A customer data platform (CDP) is indeed a database that gathers and manages critical customer data from various channels and data sources. It helps firms to gather accurate information about their customers in a timely manner. A CDP comprises first-party data that can be supplemented with second and third-party data to create a full overview of your customer base.

It serves as a repository for all client data, such as personal identifiers, website visits, purchase orders, email answers, social media comments, audio recordings, customer service interactions, mobile app touch-points, and any other data pertaining to the consumer. The CDP collects this information from many sources and then cleans and integrates it to provide a single, unified customer picture.

Once you’ve gathered your data in one location (the CDP) to analyse and gain insights, you may link it to other systems such as a marketing automation system, CRM, and so on. As a result, you’ll be able to act on the data and insights you’ve gathered.

It’s also worth noting that certain software suppliers serve as a customer data platform for developers and marketers at the same time.

Categories of CDP Solutions

CDPs are classified into four groups based on the services that their systems serve. Within each category, there are significant differences across providers.

  • Data CDP

These systems collect consumer data from source systems, associate it with customer identities, and store the findings in a database accessible to other systems. This is the bare minimum set of functions necessary to fulfil the CDP specification.

  • Analytics CDP

These systems offer data assembly as well as analytical applications. Customer segmentation is always included in the apps, which can also incorporate machine learning, predictive modelling, revenue attribution, and path mapping. These systems frequently automate data delivery to other systems.

  • Campaigns CDP

These systems offer data collection, analytics, and customer service. What sets them apart from segmentation is their ability to define various treatments for different people within a segment. Personalized communications, outbound marketing efforts, real-time interactions, or product or content recommendations are all examples of treatments. They frequently entail managing consumer interactions across channels.

  • Delivery CDP

This CDP category can collect and analyse data, as well as provide customer assistance and send various sorts of communications. Furthermore, for communications, electronic emails, websites, mobile applications, CRM, advertisements, or a mix of these technologies can be employed.

What Kinds of Data Can a CDP Store? 

A CDP is built to deal with any form of data. It supports the integration of any customer data source, whether internal or external, organised or unstructured, batch or streaming. It can save first-party data, which you can then enrich with second and third-party data to create a complete picture of your customers.

  • Zero-party data. It refers to any information that a client willingly and deliberately provides to a company.
  • First-party data. This is the greatest sort of data, since first-party data is information about your audience that you have gathered yourself.
  • Second-party data. It is data that belongs to someone else (often a trusted partner that is willing and has the approval to share their customer data with you).
  • Third-party data. This helps to supplement the existing data. Third-party data is typically provided by organisations that sell user data, sometimes known as data aggregators. When using this type of data, you should use extreme caution. Before you sign a long-term contract, make sure you can trust the source.

What Distinguishes a CDP from a CRM?

Some parallels exist between a customer data platform (CDP) and customer relationship management (CRM) software. Their fundamental purpose and function, however, varied significantly.

A CRM keeps information on clients who have interacted with your company. It might be information about your company’s prospects and clients, such as product requirements and purchase history. As a result, a CRM is essential for sales and customer-facing professions in order to handle customer data.

A CDP, on the other hand, is a database that consolidates important consumer data such as personal identifiers, website visits, purchase orders, email answers, social media comments, audio recordings, customer service contact, mobile app touch-points, and any other customer-related data. The CDP collects this information from many sources and then cleans and integrates it to provide a single, unified customer picture. Thus, CDPs are required if you intend to run scalable, tailored, and multichannel marketing.

It’s not a case of choosing between a CDP and a CRM. Rather, marketers should understand the distinction between CRM and CDP in order to direct their efforts to the appropriate platform for each use case.

What Differentiates a CDP from a DMP?

A DMP is used to generate marketing campaigns for audiences that have never heard of you before. DMPs are great for this since they make use of third-party data. They could be able to provide you with access to audiences you’re not familiar with. You may then utilise this new knowledge to develop a targeted marketing strategy.

CDPs are intended to process data from zero, first, and second parties. Use a CDP if you want to create highly targeted marketing campaigns based on your own data. Your CDP can collect website data and send it to a number of solutions based on your needs.

You will most certainly require both platforms in your marketing arsenal. Your CDP can manage audience segmentation and generation, while you may employ a DMP to target these audiences on your selected advertising platform.


Sumit is a Tech and Gadget freak and loves writing about Android and iOS, his favourite past time is playing video games.

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