Customer Data Platforms: Everything You Need to Know

As marketers and salespeople, we often drool over data. The more we can learn about our customers, the better.

With in-depth data, we can personalize interactions with customers, market to them at the right times, create a more enjoyable experience, and overall, close more sales.

That’s no secret. However, capturing all of this data, organizing it in one place, and making use of that data has been a struggle using traditional tools such as web analytics, CRMs, and marketing automation.

You typically have to spend a lot of time somehow combining all of this data in order to get a complete picture of your customer. Even then, this process is limited and you can’t fully take advantage of this data to completely personalize your marketing campaigns.

This is where Customer Data Platforms come in and aim to fix this problem.

In this article, we’ll define Customer Data Platforms, the difference between them and traditional marketing tools, their benefits, and even a list a few Customer Data Platform options. Follow along:

What is a Customer Data Platform?

Related Digital defines a Customer Data Platform (CDP) as the following:

“A Customer Data Platform is a marketer-managed system that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems”.

But what does that really mean?

According to an expert, a CDP is basically a system that pulls together all the data you have on a customer in one place. This way, you can create a unified view of that customer and you can see every action they’ve taken since first interacting with your company.

Ideally, you would be able to discover:

  • When that person first visited your website
  • How many times they’ve visited a specific page on your website
  • When they opened one of your emails
  • When they clicked a link inside that email
  • How many times they opened your emails
  • Even information on mobile app sessions, social media comments, purchase orders, and chat history would be accessible

In essence, a Customer Data Platform aims to pull together data that once existed in multiple platforms (such as email marketing platforms, CRM, analytics, etc.) and makes all of that data available in one place.

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