Customer Data Platforms – what are they? What’s all the hype? w/ Michael Davis

During this episode, we take a dive into Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). CDPs have been a hot topic over the past few years and we asked Michael Davis to help us cut through the hype and understand:

  • What are CDPs?
  • How can they be used?
  • Common approaches to adding to a tech roadmap and build
  • What are some pre-requisites?

If you’ve been curious about CDPs and how/if they should be part of your Marketing Ops / Martech roadmap, you don’t want to miss this.

Recorded live October 4, 2021.


Hi, I’m Michael Hartmann, I’m Naomi Lou, and I’m Mike Rizzo. And this is ops cast, a podcast for marketing ops pros and rev ops pros created by the MO Pros. The number one community for marketing operations. As professionals tune into each episode as we chat with real professionals to help elevate you in your marketing operations career.

Hello, everyone. Welcome to another episode of ops cast brought to you by the MO Pros. I’m Michael Hartmann joined today by Mike Rizzo. We’re hoping that Naomi Lou will join us today. We’re going to be talking about a customer data platforms, topic that I selfishly wanted to cover, because I want to know more about it and where to join us with that is Michael Davis, who is a principal Lee at lead MD.

Now part of a trendline interactive, where he has been for over six years. Prior to that. Michael has worked with worked as a leader in other consultancies and agencies focusing, focusing on marketing services and marketing ops that included founding to consultancies and franchising. One of them into 14 states and 34 offices across the United States.

First of all, congratulations, but welcome Michael Davis. Thank you. Great to be here. Thanks. Yeah, well, so for our audience, bear with us, but it might be a quiz at the end. So you can tell which Mike or Michael is talking since there’s three of us on the call today. Um, that’ll be a fun game, right? Name the Michael.

All right. So, as I mentioned, I selfishly wanted to have someone come on and talk about this subject. And when I, when I. Kind of posted about this, uh, your name came up multiple times, Michael, so hopefully we’ve got the right person here. So I know I’ve been hearing about CDPs for a while now, but honestly I’m not sure what they are.

I have a database background, but I don’t know how they’re different really. So maybe to get us kicked off, like how, like when you talk to your clients or potential clients or just knuckleheads like me, like, how do you define what a CDP is? Okay. Like what, it’s not, how’s it compared to other things, let’s start with that as a working definition.

Yeah. There’s a, there’s a couple different ways you can, you can approach the concept of CVP and thinking about like what it’s really for. Right. And I think there are a couple of solutions out there that are, that are calling. Campaign orchestration solutions that have like, tried to take advantage of the CDP space and the kind of momentum that’s building in this space.

And so they’re adding some of that CDP functionality, but I think, you know, in the truest sense of what traditional CDP means, it’s really about the ability to effectively manage audiences, right? So when you’ve got data, that’s living in different places and you’ve got data that’s living offline and databases.

Platforms that have data CRM, you have marketing automation tools. You have all kinds of places where you’re storing data. And this is where you start getting into. Architecture like MDM and some of these other solutions that have mass data management, the challenge with that is like being able to use that data effectively and get it to other tools that need it.

Right. So when you’ve got a big database, like having access to that data and being able to use it within any of your marketing tools or any of the tools that you use to create experience for customers and prospects is, is sometimes challenging, right? These tools called CDP. Um, these tools ultimately are designed to help solve the audience management challenge.

And it does two things. One, it allows you to take the data that you already have all this offline data that we were just mentioning and then marry it together with all of your digital assets, right? So this is your websites. This is your, your mobile applications. This is anywhere. Digital data is being, is being generated the digital fingerprint, right.

And bring those together. And then you ultimately can use a tool like a CDP to stitch that data together into one profile, create audiences from that profile, a grouping people together into cohorts, and then deploying it downstream into marketing automation. You know, ad management or wherever you’re trying to do marketing tactics.

Right? So the easiest way that I explain it to people is it’s like, it’s just about audience management. When you have lots of data. And you’re trying to marry that data together with lots of different places where digital engagement is happening, how are you managing the audiences that you’re trying to chase?

Right? And some tools are better at this than others and CDPs are designed specifically to solve that problem, or at least make it easier. I like the working definition that you’ve presented there. Um, you know, I think, I think what immediately comes to mind for those that maybe are, you know, venturing into the space of marketing rev, ops sales ops, uh, they they’re experienced enough to say like, well, you know, Why isn’t that Salesforce, like, why is Salesforce or a HubSpot CRM or any other CRM kind of product, not the place for managing all of your customer data.

It was supposed to be the customer relationship management platform right. Of choice. So shouldn’t that be where all of your customer data lives. I obviously having a few years of experience in marketing ops, sort of know why that’s not exactly the answer, but like for everybody else, Uh, and I, you know, I, I could be very wrong.

Like I have an idea of why I think that’s not the right place to do it. Uh, but like, why is the CDP the place to do that versus like a, a Salesforce. So I think this depends on the use case, right? So. For sales motion and for the traditional use case of CRM, right? Like they’d be able to manage sales pipeline and inside sales and all the things that you’re trying to do there, like CRM is still the right tool for that.

