CDP implementation: Quality assurance & go-live

CDP Implementation

The final phase of implementation

The valantic blog series details the various phases involved in implementing a customer data platform (CDP). Following the planning phase, which involved defining project organization and requirements, the implementation phase commenced. During this phase, we consolidated the specifications, established the basic configuration, developed the data collection process, and configured the use cases. Now, we are in the final stages of quality assurance prior to go-live, after which we will move on to the operational and further development phase. 

Quality assurance and testing before go-live

To effectively implement meaningful use cases, ensuring high-quality data is an essential criterion. For instance, when personalizing email salutations, accurately maintaining a customer’s gender definition is crucial. Inaccurate or incomplete profile information may result in failed personalization or even customer annoyance due to incorrect information being displayed.

This also holds true for customer preferences, as incorrect recording may lead to personalized offers being perceived as uninteresting or even inappropriate. In marketing automation, maintaining good data quality is therefore vital. Inaccurate or missing data such as email addresses or phone numbers can result in failed or undelivered marketing automation emails or text messages.

Quality assurance also at the event level

In a customer data platform (CDP), there are usually no or limited options for data clean-up. That’s why it’s important to identify and address errors already in the source system, especially during migration. Quality assurance should continue after go-live using reporting and monitoring dashboards, as something can change in the source systems at any time.

It’s also recommended to have a type of integration monitor dashboard to check whether data is still coming in from the source systems at all. This ensures that data is still being received and processed by the CDP.

Integration and use case testing

During testing, a distinction should be made between integration testing and use case testing. An integrated test environment that includes all source systems allows for testing journeys in the development environment before transferring them to the production environment. If an integrated test environment isn’t available, it is advisable to test use case journeys with conditions in a low-risk production system.

Almost done: The go-live can happen.

After successful quality assurance and extensive testing, the CDP is technically ready for use. But before implementing the first use case journeys, IP warming is typically necessary, particularly when introducing a new email sending tool or sending emails directly via the CDP.

The IP warming process gradually acclimates the Internet Service Provider (ISP) to the new IP address and subdomain. It’s crucial to perform this process gradually to avoid overwhelming ISPs like Gmail or Microsoft. The IP warming process should be carefully monitored to quickly address any unexpected issues. If IP warming is omitted, ISPs may classify emails as spam, and recipients won’t receive them.

Go-live is followed by the operational and development phase

Once the IP warming process is complete, the number of recipients can be increased. However, use case journeys shouldn’t go live until after the IP warming process is complete to avoid unexpectedly large volumes of emails.

After the go-live, we can transition to the operational and further development phase. During this phase, the collaboration model and continuous improvement process (CIP) help get the most out of the CDP.

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