Webinar Recap: CDP: Is the Future Now?

A graphic with the text "CDP: Is the Future Now? Learn why Customer Data Platforms are a vital tool for marketers now more than ever." alongside headshots for speakers David Raab and Josh Francia

CDPs (customer data platforms) continue to be at the forefront of most martech conversations. During 2021, we saw more marketers than ever adding CDPs to their tech stack, but similarly saw more marketers asking “What is a CDP, and do I need one?” Great news: Blueshift was joined by the CDP expert to discuss the state of CDPs and why they are important for marketers now more than ever.

David Raab, Founder of the CDP Institute (who literally defined the term “customer data platform”), joined Josh Francia, Chief Growth Officer at Blueshift, to discuss the trends that are occurring in the world of CDPs and what to expect in 2022.


What Is the Official Definition of a CDP?

According to the CDP Institute, a CDP is a packaged software that builds a unified, persistent customer database that’s accessible to other systems. A CDP is something you buy, not something you build (like a data warehouse or data lake). It takes data from all different sources and unifies it in its own data store. A CDP is designed to share data with other systems and gives companies the flexibility to decide how they want to use that data.

“CDPs are built to be flexible; they’re built to be scalable and adjust to your business as your business changes.” – Josh Francia, Chief Growth Officer, Blueshift

There are five primary types of CDPs:

  1. Data CDP – CDPs that only build a unified, persistent database.
  2. Analytics CDP – CDPs that build a database and have an analytical capability (usually predictive recommendations or sometimes attribution).
  3. Campaign CDP – CDPs with the capabilities of both a Data CDP and an Analytics CDP, plus message selection.
  4. Delivery CDP – CDPs with all of the capabilities above, plus message delivery.
  5. Operational CDP – CDPs that are embedded in a larger system (e.g., an ecommerce system).

Among these definitions, Blueshift falls into a more specific categorization — an Activation CDP — that encompasses a CDP with a greater scope of functionality and marketing automation capabilities. Activation CDPs are typically implemented by somewhat smaller companies or midsize companies who are more concerned about saving on integration costs, while enterprise companies generally have multiple platforms at their disposal for various marketing functions.

To expand on these concepts, David and Josh also dove into the differences between Activation CDPs and Customer Relationship Management systems (CRMs), Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs), and Data Management Platforms (DMPs). For more information, check out the following blog posts:

Here’s one important note that David pointed out during his discussion with Josh: if marketers don’t know what they’re doing or don’t know how to take advantage of a CDP — or don’t take the time to learn how to use the system — they’re not going to get a lot of value out of it.


How Are CDPs Evolving?

As the death of third-party cookies moves closer upon us, you may be wondering how this major shift in data will affect the efficacy of customer data platforms. According to David, since CDPs are more concerned with first-party data than third-party cookies, this reprioritization may actually be positive for marketers who are using a CDP.

“First-party data becomes more important, because third-party data is more about finding new customers, while first-party data is more about doing a better job with your existing customers.” – David Raab, Founder, CDP Institute

Moving forward into 2022, David and Josh anticipate more differentiation between types of CDPs as companies evaluate their marketing tools on a deeper level to identify areas to improve efficiency and scalability. With so many customer data platform options available, marketers are making sure the platform(s) they implement have all the tools they need to execute a successful omnichannel marketing strategy.

Watch David and Josh’s conversation on-demand now to gain additional insights from “CDP: Is the Future Now?” Click here to access the webinar or keep scrolling to play it below. Then, contact a Blueshift expert today to learn more about what sets our CDP apart!

This webinar covers:

  • What exactly is a CDP, and has that definition evolved over the last year?
  • Why do CDPs matter for marketers?
  • Where will CDPs evolve in 2022?