Optimizing customer engagement: How to integrate Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) with Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs)


Prioritizing customer experience is essential for business success in both retail and e-commerce. Recent studies show that companies that prioritize customer-centric strategies beat their rivals by an astounding 80%.   

In response to the constantly changing customer demands, the MarTech landscape has blurred the distinctions between Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) and Customer Data Platforms (CDPs), realizing how important it is to integrate both for the best outcomes. 

In this text, we’ll explain why combining customer data with automation is important for business success and how it can help you connect with customers in better ways. 

Why do you need both a CDP and a MAP? 

A Marketing Automation Platform (MAP) is like a smart helper for businesses, automating tasks like sending emails or posting on social media. It’s great for handling routine marketing jobs but might not give a detailed view of each customer. 

On the other hand, a Customer Data Platform (CDP) is like a big brain that stores and organizes information about your customers. It collects data from different sources and gives you a detailed picture of each customer, including their preferences and behaviors. 

So, combining these two means that you can automate your marketing tasks and still deliver personalized experiences.  In the long run, combining data with automation can lead to better customer engagement and boost the overall performance of your business.  

Key considerations for integrating CDPs and MAPs 

At first, it might not be obvious why integrating CDPs and MAPs is a good decision for your business. So, let’s discuss what you should consider if you’re thinking about integrating CDPs and MAPs.  

Trading across multiple channels and regions 

Managing diverse data sources is a challenge for many brands and retailers operating across multiple markets and channels. MAPs aren’t specifically designed to handle this complexity, which can stand in the way of effective data management and analysis. 

However, integrating a CDP alongside a MAP can help you overcome these obstacles.  

CDPs enable seamless integration and consolidation of data from various sources and currencies, including: 

  • Online stores,  
  • Mobile apps,  
  • Physical stores, and  
  • Social media platforms.  

This integration provides you with a holistic view of customer interactions and allows you to understand the end-to-end relationship between your customers and your brand.  

With insights into each touchpoint, typical customer journeys, and opportunities for cross-selling, you can optimize your marketing strategies and improve customer engagement across diverse markets and channels. 

Enhancing data with additional sources 

MAPs aren’t a great option for data enrichment due to their limited capabilities in this area. Unlike MAPs, CDPs are specifically designed to address this challenge. That’s why integrating CPDs and MAPs can help you transform raw customer information into structured and valuable insights.  

For example, you may improve your current customer data — such as purchase history — by adding demographic and engagement data to it. Known as the “360-degree view,” this all-encompassing perspective of the consumer enables you to customize interactions at every stage of the customer journey, increase engagement, and increase conversion rates. 

If you’re eager to dive deeper, you can rely on AI to handle and organize all customer-related data in one location. With the use of AI-driven solutions like the Solver Segmentation Studio, you can: 

  • Recognize specific patterns and behaviors,  
  • Come up with meaningful data-driven marketing and sales activities that deliver high-converting campaigns, and  
  • Improve customer experience and loyalty by making sure your customers feel valued and understood.  
The 360-degree view of the customer in Solver Segmentation Studio  
The 360-degree view of the customer in Solver Segmentation Studio  

Informing strategic decisions with customer data 

MAPs may include segmentation elements, but they lack the depth you need to support strategic choices based on consumer data. On the other hand, CDPs can go beyond basic segmentation and provide you with advanced analytics and AI-powered solutions.   

If you want to identify your most valuable customers, you can analyze the data CDPs collect for you, such as:  

  • Purchase history,  
  • Browsing behavior, and  
  • Demographic information.  

Once you get to know the behavioral patterns, preferences, and motivations of your customers, you can discover commonalities and create strategies to attract similar customers. 

Beyond helping you refine your marketing strategies, CDPs can integrate with your broader business strategies and help you align your initiatives with long-term goals.  

Let’s say you’re an omnichannel retailer. You want to identify new market opportunities, optimize product development, and refine retail strategies. To do that, you can use your CDP.  

A CDP can consolidate data from various sources and give you actionable insights. This means that you, an omnichannel retailer, can make informed decisions and develop effective strategies to engage your customers.  

As these data-driven decisions give positive results, your CDP shows its adaptability by accommodating expanding data sources, integrating with new systems, and supporting complex data analysis. 

Providing consistent experiences across touchpoints 

MAPs excel in automating marketing messaging and ensuring your promotional content is delivered efficiently. However, they may overlook other customer-facing aspects of the business.  

On the other hand, CDPs are crucial for driving consistent customer experiences across all touchpoints. Unlike MAPs, CDPs allow you to integrate and use customer insights across all departments, fostering a seamless and unified approach to customer engagement.  

Here’s an example of how this works:  

A CDP can help you suggest the best things to do when customers talk to customer service, visit stores in person, or look at stuff online. 

With a CDP collecting data from all these places and putting it together, you can better understand how your customers interact with your brand. This means that no matter what channel customers choose to interact with your business, they’ll get a personalized experience that feels just right for them. 

This makes them feel happier because they’re getting special treatment, so they are more likely to stay loyal to you and your brand. 

Fostering collaboration across different departments  

In addition to ensuring unified experiences for your customers, CDPs can help improve collaboration among different departments and teams in your company.  

MAPs usually let only certain people see important customer data, like your marketing team. CDPs, however, let everyone in the company access customer data. When everyone in the organization has access to the same customer information, they can work together better and focus more on what the customer wants and give them a great experience.  

Let’s imagine there you have teams that decide which products to sell and how to display them. With CDPs, these teams can learn more about what customers like to buy and how they like to buy it. By looking at the information gathered by the CDP and learning how customers interact with the brand, they can decide what products to stock more of and which ones to change.  

This way, they can make sure that you always have enough of what your customers want. Making data-driven decisions ensures that everyone in the organization benefits from the insights and interactions generated by others. The results might be very satisfying — improved personalization and increased customer satisfaction.  

Final thoughts 

By integrating CDPs and MAPs, you can truly enjoy a host of benefits:  

Whether it’s optimizing marketing strategies or improving customer engagement, the synergy between CDPs and MAPs paves the way for enhanced performance and profitability. 

If you need help getting started with CDPs, feel free to contact us! We can guide you through the integration process and help you leverage the full potential of CDPs and MAPs to drive your business forward.  

Get in touch with us today at ai@thingsolver.com or book a free demo to find out how we can work together to take your customer engagement strategies to the next level.