A customer data platform is a type of packaged software which creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems. Data is pulled from multiple sources, cleaned and combined to create a single customer profile. This structured data is then made available to other marketing systems. 

Customer Data Platform (CDP) software is a central repository for dispersed customer data that enables marketers to better understand each prospect, segment customers, and personalize their experience. It provides a unified view of individual customer records. This is a tool every marketer needs, but what role should CDP play in helping to improve customer experiences? 

How can you get the most value from a CDP across the customer journey? How can you leverage AI and machine learning in the customer data strategy to data privacy and security? 

Here are five ways to connect experiences with customer data platforms: 

1. Be Data Centric: Customer experience is the new differentiator and unified customer data is what helps manifest better experiences. CDPs bring together behavioral and transactional data and enable businesses to deliver mass personalization to their customers. 

2. Operate in real-time: CDPs must deliver real-time insights as it is even more essential than ever in today’s world where a digital experience has become essential to reaching customers. Experience—not pricing or products—is going to be the future. Having the right information to engage and connect with customers with automated, real-time actions will be essential during COVID-19 and beyond. 

3. Learn from machine learning: AI and machine learning are core components and differentiators of CDPs. When applied to the customer journey, AI and machine learning enable organizations to scale and provide each customer a unique journey with contextually relevant experiences. 

Make the benefits of AI a reality for your business. Maximize customer lifetime value with AI-driven insights based on unified customer profiles. Transform into a customer-centric organization where marketing, sales, and service professionals have the insights they need to personalize engagement. See results faster with a real-time enterprise grade CDP designed to deliver insights that employees can act on with minimal training and IT assistance. Perform high-speed analytical processing and customize the solution using Microsoft Azure and Power Platform. 

4. Build on a trusted platform: Trust and security are non-negotiable priorities for all organizations, and those priorities must extend to CDPs. Data fidelity must be maintained, and data stored must be secure. It is important to note that consumers are becoming less trusting of businesses and are concerned about how they are using data. 

Ensure your organization use an intuitive and flexible customer data platform (CDP) to unlock insights and power personalized customer experiences. Unify all your customer data across the full range of sources to get a single view of customers in real time. 

5. Think the entire stack: CDPs should connect across the marketing technology stack to ad platforms, marketing automation tools, CRM systems, and data analysis tools to drive actions and meaningful business outcomes across the customer journey. It’s about using new technologies that are empowering IT and line of business and enhancing the customer journey across sales, service, marketing, and commerce. 

How to Choose the Right CDP for Your Company  

When choosing a CDP, don’t look at features, functions, and use cases. Look at what the platform can do for you. Can it connect the data within your organization, and can it scale and support your resources on demand? It’s all about the data and the insights that put the people and the processes together that are going to be the platform of the future. 

After you have decided that CDP is a right tool for your business, you have to decide the vendor to choose. The number of possible vendors might make the choice seem overwhelming, so it’s important to have a plan to your buying process. However, each company will have different requirements and use cases, but some parts of the buying process should look the same for most businesses. 

  • define your use cases.
  • match your requirements to potential vendors. 
  • evaluate the vendors and
  • make your decision. 

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Shruti Shukla (2020) ‘5 insights on how to connect experiences with customer data platforms’, 7 August. https://cloudblogs.microsoft.com/dynamics365/bdm/2020/08/07/5-insights-on-how-to-connect-experiences-with-customer-data-platforms (Accessed: 23/08/2020) 


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