What is a Customer Data Platform – CDP-?


Over the last 10 years, the use of high-quality data in digital advertising has given marketers a significant advantage to power their media buying throughout the customer lifecycle. The last couple of years has brought legislative changes, browser and device changes, and growth in data volumes, making it more difficult and expensive 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), then you know it’s a big decision to make.

You may have heard a CDP is the only way to truly access and manage your data, but is that really true? Can a CDP solve your data issues and how will it work with the rest of your tech stack? These are central questions to address.

Reimagining the Customer Identity

Today’s world is exploding with digital connectivity. Advances in technology 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. The digital revolution has also brought new forms of fraud, identity theft and misuse of personal data. Customers have been ever increasingly concerned about how their data is being used online, resulting in the introduction of government legislation around the world, started by GDPR in Europe, and the more recent privacy-focused features adopted by web browsers and device owners.

The new legislation and privacy features have made it harder to track and share user data between marketing platforms. This disruption in the marketing landscape, along with the soon-to-be departed 3rd party cookie, has allowed for new opportunities to emerge. To meet the current challenges of Digital Marketing, a new technology 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. 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.

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 also connects data across each stage of the customer lifecycle, and it is 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.

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

Additional Benefits of Customer Data Platforms

Richer data for audience targeting

CDPs measure a brand’s customer interactions in real time and connect them to historical attributes into a single profile for audience building and test-and-learn scenarios.

Direct media platform integrations

Every media channel, from Programmatic to CTV to Search, can execute its targeting based on the most recent interaction, improving reaction speeds and personalisation.

Integrated media orchestration

By centralising the audience under a single platform, a CDP allows marketers to plan and execute strategies across all channels to create better customer experiences.


Brands need a reliable partner to help them understand the impacts of a cookieless world, create a future, and roll out new solutions so they can meet these changes with confidence. At CvE we are 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 with your journey.

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