Webinar Recap: What the CDP?! With the CDP Institute and Smart Panda Labs

What the CDP webinar event

Couldn’t join us for our exclusive webinar with the Customer Data Platform Institute and Smart Panda Labs? Have no fear — we’re recapping it all here! Let’s dive into the best bits, top takeaways, and finally, an on-demand recording of “What the CDP?! What is a CDP and Why Do Marketers Need It?” featuring David Raab of the CDP Institute and Shamir Duverseau of Smart Panda Labs.

What is a Customer Data Platform (and why should marketers care)?

First things first, our experts addressed your burning question — what is a CDP? While it’s a relatively straightforward acronym, a ton of incorrect information and hype has been attached to the phrase Customer Data Platform, so it’s very understandable that so many marketers are left scratching their heads.

Before we get into what exactly qualifies a Customer Data Platform (from here on out, “CDP”), let’s examine the top marketing goals/functions CDPs enable:

  • Unifies fragmented, disjointed data from any source, channel, or touchpoint
  • Enables easy messaging execution with pre-built connections to other platforms or touchpoints
  • Delivers 1:1 personalization across channels, leveraging catalog and content data

For a more comprehensive definition of a CDP, check at the CDP Institute’s resource here.

Are all CDPs the same?

There is a multitude of platforms that have cropped up with CDP in their title. Here are the most concrete categories as of 2021:

  • CDP Engines: Also known as a CDP toolkit. They are open source and are well-suited for technical teams looking to add applications on top of a CDP.
  • Marketing Data Integration: These solutions offer governance for data streams, with limited ability to create and push segments. Analytics and decisioning are handled outside of the platform.
  • SmartHub: These platforms focus mainly on creating singular customer profiles for the purpose of orchestration and personalization within campaigns. SmartHubs often act as a source of truth and send execution instructions to delivery platforms, rather than switching from platform to platform.
  • Marketing Cloud: These are CDPs that are marketed as part of a larger, existing marketing ecosystem with the promise of making the marketing clouds more open and customizable in their approach to data ingestion.

“All CDP’s do a certain set of things: they build a unified, shareable customer profile. Now that being said, there are CDPs where that’s all that they do (and that’s OK) and then there are CDPs to do that plus other things. So the confusion in the CDP market comes from people who have a CDP that does what a CDP does, plus something else, but all of these platforms share the moniker ‘CDP’. Which flavor of CDP your particular company needs really depends on what tech you have in place, where your business is going, and other considerations.” – David Raab, CDP Institute

“Buying a CDP is like buying a car. All CDPs do fundamentally the same thing — all cars do fundamentally the same thing. But each vehicle type has key features and functions unique to its type and they serve very different purposes. If I have four or five kids, a smart car won’t meet my needs like a minivan would. Buyers need to really determine what they’re trying to accomplish, their unique needs as an organization, what customer expectations demand of their brand. Answer those questions first, and then find the CDP that works for you, not vice versa.” – Shamir Duverseau, Smart Panda Labs

And what about the future of CDPs?

“Think of the CDP as a set of functions: the need for a unified, persistent, shareable customer database will not go away. 5, 10 years ago we may not have realized that, but now most businesses realize the importance of data. Looking to the future, there are going to be a growing number of systems, a growing number of channels, and a growing amount of data — they’ll need a source to pull unified data from. They’ll always need what a CDP can offer.” – David Raab, CDP Institute

Want to learn more? Watch the full webinar on-demand below or reach out to one of our CDP experts to learn how Blueshift can help you.