Does my organisation need a CDP – Customer Data Platform?


Today’s world is exploding with technologial advances and digital connectivity, which have profoundly changed the way in which customers and brands interact with one another. Customers have come to expect that businesses should provide a seamless, fast, convenient, and personalised experience online, with their expectations only set to soar in the future.

Marketers had also have access to high-quality data in digital advertising that have brought significant advantages to power their media buying.

But this nice looking picture is now transforming to a new reality.

The digital revolution has also brought new forms of fraud, identity theft and misuse of personal data, making consumers more concerned about how their data is being used online. Governments are implementing new legislation around the world: GDPR in Europe, CCPA in California, PIPEDA in Canada, LGPD in Brazil, POPIA in South Africa, and the more recent privacy focused features adopted by web-browser and device owners. This new legislation and privacy features plus browser and device changes, along with growth in data volumes, are made it harder for advertisers to track and share user data between marketing platforms, whilst achieving the same marketing success and on budget.

The new reality of the marketing landscape, along with the soon-to be departed 3rd Party Cookie, have allowed new technologies to emerge. To meet the current challenges of Digital Marketing, a solution is needed to store customer data, connect data sources, and make that data available for media activation, insights, and real-world sales attribution. Enter the Customer Data Platform or CDP.

CDPs can now not only assure customer confidence in how their data is being used, but also enhance the customer experience across all channels of communication to improve brand loyalty. They can make digital marketing smarter, faster, and more relevant to each customer.

CDPs in digital marketing: What is a CDP?

A Customer Data Platform -CDP-, is cloud-based software that collects and unifies first party customer data from multiple sources to build a single, coherent and complete view of each and every customer. Brands can segment their audiences, and then push their segmented audiences to digital media platforms to target with advertising campaigns.

A CDP keeps customer data in one place, giving brands a 360° view of their customers to implement personalised marketing trategies across multiple channels.

Does my marketing organisation need a CDP?

A CDP or CDP-like functionality is recommended for any company dealing with large volumes of customer data for marketing purposes. For some companies this can be handled by their existing IT systems and CRM platforms. There are also some companies that store low volumes of customer data and have primitive uses of it for marketing purposes that will have less of a need for complex and expensive enterprise solutions.

As companies’ customer data use becomes more advanced, they will increasingly need CDP functionality, whether that comes from a CDP supplier or a custom technology setup.

CDPs compared to DMPs and CRMs

The major difference between a CDP and a DMP (Data Management Platform) is that a CDP wherever possible wants to tie data back to customer records and identifiers such as email address, phone number. DMPs by contrast will to restrict personal data for privacy preservation and only deal with pseudonymised data – online IDs, cookies and such – which are steadily becoming obsolete.

CRM (Customer Relationship Management) platforms store customer data, but they are more sales management systems rather than advanced data platforms that look to bring datasets together for advanced matching, segmentation, and ultimately media syndication.

What types of datasets does a CDP manage?

A CDP’s function is to onboard different datasets from multiple sources, unify the data under a single Customer ID and make it available for Digital Marketing purposes. Here is an example of some of the data a CDP can onboard, segment and activate in media.

Personal Data

  • Customer name
  • Residential address
  • Email address
  • Date of birth
  • Telephone numbers
  • Login details
  • Government issued ID (driver’s license number, passport number)
  • Bank details (bank account number, credit/debit card number)

Demographic Data

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Earning capacity
  • Household income
  • Size of residential home
  • Number of cars owned

Transactional Data

  • Products purchased
  • Purchase history
  • Relevant products
  • Related product categories
  • Average spend levels
  • Recency
  • Loyalty factor

Engagement Data

  • Social media engagement rates
  • Video view count
  • Campaign conversion rates
  • Website traffic
  • Email open rates and click through rates
  • Content keywords read
  • Invite acceptance rates
  • Ad clicks and conversions
  • Gated content downloads

Behavioural Data

  • Duration a customer stays on a webpage
  • How frequently a customer orders a product
  • What hours of the day is the customer more prone to visit a website
  • Average customer spend
  • Which days of the week is the customer least active

Market Research Data

  • Customer satisfaction
  • Opinions on a certain product or service
  • Customer sentiments
  • Attitude toward physical traits
  • Customer pain points
  • Likes and dislikes toward a certain product or messaging


The current landscape is making it more difficult and expensive for brands to achieve the same marketing success competitively and on budget.

The Customer Data Platform is one of the major technologies being deployed to solve these challenges. If you’re thinking about buying a Customer Data Platform (CDP), make sure your brand is ready to take that next step as it’s a big decision to make.

CvE is helping brands to understand the impacts of a cookieless world, create a future, and roll out new solutions so they can meet these changes with confidence and grow out of the pandemic. Furthermore, CvE is evaluating other options from identity graphs, to clean rooms, to ID-free solutions, as well as those solutions proposed by central technology owners,
such as Google and Apple.

Want to learn more about Customer Data Platforms?

Download our CDP Playbook now and get started on your journey.

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