Right. It’s the best tool for that, right? You’re not, you’re not migrating off of CRM to move to CDP. It’s an, it’s an additional piece of technology that helps you solve larger, more complex problems. But if you think. What a CRM can and cannot do. Like, yes, it’s an object oriented database. Yes. You can have lots of relationships and you can store a lot of data in there, but good luck scoring, storing all of your data in there one.

Right. And it’s still a opinionated architecture in the sense that like you can. Relate data together in a very flexible way, but it’s not a database where you can decide how that data should be stored. Right. There’s still a structure that they want you to store it with. And, and, and so, you know, when you get outside of the traditional use cases for CRM, right?

Like if it’s, you’re talking to. You know, being able to store let’s use a medical space example. Like if you need to store claims data somewhere, right. You’re not going to stick claims data in a CRM if, and even sometimes like, if we can go like other extreme, like CR like e-commerce data, some e-commerce data you would want to put in your CRM and other cases like the, the data itself then Excel, it could be a little bit more complex and you really want to put in a CRM, right?

Like abandoned cart information and all this other stuff that can go into all of that. And so. There is still absolutely a use case for CRM. And it’s a fundamental piece of technology. I think that most businesses need to have in order to do business. But when you think about what you’re trying to do, when you’re using a CDP and an analytics database and all of these other architecture, you’re really trying to truly understand every.

Piece of data that you have on a person you’re trying to drive engagement of a person and the window for engagement dislike. So small now, right? You have very little time. You have no time really to like engage people. You have to be available and ready whenever they are, you know, have that three minutes between the time that they dropped off their kids to tumbling and they’re waiting for their Starbucks or whatever, like they’re going to Google something, that’s it.

You may only get that, that three minute window. To be able to take all of the data that you have, make it usable and make it usable quickly. Like that’s not the use case for CRM. Like I said, it’s not, it’s not CRM. Doesn’t have a very, very important place in all these businesses. It’s just not the. Yeah.

Yeah. I hear you on that. I think Michael Hartmann and I have talked about on many episodes, you know, the idea that like someone comes to you and marketing ops and says, like, I want to send an email to everybody with, you know, um, the title of ABC man or senior director manager, whatever, uh, in our entire.

How about just, we want to send something to the customers. Yeah. Or just proudly as simple as we want to send somebody to our customers, like which customers, and then it just, it like rapidly gets down into this rabbit hole. Like how do you actually target them? And it sounds like, you know, from a CDPs perspective, You’re saying, Hey, the data play here is create a repository that you can tap into to move quickly and effectively, because the reality is, is that most of that data, a lot of the data that happens external of the CRM.

Well, not likely ever live in the CRM. Uh, and so you have to be able to do all kinds of different things, right. We’ve talked about SQL queries and all that other kinds of stuff, but if you have it in a CDP, you could potentially move a little faster than, you know, what we’re what we’re kind of dealing with today.

Yeah, that sounds about right. Yeah. I mean, I think there’s, the CDP in, in itself is not a, you know, it’s not a silver bullet. Like nothing is a silver bullet. I think a lot of things, historically technology-wise, especially I’ve been sold the silver bullets. I mean, I think. What a CDP is meant to do is make data available in near real time.

Right? And so we have data coming in off the website. You have data that has been provided to the CDP from a database or a CRM or wherever else. And it gets married together with digital data, right? That person jumped on your websites, sitting in line in Starbucks, right? You have that information. You’ve married that data together, and you have made a decision on what you want to do with that data.

It can be deployed in York. Right. And that’s, that’s the hard part, right? In, in other types of architecture, you don’t have that kind of speed and availability of data. Right. And so, you know, when, when you want to, to your use case, right, Hey, we want to send an email to all of our customers, or we want to be able to, you know, start retargeting our customer groups or whatever it is that we want to be able to do.

I mean, some of that data, if that, if that entire customer group is in, is in your CDP, then yeah. You can spin up that audience and deploy it into. ESP or using, uh, where you can push that audience into Google or Facebook audiences or whatever it is that you’re doing from a paid ad side and start running those, those tools.

Well about Facebook today, Facebook is on the struggle bus today. Right? I saw that, but, uh, yeah, I think, you know, that’s, that’s the concept, right? And if you don’t have it in the CDP, then, then you would go back to wherever your data lives. And, and there’s usually the solutions that we’re putting together for clients almost always involved some kind of database structure as well.

Either. They have a database backend already. Pairing the CDP with it, or we’re standing up CDP and some kind of cloud data back end, whether it be AWS or Azure. And you’re basically saying, okay, all your data sits at rest in this other architecture. I want to run a query and pull all this data together.

I’m going to push it into CDP. I’m going to marry it together with the digital data that I have, and then I’m going to drop it in three other tools down the stream. Once I have a singular approach. So, so this is really, so when you were describing it, initially, I, I wrote down like, um, the old school term that I remember customer 360 at, which was, that was supposed to be the thing that we could all get to.

Um, what I, what I realized though, if I understand right. What you’re saying about the CDP platform, It’s not so much that it can collect and pull this data together. It just can take it, pull it together, do stuff with it very quickly, and then return it back to platforms that can then do something with the insights or whatever it’s learning as you described in near real-time.

