Do You Need a Customer Data Platform?

  • 17-Nov-2017

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are hot, but like any exciting new technology segment, you'll want to separate hype from reality and understand what the toolset can and cannot do. RSG has published a new advisory paper for our CRM and MarTech stream subscribers: Do You Need a Customer Data Platform? (login required).

Certainly you can understand the appeal of CDPs in a marketing/engagement technology landscape where:

  • Segmentation and Personalization have become a mainstream practice
  • Customers expect consistent engagement and interaction with you across all channels
  • Artificial intelligence is getting integrated into customer experience platforms, with attendant needs for high-quality, clean data
  • Diverse customer and prospect data points are becoming increasingly difficult to reconcile

Historically, enterprises built custom data abstraction layers to provide a single view of core customer and prospect data.

Engagement model with no CDP
Fig 1. Engagement model with bespoke customer data integration layer

But with all the industry buzz, shifting vendor positioning strategies, and an over-abundance of acronyms aroudn CDPs, understanding the proper role for this new technology category can be a challenge.  In a nutshell, the architecture looks like this:

Engagement Model Including CDP
Fig. 2: Reference model with a productized CDP platform layer.

This advisory paper takes a look at CDPs: what they are, how they are different from DMPs or CRMs, and why you might need one.

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