A lot of research and planning goes into selecting the right customer data platform. But once you’ve decided on a CDP to implement, you have to know who else is going to help steer the ship, according to Amanda Cardona, owner of ALC Renaissance Consulting, who spoke at our spring MarTech event.
Broadly speaking, you will look to the vendor’s CDP implementation team, internal stakeholders and, if necessary, an external consultant.
Connecting with your CDP implementation team
Once your organization has decided on a CDP, the vendor will assign you a CDP implementation team.
“However,” Cardona said, “as the client, you are the owner and subject matter expert of your organization, of your data, of your teams.”
Representatives from the vendors are a helpful source of guidance because they are they know their particular platform inside out.
Identify the champions
“It’s definitely a partnership, and you want to make sure that you have the right folks internally so that you can partner in the most efficient way with your CDP implementation team,” said Cardona.
Leaders within the organization have a stake in CDP success, so make sure they are included in the implementation.
“Let’s face it, it’s the people who sign on the dotted line, who approve the budget and who, at the very top levels, approve this initiative,” Cardona said.
She added, “And then probably even more important than leadership are your business champions. These are the folks who are going to evangelize and open the pathway for the CDP to be implemented and used within their specific teams.”
After all, one of the main reasons to get a CDP onboard is to connect data across silos. So the teams need to be connected as well.
It also helps to bear in mind how work might be affected within these teams.
“If you’re bringing together these siloed systems of data, then you will most likely be impacting those teams’ day-to-day business,” said Cardona. “So if you’re able to identify those business champions who will really be the cheerleaders for the CDP, your process will be a lot smoother.”
Pick the execution team and the ‘connectors’
Below your organization’s executives and team leaders, there are the people on the ground who will really make all the connections happen.
CDPs are a marketing- and IT-led initiative, so these CDP allies could be on a marketing operations team or a dedicated martech team. So they should have a strong presence in the implementation process.
Beyond that, there will be people on additional teams in the organization who play the role of “connectors.”
For instance, it’s a good idea to recruit someone on the legal team as a connector. This helps because data privacy and legal compliance are always important considerations when customer data is being stored.
Consultants can help
Smaller organizations might not have all the pieces internally. In this case, it’s a good idea to look outside of the organization for guidance.
“A martech consultant or services agency is able to come in with that outside view,” said Cardona. “They have functional experience that can really help.”
Behind every technology, there are people in teams who can make or break the success of its implementation.
“It will behoove you to make friends and really bring members into your CDP implementation team that kind of stretch across these various teams,” Cardona said.
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