Customer Data Platform is defined by the CDP Institute as “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.” The main purpose of a CDP is to combine all customer data into sharable profiles. A CDP is designed to have connections to multitudes of sources, uses a data store that handles all data types, employs advanced identity matching methods, and gives other systems easy access to this data.
Many sales and marketing systems like marketing automation or CRM platforms store customer data, but are designed to meet specific needs.
A system is only considered a CDP if it can meet all the following criteria:
accept data from any sources
retain all detail of the original input
store data indefinitely (subject to GDPR or other privacy constraints)