Cloudy holding a computer next to text that says, "Introduction to Salesforce CDP for Admins."

Introduction to Salesforce CDP for Admins

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As Salesforce Admins we’ve always been about action, being proactive in our organizations to drive positive change to help achieve the overall mission and vision. To do that we’ve utilized countless low-code tools like App Builder to create dynamic user experiences, Flow to automate processes, and MuleSoft to integrate data—and now, it’s time to turn our rich customer data into action!

What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

Let’s start with an understanding of what CDP stands for. A CDP, or Customer Data Platform, is a place where a company collects and stores data about its customers. I bet you’re thinking that sounds like what we do in Salesforce already, so we’re all good here, right? Well, CDPs take it one step further. A true CDP has many sources of customer data, such as different CRM instances and other databases all stitched together into a single customer ID. To sum it up in one sentence: a CDP’s primary tasks are data collection, data unification, data activation, and data insights.

Let me give you a few examples of CDPs and how they all don’t relate to just marketing. The first is website personalization. Let’s say a consumer came to your website, browsed a certain product, and left. It would be awesome to tie what you know about that consumer to a personalized offer via email. With a CDP you can do this by connecting that consumer’s identity and making that profile data available to the marketing platforms you use. Pretty cool, right?

What does it mean to use CDP in Salesforce?

Salesforce CDP gives admins the ability to consolidate and segment customer data into a unified customer profile. Organizations are using more data sources than ever, and that number is increasing. Salesforce CDP is integrated with MuleSoft, so you can connect many different enterprise systems together. And the AppExchange helps you connect customer data with an open ecosystem of apps and tools.

But Salesforce CDP is about more than the technology. Salesforce CDP gives admins the power to build personalization and experiences centered around the individual, helping your company deliver “human-centered marketing.” Trust and security is a key value, and as a security-minded admin, you have access to Identity Resolution tools that are privacy compliant and maintain security. Optimizing your data structure with Salesforce CDP will help you determine your audience’s profile and deliver the right customer experience at the right time.

What does this mean for admins?

If ever there was a case to be made to have a Salesforce Admin at the table when discussing organization strategy and data, that time is now with Salesforce CDP. Setting up CDP in Salesforce is not some difficult, overwhelming task requiring millions of lines of code. With the Admin Implementation Guide, you have a step-by-step method to walk you through setup. And—not to spoil the surprise—it doesn’t require code.

Next steps for admins and Salesforce CDP

As I mentioned, a CDP brings all of your company’s customer data into a single place. The first step for an admin is to identify the owners of each of those sources of data. That could be multiple CRM instances, additional databases, marketing, service, and ecommerce.

Next up—build the business case. As you’ve done for other features and functionality, you need to ensure there’s alignment on what you’re trying to accomplish. Start by establishing clear goals. Make sure these goals are measurable and, most importantly, tied to your company’s directive or strategy.

Then, make sure you have the right stakeholders. You need to not only identify the owners of the data sources but also confirm that the stakeholders for those sources are involved. Having the right people in place means everyone is on board to achieve success.

Lastly, track your goals and measures and report them out. Follow up to ensure that stakeholders, executives, and owners know how the progress is going. Highlight objectives that show the value of your data transformation goals and how they align to your company’s directive or strategy.

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