GrowthAugust 08, 2018

The essential Customer Data Platform reading list

Industry experts from a variety of publications discuss the who’s, why's, what’s, and how’s of martech’s hottest new technology: the customer data platform (CDP).

essential cdp

1. "Everyone wants to be a CDP. Here’s who’s actually doing it."

Author: Kelly Liyakasa

Publication: adexchanger

In this post, adExchanger’s Kelly Liyakasa explains what a Customer Data Platform is and distinguishes CDPs from comparable technologies, such as Tag Management Systems and Data Management Platforms. Liyakasa then proceeds to list notable companies that have identified themselves as CDPs and evaluates how well they match the definition.

essential cdp

2. "What is this thing we call a CDP?"

Author: Martin Kihn

Publication: Gartner (blog)

In this Gartner blog post, Martin Kihn discusses the genesis and rapid evolution of the CDP market, the CDP vs DMP debate, and where Tag Management Services fit into the mix.

essential cdp

3. "The Complete Guide to CDPs"

Author: Kelly Liyakasa

Publication: adexchanger

In this post, AdExchanger’s Kelly Liyakasa chronicles the evolution of the CDP market and spotlights two significant customer use cases.

essential cdp

4. "Everything a marketer needs to know about CDPs. Wait, what’s a CDP?"

Author: David Raab


In this guest post for, CDP Institute founder David Raab defines what Customer Data Platforms are and discusses the value that the technology can add to marketing organizations. Additionally, Raab continues to analyze the CDP market and how it will impact the larger martech ecosystem.

essential cdp

5. No customer left behind: How to drive growth by putting personalization at the center of your marketing

Author(s): Julien Boudet, Brian Gregg, Kathryn Rathje, Kai Vollhardt

Publication: McKinsey & Comparny

This McKinsey article discusses the importance of personalization initiatives, the ways that a business can develop a strategic personalization model, and how customer data platforms provide a foundation for success.

essential cdp

6. "10 Reasons why you need a CDP .. Not a DMP"

Author: Andy Whyte

Publication: LinkedIn

In this LinkedIn publication, Poq’s Head of Sales, Andy Whyte, presents a comparative analysis of DMPs and CDPs, identifying the ten advantages that a CDP provides over a DMP.

essential cdp

7. "Smart Hubs vs. Dumb Spokes: CDPs and the undiscovered journey"

Author: Benjamin Bloom

Publication: Gartner (blog)

In this post for Gartner, Benjamin Bloom explains that disruptive technologies often arrive at just the right moment. Customer Data Platforms, he states, promise a “generational and procedural shakeup of enterprise marketing,” and he believes multi-channel marketers will love them.

essential cdp

8. "Welcome to the age of the customer data platform"

Author: Miles Pritchard

Publication: LinkedIn

In this LinkedIn publication, Miles Pritchard, Head of Data & Technology strategy at Annalect, describes what CDPs are and why they matter given the state of data driven marketing today. Additionally, Pritchard provides a brief guide of questions that can be used to determine if a Customer Data Platform is the right solution for your organization.

essential cdp

9. "What’s a Customer Data Platform and why should we care about it?"

Author: Ian Skinner

Publication: Merkle (blog)

In this blog post for Merkle, Head of Data Science Ian Skinner discusses the value of Customer Data Platforms and identifies four reasons why the CDP deserves to sit at the top table in the marketing ecosystem.  

essential cdp

10. "What is Customer Data Platform CDP & Where does it Fit into my Data Ecosystem?"

Author: Chitra Iyer

Publication: Martech Advisor

In this article, Martech Advisor Editor in Chief Chitra Iyer explains what Customer Data Platforms are and why they should be seen as the “central nervous system” of the marketing tech stack.

essential cdp

11. Customer Data Platforms: Eliminate the Moat Around Your Data

In this post, Gartner's James Meyers discusses how CDPs play a critical role in democratizing data across the organization.

essential cdp

12. "Demystifying DMPs, CDPs"

Author: Cory Treffiletti

Publication: MediaPost

In this article for MediaPost, former BlueKai CMO Cory Treffiletti discusses the value that Customer Data Platforms provide for paid media programs and attribution efforts. Additionally, Treffiletti identifies the type of organizations that are best suited for investing in a CDP.

essential cdp

13. "WTF is a Customer Data platform"

Author: Yuyu Chen

Publication: Digiday

This Digiday article addresses several pressing CDP questions:

  • What is a CDP?
  • Do CDPs have anything to do with advertising and digital marketing?
  • Are CDPs taking of DMPs’ duties on advertising?

Chen also discusses the challenges that true CDP vendors face now that the market is evolving.

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