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Graeme Chard, Director of Marketing at Boxever

Fiona Hilliard
14 April 2021

Spotlight on the Smart Hub CDP Webinar: Key Highlights

With online spending at an all-time high, digital-first businesses are under unprecedented pressure to deliver standout customer experiences. For marketers looking to meet and preferably exceed these expectations, the Smart Hub CDP represents the elusive missing piece of the jigsaw – an essential tool for crafting memorable and personalised 1:1 customer experiences across all digital touchpoints.

In our latest webinar ‘Spotlight on the Smart Hub CDP’, Graeme Chard, Director of Marketing at Boxever and Scott Brinker, editor of and creator of the annual Marketing Technology Landscape Supergraph take an in-depth look at the game-changing Smart Hub CDP – a powerful customer data platform that combines traditional data management with digital decisioning, experimentation and orchestration to deliver a highly intuitive customer experience.

To understand the role that CDP plays in the new martech space and why companies are eagerly embracing customer data platforms, we need to first examine the science. Enter Martec’s Law…


According to Scott, Martec’s Law states that technology changes at an exponential (very fast) rate, but organisations change at a logarithmic (much slower) rate.

This gap widens over time, eventually requiring a reset of an organisation and in turn, management must strategically choose which technological changes to embrace.


In the next section of the webinar, Scott examines Covid-19, rapid digital change and how the capabilities of the Smart Hub CDP can help businesses deliver intelligent, consistent customer experiences.

The global Covid-19 pandemic represented a cataclysmic event for business owners everywhere, forcing management teams to quickly adapt and improve their digital strategies in order to survive. On the impact of the pandemic and the rapid evolution of marketing technology, Scott says:

“So many companies were really backed into the corner of having to figure out how to accelerate their digital transformation, their digital business improvement, their digital marketing improvement…so many companies really did step up and it’s really helped us as an industry to start to learn how can we get better at harnessing this change and managing it. One of the ways I’ve been thinking about this in my chats with different marketing operations and marketing technology leaders is almost to distill this into the five rules of marketing technology and operations…“

  1. Centralize everything you can.
  2. Automate everything you can.
  3. Decentralize everything you can.
  4. Humanize everything you can.
  5. Embrace continuous change.

Clearly these rules demand a certain level of compromise in order to function effectively. Companies want centralisation for scale, but require decentralisation for agility. Companies want automation to harness technology but at the same time they need to retain the human elements – how they engage with customers and delight them but also how they manage themselves internally.

The Smart Hub’s CDP technology effortlessly balances and coordinates the associated efficiency, innovation, brand and authenticity, through the data beating at the heart of its platform.


Building on Scott’s introduction to CDP, Graeme offers a detailed look at how CDP technology has evolved over time and how it fits into the martech landscape.

In 2013, David Raab, CDP Institute defined customer data platforms as follows:

“A CDP is a marketer managed system that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems”.

Fast forward to 2020 and the CDP has evolved into a much more critical player within the smart hub:

“The CDP seems poised to become part of the smart hub that connects an array of spokes.” – Benjamin Bloom, Gartner Market Guide for CDPs 2020.


As we can see from the graphic, the CDP now sits at the heart, connecting different systems of engagement e.g. website, mobile app, and the campaign automation system – a driving force behind better online customer experience.


By centralising intelligence into the CDP you can start to see a consistent view of the customer, a consistent set of segments and a consistent overlay of intelligence, which ultimately improves alignment across departments. The following is a breakdown of the key capabilities of the a Smart Hub CDP:

Owning customer profiles (anonymous profiles – people visiting a website, as well as customer profiles) and bringing those together through identity resolution and using that blend of data (engagement, behaviour, customer history, transactions), to segment and build audiences.

Digital decisioning – taking data about individuals that are interacting with a product or site and figuring out what’s the next best action or experience or offer to push towards this person depending on their scenario. You’ll see experimentation and optimisation built in to Smart CDPs that allow both marketing teams, ecommerce teams and digital teams to experiment with conversion rate optimisation or a new feature roll-out. You’ll also see predictive insights – AI that’s built into the platform, as well as activating AI that sits outside of the Smart Hub CDP.

Personalization: Personalising the hub and how someone is interacting.

Engagement: Showing a notification on a website/pushing a message on a mobile app.

Orchestration: Deciding how to take the data and intelligence added to the platform and send that out to people in the ecosystem (the website, the mobile app).

When we consider the new rules of martech mentioned by Scott within the Smart Hub CDP context, the new rules make perfect sense:

  1. Centralize everything that you can – absorb customer identity, data and context.
  2. Decentralize everything you can – integrate with many teams, tools and data repositories.
  3. Automate digital decisions and orchestrate the last mile.
  4. Humanize everything you can – empower people’s decisions with contextual insights, potentially override digital to offer the best solution.
  5. Embrace continuous change – enable experimentation, change and growth.

Taking all of this into account, we can see the Smart Hub CDP as a real enabler, helping marketing technology and operations teams embrace data and make the most of it.

Scott breaks it down for us. Over the past decade, we’ve seen the concept of the marketing technologist emerge, an individual in marketing who brings ‘technical fluency’ into the work they do. Looking at marketing technologists and how they relate to the capabilities of the CDP, he identifies different kinds of technologists based on two axes.

There are those who are focused on internal orientation, (serving other marketers within the organisation) versus technologists focused on delivering the experiences externally to customers. Then there are the teams focused on the process and flow of what’s being delivered in marketing, and supporting that, the teams focused on the technology and architecture of what’s being built.

  • The modern marketer (brand demand builders leveraging technologies they’re delivering)
  • The operations orchestrator (the ‘maestros’ leading marketing organisations)
  • Data analytics architects
  • Marketing makers – marketing engineers, web app developers, those who take all of the capabilities and use these to create web experiences or web apps that will shape digital touch points that customers use

What they all have in common is data. Sharing data enables each marketer to complete their piece of the puzzle and make sure everything fits together cohesively. One of the greatest benefits of a centralised data platform is that it helps marketing teams align with everything that is happening across the business.

Scott hands over to Graeme, who explains how various teams drive the Smart Hub CDP capabilities. According to Graeme’s soccer team analogy, the key players include the data analytics team, the marketing operations person or team, customer support (ready and waiting to humanise interactions) and marketing and digital commerce teams. By working together towards the same goal, the team effectively harnesses the Smart Hub CDP’s full potential.

What they all have in common is data. Sharing data enables each marketer to complete their piece of the puzzle and make sure everything fits together cohesively. One of the greatest benefits of a centralised data platform is that it helps marketing teams align with everything that is happening across the business.


Finally, to illustrate how CDP enhances the customer experience in everyday life, Graeme shares an example of an online banking app that is using Boxever’s Smart Hub CDP technology.

Here, Boxever’s Smart Hub CDP powers a game changing feature that allows customers to freeze lost or stolen debit/credit cards at the tap of a button on the bank’s app.

Thanks to the CDP technology, the bank was able to capture feedback and insights into how many customers engaged with the feature.

In the longer term, the bank lowered the running costs associated with call centres, online support and issuing replacement cards. Based on this CDP innovation, we learned that the bank also improved its NPS score.

The martech landscape may continue to evolve, but the focus will always remain on the customer. And, if our latest webinar has taught us anything, it’s that the best way to the customer’s heart is through clever, intuitive interactions that happen in the right place at the right time. For a data driven solution that strikes the perfect balance between managing insights and delivering exceptional customer experiences, look no further than the Smart Hub CDP.

Learn more about the Smart Hub CDP and watch the discussion in full in our Spotlight on the Smart Hub CDP webinar.

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