In today’s business landscape, data is king. But for marketing teams, leveraging customer data using traditional solutions is challenging and costly.
This guide will explore the advantages and challenges of traditional marketing clouds, packaged CDPs, and composable CDPs. Finally, we’ll introduce you to GrowthLoop’s composable CDP powered by Snowflake and explain how your marketing team can harness GrowthLoop and Snowflake to drive innovation and growth.
The evolution of marketing clouds and CDPs
Traditionally, marketing teams have centered their tech stack around one of two technologies: the traditional marketing cloud and the packaged customer data platform (CDP).
What is a marketing cloud?
In the early days of digital marketing, the marketing cloud emerged as an all-in-one solution encompassing data warehousing, business intelligence, segmentation, journey orchestration, and delivery layers. Marketing clouds played a vital role in consolidating marketing technologies and processes, and the technology has seen significant growth.
Citing insights from Market Statsville Group (MSG) research, the realm of marketing cloud platforms is poised for remarkable expansion in the future. According to MSG's forecasts, the global market will grow substantially from its 2022 valuation of $12,209.4 million to an impressive projected worth of $25,964.4 million in 2033.
However, as companies build up their first-party data infrastructure, teams that rely solely on marketing clouds are encountering significant challenges stemming from the rigidity of these platforms. They also run into problems with incomplete data use and data effectiveness.
In a 2022 Gartner survey of nearly 400 marketing executives:
- 76% of participants acknowledged the impact of third party cookie deprecation. They concurred that this shift is compelling them to enhance first-party data-gathering initiatives.
- 82% of those surveyed indicated their organization's commitment to leveraging first party data as a pivotal strategy for delivering value to their customer base.
What is a packaged CDP?
Packaged CDPs have become a specialized solution for managing customer data across various touchpoints and channels. These platforms unify customer data from different sources, providing a single customer view to enhance marketing personalization and customer experiences. Marketing teams can access this profile to activate campaigns to various end destinations.
However, despite their increased flexibility, CDPs present unique challenges that marketers must consider, especially when integrating different data sources and scaling up to the company’s needs.
Limitations of traditional marketing clouds and CDPs
Traditional marketing clouds and CDPs face challenges because of their rigid platform design and inability to integrate disparate data sources. Below are six key challenges for marketing teams to consider when incorporating a traditional marketing cloud or CDP at the center of the tech stack:
- Implementation complexity and compatibility issues. Marketing clouds and CDPs require a months-long, resource-intensive implementation process. This process involves integrating various existing systems and technologies. Beyond creating delays and increased costs, compatibility issues between technologies can lead to inconsistent data and challenges leveraging data from multiple sources.
- Overreliance on the engineering team. Even after integration, the marketing team must rely on the data and engineering teams to sync new data and pull customer lists. As data sources and volume grow, the marketing team devotes increasing time and resources to troubleshooting the customer platform rather than experimentation and iteration.
- Scalability limitations. Due to platform rigidity, traditional marketing clouds often struggle to scale effectively, resulting in performance bottlenecks and constraints on marketing initiatives. This challenge is particularly troublesome for businesses experiencing rapid growth or those dealing with large volumes of customer data.
- Data silos and fragmentation. Since marketing clouds and CDPs store a second — and often less comprehensive — copy of customer data, they can create data silos and make it difficult to obtain a unified view of customer data across different channels and touchpoints. This data fragmentation hinders personalized and targeted marketing efforts.
- Lack of flexibility and agility. Many marketing clouds exhibit rigid structures that can limit marketers' agility and responsiveness to market dynamics. These barriers slow marketing teams’ ability to experiment with campaigns, adapt quickly, and implement agile strategies.
- Limited insight. Extracting meaningful insights from marketing clouds and CDPs can require specialized data analysis and interpretation skills. This lack of accessibility can prevent effective decision-making and marketing performance optimization.
Solution: Innovation powered by the data cloud
While CDPs and marketing clouds offer distinct advantages, they also pose unique challenges. However, it is now possible to overcome these barriers and combine the strengths of both approaches by leveraging the foundational infrastructure of the data cloud.
What is the data cloud?
A data cloud is a platform that allows companies to bring all their data together in one place. Because data isn’t scattered across different platforms and physical data storage centers, data cloud organizations can make better decisions based on real-time information, break down barriers between different data types, and find new ways to grow and innovate.
Snowflake’s data cloud is one solution that has transformed how organizations handle and use their data.
