Ken Leren on the key issues around customer data platforms

Mark Johnson's picture
by Mark Johnson

You have a customer data platform, but are you really getting the most out of it? We asked Ken Leren, founder and CEO of London-based marketing technology firm, Marketing Town, which provides solutions to improve the use of customer data, what his view of the main CDP issues were right now. 

Ken Leren: passionate about CDP

Biggest challenge facing customer data platforms right now?

Without a shadow of doubt, it is the legislative uncertainty (GDPR, ePrivacy and ITP 2.0), both in the EU and US. 

Addressing the issue

It is now imperative to be more transparent and proactive about data privacy, both the handling and protection of sensitive personal information of individuals. 

At Marketing Town, for example, we focus on tracking the partners that drive traffic, and not where consumers click and the pages that they visit.  

Leading elements

Rather than particular industries it is SaaS (Software as a Service), subscription and monthly recurring revenue businesses that are currently leading the field. 

Developing best practice strategies

Historically, businesses would focus on reactive strategies based on their current needs. However now, with GDPR and the other privacy regulations, a proactive and holistic approach to marketing is required. 

If marketers are going to store data in their CDP technology, it must be first-party data to enable compliance with current and upcoming privacy regulations. Now more than ever, it’s critical to take advantage of the most valuable marketing asset - your own first-party data. 

What clients want most 

Simplifying complexity and unifying multiple advertising channels in addition to putting performance front and centre of all campaigns. 

GDPR considerations

Having a CDP doesn’t automatically make you GDPR compliant. Therefore, ad tracking has to remain separate from CDP technology to protect consumer privacy, publisher’s monetisation and advertiser’s transparency.

AI: Helping understand what drives customers' choices

Benefits of Artificial Intelligence

AI helps to deliver the right content in the right format to the right audience across all channels. With GDPR impacting consumer targeting, AI will help analyse not only what consumers read, but also how and where they consume information. 

Growth in content marketing this year

The biggest growth will be in interactive and engaging video content - we are moving away from blogs with ads and product placements. Moving forward, the combination of video content and influencer marketing can yield better results. 


CDP itself is the buzzword. Customer journeys stretch across multiple channels and touchpoints and marketers are required to find an effective way to create a unified customer profile. A single view of customers has been needed since ‘omnichannel’ was the buzzword so CDP platforms when leveraged compliantly will become the winning formula. 

CDP leading edges 

Again, SaaS, subscription, and monthly recurring revenue businesses.

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