So, you have done your research about CDPs. You know what they are and why you need to implement one. You are excited about the prospect of enjoying the best revenue and fan engagement ever. However, you have a serious dilemma. You don’t know which CDP vendor to go with. A look on the internet leaves you feeling slightly confused. But our question to you is, why settle for an OK vendor when you can get the best CDP vendor? And in today’s blog post we are going to teach you exactly that. The key differences between the best CDP vendor and an OK one.
Before we dive right in...
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Functions and the price
We bet that this is where you started your research. And for good reason, because you don’t want to overpay for a product that only has limited functionality. But remember that sometimes if the price seems too good to be true, the chances are it probably is. In that sense, you don’t want to go for the cheapest possible option either because you might be sacrificing quality of functionality for the sake of a lower price. The hidden costs of this is that you waste time, money and effort since you will probably have to work harder to compensate for the poor quality of the CDP.
But what should you be looking for when it comes to functionality and price?
A 360-degree approach
Your CDP vendor should be able to support you in having a 360-degree approach. That is, you should be able to collect, analyze and act on your data. Because let’s face it, data is not an end product. It does not speak for itself. So if your CDP vendor is only capable of helping you collect your data, you will have to find a solution to help you analyze said data. Which is the exact opposite of what you want. The idea with the CDP is that, you should be able to cut down on the number of unnecessary technologies you use at any one given time. So instead of having a CDP to collect data, then another tool to analyze the data, would you not prefer to just have one that does both? That is, a CDP that is capable of helping you to both collect and analyze data?
But then comes another crucial question.
What do you do with your data after you have analyzed it? You have to act on it, right? Does your CDP vendor excel in this area? Certain considerations to help you assess this include:
The number of integrations the CDP vendor can support
Flexibility and customization - can they help you get the integrations you need?
Support - different countries have different privacy regulations for example, does your CDP vendor accommodate your specific needs?
Simplicity - is the vendor’s CDP interface simple with easy to understand analytics? This is an important consideration because it will save you time and effort, allowing you to act quicker and with greater precision and efficiency. While also giving you greater flexibility and autonomy.
Innovation and updates - technology never stops evolving. So how often does your potential CDP vendor provide new features and updates on old ones? The last thing you want to do is get stuck with an obsolete CDP. Just imagine how stressful it is when you use a phone or computer with old software. How worse would it be to have to contend with the same when it comes to your CDP?
So in a nutshell, the best CDP vendor will help you adopt a true 360-degree approach to your marketing and organizational goals.
Now this part can be a bit tricky because different vendors have different strategies. However, there are some important considerations to have in mind. These include asking:
What exactly is included in the pricing?
E.g some vendors might say that they will help you get a 360-degree approach, that is collect, analyze and act on your data. But then you would have to get add-ons and pay extra for certain capabilities. For example, you pay for the CDP to collect data but then have to pay separately for an analysis tool. So be really diligent about asking what is included in the vendor’s pricing.
With the Data Talks Sports CDP standard package for example, you get:
- 360° Supporter View
- Unlimited Sources
- Unlimited Destinations
- Advanced Tag Management
- Segmentation Builder
- Self-Service Analytics
- User Roles & Permissions
- Data Governance
- Machine learning & AI capabilities
- A complete 360-degree approach for all your marketing and organizational needs
Can your vendor beat that?
How long will it take for you to be up and running with your CDP?
The best CDP vendor understands that time is money. And if you have to wait for a long time for your CDP implementation, that is money that is not working for you. And your money should always work for you. So the quicker it takes the vendor to onboard you, the better. With the Data Talks CDP, for example, you’ll be up and running in less than a couple of weeks. Immediately, you’ll be able to analyze your supporters’ behavior on your website or e-shop. Moreover, within four weeks, you’ll be able to unify that with data from your ticketing system and any other systems you use.
At first you might think that the vendor’s payment plan makes no significant difference to the success of your CDP implementation but the devil is in the details with this. We’ve found that customers who can commit to a full year of using Data Talks CDP will be more successful CDP adopters in the long run. Now of course, a CDP gives certain immediate benefits such as being able to adopt the 360-degree approach and increase revenue and fan engagement while at it. But the best CDP vendors understand that the goal is for you to get long-term success that is consistent and sustainable. So a CDP vendor who bears this in mind and advises you on this, is a great vendor.
This is another huge criteria that differentiates the best CDP vendor from an OK one.
A good relationship with your CDP vendor will help you:
- Develop a long-term partnership that produces results
- Increase your satisfaction throughout the whole process
- Put your mind at ease because trusted relationships are crucial in times of uncertainty. Think about the uncertain times we experienced during the COVID-19 pandemic
- Enjoy successful results that are long lasting and consistent
You will quite simply, get results while feeling satisfied and confident.
There are two tangible considerations that you have to bear in mind from a practical standpoint however. The first being the support you get from your CDP vendor and the network of customers the vendor has. Let’s look at them in more detail:
You will never need more support than when you are venturing out into the unknown for the first time. Or if you have big dreams and goals that you want to achieve. The former applies to sports organizations who have never used a CDP before. While the latter applies to both novices and expert CDP users. Wherever you find yourself on this journey, you need support still.
So what support is the CDP vendor offering?
- Onboarding, that is helping you get your data into the CDP, is the bare minimum. However, you have to think about what that process will look like. Is it a long and difficult process? Or does the CDP vendor make it as easy for you as possible?
- While you should be able to analyze your data autonomously, because ideally the CDP interface is easy to work with, is the CDP vendor available to help you in this area? The CDP vendor, as the expert, would have industry knowledge and experience from having worked with other customers to help you with this.