Key features of the Snowflake data cloud
Because it brings all the company’s data together in one place, Snowflake’s data cloud makes it easier for businesses to manage and use data effectively. Many teams have already realized some of the key advantages of having Snowflake at the center of the technology stack:
- Scalable data storage. Snowflake offers a scalable and flexible data storage infrastructure, allowing organizations to handle massive volumes of data and accommodate growth without compromising performance.
- Advanced analytics capabilities. With its advanced analytics features, Snowflake enables organizations to pull valuable insights from their data, providing actionable intelligence for effective decision-making and strategic marketing initiatives.
- Security and data governance. Snowflake prioritizes data security and governance, implementing robust measures to protect sensitive information while ensuring compliance with industry regulations and standards.
Snowflake’s extensive feature set eliminates the technical difficulties caused by storing data in silos across different platforms. This accessibility creates flexibility for teams who want to use the company’s customer data, since the data cloud eliminates integration and data compatibility issues.
In other words, Snowflake’s data cloud provides the perfect foundation for a flexible, composable CDP to unlock agility for marketers through data activation.
What is a composable CDP?
A composable CDP refers to a marketing technology infrastructure built upon modular and interoperable components. This composability allows marketers to assemble and integrate specialized tools and capabilities based on their needs.
Unlike traditional monolithic marketing cloud solutions, a composable CDP offers flexibility and agility. It enables marketers to mix and match best-of-breed applications and services from multiple vendors.
This approach provides seamless integration, customization, and scalability, helping marketers create a tailored and efficient marketing technology stack that aligns with their unique business requirements.
Because the Snowflake data cloud brings all the company’s data together in one place, it directly enables the flexibility and agility of a composable CDP.
Advantages of the composable CDP
A composable CDP in partnership with Snowflake provides significant advantages over traditional marketing clouds or CDPs.
A composable CDP is built on a modular architecture, which allows marketers to select and integrate individual components or services based on their specific needs.
Why does this matter?
This modularity provides flexibility, scalability, and the ability to easily swap out or add new components as marketing needs evolve. Marketers can select specialized tools and services that align with their specific goals, enabling them to create personalized customer experiences, tailor marketing campaigns, and deliver relevant content to their target audience.
The composable CDP enables seamless integration and data flow between components and systems.
Why does this matter?
The interoperability of a composable CDP allows marketers to connect various tools, platforms, and data sources, facilitating a unified view of customer data and enabling efficient data-driven marketing strategies. Interoperability eliminates data silos, enhances collaboration across teams, and enables marketers to leverage the full potential of their marketing technology stack.
Customization and personalization
A composable CDP allows marketers to tailor the platform to their unique requirements.
Why does this matter?
Customizing and personalizing the marketing tech stack allows marketing teams to find what works for them. The team can adapt the platform to fit their needs.
Agility and innovation
The modular nature of a composable CDP enables marketers to easily add or remove components, integrate emerging technologies, and explore new marketing channels.
Why does this matter?
Agility fosters continuous improvement, enables faster time to market, and empowers marketers to stay at the forefront of marketing trends and consumer preferences.
The activation layer: GrowthLoop + Snowflake
GrowthLoop is a composable CDP powered by Snowflake. GrowthLoop’s platform sits directly on top of Snowflake’s single source of truth data, eliminating the challenges inherent to marketing clouds and CDPs.
Unlike traditional solutions that require syncing and maintaining another partial copy of the company’s data, GrowthLoop is an activation layer that allows marketing teams to leverage all their company’s data in an intuitive, no-code interface.
The GrowthLoop composable CDP on Snowflake empowers marketers with self-service capabilities, bridging the gap between technical expertise and marketing execution. While Snowflake provides a robust foundation for data storage previously accessible only to the analytics team, GrowthLoop enables marketers to leverage the power of Snowflake without relying on data partners or intricate SQL queries. As many businesses already invest in data clouds like Snowflake, GrowthLoop enables marketers to tap into this vvastresource.
With GrowthLoop's intuitive user interface, marketers can effortlessly target precise and impactful customer journeys across multiple tools. This targeting significantly reduces the time required for segmentation and measurement and drives smarter marketing outcomes. This fast time-to-value enables an experimentation loop where marketing teams can rapidly test strategies, measure the results of those activations, and improve future results — within GrowthLoop + Snowflake.
Together, GrowthLoop and Snowflake offer a comprehensive solution that enables marketers to unlock the full potential of their data and drive impactful marketing outcomes.
Building upon Snowflake's expansive feature set, GrowthLoop provides six key benefits to teams, elevating your marketing efforts and driving rapid experimentation and growth:
1. Accelerated time-to-value
Adding a new martech tool can be intimidating and resource-draining. But organizations that use GrowthLoop can kickstart their journey in less than two weeks. If your company’s data is already in Snowflake, you can activate the GrowthLoop platform in just a few minutes.