And that’s me, that’s the big difference, right? As opposed to like the, the closest I’ve seen, like, uh, integrated customer data. It took so long to pull it together. First off that then you took, and it was manual effort to go do the analysis. Build cohorts or do you even do predictive modeling? Things like that?

That I like that this is like, the big aha for me is like, oh, this is actually handling a lot of that very quickly. And I assume at scale. Yeah. And I think the term that I, that I use with my clients, when I’m trying to explain this, just this idea of data fluidity. Right. And it’s the idea that like, because we have the window and it’s this big, right?

Like how fast can you move? In and out of your ecosystem, right? So a CDP doesn’t replace campaign orchestration, it doesn’t replace ad management, doesn’t replace channel tactics, right? Those things still have to be executed. It doesn’t replace a CRM and it doesn’t replace a database. Although there’s some that have database components of the product.

Right. But what it does is it helps to enable audience management and orchestration of. Right. So when you want to deploy an email, you’re either using a campaign orchestration tool that has email as a component, or you’re using an ESP, you know, dedicated ESB, right? So you have to feed data to that tool so that it can execute.

It’s generating some kind of engagement data out of it, right? It’s engagement, email engagements, or whatever other channels you’re in. That data is then relevant to building additional audiences. So you want to pull that data back out and there’s two ways you can do this and, you know, Kind of both, you pull it back out into this CDP and then back into your kind of analytics database.

Right? And so going back into the CDP, then you can use that information to rebuild audiences or qualify people in and out of audiences, depending on the criteria that you’ve set up. And then you’re using that same data for analysis purposes in the database to say, Hey, is the model that I’ve split together here, this predictive model.

Ideal customer profile model, whatever we’re using from a data science perspective is it’s still holding true. And should I be changing the way that I set up criteria to make audiences as ultimately all you’re really trying to do is cycle data as quick as you can in and out of this ecosystem. And, and.

When you have the right sets of tools together and you know, the right type of people. And there’s obviously, you know, like I said, it’s not a silver bullet. Like there’s lots of components to this, but the idea is that we’re trying to make data very, very usable and very, and very fluid within the ecosystem so that we can use it when it comes time.

Right. Going back to the Starbucks line, like I have two minutes to make a decision in two minutes to surface the right data to this person so that I can influence their decision. Yeah. Yeah, totally. I, uh, we, I I’ve written my marketing operations playbook, uh, for each of the organizations that I’ve been in.

A lot of what you’re talking about is life cycle management. Right. And just moving people in and out of, uh, their kind of buyer behaviors and. Man managing that kind of stuff in a marketing automation platform, when you don’t have all the inputs is like really, really hard. You know, you get somebody that’s an MQL and then, you know, the MQL is not dead folks.

You just have to define it properly. Let me just put that out there. Shameless plug, uh, and then. The, you know, sales qualified lead, and then op, and now it’s a closed loss deal, but the likelihood of somebody coming back is still pretty good, right. Just because they weren’t ready to buy now, doesn’t mean they’re not ready to buy later.

And so how do you recycle and what inputs can you leverage to be able to make that happen? Uh, and you know, if you don’t have all that access to all the tools. It’s pretty difficult. You know, it’s all the data at a rather, it’s pretty difficult to be able to like bring a full circle life cycle program to that.

Yeah. And I, and I think the other downside of that is just, if you’ve got more than one digital asset, like it’s really tough, especially as they start killing off third party cookies and everything else. You know, you’re not going to be able to track across your, even your own ecosystem with like traditional campaign orchestration tools, right?

Like you’re going to need a way to manage first party data at the asset level. So if you’ve got five websites and I’ve got some clients who have like five websites for one business unit and beyond and beyond and beyond, it’s kind of ridiculous to me right now. But if you’ve got multiple websites and you’ve got an app and you’ve got a portal and you’ve got a desktop app or a web app, you know, all of those things like are all now.

Interaction points that you want to try. Gather and stitch profiles against something that just isn’t possible. Usually in a campaign orchestration tool. It’s not what it’s designed. So that side of it, it makes a lot, a lot of those other tools, more powerful. Go for it. Sorry, Michael. Uh, no, no, it’s all good.

I was just going to say what this is reminding me is a term that I had completely stealing from Elle Wolfe, who used to head up marketing it a what is now path? Factory was lookbook HQ and she, she and I were talking one time and she talked to. Yeah. What they look for in terms of identifying signals was people who were content bingeing.

Right. And I, it was a big offer. Maybe it was like, you know, all we really have had historically in marketing automation is the ability to do like triggered some triggered emails, but really like nurture programs. And I’m not saying nurture programs are dead either. Right. But at the same time, I don’t know anybody in the B2B world, who’s sitting there thinking of their customers.

I just got this email from this company and I can’t wait until they send me the next one in a week. Right? Like nobody’s doing that except for on the marketing MO Pros database. Everybody’s eager for my movie. Mess-ups right on their calendar. Right? Oh, it’s newsletters should come and sleep. There’s a mistake in it.

Um, okay. So, so this is really, that’s been really interesting. I’m glad we walked through the definition. Cause I don’t think I had in my head the right one and I’m hoping our listeners are getting out of the state. So, so clearly there’s been a lot of talk and activity around it as part of why I wanted to hear about it.

Like, what do you think Michael is? Like, what do you think is behind the speaker being such a hot topic, kind of at this point in time? I mean, it’s, it’s been, uh, I mean, CDPs are not new, right? Some of the top tier solutions that exist out there have been around for 10 years. Right. So it’s not, you know, and, and there’s some of the big, huge B to C brands.

Some of them built their own CDP platforms for this kind of purpose. So I would say it’s not a new thing. I think what’s happening is the rest of the market. And usually the B2B market is behind the B2C market for. Lots of different reasons, but what they’re realizing is like, everybody knows that digital is, is, is absolutely the future.

We have to get in front of this thing. We have to start doing it. And I think there was a lot of people who are starting to make investments around it and started to really kind of like treating it as truly like the first. The first method or the first channel that we have to be in front of people, but then when COVID hit, obviously it forced that hand.

Right? A lot of people who’ve traditionally relied on, uh, you know, face-to-face communications, they’ve relied on, you know, traditional like sales motions and some of those things. And when a lot of that stuff went away, they realized, man, we’ve got to be better at this digital thing. And that’s when. All right.

What do we do here? Like when, if I need to be better at this digital thing, what do I need to do? Well, I need to be able to see my data. Do I have all my data in a place I need to build to use it? Do I have the tools for that? Right. Do I have like, can I activate in the channels that I’m in and then, and so this kind of change in the market, and I think the, the, the fact that you now have this distributed workforce everywhere, and people are just so much more comfortable with the idea of doing everything from their home and over video, like it changed the way that people are really.

Truly understanding how much they need to get ahead in the digital space and the people who are making these moves now are starting to realize, wow, I’m going to be really ahead. And then people who are not making any of these moves now, we’re also realizing how far behind they’re going to be. So I think there’s a combination of things that are starting to like, make this more on the forefront or at least the discussions around how to be better in digital and how to use my data better.

And I think that’s where a CDP is a natural kind of part of that solution. Yeah, that makes sense. So do you know, so I was curious if you think there’s a part of it is just. Because I’ve been through this in a different context where, you know, I w I was part of building out a product at one point and a software platform, and it was kind of before its time and the technology really wasn’t ready for it, like hardware level.

So, um, do you think there’s a part of this that just the software technology world has kind of caught up as well? That that is now capable of handling this kind of thing? Yeah, I think that’s part of it. I think, you know, the advent of like cloud databases is also a big, big part of this as well. Right?

Like the speed in which you can stand up a cloud database and like start storing data and extracting it be API and like having it spun up and, and, and support analytics and visualization and all those other things like that has a lot to do with this as well, because now they feel like, all right, if I need to get a database, You know, spun up so I can start storing data and use it like the, you know, you go to AWS and click new, you know, it it’s, you know, it, it, it’s definitely made it that easy, easier, right.

Like to, to get that going right. Where historically, all right, you got to go talk to it. Do we have hardware? Like who’s hosting? Are we on prem? Like there’s just a whole other layer of stuff to deal with. And now. The cloud that definitely helps with the speed. And so when people are able to make that kind of progress quickly, like you start, you start seeing them make choices around other pieces of technology that are, that are usually would have been historically delayed based on like all the hurdles they would have had to jump through.

Okay. So what kind of guy, you know, they cut a couple of drivers on this. You know, the pandemic and sort of the immediate quick Kevin to work remote and figure that all out. And so people are buying digitally and you know, all that kind of stuff, technology is available. Do you, so do you think this is gonna like, do we think this is a fad?

Is it, is it going to be like customer 360 where it was a big topic for a while, but in a, not a whole lot of people, did it, especially in the B2B world or do you think it’s here to stay. Um, so it’s a really good question. I, I think, and it’s, it all depends on how well we can translate the concept into a reality.

And I think that’s the case for all these like, quote unquote fads, right? Like when you think about like, All right. You know, ABN was a rage for the long time and, and, and it has a functional place within the market, but not everybody should do it. And it does it fit really with your strategy and, and you know, how well was that executed?

Everybody right now is also talking about like Omni channel marketing, which I think is, you know, something that a lot of people need to be able to do and should be doing when you talk about Omni channel orchestration. And a lot of that gets enabled by having something like a CDP. So I think, I think.

Because it’s a piece of technology. And I think if people can approach it right, and we’ll approach it right with the understanding, it’s not a silver bullet, it’s a component of your strategy. There are lots of other dependencies that exist here as well. Right? Like this thing works. But it doesn’t work all that.

Well, if you don’t know who your customers are, it doesn’t work all that well. If you don’t know how to group them together or what to do with them, once you do have that, right. So there are some dependencies that are important to address when you start thinking about adding technology to the Stack. If you don’t have, you know, good analysis and good modeling.

Okay, great. Now I have this tool that I can take all this data and I can push it from one place to another. Great. You know, ends up being only gonna use that blunt object, just like a lot of other things. So I, I don’t, I don’t believe it’s a fad. I believe that it will be part of the technology stack going forward no different than a lot of other times.

