Understanding Customer Data Platforms

Customer Data Platforms help in broadening unified systems and accelerating purchase

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and Data Management Platform (DMP) are the most powerful technologies in any modern marketer’s tech stack. In 2017, statistics revealed that marketing technologies have advanced mostly around data management and customer data analytics. Insights from business data are now offered as an amalgamation of a CRM and a DMP that blend into a Customer Data Platform (CDP).

What is a CDP? 

The CDP Institute defines it as, “A marketer-managed system that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.”

CDPs provide an enhanced view of customer behavior by using primary data.

Are CRM databases obsolete?

CRMs are an important technology in the marketing and sales automation stack. In 2017, a very small number of Customer Data Platforms were used by marketers. Initially, businesses assumed that CDPs evolved from CRMs. On the contrary, CDPs seems to be a sub-category of DMPs, since they collect a large amount of data — including data from the digital, sales, advertising and marketing domains. CDPs convey the directional relation between B2C businesses, which are proactive in customer satisfaction while CRMs have traditionally targeted the B2B sector. Commonly when people talk about CRM system, they refer to a tool which helps with contact management, sales management, productivity, workflow processes and more. CRM databases are not entirely obsolete since CRM, DMP and CDPs each have their own functions and in certain systems, may seem interlinked to each other.

Also Read: You Can’t Spell Digital Transformation Without CDP

What sets a DMP apart from a CDP?

These two platforms have overlapping functions, offer technologically enhanced features and provide analytics with databases. Not many businesses are aware of CDPs and find it difficult to untangle its specifications from those of a CRM or a DMP.

A DMP handles third-party consumer data like freebies and cookies, which help in the acquisition of similar identities. Whereas, a CDP is an integrated network database which extracts information from the first-party or primary source of data. This is more target-specific and in reference to a customer’s personal details.

Popular Examples include:


  • Some of the features of AgilOne include Personalized Engagement, Predictive Analytics and Insights, Customer Interaction, Out-Bound Marketing, Addressable Media, Transaction and Engagement Data, inclusive of Third-party data. Its key feature includes the Single Customer View Layout which is spread across numerous channels and orchestrates an ideal customer-enterprise relationship that maximizes value.
  • AgilOne is backed by Silicon Valley investors such as Sequoia, Mayfield, Tenaya Capital, NextWorld Capital and Four Rivers Group.
  • Steve Miller, VP of Marketing and Business Development for JOANN says, “Acting on AgilOne data, we have built personalized post-purchase journeys that are relevant to each unique customer. This has led to an 18% increase in incremental revenue in the first two months, and growth of online orders by more than 150%.”

Also Read: Celebrus Advances CDP Leadership Further With New Product Features


  • Boston-based BlueConic was founded in 2010. There are more than 180 brands that have leveraged the benefits of CDP, from the BlueConic platform. Some of these include; T-Mobile, The American Kennel Club, Hearst Communications, and America’s Test Kitchen, among others.
  • It has a simple layout with integrated features. BlueConic has its goals systematically organized, thus giving marketers a comfortable and hassle-free experience while using CDP as a key tool.
  • BlueConic targets enterprises with a 4-step always-on optimization tool which helps in database integration, and customer satisfaction.
  • Bart Heilbron, CEO at BlueConic said, “The pillars of our own marketing stack are our own platform, email and marketing automation, and CRM. We also support sales tools like Sales Loft and prospecting tools like LinkedIn’s Sales Navigator.”


  • Ascent360 is a cloud-based marketing software in which the CDP functions on analytics and strategically applied execution.
  • Ascent360 works on the process of combining analytics with third-party software sources. It helps organizations pull in their customers, with the promise of integrating real-time data.
  • The source data systems include E-commerce, Lodging and Events and POS, which are then integrated into media/marketing platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Email, Google Ad words and Text Messages.
  • View transactions, both online and offline. It gives a 360-degree view on every outlook for each customer-enterprise link.
  • According to Sarah Seifert, Director of E-commerce at SmartWool, “Ascent360 has made it possible for SmartWool to get a complete view of our customer, no matter what the touch point.”

Also Read: RedPoint Global Takes The Lead As The Most Comprehensive Customer Data Platform In CDP Institute Vendor Comparison Report


  • QuickPivot is designed to function fast, with thorough research abilities and analytic foresight. It collects, refines and optimizes data into the most effective marketing mix possible.  The name QuickPivot comes from the speed generated by this platform. It works with the speed of thinking and delivers shorter marketing campaigns.
  • The CDP process brings together the digital data into a fully planned email format. QuickPivot implements online and offline user interfaces for campaign segmentation. Enterprises like HP, Merrill Lynch, The NHL, Shutterfly and more, have trusted QuickPivot to be their marketing partner.
  • Audrey Shum, Demand Generation Manager of HP states, “QuickPivot’s platform serves as the crux of our marketing ecosystem. With changing business needs, the QuickPivot platform has proven its ability to integrate with a variety of internal and external systems to create a seamless runway for lead management.”


  • ZenIQ uses the power of learning and data intelligence which is intensive and minimizes errors. It also has “self-healing data” which takes care of grubby data hygiene. This narrows down the extent of failures and zones into deep integrations in the field of marketing and sales.
  • It also collaborates with third-party gen data. It uses cross-channel mediums of communication so as to identify particular leads, which will bring maximum revenue.
  • ZenIQ is smart, coordinative and intensive in operation with its CDP in place, thus giving the customer a satisfactory and improved experience.

Unlike data-enterprising systems, CDP serves only the marketing department, thus making it responsive and efficient. Other additional capabilities of CDPs include revenue attribution, personalized message selection, predictive models and marketing performance analysis.

Recommended Read: Selligent Relaunches as Selligent Marketing Cloud with An In-Built CDP

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