GrowthLoop’s team is continuing to innovate to get organizations using GrowthLoop faster: the current record is two hours.
2. Self-serve audience building
GrowthLoop streamlines your marketing processes and reduces reliance on engineering support. The no-code, self-serve interface empowers your marketing team to swiftly build target audiences for any marketing channel and launch campaigns within minutes.
For example, a marketer for an entertainment venue can create a campaign to drive participation in a community service event. Since the event is based within a specific community, the marketer can easily build an audience of fans within a 25-mile radius of the location.
3. Orchestrated journeys across marketing tools
Maximize the performance of your preferred marketing tools by seamlessly orchestrating cross-channel customer journeys. By leveraging the correct customer data, you can enhance the effectiveness and coordination of your marketing efforts.
For example, that same entertainment venue marketer has an entire calendar of off-season events to promote. Using the same local audience built, they can create a fully orchestrated journey that ensures all the events are promoted at the right time.
4. End-to-end results measurement
GrowthLoop enables comprehensive end-to-end measurement of any metric directly in Snowflake. By assessing results with your analytics stack, you can make data-driven decisions and swiftly adapt your strategies for optimal outcomes.
For example, a marketer may have an email campaign that drives a lot of revenue but a below-average profit margin. Seeing these results directly in Snowflake can help that marketer find opportunities to change up the email campaign targeting.
5. Single source of truth
Because GrowthLoop’s platform sits directly on top of the Snowflake data cloud, it simplifies your data landscape. By leveraging reliable and complete data, you can confidently operate in your single source of truth and deliver a more seamless and targeted customer experience.
6. Harness the power of AI
GrowthLoop is purpose-built to leverage the power of AI, including predictive models and generative AI. Empower your marketers to create audience segments tailored to their goals, enabling precise targeting and impactful engagement.
When considering the adoption of any new technology, it’s natural for marketing leaders to have concerns about platform usability, integration with their existing tech stack, and potential ROI. As your trusted partners, we understand your concerns and are here to support you every step of the way. Here are answers to a few frequently asked questions that arise during the decision-making process.
My data isn’t in Snowflake yet. Can I still use GrowthLoop?
We have helped many clients in migrating their data into Snowflake. Through a collaborative partnership with the Snowflake team, we can leverage our additional hands-on expertise to expedite the process and get you up and running.
My data in Snowflake is still unstructured and not optimized for marketing purposes. Can I still use it?
As companies experience growth, large volumes of data accumulate quickly in the data cloud, often without appropriate modeling. We have helped many companies successfully model their data to leverage the complete feature set of GrowthLoop.
I see the benefits of a composable CDP, but my team still prefers their existing marketing tools.
GrowthLoop can also enhance existing tools, establishing interconnectedness to provide marketers with a comprehensive 360-degree view of their customers. Talk to us, and we can figure out how to help.
Client success stories
GrowthLoop + Snowflake has helped numerous marketing teams activate their data and drive innovation and growth. Here, some of our valued customers share their experiences and explain their decision to embrace GrowthLoop as the preferred activation layer for Snowflake's data cloud platform.
“GrowthLoop activates the Snowflake Data Cloud for our marketing team, which means the Lifecycle Segmentation models developed by our Marketing Analytics team are available across our marketing channels.” –Judy Nam, VP of SMB Marketing, Indeed
“GrowthLoop has become an integral part of our modern data stack, and we're excited to see what other opportunities it can unlock for us in the future." –Hart Zwingelberg, Senior Director of Business Strategy and Intelligence, Big10 Conference
The path forward
Traditional marketing clouds and CDPs have proven to be partial solutions for marketers. Both types of platforms have limitations that hinder their effectiveness, including prolonged time-to-value, constant tech support and troubleshooting, limited data activation, and platform rigidity.
GrowthLoop’s composable CDP on Snowflake offers a game-changing solution. Instead of requiring more third-party data storage, GrowthLoop serves as an activation layer that sits directly on top of Snowflake’s single source of truth. Its intuitive, no-code platform empowers marketers to unlock the full potential of their data by building audiences, launching campaigns, and measuring outcomes with ease.
By enabling marketers to self-serve, the GrowthLoop + Snowflake solution unlocks fast-paced innovation and an experimentation loop that drives growth for your business.
If you want to transform your tech stack and embrace a modern composable CDP, schedule a collaborative workshop assessment with our team. Together, we’ll conduct a comprehensive evaluation of your specific use cases, and you’ll come away with an action plan specifically tailored for your organization.