Amperity Adapts as Covid Raises the Bar for CDPs

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The work of customer data platforms has gotten a great deal more complicated in the Covid-19 era. Budgets have tightened, privacy standards are rising, the shift to e-commerce has accelerated, and brands are asking for more.

CDP Amperity unveiled an updated platform today to meet those challenges. Matthew Lubeck, VP of product marketing at the company, spoke to Street Fight about the company’s updated platform and the challenges the CDP industry is facing now.

Amperity is releasing a major update to its CDP today. What makes this different from Amperity’s past offerings?

After years of working with large consumer enterprises, we’ve learned that a one-size-fits-all approach really doesn’t work. Needs differ and evolve over time depending on where the company is in its digital transformation journey. What’s new about Amperity’s third-generation enterprise CDP is that we’ve upgraded and segmented our capabilities into three distinct products that represent different stages of a company’s customer data, from performing identity resolution on raw data, to generating and distributing persistent 360 customer profiles, to turning those profiles into the right customer insights and optimizing the customer journey for maximum ROI. Amperity 3.0 gives our customers the option of starting at the point of greatest need and layering on additional capabilities from there.

The products include:

  • AmpID is a complete first-party identity product — with transparency and flexibility that is radical in the identity management category.

  • Amp360 is a modern Customer 360 that gives every team across an enterprise real-time access to the customer data they need. Amp360 breaks down silos, expands audiences, and gives teams and systems direct access to holistic customer data.

  • AmpIQ is a brand-new point-and-click marketer hub for customer intelligence and omnichannel activation that drives immediate ROI gains.

What has Amperity learned about the evolving needs of CDP clients by working with firms such as Kroger and Dick’s in past months?

Most CDPs have been touted as a marketer’s campaign tool, as a way for them to efficiently target and measure cross-channel spend. That’s important, and we offer that through our IQ product.  But over the past few months, we’ve learned that as enterprise-scale consumer brands face the disruptions caused by Covid-19, their needs eclipse and transcend the marketing use case for CDP technology.

The pandemic has accelerated the gradual shift from brick-and-mortar shopping to e-commerce in ways that were previously unimaginable. Consumer habits have changed across generations—and for many, there’s no going back. Even for those companies that were well-positioned for this shift, or that quickly pivoted to accommodate new surges in online ordering behavior, there’s still tremendous work to be done when it comes to fixing customer communication and retention strategies for the future. This has forced major decisions across all functions of the enterprise: where to close or open stores, which markets to lean into, which customers to target with promotions, how to measure or even define success.

It’s impossible to answer any of these questions without accurate and real-time information on who your customers are, and how they’ve interacted with your brand for as long as they’ve been a customer.

How will the CDP help retailers scrambling to address the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic?

By moving fast. In addition to all the standard metrics for evaluating a CDP’s success (read: match rates), we prioritize efficiency in implementation and speed-to-value. Brands that approached us at the outset of the pandemic got fully up and running on our systems in under 60 days, and saw value even faster. The unprecedented changes underway require that enterprise software moves faster than it has ever moved before, and we’ve been able to compress a process that often takes months, sometimes years, into a window that enables brands to react quickly to these changes.

Brands don’t sacrifice long-term value with rapid short-term implementation. Amperity isn’t focused on incremental improvements to marketing efficiency. We work quickly to help brands establish a customer data foundation that meets them where they are today, drives immediate business impact, and then flexibly grows with them as their business needs change and evolve over time.

How do rising industry privacy standards intersect with Amperity’s offerings and the needs of your customers?

GDPR and CCPA represent real, fundamental changes in consumer preference and behavior. They express in legal terms the customers desire to have more consent and control over how their data is used and to have a more direct and accountable relationship with the companies that use it. Meeting the spirit of these regulations requires more than just compliance frameworks — it requires companies to become more customer-centric, and more deliberate with how they use customer data. To do that, they need a foundational architecture for customer data where they not only comply with GDPR and CCPA, but instead create a clear contract with customers on expectations, and deliver on their side of the bargain.

Anything else?

The CDP category has generated confusion and debate since it rose to prominence three, four years ago. Part of that, in our view, is that the demand for CDP technology is different depending on the scale and maturity of the companies using it.

There’s a one-way fork in the road for consumer brands, who are facing incredible headwinds as they pivot their business to meet rapidly changing consumer demand. Do they need yet another data silo that limits their ambition to digital marketing optimization with a “marketer CDP” or be stuck behind the walled gardens with the marketing cloud CDPs, or do they more strategically partner with technologies that will give them a complete view of the customer and use that to create competitive advantage?

Brands need an “Enterprise-Scale CDP,” a CDP purpose-built to operate at the scale of a large consumer enterprise. Amperity’s platform has the computing power to handle data at massive scale, and is compatible and interoperable with existing enterprise cloud infrastructures. Many of our customers leverage Amperity in conjunction with their entire ecosystem, from AWS, Azure, Snowflake, Zendesk, Google, Facebook, and other systems and marketplaces. Operating at enterprise scale means inter-operating with enterprise infrastructure. Brands don’t have the time or resources to engage with a CDP that doesn’t.

And when the business case for customer data reaches the enterprise scale, a CDP built for the narrow purposes of incremental marketing efficiency isn’t going to cut it.

This interview has been edited for clarity and length.

Joe Zappa is the Managing Editor of Street Fight. He has spearheaded the newsroom's editorial operations since 2018. Joe is an ad/martech veteran who has covered the space since 2015. You can contact him at [email protected]