Are part of your technology stack? Do I think it is the answer for every single person? No, I don’t think that’s reasonable, but I think what, I think it is an important deciding decision as you think about starting to use data more effectively. I think, especially if you’ve got lots of places where you, where you’re collecting engagement from digital assets, you’ve got lots of offline data sources.

You have a complex orchestration or complex organization has lots of pieces of technology. Like it becomes more and more and more of a. Right. I think as you’re starting and you’ve got smaller pieces of, of your smaller organization, you have less places for that. You’re trying to manage people. Um, I think maybe you can delay, you know, having a piece of technology like this, but it’s going to be harder and harder to not have a piece of technology, especially as they start.

Third-party cookies and you have to own your own cookies and you gotta be able to own your own profiles and you gotta be able to manage people within your own ecosystem. Um, it’s going to be harder and harder to do that without a piece of technology like this. So I don’t, I don’t believe it to be a fad.

I think just like anything else, it does have to be implemented well, and you do have to have a strategy for how to, how to use it in order to get the value. Yeah. Yeah, that makes a ton of sense. So we, you know, we were just talking to some folks about kind of customer journey mapping and just understanding strategically, you know, how to engage with, with your, with your customers over time.

Right. And, uh, what are the, what are the, all the different touch points that somebody is kind of going through? And it seems like, you know, strategically, those are one of the discussions that you’re going to have to have, uh, before you ever kind of get to a stage where you’re like, how and where does a CD plea.

Really play well in our tech stack and as our go to market strategy. Um, and, and potentially as a retention strategy too, right? Like people need to think of CDPs as a longterm retention data play to where you’re like, who’s, who’s most likely to renew who’s most likely to, to cross sell upsell, you know, depending on kind of where your yeah.

What part of the funnel you’re looking at with them. So I think those are important. One of the, I think my next question that. That whole kind of idea of like, is this a fad or not? Is it going to go away? I would generally agree. Like, I don’t think it’s going to go anywhere. I think it’s just figuring out how and when, and the wind part is kind of a.

Top of mind for me, like at what stage does an organization typically even think about CDPs? You know, uh, I was kind of pushing on it pretty hard, pretty early. Uh, I think I was probably too early at my organization, but like right before I left, there was a lot of talk about like, all right, do we do snowflake?

Do we even think about CDP? Do we think about like a whole, like how, how are we going to start standardizing? And we had reached a maturity point in which. There was enough requests coming down the pipe that we were like, I can’t do that. There’s just not a way for me to do this. Um, we need to start thinking about a longer longer-term data strategy here.

And so my question to you, Michael, is like, based on, you know, your experience, exposure to the market, what have you like when does that usually start to show up? Yeah, I think the first peop the first question that clients are asking is like, is. Is what’s happening in my market marketing. What kind of impact am I making?

I need to be able to see reporting. Right. And that’s usually the first question, right? Like I’m spending money, how’s it working. Right. And so, you know, when we’re sitting down with clients and started talking about, you know, Digital roadmap. Are there their maturity in that sense or your technology strategy and all of those pieces, just like you’re referring to.

It’s like, okay, well, how well can you see what’s going on? How well can you pull data together? How well can you look at your customers now? And, and can we even do some of that kind of dependency work? Like the analysis work of like, who’s your best customer and what is your turn rate look like? Or what are your acquisition costs?

Like any of those types of things and, and to effectively use the CDP. You know, a couple of key things and I, it called customer science, right? You need, you need an ideal customer profile. You really need to understand who your customers are, what they look like, what are not only the, the qualitative, like Kwon, like qualitative qualities.

But like, you need to understand from a data perspective, the quantitative side of all of that, right? You need to be able to see, understand who those people are. And if you can understand who they are in a database, you can understand who they are, you know, in, in the data sets that you have, then you can act on them.

But if you don’t understand any of that, then like having these tens of tools is. Uh, way to start facilitating reporting, which isn’t necessarily bad, right? Like I have clients who are working on a parallel of that. They’re putting in some of the, the technology and they’re putting in database and they’re putting in CDP at the same time with the intention of being able to pull all the data together so they can run the analysis.

And then they’ll have more of an, uh, of a strategy around how to manage these audiences and how to activate them in downstream tools. Think. Usually if I have to choose. Right. And I’ve got some clients where like, no, no, I’m willing to do one thing first. What are you going to do first? I’m usually saying, okay.

Let’s stand up a cloud database. Let’s sound a way for us to be able to extract data from the different sources that you’re, that you’re in and put them in one place and start looking at it. Right. Let’s look at how you’re performing in your marketing efforts. Sometimes your, your campaign orchestration tools have good reporting.

Some don’t most of them don’t. So you have. Yeah. Yeah, we won’t, we won’t go there, but yeah, typically the type of reporting that you really want to do, just as best done in a database, right? Pull the data from your CRM, pull the data in for camper orchestration tools, pull it from your other marketing tools.

Other data sources that exist within your, with your organization that are not in your CRM, like fulfillment and some of these other places. And, you know, sometimes claims is something that you can think about. There’s HIPAA involved. There’s you have to careful, but ultimately. Usually I’m saying, start there, pull all the data together.

