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Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a marketer-based management system. It creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems. Data is pulled from multiple sources, cleaned and combined to create a single customer profile. This structured data is then made available to other marketing systems. CDP provides real-time segmentation for personalized marketing.
CDP is currently a $300 million industry and projected to reach $1 billion by 2019.
Commonalities across CDPs:
A Data Management Platform (DMP) collects anonymous web and digital data. CDPs collect data that is tied to an identifiable individual. Users of CDP can leverage the intelligence to provide more personalized content and delivery.
A data warehouse or data lake collects data, usually from the same source and with the same structure of information. While this information can be manually synthesized, neither type of system delivers the identity resolution needed to build a consolidated customer view. Data warehouses are often updated at scheduled intervals whereas CDPs ingest and make available data in real time. In practice, most CDPs use the same technologies as data lakes; the difference is the CDP has built-in features to do additional processing to make the data usable, while a data lake may not.
A CDP is fundamentally different in design and function when compared with marketing automation systems, though CDP provides some of the functionality of marketing systems and customer engagement platforms. CDP tools are designed to talk to other systems. They retain details from other systems that the engagement or automation tool does not. This is valuable for trend analysis, predictive analytics, and recommendations that can leverage historical data.
A Customer Data Platform allows marketers to truly segment their data at deep levels. Superior customer segmentation means that the marketer can offer the most granular and targeted customer experience without having to continuously try and make customers fit into their predetermined molds. True customer segmentation is derived from the customer themselves. This means that marketers need a system that offers unified, and personalized data views. A customer data platform is the marketer's solutions to true customer data segmentation.
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