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What is a CDP and why you need one

CDPs enable a 360-degree view of every client, analysis of trends and enrichment of profiles, and provides easy access to standardized data —all of which are essential for providing the right engagement to the right person at the right time.

But, what does this mean?

As technology continues to advance and the digital economy grows, customers are raising the bar for what they expect from brands. McKinsey & Company (2021) found that 67% of individuals expect brands that claim to understand them to offer relevant products and services. One brand that excels in this area is Netflix, with its high rate of re-subscription and low rate of churn thanks to its personalized recommendation algorithms.

Data and the ability to extract actionable insights from it are now more important than ever in gaining a competitive advantage. This is where a Customer Data Platform (CDP) comes in.

What is a CDP and why is it relevant?

A CDP is a type of marketing technology that is used to manage customer identity and consolidate customer data within organizations. It retrieves customer data from various sources and enables data modeling to create persistent profiles for each unique customer. The information produced from these profiles is then made available to other business applications, allowing for a more personalized and relevant customer experience.

The fact that departments like marketing are being increasingly asked to use data (Leadspace, 2022) suggests the need for easy access to healthy and comprehensive data. This is where CDP comes in, boosting autonomy and self-service for these departments (Mallick et al., 2022).

How does a CDP work?

The process of a CDP begins with the retrieval of data from various sources within the company. This data is then manipulated, consolidated, modeled, and analyzed to create persistent customer profiles. This data can be transactional, behavioral, and demographic. For example, a website visit, a purchase, or a feedback review. A good CDP will also offer data enrichment, which refers to normalizing physical address and identity attributes, as well as comparing customer brand affiliation and interests to other brands or products.

Most CDPs also offer accessible analysis through artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning models, which enable the identification of trends and prediction of customer behavior.

Finally, the unified customer profiles and the information gathered (or generated) about them can be shared (easily with out of the box connectors) with other business applications for various operations such as segmentation, web personalization, journey optimization, marketing campaigns, and churn detection.

How is CDP different to related systems?

CDPs are different from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools, because the second stores data generated by your direct interaction with the customer, whereas CDPs can enhance your data, with functions like enrichment and predictive models.

CDPs are different from Data Management Platform (DMP) tools, because the second is used to anonymously segment and anonymously categorize your customers for advertising purposes, whereas CDPs offer you persistent customer profiles.

CDPs are different from Marketing Automation Solution, since CDPs act as an intelligent data source that would even provide real time information about a customer. Hence a CDP can empower the marketing tool to create consistent experiences across an omnichannel customer journey. Marketers would be able to successfully target the appropriate customers, at the right time, with the correct message, and optimize their automated campaigns when they have access to unified customer profiles.

Why use a CDP?

Many organizations have large amounts of customer data, but it is often stored in isolated silos that are disconnected and inaccessible. This can make it difficult to gain a comprehensive view of customers and their behavior. A CDP solves this problem by creating pipelines between isolated data sources, consolidating data structure, and creating persistent customer profiles that can be accessed and used by other business applications.

Adopting a data-first mentality within an organization becomes easier when individual teams are provided with a consistent and more complete view of their customers. With a customer data platform (CDP), every department will be able to contribute the data they collect. The CDP unifies, enriches, and creates customer profiles, as well as analyzes trends. In addition, a CDP provides a centralized place for the implementation of AI and machine learning to automate the process of data analysis and the identification of opportunities for engagement, saving time and resources. This way, all teams can have access to a shared pool of enriched customer information. The market value of AI in marketing is expected to increase five-fold from 2020 to 2028 (Statista, 2022), highlighting its growing importance in the industry.

In conclusion, a CDP is a valuable tool for organizations looking to gain a competitive advantage through data-driven customer engagement. By consolidating customer data and enabling personalized interactions, a CDP can help businesses to retain and attract customers in today's increasingly digital landscape.

What does Intouch365 do with CDPs?

Intouch365 is a niche player exclusively focusing on consultancy on smart insights and customer centricity solutions. We deliver data driven solutions and support organisations to excel with our passion for technology. We focus on self-service tools that give end-users the authority to reach their goals in customer centricity and experience.

Intouch365 is the trusted advisor that guides organisations to innovate and to grow by bringing data and technology fully to life. By breaking down data silos we empower every organisation to unify and understand its customer data to harness insights that power personalised experiences and processes. Customer Data Platforms belong to our core competencies.


Leadspace (2022). The ultimate guide to driving revenue with a B2B customer data platform. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from

Mallick, E., Suleyman, N., Adelson, C., Tompkins, C., Nair, G., Sarkar, E., Scarpulla, M., & Hartman, S. (2022). Digital autonomy: The key to Digital Marketing Transformation. Keystone. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from

McKinsey & Company. (2021). The value of getting personalization right--or wrong--is multiplying. McKinsey & Company. Retrieved November 29, 2022, from

Needle, F. (2021). How Netflix maintains low Churn & High Customer Retention. HubSpot Blog. Retrieved November 30, 2022, from

Statista (2022). Global AI in marketing revenue 2028. Statista. Retrieved December 2, 2022, from

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Meer weten van customer insights?

Dimitrios Kalogeras

Data Engineer- Customer Insights Specialist