The Real Definition of a CDP—and What It Should Do for You

Over the past few years, there’s been a rise of the Customer Data Platform (CDP). But what is it exactly?

In the recent blog post “CDP: Another Three Letter Acronym Marketers Need To Know,” Gartner Managing Vice President Simon Yates reported that nearly 47 percent of marketers believe they have a CDP—but they actually don’t in reality.

Clearly, customer data platforms are not differentiated in marketers’ minds from familiar capabilities of established CRM solutions,” Yates writes. “In fact, over half (52%) identify Salesforce Analytics Builder as their customer data platform.

CDP addresses the need for marketers to access, analyze and act on their customer data across multiple channels, devices and life cycle stages,” he continues. “It’s not there to create another database or source of customer data, but to synchronize customer data for personalization and journey optimization across all possible touchpoints.”

There are some very distinctive differentiators in what truly makes a CDP. The new ebook, “The Whole Picture: How a Customer Data Platform Changes the Customer Journey” delves deeply into this topic, including checklists for what a “true” CDP should enable. This includes finally filling the marketing cloud’s data “donut hole.” 

Here’s a quick snapshot of the core components of the CDP:

  • It’s managed by marketers—not IT
  • ALL the data—including fine-grain data—is unified and stored by the CDP
  • Access to the CDP is open and available for marketers and analysis within any other systems.


Be sure to check out the full ebook for an in-depth look at the CDP, how to identify it, and what it will really mean for your marketing organization.

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