A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a system that collects and stores all your customer data, for analysis and use by marketers. A CDP makes it easier for marketers to build and execute targeted, data-driven strategies.
A key function of a Customer Data Platform is to unify fragmented customer data within business silos. For example, CRM, mobile, transactional, website, email and third party data. This data then undergoes a Single Customer View process, which matches, merges and de-duplicates the data. The result is a 'Single Source of Truth', for consistent treatment by marketing across all channels.
As this data hygiene process is persistent, a Customer Data Platform allows marketers to iteratively improve their efforts, based on new data fed into the platform.
Once processed by a Single Customer View, a CDP makes this trustworthy data visible and accessible to integrated and external marketing technologies. This includes segmentation and data analysis, campaign automation and customer journey management, along with email platforms, online advertising solutions and real-time personalization tools.
Customer Data Platforms are marketer controlled, meaning they avoid the pitfalls of a storage solution that serves multiple business departments and multiple purposes. Instead, CDPs focus on collecting and storing customer data for marketing usage, organizing it as to allow marketers to develop a holistic view of every customer.