CDPs are new and quickly evolving category of marketing software that has only been around since 2013. They solve a lot of the common data problems faced by marketers. The standard definition of a CDP was coined In 2013 by David Raab:

A customer data platform is a marketer-managed system that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.

David Raab, CDP Institute
CDP Basics

What Does a CDP Do?

This is one of the fastest growing area of marketing technology. Customer data platforms do three primary things:

Import and Merge

CDPs import contact data from common sources such as AWS, SnowFlake and Azure, and merge data for all of your contacts.

Segmentation

These systems utilize the merged contact data to build high-focused segments based on all their attributes and interactions.

Marketing Communications

You can then send sync these segments to email lists, Google and Facebook ads audiences, your website and more.

Segmentation

Discover New Targeting Opportunities

Once your contact attributes and interactions are normalized in a single, marketing-controlled database, you can build dynamic new target segments using multiple sources of data.

CRM + Website

Build segments of inactive contacts that visit pages on your website that signal interest.

Web Chat + Website

Build segments of users that engage in web chat and visit key pages on your website.

CRM + Web Chat

Build segments of inactive contacts that engage in web chat.