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Closer Look: Digital security and proprietary access for CDPs

On the last episode of Auto Marketing Now, host Brian Pasch, founder of PCG companies and auto marketing expert, discussed how marketing automation platforms (MAP) and customer data platforms (CDP) work best when used together. In this episode, Pasch takes a deeper look at digital security and the questions dealers should ask before they select their CDP partners.

When using hybrid platforms (a service with both CDP and MAP functions), dealers need to ensure they retain ownership of the marketing accounts used for these programs. For example, many businesses use a Google Ads or Google Analytics account to track and launch digital campaigns. When working with a third-party agency to outsource online initiatives, the company owner simply gives their representative access to their profile. However, certain marketing service providers, including data and automation platforms, require proprietary access, meaning they have sole administrative control over said accounts. Pasch urges dealers to avoid relinquishing any form of authority on their online accounts.

There are multiple reasons for avoiding companies or platforms which demand this kind of control. First, marketing accounts allow dealers to create and file records detailing the performance of different advertising initiatives. Maintaining a history of prior campaigns is essential for optimizing advertising strategies, but such records become inaccessible when working with a service provider that requires proprietary access. Another reason to partner with an accountable CDP provider is to retain ownership of dealership and customer data. Many marketing programs actually share information between companies to expand their databases, a move that gives retailers less oversight in how their information is handled.

To find the right CDP for their needs, Pasch recommends that retailers ask several questions when interviewing different partners. First, ask if the CDP provider will work out of the dealer’s account. Companies that create their own marketing accounts for the business should be avoided since these profiles are almost always proprietary. 

Second, ask if the CDP brand uses API’s that give other partners direct access to customer databases. This question allows dealers to know which third-party programs, if any, they can integrate into the system: marketing partners which allow dealers to use their own software are more convenient and can be used for a wider variety of tasks. 

Finally, dealers should ask CDP partners how strong their data security actually is. Effective protection of customer information is both an ethical responsibility and an integral component of satisfying compliance regulations. Retailers can ask what protections the platform has for cloud-stored data, what access non-business-partner parties have to consumer information, and what cyber security insurance policy the CDP offers. Pasch also recommends that dealers request to see any data security certifications the company may own.

Pasch encourages dealers to review the latest CDP research by visiting and reading “The Rise of CDPs in Automotive Retailing.” In the report, Pasch breaks down the nuances of customer data collection and weighs a multitude of solutions on the market.

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Colin Velez
Colin Velez
Colin Velez is a staff writer/reporter for CBT News. After obtaining his bachelor’s in Communication from Kennesaw State University in 2018, he kicked off his writing career by developing marketing and public relations material for various industries, including travel and fashion. Throughout the next four years, he developed a love for working with journalists and other content creators, and his passion eventually led him to his current position. Today, Colin writes news content and coordinates stories with auto-industry insiders and entrepreneurs throughout the U.S.

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