What is a Customer Data Platform? The Ultimate Guide to Automotive CDPs

  Mollie Monett

We all have high expectations when it comes to today’s personalized, targeted shopping experience. It’s typical– and no longer creepy– for us to research the new shirt we want and then see the exact shirt pop on our Facebook feed.  It’s expected that when we add something to our cart but don’t check out, we’ll most likely get a coupon within 15 minutes encouraging us to make the move. 

Companies that are pulling this off aren’t just using CRM and marketing emails anymore; it’s deeper than that. These companies are investing in customer data platforms (CDPs) that clean, consolidate, and sort all customer data in one hub.  

What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

A customer data platform, commonly referred to as a CDP, provides a comprehensive window into the customer’s behavior and insights through a centralized data platform. It allows you to securely store your collective customer data across different channels, mediums, and touchpoints. So while CRMs are important in aligning sales teams and making sure all leads are recorded and followed up with, CDPs focus on compiling and de-duplicating all customer records so your business can get a full 360 view of every customer. 

Understanding what a Customer Data Platform Does – CDP Explained:

CDP technology ensures that your customer information is 100% accurate and consolidated.  While this usually uses mostly first-party data, it can communicate with third-party data and include the digital behavior in the 360 customer view.  But CDPs don’t only just clean and store the data, one of the main functions of a CDP is to also make the data “usable” so that your business can leverage customer data for hyper-targeted marketing campaigns.  For example, once you have a CDP you can more precisely engage your customers and create really strong look-alike audiences based on the information you have on your customers. 

Customer Data Platform Examples

CDPs outside of automotive like Tealium or Segment are great examples of CDPs that are connected with mainstream CRMs. It’s also important to note that today’s biggest businesses, like Microsoft, Apple, and tech companies like Stripe all invest in CDPs to scale their marketing communications. Within automotive, CDPs are emerging as the most important technology as well because car shoppers are no different than e-commerce shoppers.

What Kind of Customer Data Does a CDP Work With?

CDPs work to consolidate all of the customer data from all of the sources.  This includes (but is not limited to) 

  • Website 
  • Advertising 
  • CRM 
  • DMS 
  • Analytics data from Google Analytics, Looker, Oracle, etc. 
  • Social media 
  • Content 
  • Can be enhanced with third-party data 

Why CDPs are the key to understanding your customers

When you invest in a customer platform that consolidates all of the customer data, your business will finally be able to see a full picture of the shopping journey.  For instance, when a shopper looking for their next vehicle interacts with a specific vehicle on the VDP page and then clicks on an ad and opens an email from your dealership on a specific incentive, your team will know all the behavior as they follow up with the lead.  The customer intel arms your sales staff so they can give the shopper the most relevant information and bring them into the store so they can buy from your dealership over a competitor.  This is absolutely key in today’s shopping reality.

CDP vs CRM: What’s the Difference & Which Do You Need?

A CDP does not replace a CRM.  Your dealership business will most certainly need both CRM and CDP in order to function properly. 

A CRM is a customer relationship management software where your sales team lives to engage hot leads.  It has a record of all the new and old leads and serves as an activity log for your BDC and sales so they remember how and when to reach out to leads. 

Over time, however, the CRM gets loaded with junk, duplicate leads, and cold leads that go unnoticed. This is where the CDP comes in– the customer data platform will consolidate and clean the leads so that there is a clear picture of every opportunity in the CRM.  It will make sure that the same person isn’t being engaged differently because their records are not consolidated. The CDP will also set your dealership up for marketing success as the data is stored in a way that it can be leveraged for smart, automated marketing campaigns. The CRM data is not structured for this type of engagement. 

About AutoLeadStar’s Customer Data Platform

AutoLeadStar’s CDP allows dealerships to sort and store two very important data streams: shoppers and inventory.  Dealerships will be able to see clean data of every shopper in the CRM – consolidated IDs and shopping history so that the engagement is more hyper-targeted and focused on every single lead. The CDP also cleans inventory data, because that’s just as important for dealerships. Dealerships are able to cut different queries in the AutoLeadStar CDP in order to see which inventory intrigued which shoppers. 

What’s Included: AutoLeadStar’s customer data platform is part of its overall CDXP (customer data & experience platform) suite. It integrates core CRM, website, marketing, email, finance, and ad data to connect the customer journey for dealerships.

Features: You can see the live log of feature releases here on the AutoLeadStar website.

Dashboard: The dashboard is easy to use and is designed for every dealership to plug in dealership data sources. The more dealer sources integrated, the better the data on each shopper will be.

 

Interested in learning more about automotive CDPs and CDXPs? Email get.started@autoleadstar.com to hear more. We’ll give you a free audit of your information on the spot.