Why Event Managers Need a CDP
Last updated: October 2, 2023
Give your attendees more of what they want – and less of what they don’t. It’s the golden rule for any event producer.
But that’s a lot easier said than done when you’re managing attendee data from thousands of attendees (and it’s all spread across different platforms). If your data’s siloed across different solutions, you can’t stay on top of your audience’s needs, much less meet them.
A customer data platform can help you eliminate data silos and give you a clearer picture of how everyone is interacting with you across channels. Besides streamlining planning, this also leads to improved engagement, revenue and ROI.
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In this post, we’ll discuss what a CDP is, how they give you the best data possible, and how event producers can benefit from using a CDP.
What is a customer data platform (CDP)?
If you’re just evaluating your MarTech options, all the different platforms and abbreviations can start to blend together. So what separates CDPs from other solutions like CRMs or DMPs?
In very simple terms, a CDP is packaged software that eliminates data silos by taking in user data from every marketing channel, storing it, and making it accessible to everyone in your organization.
This gives you a single view of each person that interacts with you, regardless of what platforms they’re using. For example: Say that Robert is looking at website content about data management and clicking links about data privacy in your newsletter. Without a CDP, your website person would know Robert was reading about data management, and your email person would know that Robert wanted to know more about data privacy.
With a CDP, you can see Robert’s full engagement history all in one place. And as an event producer, you can add him to relevant marketing segments, then tailor your pre-event marketing to his interests (e.g., include the sessions about data privacy and management at the top of your emails). And as he continues to engage with you across channels, you get even more insights that you can harness into improving his experience further, increasing his lifetime value and giving you valuable revenue.
Best of all, CDPs make it easy to achieve this at scale. Let’s see how next.
How do CDPs work? How do they create a single customer view?
You might be wondering how all this works. How do CDPs create a single customer view? How do they improve your data quality? And what can you do with all that data once it’s in one place? More on that below:
- How does data get from each marketing channel to the CDP? Do you have to import it manually? Customer data flows in and out of the CDP via nightly, weekly or monthly automated file drops, file sweeps and/or APIs. You’ll need your IT team to set up the original workflow but from there, it’s almost entirely automated.
- Can I control what data fields are stored in my CDP? Yes – CDPs like Omeda provide automated field mapping, so you’re only collecting the fields that are relevant for your team — and that it’s stored in a format that everyone understands.
- So I see how CDPs create a single view of each person. But if someone changes their email address or phone number, will that create a new profile for them? Each user’s information is stored under a persistent ID that encompasses every platform. Even if someone changes their contact information, their profile remains current (and changes are automatically updated in their profile).
- Wondering how CDPs prevent duplicates from muddying your data? CDPs check incoming profile information against current records and, according to a series of automated workflows, they’ll identify likely duplicates. From there, you can manually decide whether to merge the profiles or leave them separate (this is also called identity resolution).
- Can CDPs integrate with my other marketing tools? Yes — customer data platforms like Omeda integrate with most leading marketing solutions. For example, Omeda integrates with Zapier, ON24, Google Ad Manager and AdRoll, Facebook Ads and more.
Omeda also has built-in marketing automation and subscription management functionalities, so you can unify, manage and activate your audience from one platform.
Why Event Producers Need a CDP
1. Streamline your marketing by creating narrower marketing segments
Working with an Excel sheet of contacts might cut it if you’re only hosting a few small events. But say that you’re running multiple events per year, each with different target audiences. Without a streamlined way to segment your contacts, your promotional strategy will be disjointed and ineffective.
This results in one of two extremes: Either you’ll spam your entire audience with invitations that are only relevant for a small percentage of them. Or you miss opportunities to invite individuals to events that, according to your data, they’re likely to register and pay for.
But with a CDP, you can isolate each individual’s demographics, interests and purchases more quickly — and from there, you can add them to relevant marketing segments. Better yet, in Omeda’s Audience Builder database, you can mix and match more than 100+ of these filters to create hyper-specific marketing segments.
So instead of sending an email to all the “19-to-35-year-olds” in your list, you can target “19-to-35-year-olds in marketing positions that have opened an email in the last 60 days, but haven’t subscribed to our magazine yet.”
Once you’ve identified your key segments, you can focus your resources only on people that are likely to register — and save your bandwidth for planning the rest of your event.
2. Use data to improve your attendee experience
The more you know about your attendees, the more you can design your registration, marketing and event programming to their needs. But if you’re limiting yourself to the post-event survey, you’re missing valuable opportunities to improve your attendee experience — and get more sign-ups and sales going forward.
But with your CDP, you can see how attendees are engaging with every aspect of your event, from your registration landing pages to your emails, ads, and even every session and sponsorship booth. This way, you can see what’s working and what can be improved, long before you start planning your next event. And that’s a recipe for higher attendee satisfaction, engagement and loyalty.
3. Personalize event programming to drive repeat registrations
If you want your attendees to keep coming back to your events, you can’t just appeal to the masses and hope people are OK with it. Your program needs to appeal to each individual within your audience.
But if you don’t have a complete view of each attendee, you can’t really personalize your program to each of their needs.
Customer data platforms ensure that you’re getting the most complete, current view of each person in your audience. Not only are you getting their demographic info, but their website browsing history, past purchase history, content downloads, previous event attendance, engagement with ads, etc. — all in one place.
With those insights, you can target sessions, sponsorships, packages, etc., to your attendees — and be sure that it’ll resonate.
4. Attract more lucrative sponsorships
10 years ago, every sponsor dreamed of getting a prime placement in the Expo Hall. But exposure doesn’t close deals — attendee data does. Data is the most valuable currency for sponsors now — and the events that can provide the most accurate, predictive insights on their audience are the ones that will attract the most sponsors.
CDPs give sponsors a 360-degree view on attendee preferences, demographics, and their engagement metrics for every sponsored ad, session and piece of content. This empowers sponsors to reach out to leads more quickly — and effectively — than ever.
Besides increasing their ROI from participating in your event, they’re also more likely to come back in the future. Multiply that over enough sponsors and you can start charging more for sponsorship packages (all of which you can use to strengthen your event programming, attract better speakers and get even more attendees!).
5. Keep your attendee data safe
As we’ve alluded to (a lot) through this post, events produce a lot of data across a lot of different platforms. And with cybercrime and data privacy regulations on the rise, it’s more important than ever to keep that data safe.
That means collecting only the most relevant, necessary information from each individual, ensuring that someone’s deletion request is honored across all of your platforms, and quickly removing people from email and marketing communications upon request.
A CDP makes it easier to address all three of these needs. CDPs keep all of your customer data in one place, so if you delete or modify someone’s record, the changes apply to every marketing channel. (Without a CDP, someone might unsubscribe from the marketing newsletters you send from your ESP, but still get automated event invitations and reminders from your event software, for instance.)
A centralized model also makes it easier to restrict access to personally identifiable information and segment your audience by consent status. This goes a long way toward keeping your data safe and earning the trust of your audience.
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