How to secure buy-in for your CDP

    Last updated: May 13, 2024

    So you’ve found a customer data platform. Great. Maybe you’ve even found a CDP with the audience marketing, personalization and subscription management capabilities you need to grow and engage your audience more effectively. Even better.  

    But now comes the hard part: getting the green light to purchase it.   

    Audience tech may be a worthy investment, but it’s still an investment, one that your leadership, technical experts and possibly your board will need to vet carefully to ensure it’ll achieve its promised benefits for your business.  

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    Your tool might save you 4 hours per week in unifying your audience data, and another 3 in executing your email campaigns. But if your team needs to set up custom integrations to connect it with the rest of your tech stack? Or if implementation and onboarding take too long? Or it doesn’t deliver the necessary reporting for your advertisers and senior leaders? It could still be a net loss for your business.   

    But have no fear: In this post, we’ll teach you how to secure buy-in for your CDP – and help grow your audience.   

    How to secure buy-in for your CDP  

    1. Understand what you’re asking for 

    You wouldn’t walk into your salary negotiation meeting without knowing your position’s average salary and what you’ve done to earn more. (We hope.) So don’t advocate for a CDP without understanding the work it’ll take to implement one.  

    Implementing a CDP is an organization–wide lift that requires cooperation from your entire team. (Note: On this front, not all CDPs are created equal. Choosing a CDP with extensive onboarding, integration and API support like Omeda can lighten a lot of this load. Depending on their input and database size, Omeda clients can implement their CDP and start seeing results in as little as two weeks!) 

    Your technical leaders will need to integrate your CDP with your audience, marketing and payment tools. Your marketing, ad sales, subscription, success and IT teams will all need time to learn the CDP and use it for their particular job functions.  

    Account for all of these factors in your pitch and prepare rebuttals. If you educate your ad sales and subscription teams on the benefits of a CDP before making your ask, they’re more likely to support your ask and dedicate the time necessary to onboard.  

    2. Consult your tech leaders  

    Technical issues can make or break a buying decision. If a tool doesn’t play well with the rest of your stack, the technical decision maker will probably say no, rather than risking disruptions and revenue loss in other areas of the business.  

    And on a more positive note, they can also serve as a valuable resource throughout your research process: They’ll have the best sense of which tools integrate easily with the solutions you’re already using, as well as how each piece fits into the overall tech budget. This will help you focus your search in the right places. (Rather than doing three demos for a tool that your team will ultimately turn down.)  

    So first, identify your organization’s primary technical decision maker. Usually, this will be your CTO or a product leader, but this will depend on the size of your company.   

    Before scouting tools, talk to them about the benefits of a CDP. CDPs address many of their biggest challenges, so if you take the time to understand their role, and how a customer data platform can support that, you’re likely to grab their interest.  

    Speak to those concerns to get your tech leader on your side. This includes:  

    Maximize your data quality: Your technical leaders are spending more and more of their time on your company’s data — understanding and optimizing their first- and third-party data, promoting privacy and governance, and giving teams the dashboards they need to evaluate their performance and inform future strategy.  

    So if you’re sick of transferring and standardizing audience data between tools? Imagine how they feel.

    Tell them that CDPs take in, verify and standardize incoming data from every touchpoint according to automated workflows (no manual transfers required!) — and you’re sure to strike a chord.

    Eliminate data silos and maximize efficiency: Tech leaders spend their days battling tech bloat and avoiding redundancy. By taking in data from every channel, CDPs eliminate the need for external data management tools or costly data centers.

    Keep your audience data safe: The more siloed your data, the harder it is to manage — let alone protect. Centralizing your data within a CDP allows you to limit internal access to personally identifiable information and keep your audience member’s data safe. With a CDP, an opt-out or unsubscribe can be automatically applied to someone’s activity across every channel. So your business can stay in compliance with data privacy regulations and Google and Yahoo’s upcoming one-click-unsubscribe requirements without needing to delete someone’s record on 5+ different systems.   

    Provide hands-on examples: Tech leaders are protective and passionate about the solutions they recommend to leadership. More than that, they like seeing and understanding the tech in action. So the more they can picture the tool in action, the more likely they are to advocate on its behalf.

