CDP Spotlight: 7 Key Takeaways From Industry Experts


Customer data plays a pivotal role, yet it often remains inaccessible to marketers. When harnessed by savvy marketers, this goldmine of data becomes the driving force behind personalized, engaging customer experiences. Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are designed to tackle this challenge head-on by seamlessly unifying and making customer data accessible for marketers. However, the complex and rapidly changing CDP market causes confusion in selecting and effectively managing a CDP.

In a recent Expert Perspective webinar series (part 1 and part 2 now available on-demand), David Raab, Founder of the CDP Institute, and Vijay Chittoor, Co-Founder and CEO of Blueshift, help reduce confusion and provide insights for establishing a powerful, impactful CDP strategy. The series covers foundational topics ranging from understanding what a CDP is and its essential use cases to exploring the role of AI, achieving ROI, and crucial considerations for selecting the right CDP. This blog post will delve into 7 key takeaways from the insightful discussions:

1. CDPs Play a Strategic Role in Customer Centricity

The CDP Institute defines a CDP as “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database accessible to other systems.” CDPs collect, store, unify, and transform data to make it readily accessible for activation. They strategically empower marketers to make data-driven decisions and foster 1:1 engagement, bridging the gap between data collection, understanding the customer, and intelligently engaging across multiple channels. Unlike data warehouses, CDPs were purpose-built for seamless data sharing with other systems, serving as a single source of truth for marketers. As businesses collect data from an increasing number of touchpoints, CDPs play an increasingly pronounced role in orchestrating a cohesive customer journey.

2. CDPs Provide Organizational-Wide Benefits

CDPs bring a multitude of advantages to the table. Beyond just data management, the benefits extend across various departments within an organization. Marketing teams, IT and engineering teams, paid media teams, as well as analytics and data teams all stand to gain from CDP implementation. Here are some key highlights:

  • Unified Customer View: CDPs enable marketers to access a unified view of customer data, facilitating analytics, message selection, and orchestration. This unification extends across the entire customer journey, encompassing both digital and offline interactions, and unifies multiple identities.
  • Consistency: Ensures consistency in customer data and insights across various touchpoints, providing marketers with the crucial real-time data needed to deliver the right message at the right moment.
  • Orchestration: While not a requirement for a CDP, many can achieve advanced features, including activation through orchestration. This enables marketers to understand the optimal message for the right channel at the right time, facilitating the orchestration of real-time experiences. Having one tool for data and orchestration leads to true personalization. 
  • Customer Insights and Targeting: CDPs play a pivotal role in offering invaluable customer insights and segmentation. They enable organizations to delve deeper into customer behavior and preferences to uncover patterns in customer behavior, preferences, and interaction. 
  • Independence: CDPs empower marketers by providing access to and control over the necessary data for their initiatives, eliminating dependence on other teams.

3. Select Based on Features Not Just Cost

A crucial aspect of our discussion centered on selecting the right CDP. As a buyer, it’s important to look beyond just the price tag and consider features, ease of use, and the capability for internal integration. David Raab stressed the importance of not solely focusing on initial and operating costs, as this could lead to selecting a suboptimal CDP that fails to meet long-term organizational needs. He highlighted that the most satisfied buyers are those who prioritize feature breadth and internal integration capabilities. To ensure the right fit, brands must comprehend how they intend to use the system and identify their unique requirements. Opting for a free trial or signing up for a free plan provides a hands-on experience to determine if the CDP aligns with their needs.

4. Effective Implementation Requires Change

Implementing a CDP goes beyond mere technical integration; it requires a strategic approach to change management. Successful organizations embrace the shift from channel-centric to customer-centric processes, leveraging CDPs as tools to facilitate this transition. The experts agreed that starting with foundational capabilities like data assembly and then progressing to more complex functionalities like orchestration and AI-based decision-making is crucial.

5. ROI Beyond Revenue

Measuring ROI for a CDP is not just about increased revenue. Chittoor and Raab discussed how improved targeting through AI, real-time interactions, and more efficient workflows contribute significantly to the ROI. Streamlining marketing workflows and reducing IT reliance are key drivers of value from CDPs, leading to cost savings and enhanced marketing efficiency. They also highlighted many valuable use cases that lead to ROI.

6. Embracing the Future with CDPs

As customer expectations and the market continue to evolve, CDPs continue to actively evolve and shape the future of data-driven marketing. Here are three main trends covered in the webinars:

  • Moving Beyond Data Management: CDPs are evolving to focus on intelligent execution, powering both real-time interactions and orchestration.
  • Integration with Modern Data Stack: CDPs are increasingly integrated with the “Modern Data Stack” for analytics, leveraging cloud data warehouses for efficiency.
  • CDPs as Enablers of AI: CDPs play a crucial role in enabling and leveraging artificial intelligence for enhanced marketing strategies.

7. A Special CDP Announcement from Blueshift

Vijay Chittoor, Co-Founder and CEO of Blueshift, announced an exciting development – the launch of Blueshift’s Free CDP Starter Pack! Designed to make CDP technology more accessible, allowing organizations to experience its benefits without a substantial upfront investment and quicker time to value. The starter pack includes essential features like data integration, audience activation, and journey orchestration. This new offering allows you to sign up completely free (no credit card required) and immediately begin ingesting and activating customer data in just 15 minutes. This is the industry’s first comprehensive self-serve CDP that can not only unify profiles but also deliver 1:1 engagement.


In summary, CDPs are essential for businesses seeking to leverage their data effectively and provide personalized customer experiences. Beyond serving as unified repositories for diverse customer data, CDPs play a strategic role in enabling data-driven marketing. They contribute to a comprehensive understanding of customers, ultimately fueling intelligent and seamless engagement across marketing channels. Uncover even more insights about CDPs, including responses to audience questions, in the full webinar series. Dive into the on-demand series today. 

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