Why Your Business Needs a Customer Data Platform- Understanding the Basics

Why Your Business Needs a Customer Data Platform

A CDP is like for data – organizing and storing it in ways that make sense for your business. Effectively compiling your data can unlock profound business benefits like boosting customer loyalty and exceeding sales goals.

A CDP is marketer-managed software that collects data from various sources, normalizes it, and delivers it to other marketing technology systems on a schedule you control. This creates a persistent, unified customer database.

Unified Data

Today’s fast-paced environment generates a wealth of data that businesses need to analyze. A customer data platform helps companies collect and unify this data for various benefits. According to the CDP Institute, the top gifts for marketers include creating a unified customer view and providing enhanced analytics.

A customer data platform like Epsilon is a centralized hub for all your company’s data streams. This includes data from marketing, sales, service, and commerce. It also includes online and offline data like product photos, barcodes, and social media feeds. The platform ingests this data and stitches it together using identity resolution and an identity graph to create a single, unified customer profile. It then transforms the data into a format your other marketing tools can use, including your CRM and personalization engine.

The next step is to take this unified data and activate it. This is where your business begins to use its newfound insight to meet customers at their exact moment of need. This can be done through marketing programs, data integrations, and more.

Previous customer data platforms could only provide this sort of real-time data to one specific software tool, such as a CRM or personalization engine. But more was needed to meet customers’ expectations for instant engagements. Now, a modern CDP is built for data to update in real time so that your teams can respond quickly to customers’ needs across channels and devices.

Real-Time Analytics

The main task of a CDP is to scoop up data from a wide range of sources, catalog it into usable information and connect, analyze, and leverage that data. They do this with sophisticated data cleansing and matching algorithms, a persistent, unified customer profile, and real-time analytics.

It’s also important to understand that a CDP isn’t just a database but a complete suite of marketing technologies. To get the most value from your CDP, you’ll need someone on your team who understands how to integrate it with your other systems and use advanced tools like predictive analytics.

For example, real-time analytics enables your company to respond quickly to customers’ micro-moments. A customer service agent can see the customer’s purchase history and offer them a cross-sell or upsell. Or it could tell an ecommerce website can serve up recommendations for similar products based on the product they’re currently viewing.

Access to the correct data at the right time is the key to creating great customer experiences and building long-lasting relationships with them. The best way to do that is with a well-designed customer data platform that integrates seamlessly into your other marketing tools and provides instant, unified analytics. This way, you’re able to meet your business goals no matter what the situation is.


You will likely return when a company you interact with knows your behavior and preferences. Have you ever noticed how their ads on Facebook felt tailored to your interests, how their website adapted for you during the live interaction, or how their email follow-up felt crafted to you? The company was likely using a customer data platform (CDP).

CDPs are marketer-managed systems designed to ingest, normalize and store first-party data about customers in a unified profile. This structured data is then available to other marketing technologies, like customer relationship management (CRM) solutions and digital media platforms.

The best CDPs on the market can sync up to a real-time master list of identified individuals from all marketing and other business systems. This creates a single view of the customer and makes it possible to deliver personalized experiences at scale. This is the key to fostering loyalty and driving revenue.

To be effective, a CDP must integrate with all the tools marketers need to deliver these personalized experiences, from the customer-facing systems of your website to the advertising platforms that drive your digital marketing. This means that the CDP must be able to accept input about behavior from these systems, find the correct profile within its database, and then send a response back to the customer-facing system or directly to a digital media platform via an API.


Unlike other systems that hold data within silos and do not communicate with each other, CDPs act as the single source of truth for first-party customer data. When marketers can use this unified data for their digital marketing campaigns, it drives improved results. This includes increased personalization, which has been shown to go 5 to 15 percent increases in revenue and 10 to 30 percent improvements in marketing spend efficiency.

A CDP supports reporting, providing marketers with a complete picture of their customer base and the ability to track the effectiveness of their campaigns across channels. Choosing a real-time platform that can provide this information is essential, making it easy to respond to changes.

Another benefit of a CDP is that it can help you comply with data privacy regulations by allowing consumers to quickly request access to their data. It also enables you to maintain a high data hygiene and compliance standard by eliminating isolated customer data sets.

Ultimately, the main reason why your business needs a customer data platform is that it provides a way to unify first-party customer data across multiple sources and makes it available to other systems for use in marketing campaigns. It isn’t a replacement for your CRM solution or your Data Management Platform (DMP), but it can piggyback off both to deliver enhanced marketing capabilities and improved campaign performance.

Written by
Cosmo Jarvis

Cosmo Jarvis is a multi-talented artist excelling in various creative realms. As an author, his words paint vivid narratives, capturing hearts with their depth. In music, his melodies resonate, blending genres with finesse, and as an actor, he brings characters to life, infusing each role with authenticity. Jarvis's versatility shines, making him a captivating force in literature, music, and film.

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