    Provide a few common use cases for your CDP so they can better understand how it’ll benefit your team — and why it’s worth the cost. Focus specifically on its impact to productivity, data quality, data privacy and reporting, as these are your tech leader’s top priorities. Some examples include:   

    • “A CDP will help us create a single view of each audience member by ingesting, standardizing and consolidating all of our audience data in one place. This will save our team 5 hours of time spent transferring and transforming data from different channels — and free us up for revenue-generating tasks.”  
    • “A CDP will give us one view of each audience member across every channel. So we can answer important questions about growth, revenue and profit with one dashboard, rather than assembling data from 10 tools to get the information we need.”   
    • “A CDP will reduce the risk of data breaches by securing all of our customers’ personally identifiable information in one place, rather than across several solutions that each require their own security protocol.”  

    3. Make your case to the C-suite

    Now it’s time to pitch your CDP to senior leadership. As you did with your technical leader, play to your audience. Think about what each person needs to succeed in their role — and how a CDP can address them.   

    For instance, your CEO is judged on the company’s commercial strategy: How effective is your company at acquiring new subscribers? Once they’re subscribed, does your customer experience keep them invested for months and years to come? What is your company’s revenue and profit, and how is it trending? To that end, they’ll want to see evidence that the CDP will help them reach those milestones. 

    Compared to your CEO, your CFO will be more laser focused on your CDP’s cost-to-benefit ratio. And generally, they’ll be more apprehensive about a big system purchase. So you’ll need proof of concept to win their buy-in: Provide a strong case for how your CDP’s start-up and implementation costs will pay off in the form of improved revenue, profitability and subscriber retention. Include alternatives you considered and support your claims with data.  

    While your COO is also judged on profitability, they’re more focused on process and productivity improvements, workflow optimization, and the effective use of data. For best results, focus on how a CDP will streamline team workflows and reduce complexity. 

    Repeat this exercise for everyone else in the room, then organize your pitch around those needs. Here’s an example: 

    Present the business problem or need: Don’t dive right into your CDP’s features. Instead, share the specific problems that you’re hoping to solve with a CDP. This is easier to follow and gives the team something tangible to focus on as they consider your case. For instance: “subscriber churn has increased by X%.” 

    Explain the underlying issue: For each business problem you share, describe the root cause and how it stems from lacking a CDP.

    An example: “Our audience data is siloed across many marketing solutions, so we can’t update customer profiles and personalize our customer experience quickly enough to connect with customers, provide relevant recommendations and make upsells.” 

    Show how a CDP can help: Now it’s time to get into the nitty gritty. Explain how a CDP will help your team address the problem. For example:  A CDP will take in data from every channel we use to reach our audience, then unify, standardize it and clear it of duplicates according to automated workflows. Once the initial workflow is set, all data flows automatically into the CDP via nightly file sweeps and API drops. Manual work is almost zero.

    This gives us a single, current and complete profile for each audience member – without needing to spend hours transferring data between tools. From there, we can instantly create more accurate marketing segments and provide the same cohesive message across every channel, allowing us to reach the right person at the right time with the right message. By personalizing at scale more effectively, we can increase conversions, subscriptions, ad revenue and ultimately, profit.” 

    This is also a good time to mention the industry-specific benefits of your CDP. As an example: Omeda is designed specifically for media companies seeking to grow, engage and monetize their audience, so our CDP is connected to an email and marketing automation platform and subscription management tool.

    Present the cost of the CDP: This includes the standard price, as well as any onboarding and implementation costs. Offset this by describing what resources your CDP vendor will provide to help you get up to speed faster. (At Omeda, we provide personalized integration and API support to help you build your use cases as fast as possible.)  

    Project the impact to ROI: For example, “We project that the time and cost savings of a CDP will increase marketing ROI by X% within a year.”

    Support your projection with clear KPIs: Set performance goals that ladder up to your projection and share them with senior leadership. This ties your work to metrics that show whether your CDP is working as intended. Maybe you want to:   

    • Increase time on site by 10% by serving personalized content on our site.  
    • Increase revenue from cross-promotions by 15% through improved segmentation.   
    • Increase conversions from email by 5% through more effective targeting. 

    Present the cost of doing nothing: Many professionals are resistant to change. To win them over, you need to prove that the cost of staying the same is higher than the cost of making the switch.

    So articulate how not using a CDP could harm your revenue and profitability goals in the long run: For example, “If we can’t identify what our customers need, our competition will provide more successful, personalized customer experiences than us and we will lose customers to them.”  

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