DETROIT – Customer data platforms (CDPs) are software that use information from other systems, software, and marketing efforts to aggregate and organize customer data. They have become an increasingly popular marketing technology platform used by marketers to collect, sort, store, and analyze customer data. Ultimately, they create a complete view of customers and make sense of numerous customer data.

CDPs obtain real-time information (customer data) from first, second, and third-party sources such as transactional systems, emails, social media activity, web forms, e-commerce behavioral data, CRMs, DMPs, and websites. After collecting such data, CDPs structure them into individual, centralized customer profiles. CDPs collect four major types of data. They are:

  • Descriptive data: This includes information about customers’ careers, families, hobbies (e.g., gym memberships and magazine subscriptions), and lifestyles (e.g., types of pets, vehicles, and houses)
  • Identity data: This is the foundation of each customer’s identity (profile). It includes details such as names, locations, contact information, occupation, demographic (e.g., gender and age), social media information, account numbers, and company-specific user IDs
  • Qualitative data: This type of data adds personality to customers’ profiles. They include details about customers’ motivations, attitudes, and opinions. Usually, such information is obtained from people’s responses to questions such as ”why did you purchase this product?”, ”how did you hear about us?”,.and ”how likely are you to recommend us?”
  • Quantitative data: This type of data puts together customers’ behavioral information based on their transactions, actions, and reactions. It includes transaction information such as order dates, the number of abandoned carts, types of items purchased, email communication behaviors, and online activity details (such as product views, social media engagement, and product views)


Some companies purchase and use CDPs from vendors. However, many brands prefer to build their own CDPs from their own Cloud Data Warehouses (CDWs). This option is more cost-effective and allows brands to have customer data platforms. It also gives companies flexibility, control over their data, and privacy.

If you decide to purchase a CDP off the shelf, it’s best to first identify its proposed uses based on your marketing and business needs before selecting a vendor. This is because different CDP vendors have their own strengths that are better for some specific uses than others. Some criteria to consider before choosing a CDP vendor are whether you need your CDP for web personalization, targeted social campaigns, email segmentation, programmatic ads optimization, or web personalization. CDPs offer numerous benefits to businesses. They include:

1.    Better Understanding of Customer Behaviors

CDPs are a powerful platform for customer analytics. They enable companies to have more insightful customer analytics to better understand customer behaviors and make decisions about sales, marketing, and product development.

Since CDPs allow you to build unified customer profiles, you’ll better understand your customer’s journeys and figure out how to reach them with new effective strategies. As a result, your company will have better chances of improving customer loyalty and retention.

2.    Organized Data Management

CDPs make it easier to acquire, organize, and use customer data. Once data is organized, it becomes much easier to maintain. And you can equip your CDP with the capability to activate customer data through automation and artificial intelligence, saving you a significant amount of time and money.

Generally, before acquiring a CDP for your company, it’s best to check the current state of your data to ensure a seamless unification with a CDP. Identify your data usage and optimize your data standardization and access.

3.    Plan for the Future

CDPs relate various groups of data that can help businesses predict market trends and customer behavior. With such data, you can create new segments of high-quality audiences and make real-time marketing campaign decisions to help you stay ahead of the competition. For instance, if a CDP uses a shopper’s buying history to anticipate their future buying habit, you can prepare an appropriate message to meet them at the right time when they’re most likely to buy.

Such intelligent targeting can lead to increased customer satisfaction, conversion rates, and higher revenues. Also, it will be much easier to gain insights into the performance of your previous marketing campaigns and improve your future efforts.

4.    Deliver Personalized Customer Experiences

Personalized customer experiences involve developing services, products, and interactions to meet customers’ unique individual requirements. Personalization is a brand differentiator that sets you apart from the competition. With CDPs, there is more data and the opportunity to define your personalization strategies and launch relevant, personalized campaigns for your customers.

This article was provided by Khazen Ali