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What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

Yves Delongie
Yves Delongie
July 14, 2021
What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

CDP explained

A customer data platform is software that collects customer data and events from different sources, unifies that data, keeps history of that data, and constructs a full profile with all possible properties/traits on the customer. These properties can then be shared with other apps and tools in your ecosystem.

Wikipedia stipulates a customer data platform (CDP) to hold following commonalities across various brands:

  • marketer-managed;
  • unified, persistent, single database for customer behavioral, profile and other data, from any internal or external source;
  • consistent identifier that links all of a customer's data;
  • accessible by external systems and structured to support marketers' needs for campaign management, marketing analyses and business intelligence;
  • provide a 360-degree view of the customer, across devices, domains, browsers;
  • group customers into audience segments; and
  • allow users the capability to predict the optimum next move with a customer.

Which-party data to expect in a CDP?

CDPs holds customer data. This customer data comes in the form of first-party or third-party data.

First-party data

With first-party data, data is collected by a company and only used for that company’s ecosystem. In most cases, you’ll want [as much as possibly only] such data as you’ll know exactly how, when, where, and why you collected the data. Those are important questions to answer when you’re evaluating data accuracy.

CDPs take first-party data in a process called customer data unification. This type of data integration involves combining information from separate sources into a usable customer profile. This will allow you to get the most out of your customer.

Third-party data

Unlike first-party data, third-party data is user data that companies purchase and/or share with other businesses. Since in most of the cases, in complying to common privacy regulations, you need to hold a data processing agreement with your customer, third-party data is seldom regarded as legally useful.

Third-party data is most often used to target new potential users for advertising, to personalize websites for net new visitors, and to monetize apps without another revenue stream. Given how often third-party data changes hands, it’s hard to determine if it was collected with proper user consent.

journy.io only processes consented first-party customer data, enriched with also-consented public data-sets from public forums.

The benefits of a CDP

Using a CDP to unify, enrich and share customer data across your ecosystem, has the advantage of:

  • Working with better consistent customer data, build up from historical events, across devices, domains, apps, ecosystems tools and even offline IoT sources.
  • Lead to more personalised customer processes in marketing automations, customer calls, support ticketing.
  • Better insights in the customer journey, so to learn which channels and campaigns work and which don’t.
  • Improved data protection and privacy

To see such benefits in action, you can sign up for the freemium version here: https://app.journy.io/register

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