The AdExchanger 2018 Industry Preview happened this past week in New York City, and it was a breath of fresh air with topics like ad fraud and viewability, which had dominated the event’s content over the past few years, being replaced with data-centric topics like Customer Data Platforms (CDP) and the importance of understanding the power of first-party data.

Doing enough searches of “What is a CDP” ultimately brings you various definitions of a system that centralizes customer data. While true, it’s more nuanced. In a CDP, data is centralized from all sources that unifies the data into customer profiles and then makes this data available to other systems for marketing campaigns, customer service, and all customer experience initiatives. It seems complicated and convoluted, but the promise of the CDP is its ability to provide a true 360-degree view of a customer, which has always been a goal of marketers.

Michael Katz of mParticle presented during the 2018 Industry Preview positioning CDP as the natural evolution of the Data Management Platform (DMP) with the customer identity being the backbone of what powers it. At Target Data, we tout to our clients the power of their first-party customer and sales transactional data – and will turn down business when we cannot get access to it – because it’s the true-north to fully understanding the efficacy of any and all addressable marketing channels. Our reality today, we live in a world where the average household has around six connected devices – which not only produces a large amount of fragmentation but also a great demand for data centralization.                                              

Building a CDP around customer identity makes sense when you consider the issues surrounding cookie-based digital results. It helps solve numerous problems that have plagued the industry in the past. Digital media’s use of anonymized proxies created instability when it came to understanding how to best attribute credit across your addressable media mix. With a CDP, you can only expect the amount of addressable touch points to increase – whether it be increased TV inventory, voice, or advances in home-tech like connected refrigerators. This will decrease the challenges in making a unified customer experience, and also create a need for expertise in campaign orchestration.

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