What is a customer data platform?

Customer Data Platform



The term CDP stands for Customer Data Platform. CDP is defined as a packaged software that centralizes customer data from all sources and then makes this data available to other systems for marketing campaigns, customer service and all customer experience initiatives.

The types of data a CDP can work with include:

  • Events:
    Events comprise of behavioral data that arises from a user’s actions in a session on a website, in an app, or on a mobile browser.
  • Customer attributes:
    Customer attributes include names, addresses, contact details, birthdays, etc. Advanced CDPs can also store machine-learning powered predictions, such as likelihood to purchase.
  • Transactional data:
    Transactional data is for purchases, returns, and other info from e-commerce or POS systems.
  • Campaign metrics:
    Campaign metrics gather engagement, reach, impressions, and other metrics from campaigns.
  • Customer service data:
    Customer service data is for data like live chat data, number and length of interactions, frequency, NPS scores, other data from CRM systems.

What is not a customer data platform?

There are many solutions that might create confusion between customer data platforms and other similar solutions. Some key points on how to distinguish differences between cdp and and other tools.

  • CDP is not a CRM (Customer Relationship Managers). CRM’s are designed to interact with clients and create profiles of them, but the main difference is, they work with limited data sources. CRM usually focuses on the identifiable personal data, on the other hand CDP usually contains data around cookie identifiers/devices.

  • A customer data platform is not a customer integration tool, CDPs are designed specifically for marketing and contains features like database creation and management, business intelligence, analytics and more.

  • A customer data platform is not a Delivery Platform. For example the web page, social network management platforms, etc are not part of the CDP, but interact with it to send messages and collect data.

  • A customer data platform is not a DMP (data management platform). DMP focuses more on anonymous segments and categories than on individual users, and usually the information they contain expires after the cookie’s lifetime. And CDPs create persistent client profiles in a single record for each user.

  • A customer data platform is not a data warehouse. Normally, data warehouses are created and managed by IT teams. In contrast, CDPs are designed so that the data is easily accessible anduseful to the marketing team.

Key Benefits of Customer Data Platforms

  • Single View of the Customer – CDPs fundamental reason for existing is to gather information from a wide scope of sources, bring it together to shape a far reaching perspective on the customer and afterward make that information accessible to different systems.
  • Agility – CDPs gives businesses tools to collect data from everywhere and use it anywhere to drive better customer experiences.
  • Effective Customer Experience and Marketing – With a CDP in place, organizations gain a complete view of customer behavior that can be used to drive the most comprehensive customer experience possible without blind spots.
  • Operational Efficiency & Competitive Pricing – CDPs centralize customer data with maintained turnkey integrations saving hours of integration work. Also, rules can be set up centrally to save huge amounts of duplicated efforts, resulting in decreasing your overall costs.

Capabilities of CDP

  • Data Integration: Creating a central customer ID by uniting standard data sources including CRM, social, DMPs and relevant databases to get one centralised view of the customer.
  • Identity Management & Matching: Apply online event data to existing customer data to create unique customer IDs.
  • Online Event Tracking: Real-time monitoring and analysis of digital events, including web activity, campaign engagement, IOT interaction, and app usage.
  • Stitching & Aggregation: Processing the raw data to generate meaningful “sessionized” and aggregated data.
  • Real-time & Secure Access: Exposing APIs for real-time data and insights access for marketing applications while keeping the security aspects in mind at the same time.
  • Reporting & Analytics: Generate standard insights & reporting, as well as advanced query capabilities, dashboards and visualization for marketers and data scientists.

How customer data can be used in marketing campaigns

  • User Journey Tracking - Track the data of customer journey through different devices, from the first contact with the brand till conversion.
  • Sales data per Customer - This metric is used to give insights to sales trends. If the behavior of your loyal customers is analyzed and cross with product sales data, you get the best products for each customer and use this information for your promotional marketing campaigns.
  • Cart Abandonment Rate - This metric reflects the quality of user experience of your web. Use the analyzed data to improve user experience with decreasing cart abandonment rate.
Aakarsh Gupta
Written by
Aakarsh Gupta

Data Science Engineer

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