A CDP is a Customer Data Platform. The term Customer Data Platform was coined by David Raab of the CDP Institute and used by Gartner since for the group of software solutions that provide marketers with a complete and permanent 360-degree customer view.
What is a CDP?
As defined by the CDP Institute Europe, a CDP is “a marketer-managed system of permanently available, unified customer data that is accessible to other systems”:
- Marketer Managed System: The CDP is a complete software platform purchased and managed by the business; often by the marketing department. This makes it different from a data warehouse, which is usually custom-developed by the IT department. The fact that it is a “packaged software” solution makes it much easier to install and customize. The technical resources to install it are usually provided by the supplier.
- Permanently available, standardized customer data: The CDP offers a complete view of customers by collecting data from all relevant sources, linking it at customer level to a so-called “golden profile” per customer and making it continuously available so that customer behavior can be monitored and influenced over time turn into. Marketing can use this to target personal messages, but departments such as Sales, Stores, Ecommerce and Formula Management gain unique insight into customers, their behavior and their wishes.
- Accessible to other systems: Data in the CDP can also be used by other downstream solutions such as analysis and reporting tools and marketing automation solutions to orchestrate customer interactions. A real CDP can be linked to a multitude of external tools.
A CDP is not a DWH, DMP, MDM, JOE or CRM solution
The CDP market is still a young but rapidly growing market for integrated customer data solutions, which is now a market of more than $1 billion. A characteristic of a young solution is that there is still a lot of confusion about what the difference is between a CDP and other solutions such as a Data Ware House (DWH), a Data Management Platform (DMP), a Master Data Management (MDM) solution, a Journey Orchestration Engine (JOE) solution or a CRM system. These solutions are often mentioned when it comes to customer data management, but all have different characteristics.
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