My Dreamforce 2022 Top Picks for Education Industry part 1: CDP

Salesforce has multiple sessions in Dreamforce this year around Salesforce Customer Data Platform (CDP) and Education.

It’s that time of the year again, and Dreamforce is ON! It is the biggest Salesforce event of the year, and there is a lot of content for education institutions to delve into. What am I excited about in Dreamforce when it comes to Salesforce for education? Well, there are many things to be excited about, but I am particularly looking forward to deep diving into three areas that I think will be interesting: CDP, Slack and SIS.

Why am I excited about these in particular? Let me tell you about that in a series of articles I will publish in the following days, starting with CDP.

What’s CDP?

Salesforce has multiple sessions in Dreamforce this year around Salesforce CDP and Education. CDP stands for Customer Data Platform. You might ask how CDP is different from Customer Relationship Management (CRM). Good question.

The main difference between them is that a CRM stores and organises the customer engagement data while the CDP does the same for the behavioural data from all your products and services. This includes the CRM and all other channels! CDP collects data, unifies data, activates data and gives insights from the data. You break down the silos, let the sunlight in, dust off the data and plug it into your unified profile on the CDP. Hello, Connected Experience!

Example of CDP in action

Let’s go from generic to more specific. So let’s say you have your university website set up with a portal for applications and your course catalogue. You also have a student portal, a university mobile app, service software, an e-commerce engine, marketing automation and a CRM, SIS, LMS… Among other things. A standard university has hundreds of IT systems and dozens of channels. Maintaining a unified view is like eating spaghetti through a straw. Possible? Maybe, but there are better ways.

All these different channels store behavioural data from the user that is traditionally very siloed. Your prospects and students, for instance, zip around on the digital services using a browser, mobile, email and so forth, making it quite difficult to maintain the identity of the student across services. And you can’t really limit the number of channels in use. So the best option you have is to ensure you can establish a cross-device identity – and this you can do by creating a unified profile in CDP by connecting your channel data. Then you can share the unified profile across services to drive an even better experience and value. Great!

What’s the upside

So why do it? Having a unified profile allows you to personalise the individual experience better, and personalised journeys are in demand in the modern education experience. Students with experience from modern private sector digital experiences are no longer as satisfied just being a faceless number in an SIS.

You can personalise better with a CDP because you have a much better insight since your data is no longer siloed. With CDP your marketing automation could know for instance not only which summer course to market to alumni (who are five times as likely to engage a brand with personalised content) but when to stop marketing that course to an individual because they have already taken it (not targeting is as important as targeting!). All your teams, from student services to alumni team, community relations, business development and others, leverage the insights to ensure they are all working with the same understanding and creating truly personalised and meaningful journeys.

So that’s it, CDP for education. Simple, personalised, better experiences with your institution.

Kari Poutanen

Global Industry Lead, Education

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