Let’s start driving some reports. Let’s take a look at, can we even see these people? Can we marry this data together? Because that forces you to go through the effort of like an ID strategy and a data management strategy and how much, you know, transformation has to happen to bring that data together.

How do you relate it? All the things. Um, and that’s usually kind of step one in my mind, a lot of companies are opting for step one and two at the same time, which is stand up the date. Adding the CDP so that we can pull in all the digital data as well, because the database in itself is never going to have that.

Right. You’re not going to able to pull any engagement data. You’re not going to, to orchestrate anonymous audiences with a database. It doesn’t, it doesn’t happen that way. So there are organizations that are opting for both, and they’re standing up the database, we’re dropping all the data into this database.

We’re then applying data science more or less on top of that data to decide what audiences are worth, man. And then when you were standing up, the CDP is a way to one pull all the data in from all these different assets, dump it into the database. So it helps to inform the analysis that’s happening, but then you already have the infrastructure to do audience management.

So when you understand, Hey, here are the audiences that are valuable. Here are the ones I want to chase. Here’s what they look like. And I’m going to take a subset of all the data that I pulled together in this database. I’m going to push it into the CDP. When I put this subset of data in the city. And I’m going to allow the CDP to stitch that data together into profiles, and then I’m going to cyber put it.

So I think if you have to break it apart, like it’s usually the database first, but I do have clients that are, that are doing kind of both as a, as a data system solution. That sounds crazy. My favorite thing to say is aim small, Ms. Small pulled that from the Patriot. I think, Michael, where are you going to say this?

This is really interesting. So that. Like my follow-up to all that is, so it’s a little bit more about like, how do we, like, how would we go pitch this internally? Because it sounds like this requires a fair amount of. You know, people support, especially at the beginning, if you’re really like, cause you’re not really sh if I understand, right.

A lot of people aren’t really sure exactly what they want to do. They know that there’s going to be value in pulling the stand together, you know, pushing it back out to enable more personalized orchestration efforts, whatever channel. But it sounds like there’s a fair amount of people work. So like, should we, should that, is there both a.

Uh, typically a kind of a one-time we need to, you know, hire a team to help implement it. And then there’s ongoing care and feeding. Like, what does that mix look like? And is it in, is this usually different than what a typical marketing tech marketing ops kind of profile? Because it sounds a little bit different to me that you need to support this kind of thing.

I think, and I think the makeup of the marketing organization is shifting a little bit as well. And I think generally as you start to think about like, who should be on that team, I think now as we start to move into a, of. This more digital first time, I think a lot of organizations are having dedicated like marketing analysts or database analysts, or you can call it like data science folks or data researchers, you know, business analysts, people that are kind of sitting dedicated into the marketing team or the.

Right. And so those people are becoming more prevalent and those people either have just the analyst side or they have the analyst side plus the data engineering, which allows them to kind of manipulate data in that sense. And we’ve got some of the right tools for that. I think when you start thinking about this type of.

Ecosystem that you’re putting together where you’ve got a database, you’ve got a CDP, you’ve got a list of, of campaign orchestration or experience layer tools that you’re trying to use to drive tactics. Like the, the idea of somebody just being markups and just being able to run, you know, a campaign orchestration tool, um, is shifting.

You gotta be able to have a little bit more of the ecosystem. And so we’re starting to see like, all right, somebody. Maybe they’re a little bit more platform specific. And so they are more managing what would be the experience layer set. So, you know, campaign orchestration and your chat tools and any other tools that you’re running on that side of it.

And then you’ve got a little bit more of a data systems person where somebody who’s, you know, has a little bit the ability to write integration and can, you know, write query if you needed to and, and do more of a data engineering. Um, but yeah, it is. Outside of the traditional set of skills that would be considered like marketing operations.

Um, but I think, you know, as, as we start to build data systems, you’re going to have to start having some more of those folks who are not necessarily just tied to the it group. Um, as the it group obviously has their own priorities. And a lot of times they have priorities that are larger, you know, in terms of infrastructure and product and any anywhere else.

And so they’re going to be pulled in lots of different ways. Um, but you need somebody who’s focused on helping you manage systems that support. Right. And so we’re starting to see decisions being made on the type of marketing operations folks that they’re bringing, or the type of roles that they’re starting to fill within, within marketing organizations.

And they’re adding in that data science layer, they’re adding in a little bit more data systems components, um, you know, to that, to that mix so that you can start managing this ecosystem a little bit more holistic. Yeah. So that’s, I had a feeling this was kind of a, and I, I think I’ve sort of seen a little bit of that trend where there’s a little bit of a difference in the makeup of the, well, and we’ll get to that a little bit here to the marketing ops role.

But so most of our listeners, I think, are in marketing ops or maybe revenue ops. Um, do you see CDPs being in, in the efforts to bring them in to an organization being typically. Coming out of marketing ops or revenue ops, or are they, is there some other kind of team that might be behind doing that more, maybe demand gen or a more traditional, you know, marketing function?

I would say the two groups that I see are driving CDP is. Marketing and marketing technology and there’s, you know, mark, we call it rev ops or marketing ops. So there’s lots of different ways to term it, but we term it rev ops internally. It’s the idea of like the group that’s responsible for operationalizing tactics that help to drive revenue.