- Data Governance is a huge area. This entails details like usability of your data, accessibility, integrity and security of your data. The best CDP vendor will help you in this area. This is crucial because the results of not doing this right can have terrible repercussions such being fined for privacy breaches, which will make your fans and supporters lose trust in you. Another not so great scenario is having data that is collected in one place but is not usable. That would just be a waste.
The best CDP vendor will give you exceptional support.
Network of customers
And what better evidence is there of the quality of support a CDP vendor gives than what their customers say about them? A CDP vendor cannot give you (a new customer), any other results from what they are already giving their existing customers. So to differentiate the best CDP from an OK one, you have to look at:
- Who their network of customers is
- The results they are able to produce for them
- And what the customers in turn say about the vendor
Let’s look at an example of our very own Data Talks CDP against the above criteria.
Who Data Talks customers are
Data Talks works with sports organisations. This includes, clubs, leagues, federations and other sports agencies. A few examples of these are:
- PAOK FC (Greece)
- Västerås IK (Sweden)
- Swedish Handball Federation (Sweden)
- Dolphins (Australia)
- Sportfive (Hungary)
Now from this list you can make many meaningful deductions. You can have a clear understanding that Data Talks:
- Is an international company so they are well versed in how different markets work, the privacy regulations of different countries and they can easily support them.
- Works with federations, full-service sports and entertainment agencies, and sports clubs across different sports such as football, ice hockey and rugby. Which means that they have diverse knowledge and will be able to give you thorough support.
- Works with both big names and lesser known brands. Which supposes a level of flexibility and customization in support. Especially because the needs of a larger sports organization differ vastly from the needs of smaller organizations.
The results they are able to produce for them
Results speak for themselves. And this is a huge way you can differentiate the best CDP vendor from an OK one. The results that a club reaps from their relationship with a CDP vendor is a great visualization for what the future holds for you. Data Talks for example, was able to help a customer, AIK, generate 6 figures within 2 weeks from a single campaign targeting only about 2% of AIK’s supporter base. Now isn’t that something fantastic to visualize for you own future?
What customers say about the Data Talks CDP
Another huge differentiating factor between the best CDP vendor and an OK vendor is what customers say about them. Here’s what one of Data Talks customers (Västerås IK) had to say about the Data Talks CDP:
“The support from Data Talks has been tremendous. I really appreciated the support from the Data Talks Customer Success team all the way in this process. In all aspects of our partnership so far, which is soon a year from now, the support has always been perfect. I mean, I do feel like members of the Data Talks team are people who really care about their work and their customers. They have a solution-minded approach to everything and want to help us and fix things for us. ”
– Kevin Johansson | Business to Consumer Manager
Do the customers of the CDP vendor you are considering lavish them with such praises? If not, that is a big sign that the vendor is at best, just OK.
New developments and Mentality
Remember that we spoke about innovations and updates being a crucial part of what makes a CDP vendor the best? Well, we just want to reiterate this point once more. And why exactly is this important? Because:
“Technological Innovation aims at improving a product or introducing a new product or process with new technological characteristics to differentiate it from before. Once they are brought in the market, it is considered as innovation and works to an advantage to the enterprise concerned or to the general public”
– Jonas Muthoni | Digital Marketing & Business Consultant
A CDP vendor that is constantly innovating is considered the best CDP vendor because they:
- Are constantly improving the CDP by either improving the CDP itself or bringing new features to the CDP
- Work for your (the sports organization) advantage. Meaning that you can enjoy the latest and sharpest technology. You can benefit from new features that you didn’t have access to before.
And all this really depends on the mentality of the organization. And what do I mean about this?
What is the vision and culture of the organization?
Data Talks’s vision for example, is to create a world where it is simple to make a difference and create an impact. And just like you read in Kevin Johansson’s quote above, Data Talks is indeed already doing this. Not only that but we work with customers from many different markets. Additionally, since we are always striving to find new and better ways to help sports organizations succeed, we are constantly looking for people to help shape the future of our company.
When asked why she liked working at Data Talks, Elin Mattsson, Head of Product Marketing had this to say:
“What excites me at Data Talks is that I’m part of a highly skilled and dedicated team. People here know what they’re doing and love doing it”
– Elin Mattsson | Head of Product Marketing
And what does this have to do with being the best CDP vendor? Well, the best CDP vendor has a holistic approach to everything they do. That is their mentality. They are never satisfied with the status-quo. They are dedicated to innovation. And to do that, they hire only the best people wh are highly skilled, dedicated, knowledgeable and love what they are doing. That is the ecosystem that the best CDP vendor builds.
If we were to condense this blog post into a single take away it would be this: the best CDP vendor is different from an OK vendor in that they have a holistic approach. What this means is simply that, with the best CDP vendor, you do not have to compromise one thing for the sake of another.
Here are some not so ideal scenarios that exemplify this:
- The CDP vendor you are considering has a great product but they are charging you insane amounts of money to use it. In this case, you are compromising on your budget for the sake of a good product.
- Everything checks out, the product quality and pricing, the innovation and mentality, except the level of support you are getting is less than ideal. No one is available to answer your questions and you are left entirely to your own devices. Here, you are compromising on your need for support for the sake of the other benefits.
- Or maybe you are happy with everything but the product has not been updated in a long time. You are not entirely sure if you are missing out on new technologies and other important features. Of course you can always ask for these, but in cases like these, you would hope that the onus would be on the vendor to ensure that their customers always get the best features available.
So again we ask you, why settle for an okay vendor when you can get the best CDP vendor?