up to your marketing department to plan and activate data-driven customer journeys from the CDP’s insights.

Valuable data points that could inform a customer journey map might include: 

  • On-page web behavior (time on page, bounce rate, etc.)
  • Items added to shopping carts
  • Abandoned shopping carts
  • Traffic to help content 
  • Chatbot interactions
  • Repeat visits to certain items
  • Product reviews read
  • Visitor origin (email, SMS, app, etc.)

How you use your customer data to develop a customer journey map wholly depends on your business objectives, but a CDP gives you a customer data control center, where all your customer data is safely stored and organized in one place.

Improved marketing with a CDP

The point of data-driven customer journeys boils down to the whole “driving” act. Collecting data is great, but it’s activation and iteration that will take your marketing to the next level. 

Get your marketing team together to look at the data in your CDP. From there, match business objectives with patterns in customer data; build out a plan to use those patterns to get a few quick wins. 

Don’t try to boil the ocean here. You’ll overwhelm your team and miss out on the immediate value of a CDP. This is what iterations are for. Start light, grab low-hanging fruit, build up small but successful campaigns, and then scale them up or start over based on your findings. 

CDPs aren’t a set-it-and-forget-it solution. They’re a helpful tool for collecting and evaluating data from formerly unpredictable variables: humans about to spend money. Modern technology is on your side there, with machine learning able to provide predictive analytics that suggest what customers are most likely to do, which items may appeal to them, the kinds of promotions that catch their attention, and so on.

Take your time and really think about how you’ll use customer data to pave the way for the best customer journey possible. Then do it and keep doing it. 

Where to go from here 

Now that you know a CDP can help create data-driven customer journeys, it’s time to get started. Create visual representations, orchestrate, and automate customer journeys from a central hub. The process might seem like a lot, but you’ve got us on your side. 

Not entirely sure where to begin? Contact one of our experts, and they’ll walk you through Acquia’s Journey Builder

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