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Everything You Need to Know About Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform (Data Cloud for Marketing)

A detailed look into Data Cloud for Marketing, a Customer Data Platform in Salesforce Marketing Cloud...

“In God we trust. All others must bring data.”

–W. Edwards Deming, American engineer

In the modern customer-led business era, smart organizations know that generic offerings and spray-and-pray marketing are not the best way to attract, impress, and retain customers. If anything, they are surefire ways to lose customers, considering that:

  • 72% of customers expect companies to acknowledge them as individuals, know their interests, and try to make them feel special
  • 71% expect organizations to deliver personalized interactions
  • 76% of them get frustrated when this doesn’t happen

(Source: McKinsey)

According to McKinsey, 76% of customers are more likely to purchase from brands that personalize and 78% say that receiving personalized communications makes them more likely to repurchase from a brand. They are also more likely to recommend that company and its products to friends and family. Personalization can also drive 10 – 15% revenue lift for organizations. Digitally native brands that “own” customer transactions and adopt a direct-to-consumer (DTC) business model, the revenue lift with personalization can be as high as 25%.

Simply put, effective personalization works. And the best way to make it work for your brand is to have two key building blocks in place:

1. First-party customer data

2. A tool to leverage this valuable asset

Salesforce Data Cloud for Marketing, sometimes known as Salesforce Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform or Salesforce Marketing Cloud CDP (formerly known as Salesforce Customer Data Platform or Salesforce CDP), is one such tool.

How can Marketing Cloud CDP help you make personalization an indelible part of your operations and marketing? More importantly, how can it help you to reach the right people with the right offer and at the right time? This guide will show you how. Thanks for reading!

What is a Customer Data Platform and Do You Need One?

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) gathers customer information in one centralized location to help companies create a unified customer profile across various touchpoints. It will provide a single source of truth with real-time customer data so you can get a complete view of every customer and activate personalized moments for them across multiple channels and departments.

Salesforce CDP has four primary tasks:

  • Collect customer data from various sources and organize it in a single place.
  • Harmonize data by creating customer identities and resolving these identities across devices to create a whole picture of customer journeys.
  • Activate data so it becomes available to personalize customer experiences in real-time.
  • Pull insights from data so you can track customer journeys, segment customers into groups, create lookalike audiences and personas, and reach new audiences.

The most advanced CDP platforms like Marketing Cloud CDP enable all customer-facing teams like sales, service, marketing, and commerce to get an intimate understanding of customers and provide the personalized interactions that today’s customers demand from brands.

Here’s why your brand needs a new-age CDP platform like Marketing Cloud CDP:

  • To connect various data environments in real-time and build updated profiles of the customers who exist across these environments
  • To deliver consistent and in-the-moment brand experiences that customers expect
  • To reconcile and resolve customer identities to understand who they are and deliver personalized experiences across every channel, including email
  • To deliver email content tailored to their interests to boost brand engagement and encourage repurchase
  • To optimize your addressable email marketing spend by targeting the right customers (and not targeting the wrong ones) and engaging with them with the right type of campaign

Marketing Cloud CDP can help you do all this and more. You can analyze customer and prospect data, identify key audiences, and build appropriate and profitable segments for your email marketing campaigns. Furthermore, it combines the best features of Insights CDPs and Engagement CDPs – which are often different types of products – so you can integrate and manage customer data from various sources, build a single, unified view of every customer, and power real-time personalization and engagement campaigns via email and other channels.

What is Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform?

If you collect a lot of customer data but are struggling to unlock its value, the Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform is perfect for you. Use this platform to collect, organize, and make the most of all your real-time customer data to create personalized email campaigns, content, and experiences for every member of your target audience. It includes advanced features for:

  • Data ingestion and unification
  • Smart targeting
  • Fast segmentation and high-value audience-building
  • Real-time automation

With this platform, you can collect and organize customer data from any source (including Salesforce customer data) to build a single source of truth and develop a complete picture of each individual customer. Unified data will also help you to quickly create and activate smart segments and create personalized campaigns across multiple digital channels, including email.

Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform incorporates world-class AI-powered insights and real-time analytics so you can better understand your audience and make the right decisions with respect to engagement and personalization at scale. And working with Salesforce marketing cloud email specialists like Email Uplers is a great way to achieve all these goals.

How Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform Works

Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform collects and unifies first-party customer data from various sources, including different CRM platforms and other systems that don’t usually share data, such as marketing platforms and eCommerce engines. This initial stage is called “customer resolution”. It is when the platform unifies disparate data and identifies each customer based on their engagement history with your brand.

The platform then creates customer identities (profiles) and resolves them across devices. Such “cross-device identity resolution” will help you create and understand the complete picture of every customer’s journey. Next, it will make the fully resolved customer profiles available so all your teams can use the profiles to engage customers and deliver personalized experiences in real time. The data will be available on any technology platform you use to engage customers, including email send engines (pro tip: use email templates in Salesforce Marketing Cloud to simplify the effort!), automated workflows, and even content management systems.

Finally, you can use the unified customer profiles created by the CDP to track customer journeys and segment them into groups. You can also determine which new audience you want to reach by creating lookalike audiences and personas.

What Can You Do with Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform?

At its most basic level, Marketing Cloud CDP will help you create unified profiles for all your customers and across all the touchpoints where they engage with your brand. It will bring all your data under one roof so all your teams can access the data to better understand each customer and give them what they want – personalized engagement and memorable brand experiences.

It also provides best-in-class AI-powered intelligence and analytics capabilities, plus automation capabilities so you can not only understand your audience better and design personalized marketing moments, but also save time and lower costs as you do so.

Here’s everything else you can do with the Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform:

  • Automatically connect and unify customer data from any system with industry-leading APIs and scalable data ingestion capabilities
  • Resolve customer profiles across any device (cross-device identity resolution) with flexible matching rules and AI.
  • Activate data across every platform and customer-facing team to offer 1-to-1 personalization and experiences.
  • Enrich segments and improve your personalization capabilities with modeled data.
  • Track consent and manage preferences to engage more customers with trust.
  • Connect the platform with Marketing Cloud Intelligence and other analytics tools to optimize marketing spends.

With the Marketing Cloud Data Cloud, all customer data becomes easily available, no matter who the customer is, what stage of the journey they are at, or where the data is collected from. Since it provides a single source of truth, you can build intelligent audience segments faster, design personalized and scalable engagements across email (using email templates in salesforce) and other channels, and ultimately, deepen relationships with your customers.

Customer Data is Your Most Valuable Marketing Asset. Leverage it to the Max with Marketing Cloud Customer Data Platform and Email Uplers

Salesforce CDP offers numerous powerful features to help you make the most of your customer data. Organize this data to identify your best customers, create complex audience segments, link customer identities across multiple devices and data sources, and ultimately, to deliver impressive and personalized experiences at scale.

Take advantage of this innovative offering from the Salesforce stable to give your customers what they want and to stand out in a crowded marketplace with world-class email marketing. Contact Email Uplers and we’ll show you exactly how to get started with our CDP experts and SFMC email specialists.

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    Chintan Doshi

    Chintan is the Sr. Manager Email Marketing & CRM at Email Uplers. He loves email marketing and has been in the industry from last seven years. His track record of email marketing success covers building email programs from scratch and using data-driven strategies to turn around underperforming accounts.



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