The consulting firm McKinsey believes "data-activated marketing based on a person’s real-time needs, interests, and behaviors represents an important part of the new horizon of growth." In a new marketing assessment, McKinsey suggests marketers need to move beyond CRM (Customer Relationship Management) to stay competitive. Instead, they should be thinking about a "CDP," or "Customer Data Platform" that allows for automated decision making.
According to McKinsey, "the CDP makes it possible for marketers to scale data-driven customer interactions in real time." But incorporating such a platform means a marketer must master four "D's": Data foundation, Decisioning, Design, and Distribution. This enables what the firm calls an "end-to-end personalization factory." The good news about a CDP is it does not require a brand new system. Says McKinsey, "Unlike a wholesale IT transformation, deploying a CDP isn’t a replacement of current customer-data systems, but rather an operational solution that can piggyback on existing systems. In our experience, many marketers already have a large part of the marketing-technology equation in house; they’re just not using it properly."
Read more about the notion of a CDP here: