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Why your startup needs a customer data platform

First, you have the vision. Then you transform it into a real, tangible product. And finally, people use it—one of the most gratifying parts of startup life! Now you need to market your product to attract more customers. 

Crafting your marketing strategy involves a lot of unknowns: Who are your best customers? What do they need? How do you reach them at the right time? At this point, people are just starting to get to know you, and you have an opportunity to get to know them as well. That’s where customer data comes in.

What is customer data?

Simply put, it’s everything you know about your prospective, current, and former customers. That includes zero-party data (things customers proactively share with you, like their name or email address) and first-party data (info you directly collect about people’s attributes and behaviors). All the intel you gather is the foundation of data-driven decisions for both marketing and product.

data tracking guide and templates

What is a customer data platform (CDP)?

To tap into the power of customer data, you have to do more than collect it—you need to activate it. A customer data platform pulls data from multiple sources into one place, then sends it to tools that create ultra-personalized experiences and uncover insights you need. 

4 benefits of a CDP for startups

Think of a CDP as a one-stop shop for all your digital marketing needs. It lets you configure all your martech tools in one place—and leverage customer data for a variety of benefits.

1. Centralized, consistent customer data 

Time is precious, especially for startups. With a CDP, you can easily send data directly to every tool in your tech stack: messaging, advertising, analytics, CRM, support, warehouse, internal systems, and more. You don’t need engineering resources to transform data between different tools, which saves you time, improves your tools’ performance, and connects you to insights more quickly.

2. Real-time data collection and analysis 

Without a platform that integrates data in real time, the insights you gain may be out of date by the time you tap into them. This is especially important for marketing automation, where data drives campaigns that respond to customer behavior in the moment. A CDP enables that real-time collection and analysis.

3. Seamless integration with other tools

A CDP integrates with the marketing and analytics tools you’re already using (and ones you add in the future). You can integrate everything in minutes — it’s much less resource-intensive than building custom integrations among multiple tools. 

4. Scaleable customer outreach   

There’s tremendous value in connecting with customers individually. But as your user base expands, staying engaged becomes overwhelming. By implementing a CDP early on, you set yourself up to automate your outreach so you can save time without losing the personal touch.   

How to choose the right customer data platform for your startup 

There are a lot of CDPs out there, so how do you know which one is right for you? While every company has unique needs, here are five high-level considerations to keep in mind. 

  • Scalability: You’ll get the most value from your CDP if you implement it early. Look for a solution that puts scalability front and center so you have the right fit now that will keep pace with you in the future.
  • Integrations with other tools: Choose a CDP that has the flexibility to ingest data and export it to a wide variety of destinations so you can integrate it quickly and seamlessly with the tools you use now and ones you add in the future. 
  • Data security and privacy: Don’t risk your customers’ data being exposed. Your CDP should provide world-class security, so get details about the platform’s practices, including how they encrypt the data they store and transmit for you. 
  • Cost and ROI analysis: Keep an eye open for cost traps, like unclear caps on APIs and data use, that can cause expenses to skyrocket when your usage increases. Most CDPs start free, but get expensive fast. 

Unlock the power of your customer data’s CDP, Data Pipelines, was built with all of the above in mind. Get started with Data Pipelines today—there’s a free tier and transparent, industry-low pricing to keep quality data affordable, no matter your size.