The Role of a CDP in Digital Marketing


Advances in technology and digital connectivity have profoundly changed the way in which customers and brands interact. Consumers have now higher expectations for brands to offer a seamless, fast, and most of all personalised experience online.

This new digital era has also brought new forms of fraud, identity theft and misuse of personal data. Consumers are feeling more concerned about how their data is being treated online. Government legislation is being introduced around the world starting with 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, device changes, soon-to-be departed 3rd Party Cookie, and growth in data volumes are making it more difficult for companies to track and share user data between marketing platforms, whilst achieving the same results and with the same budget. And even though some may call this ‘The Perfect Storm’, it did create the right conditions for the CDP to emerge.

You may be interested in reading >> What is a CDP?

Government legislation is being introduced around the world starting with GDPR in Europe.

Why do marketers need to be privacy-first?


The 3rd Party cookie has been the backbone of digital advertising for decades. Even though it wasn’t perfect, it has offered a unified approach for marketers and technology vendors to match datasets, target audiences and measure campaign performance at a significant scale.

The decline of the 3rd Party cookie across the majority of web browsers means digital marketing requires a new method to manage audience data and still be fully compliant with privacy laws and user preferences.

Device IDs

Device IDs are mostly used to track events for In-App campaigns and occasionally some advanced Connected TV providers. They have limited application and have not been great at transcending to the mobile-web, and therefore they are not reliable to bridge the identity of the user across environments.

Apple’s recent restrictions on iPhone Device IDs will prohibit the use of that person’s data without their prior opt-in consent, and this has already started to show consequences across the advertising world.

Government Legislation

The General Data Protection Regulation (better known as GDPR) is a regulation in EU law on data protection and privacy. It became enforceable on 25 May 2018. Since its introduction, other countries around the world have followed suit and updated their own privacy laws to protect their citizens online.

For most online marketing use-cases and purposes, GDPR primarily requires technologies to request a user’s permission before they collect their personal data. Users who choose not to consent will not be tracked, creating gaps in both measurement and targeting capabilities.

What is the role of a CDP in digital marketing?

CDPs can assure customer confidence in how their data is being used and 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.

With the right CDP solution, brands can segment audiences to create personalised campaigns delivered in real-time across channels, simultaneously tracking attribution and engagement and building lookalike audiences to inform future campaigns. They are beneficial not just for executing advanced campaigns but informing the strategy to build omnichannel experiences.

You may be interested in reading >> Does my organisation need a CDP?

A 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 target audiences and then push these segments to digital media platforms to target with advertising campaigns. A CDP also connects data across each stage of the customer lifecycle. It’s the perfect tool for marketers to understand when, why, and how customers engage with their brand. As customers are constantly moving between segments and advancing through their customer journey, marketers need to have a single platform to manage and automate this process.

CDPs keep customer data in one place and gives brands a 360° view of their customers to implement personalised marketing strategies across multiple channels.

4 Stages of a CDP

1. Data onboarding

This stage brings together common data sets into one
place. Most commonly website visitor
data, customer records (CRM), lead details, app usage
(mobile or online TV or other device), offline store or
other data, call centre data and partner data.

2. Data matching and processing

This stage is about bringing all of the customer data
together and making it useful. Mapping often occurs on
customer IDs, order IDs and the like. A strong spine of
identity and IDs is vital for this process to be effective.

3. Data segmentation, enrichment and AI

This stage is all about turning customer data into insight
and value using segmentation, data science, and AI modelling. For example, understanding what products
each customer is likely to be interested in, and building
segments based on their behaviour.

4. Delivering use cases

This stage is all about activation, which can be syndicating
the data with media platforms, personalising websites,
and giving a personal touch to each customer email sent.
The data can also be pushed to reporting dashboards and
provide business intelligence for better decision-making.


The ever-changing marketing landscape is continually challenging brands and making it not just harder but expensive for companies to reach the same great results in a competitive way and with the same activation budgets.

CDPs- Customer Data Platforms- have emerged as a technology that offers a solution to these challenges. There are multiple benefits a brand can achieve when acquiring this technology, but it is not a simple decision.

CvE is helping brands understand the impacts of the new legislation around data and privacy, a cookieless world, and to build a path to create solid foundations for the future by rolling out new solutions to meet these changes with confidence. 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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