Four Things to Know About Customer Data Platforms

What is a Customer Data Platform?

A Customer Data Platform (CDP), is a system that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is managed by the marketer and is accessible to other systems. CDP's allow marketers to gain access to their data without leaning on IT, giving them a comprehensive view of their customers. This data can be accessed by various other systems to enable omnichannel marketing based on the data marketers choose to express. The goal of a Customer Data Platform is to help retailers manage their data and nurture relationships with existing customers. 

Customer Data Platform


1. Marketer Managed Platform 2. Unified 1st Party Data 3. Artificial Intelligence 4. Actionable Data

1. CDP's are Managed by the Marketer

CDP's are known as "marketer managed systems," they are built and controlled by the marketing department and typically don't require the technical skill needed for a traditional data warehouse project. As the marketer, you get to decide what data is included and what data is exposed to other systems. Simply put, a Customer Data Platform is tailored to your marketing needs. 

Here's an idea of some of the data you can expect to pull into a CDP:

  • First order date
  • Most recent order date
  • Number of orders
  • Largest order amount
  • Average Order Value
  • Amount Spent
  • Coupon Code 
  • Store ID 
  • Most Recent Order: Product Name and/or SKU 
  • Billing information (Country, State, Zip)
  • Shipping Information (country, state, zip, shipping method)
  • Birthday 
  • Product Category or Brand
  • Parent Product SKU
  • Product Margin
  • Browsed Product Name
  • Browsed Parent Product SKU
  • Browsed Product SKU
  • Custom fields that are unique to your business

2. CDP's Focus on Unifying First Party Data from Disparate Sources 

Retailers and brands have a plethora of data at their fingertips; however, it's scattered across platforms, stored in different formats, and generally not in a way that can be combined easily. Companies spend millions on in-house solutions to create data warehouses that willcompile and unify data from different sources - sometimes it works, most of the time it doesn't.

Customer Data Platforms are built to unify first party data from all of a marketer's disparate sources. CDP's are engineered to do the heavy lifting and create comprehensive, compiled data, meaning companies can save that million-dollar investment they were going to make on an in-house solution that may or may not work and put it towards strategies and projects proven to grow revenue. 

3. Artificial Intelligence is Applied as Part of Analyzing Consumer Data

Once a retailer's data is brought together within the CDP, it is analyzed to help marketers understand trends within their business on a macro and micro-level. Many CDP's, like Windsor Circle, apply predictive modeling to the data to create data sets based on perceived or likely behavior, such as next predicted order date, predicted gender, dynamic product recommendations, Future CLV, and more. Marketers can use this data to gain an overall view of the health of their consumer base, as well as take a closer look at micro-segments of their business to truly understand things like: 

  • What customers are driving the most revenue over time?
  • What products have a high correlation to a high customer lifetime value?
  • What does the browsing behavior of best customers look like? 

4. Your Data is Actionable In a Variety of Different External Systems

One of the most important aspects of a Customer Data Platform is that the data is useable. Within the CDP itself, marketers can create segments of customers based on predictive data sets, or even access certain data sets via different systems, such as their email marketing platform, Facebook, or Display Ads. Furthermore, a CDP should supply a retailer with a feedback loop - reports and analytics to help marketers understand how their campaigns are doing.

Learn More About...

Unifying First Party Data Predictive Modeling Macro & Micro Segmentation Predictive Email Marketing with CDP Predictive Marketing on Social Platforms Reports & Analytics