Right. And so that group that’s managing marketing technology or has a desire to change the experience for prospects and customers and, and doing it in this very kind of. Orchestrated manner where they’re talking about being able to not just have one channel, but have five and have an orchestrated approach to, to creating a holistic experience like that group who sees that vision, who wants that type of, of management over that experience.

Like they’re driving a lot of that CDP conversation. The other side of it is. Right. They, they have been historically responsible for providing data and, you know, the teams that are like, Hey, we need this data so that we can execute. And they’re looking for ways to provide that data and make it more self.

Right. The IC team doesn’t want to go and fetch data all the time. And so they’re looking for options as a way to tie, to say, here’s how we can provide data to you. Here’s how it also makes it user friendly or at least, you know, self accessible to marketing folks, or, you know, more call it like the technologists within the marketing organization.

And so we’re seeing those conversations arise as well for the people who are really trying to drive this forward. I think. The majority of business cases or revenue generation tactics are happening on the marketing side where they’re thinking, here’s how we can use this data more effectively. We’ve got analysis work.

That’s showing that if we can reduce churn by 1% it’s worth X, right. Or if we’re, if we can. And cross sell this many products into our groups of people. It’s worth a lot to our organization and B we can’t do that right now because we don’t have the data. We don’t have the ability to understand how those people are behaving, even within the tools that we have.

Right. And I’ve got organizations that have web applications and they don’t have great ways of feeding data from their own web application, into their marketing work. And so the technology teams. Are also faced with the same challenge of like, I need this data and marketing saying like, yes we do. We need this data so we can go and make an F an impact.

And I think both of those two teams are probably on either ends of the, of the reasons for doing it. But in the end you get, you get kind of that impact that you’re looking for. If you’re driving from the marketing side. Yeah. What’s really interesting to me in how you just described that. And it just sort of hit me as that, you know, traditional marketer, even if they had all this data, right.

They would be used to doing. Okay. I w I’m going to do this campaign is going to have a beginning, a middle and an end, and it’s going to be done. Whereas I think what you’re describing almost. It ongoing sort of this always on reacting to what people are really doing. It’s that, that whole idea of like content, but you’d be like, if someone’s in the middle of their break between dropping off their kids and getting their coffee, um, and you could capture them at that point and get their attention, right.

You’ve gotta be able to do that now, because that may be the one and only chance you get. When they happen to have a few minutes to look it. So it feels like not only is there sort of a shift in what we need in marketing ops and or it, or whatever, but also just in marketing in general, I think it’s gotta be a mind shift about how you’re going to go to market.

It doesn’t mean that there’s going to be an engineer’s beginning and end kind of parking campaigns, but it does sound like you need to be prepared to say, we need to be looking at this from a longer term standpoint. And it is going to be like, it’s always going to be there and we’re going to learn from it and tweak it over time.

But you know, it’s not going to be a beginning and end on everything. Is that, are you finding that to be a challenge with people it might get for it? Am I right wrong? And I think, no, I don’t think you’re wrong. I think in the end, if you think about marketing is at the very highest level, it’s just a cycle, right?

Like you’ve got objectives. You’re trying to reach, you’re developing strategy for those objectives. You’re developing a plan for deploying the strategy. You execute the strategy, you run analytics. And you let those analytics dictate whether, you know, you should change your goals or change your strategy.

Right. And then you’re just repeating it, right. That’s really all this it’s like in the very, very, very highest level, whether it’s B to B or B to seed matter, it’s the same concept in that sense, like how, and, and what’s happening as that window shrinks and people have less and less and less and less and less attention the longer it takes us as marketers to get through that cycle the further and further and further behind.

Right. And so by establishing good objectives by establishing good strategy, by establishing a repeatable planning and deployment process by establishing the, you know, the, the tactics and understanding what you want to do with these people. And when you have them and establishing the analytics, and then you put that kind of.

Ecosystem of technology and people in the middle that can run that cycle very, very quickly, or at least as fast as you can make it practically run. Like you’re getting ahead of, of those small interactions. Right. And so I think. We just have to not think about working in quite so linearly in the sense that like, it starts over here and ends over here.

It’s just this cycle of interaction where you’ve got people who are starting here and they are cycling in wherever they are in their journey. And we’re trying to get them over the hump. Right. And we’ve said, all right, you know, we’ve, we’ve caught them in the front end of our website orchestrating, and this is another thing that’s great about a CPS.

Orchestrate anonymous audiences, which you cannot do in any kind of campaign tool. Right? You can take this group of anonymous people and you can build profiles based on activity. And we can group these people together and say, okay, they’ve hit this early key moment based on all the things that we’re tracking on them.

We’ve really got to retarget them in these particular ways. And then as soon as they hit that key moment and they’ve jumped over the hump, like, okay, what’s the next cycle of things that we’re doing to try to move them down? Yeah. That path or that journey towards whatever it is that we want them to do.

Right. We want the, we want them to convert. We want them, they’re a part of a buying committee so that they need to be, you know, engaged. And we’re seeing, you know, an indication that this particular person in the buying committee, when they, when they engage with these pieces of content, it’s the, you, they have the highest propensity to buy.

