Improve Multichannel Marketing With Customer Data Platforms

Understand the pros and cons of a hub-and-spoke model to improve multichannel marketing.

Charles Dickens may have nailed it when it comes to multichannel marketing. With every passing month, it seems it is the best of times and the worst of times. Because automation is possible, data is readily available and marketing personalization is here to stay, it’s the best of times. Yet because data is often siloed, and personalization requires broad and complex internal coordination, it’s also the worst of times. Although multichannel marketing hubs were developed as a way to address these challenges, customer data platforms (CDPs) fill important gaps needed for multichannel marketing success.

The hub-and-spoke model provides marketers with greater control and customization of their multichannel marketing environments

“CDPs can be an effective part of a multichannel marketing hub through improved customer data storage, decisioning and more flexible marketing execution,” says Benjamin Bloom, research director, Gartner for Marketers.

Read more: The Marketer’s Guide to Customer Data Platforms

The hub-and-spoke CDP model

CDPs can improve multichannel marketing agility with a hub-and-spoke model. Marketing leaders select these hubs based on solutions for data management, profile management, segmentation, orchestration, campaign execution and analytics. In a hub-and-spoke configuration, the CDP acts as a hub to centralize data collection, unify customer profiles from disparate sources, create segments and activate those segments in priority channels. Point solutions such as email applications and marketing automation platforms then execute multichannel marketing as spokes emanating from the CDP hub.

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A hub-and-spoke CDP model can accelerate progress toward real-time and event-driven marketing, key components of advancing multichannel marketing maturity. Gartner research finds that marketers have struggled to make progress toward this goal; enabling the customer profile to be available for a broader array of execution systems helps marketers to close the gap between where they are and where they want to be.

A marketer who wants to activate campaign messaging across email, mobile and other channels would only need to rely on the one customer profile from the CDP. The hub-and-spoke model provides marketers with greater control and customization of their multichannel marketing environments. However, with great flexibility comes greater complexity.

Gartner for Marketers on the pros and cons of a hub-and-spoke customer data platform model

While CDPs have many advantages in a hub-and-spoke model, it’s important to identify your organization’s readiness to manage procurement, integration and analytics challenges prior to the adoption of a customer data platform.

Read more: Make the Case for a Customer Data Platform

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