May 21, 2018

Customer Data Platforms - What They Are, Why They're Needed

A new product category called customer data platform is getting quite a bit of buzz in marketing circles these days. Speaking of circles, CDP sits at the center of a Venn diagram in which packaged systems like CRM and MAP, unified persistent databases, and other solutions like data management platforms and tag management systems intersect.

That slide (#13) was presented a year ago this month by David Raab. A marketing technology analyst, Raab founded the Customer Data Platform Institute late in 2016.

And today RedPoint Global’s Buck Webb published a blog on the CDPI site that talked about the obstacles to maximizing the value of customer data. Those challenges include data access, which can be difficult since needed data is often stored in a variety of siloed systems; data analytics, because marketers don’t always have the tools they need to analyze data as they would like; and data activation, meaning being able to leverage data in real time is no easy feat.

“Marketers who clear these three hurdles – data access, analytics, and activation – are the ones who can create a connected data value chain,” writes Webb. “Business-user-friendly technology, clean data, and agile processes are essential links in that value chain. Without them, marketers lack access to the contextual data that enables them to meet customers at their moment of need.”

Indeed. A CallSpace blog from earlier this year adds: “Customers spend more if they feel businesses [are] connecting with them on a personal level.”

According to Gartner, a CDP is a clean and open databases for customer information, and is owned and operated by marketers. The CDPI says CDPs collect, analyze, and store large amounts of data. And they are ideal for businesses with a lot of their own data. 

Edited by Maurice Nagle

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