Right? And so now we’re trying to drive them towards those pieces of content, so on and so forth. So I think this is good. This is great. I love the idea that it’s a cycle. I mean, this actually. For the, for our listeners who can’t see me, I was here smiling about that because it actually, we had this sort of a similar conversation in our last episode with Aja said, like we talked about, you’re often looking back, but really it’s not like you’re just continuing to do linear stuff.

You’re going kind of repeating, but learning and getting better. Um, I’ve learned so much from this already. So I like. Like, I’ve been lucky to do this. So one totally last question. And then, because we’re going to go a different direction here, but one of the things we, you know, the MO Pros community is about is providing eventually, you know, providing kind of a framework for what, what should, what should, uh, if there was such a thing as a certified marketing ops professional look like, what would be that, what would that be?

So, if you, like, if you had an input in that Michael, like what would be one or two key things you’d say, yeah, if you want to be a certified marketing ops professional, this, you have to be able to demonstrate this or have this experience. Oh boy. Um, I think, and I want to take this in a little bit more of an abstract type of way.

I think the ability to wonder stand the connection between. The, the objective that the business is running towards and the deployment that you’re facilitating and being able to connect those together and saying, okay, we’re trying to we’ll use another example that was Rizzo mentioned, like, Hey, you want to send an email to this entire list?

Of customers. And the question is, okay, what does that supposed to do? Right? Like when to send this email, what does that supposed to do? Not to say that we can’t do it of course, but like, what is it supposed to do? What are we trying to accomplish? How does that affect the business? What else is running?

What else is going on? All right. When I go to put this in, what’s going to be relevant there. What audience, how are we gonna break that up? Is it all one group we’re going to break this up into different audiences. When I go to deploy it has, is it done in a way that I can pull in analytics? Like how do I understand whether it’s made an impact?

Like. In a lot of cases and I’ve been in the kind of marketing ops rev ops, like sphere for a really long time. And so you have too many people who just like, can become order takers if you’re not careful. Right. And, and I think. Striving to understand the connection between the business objectives, the strategy for achieving those objectives and the execution that happens to try to achieve those tactics.

If you’re, if you’re trying to connect those dots and always striving to connect those dots, one, you’re going to be better at just executing anything because you understand the context of what we’re trying to accomplish. And two, like if you’re trying to grow and take steps up in the organization, that’s, what’s going to be required to be able to connect the dots on what’s happening.

When your executive says, Hey, we got to go do this. You know, it’s like, okay. But, okay. How and why, and what does that, what lever we’re pulling? Why are we pulling that lever? Is that going to change the business? Just being able to answer those questions and dig in there will help you. I think obviously there’s lots of resources out there to teach you how to do things within systems and how to, and if you want to learn a skill that involves a system, like you can chase all of that, I think, but for people who have.

High high, high levels of ownership and people who are willing to try to drive towards connecting all the dots to why did they want this versus what is it actually supposed to produce on the other end, they’re going to put themselves in a, in a much better position to be considered like professionals in that sense.

I love that answer. It’s like my, the biggest smile I could possibly have on my, on my face right now. I, you know, to me, I hear, uh, breaking down silos, working collaboratively, like across departments, right? Understanding how these departments are interconnected and woven together and what the overall strategy is kind of all about.

And it’s less about it’s it’s tool agnostic and more about like strategic. Uh, alignment across the organization. And hopefully that gets you, gets you somewhere further than just being an expert in Marketo HubSpot or whatever, right? Yeah. Think of yourself as, as connected tissue. Right? You’ve got a lot of people that are in silos and you got a lot of people who are in leadership positions and they have a lot to do, and they know that the direction that it needs to get to.

Right. Here’s the next mountain top I’m trying to drive towards, cause this is how it affects the business. They do not have the time to get into the valleys of what’s all there and they need, they’re going to need people who can help provide that connective tissue from mountain, top to mountain top. And when they start finding people in the organization who can help connect the dots for them and help them understand what the dependencies are and how to navigate that.

And, and especially when it comes to like the systems and the, and how the strategy they’re putting together affects the system and vice versa. Those people become incredibly, incredibly, incredibly bad. Love it. Love it. Yeah. I was waiting for how a sprint way for residents say something about, you know, asking why, you know, what’s your, why another Simon Sinek reference.

We’re just going to like plug Simon Sinek and every episode now start with why. Yeah, absolutely. Michael Davis, thank you so much for your time. This has been super insightful. If people want to kind of keep up with you. I don’t know if you’re active on LinkedIn or whatever, but where what’s the best way for them to do.

Yeah, LinkedIn is probably the best place for me, LinkedIn and, and I’ve got profile there of course, and happy to chat with people anytime they want to have conversation and obviously, you know, lead them to the trend line, um, you know, with places that we can connect there as well. So. Awesome. Well, thank you again, Michael, my, uh, Mr.

Rizzo, thank you for joining and for all our listeners. Thank you for being a part of this. Continue to send us your feedback, your suggestions. Criticisms. If you have them, we’re, we’re open to all of that. So bring it all on and, uh, always open to new ideas for topics and guests with that. It’s a wrap. Bye everyone.

Thanks guys. See ya. Thanks.