Customer data platforms (CDPs) help online businesses by:
Having all their data in one place helps companies overcome data silos, create detailed customer segments, and get a clear picture of the entire customer journey.
However, CDPs can be very different beyond their fundamental data aggregation, identity resolution, and segmentation functionalities.
In this post, we’ll help you find the right CDP for your business by reviewing the eight best CDPs and organizing them into two categories:
Finally, we’ll also discuss three frequently asked questions about the types of data CDPs can ingest and the differences between CDPs and other similar platforms.
Insider can aggregate all your customer data from online and offline sources in one place and use that data to drive affinity-and-intent-informed, personalized customer experiences across all touchpoints. Visit our website or schedule a demo with our team to learn more about our platform.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
These CDPs are designed to help brands understand their customers, build detailed customer segments, and create personalized experiences for them.
Besides their data aggregation capabilities, these CDPs also have:
This makes actionable CDPs a great choice for marketers and growth professionals looking to improve revenue, lifetime value (LTV), and customer acquisition costs (CAC) by showing relevant messaging, content, and product suggestions to the right customers at the right times.
Insider brings together all your customer data and makes it easy to activate that data across your website, mobile app, and messaging channels.
Brands like AVON, Samsung, and Toyota use Insider to:
Additionally, our focus on customer convenience has led to G2 ranking us as the top CDP in categories like ease of use and ease of admin.
Here are four ways you can use Insider’s Actionable CDP and broader capabilities to aggregate your data, understand your customers, and drive revenue.
The process of getting your data into a CDP can be difficult and time-consuming. To overcome this issue, our team of experts will:
After the setup, you’ll get a dashboard full of useful stats and metrics about your visitors and customers, as you can see below.
You can also start making meaningful changes based on your data immediately, like:
We’ll discuss various examples throughout this post, but if you want more ideas now, check out our interactive Actionable CDP Explorer.
Insider also lets you drill down into the individual profiles of each customer.
The screenshot above shows a unified customer profile with explicit data like name and email, as well as implicit data like last purchased and abandoned products.
Each subsequent interaction with your brand is fed into this profile, which continuously enriches your dataset and creates a more accurate view of the customer.
However, Insider starts creating these profiles way before you’ve collected any personal data.
For example, as visitors browse your website, Insider creates profiles for them in your Unified Customer Database with information about:
As a result, you have profiles for your visitors before they’ve bought anything or even shared any contact data with you. Insider’s personalization capabilities help you use this anonymous, real-time data to turn visitors into customers faster and reduce CAC, as you’ll see in the next section.
Having your customer data in one place is great for avoiding data silos and analyzing the customer journey. But in order for this data to benefit your bottom line, you need to use it to create personalized customer experiences (i.e., data activation).
Insider’s versatile segmentation helps you use your data to create individualized, cross-channel customer experiences that drive more revenue.
As soon as your data is in Insider, our AI-powered algorithms create various predictive audiences based on:
You can also use our standard segmentation to target users based on their:
Finally, Insider also creates predefined segments of users who abandoned their carts, visited a product page but didn’t add an item to their cart, or interacted with you via a marketing channel (email, SMS, WhatsApp, etc.)
Again, you can take advantage of our powerful segmentation even if most of your audience is unknown (meaning you don’t have any contact information or personal data about visitors).
As unknown visitors browse your site, Insider collects their behavior data — which pages they visit, which products they like, the price ranges they’re looking at, and so on.
Since most users usually don’t purchase on their first visit, Insider helps you bring them back to your site with personalized web push notifications.
All you need to do is send a pop-up to visitors, so they can agree to receive notifications from you (this doesn’t require any personal data).
After that, you can bring them back to your site using personalized web push notifications, instead of retargeting them with expensive social media or search ads.
These notifications can also include discounts (for segments with a high discount affinity), a reminder to complete a purchase (for shoppers who already added an item to their carts), and lots of other personalization elements.
You can learn more about the different types of web push notifications and the benefits of using them in our web push mastery guide.
Insidersupport lots of channels like email, SMS, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger, so you don’t have to use third-party tools to activate your data on them. This removes the need for complex integrations, simplifies your tech stack, and reduces the number of logins you need to manage.
Additionally, Insider’s personalization and automation capabilities make it easy to orchestrate customer journeys across all of these channels.
For example, say you have a customer segment that repeatedly shows an interest in a product category on your site. When these customers come to your site but don’t buy anything, you can instruct Insider to send them an email with a special offer for products in that category.
If they still don’t convert, you can let Insider’s AI-powered next-best channel predictions determine which touchpoint to try next (SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, etc.)
All of this is done through Architect — our tool for building individualized, cross-channel journeys through a simple intuitive drag-and-drop editor.
You can also compare the performance of two or more path variations using our A/B Split Testing features.
For example, you can test if push notifications bring more people back to the site than email. Or, you can check if following-up push notifications with an SMS or WhatsApp message yields a better result.
Plus, our Winner Auto-Selection lets you determine the best combination of channels, content, and offers for your goal — whether that’s increasing conversions, boosting customer engagement, reducing CAC, and so on.
Lastly, Insider also comes with tons of pre-made templates for each channel and use case, so you don’t have to start the personalization, automation, and A/B testing processes from scratch.
As we said, Insider provides useful stats and metrics about your visitors and customers out of the box.
However, you can easily customize these reports to include data that’s relevant to you. For example, you can create custom funnels to analyze how users navigate important flows like checkouts or onboarding tutorials.
You can also analyze the success metrics for each channel you’re using, like email deliverability and open rates, web push clickthrough rates, SMS conversion rates, and so on.
These customizable reports and success metrics can help you:
You can also create custom reports from scratch, like the Executive Summary report shown below.
As you can see, this report contains lots of information that would be useful to high-level decision-makers, like revenue, new users, and channel success.
If you want to see how Insider can help your business aggregate all customer data in one place and use it to boost sales, retention, AOV, and LTV, book a live demo with our team.
Bloomreach is an eCommerce personalization, engagement, and marketing automation platform. Its CDP (part of the Bloomreach Engagement module) is called a “Customer Data Engine” and it can collect data about customers from various sources. Bloomreach supports different channels for activating your data, such as email, SMS, and on-site and offers various automation, experimentation, and content management features.
Note: Click here to see how Bloomreach (left in the screenshot below) compares to Insider (right).
Salesforce Marketing Cloud is a digital marketing platform that combines products for email marketing, journey orchestration, personalization, content management, and more. One of the key products in this stack is the Marketing Cloud CDP, which helps brands aggregate their data, understand their customers better, and optimize their marketing campaigns. Some of the activation channels supported by the Marketing Cloud are email, SMS, on-site, and mobile apps.
Note: Click here to see how Salesforce Marketing Cloud (right in the screenshot below) compares to Insider (left).
Emarsys is an omnichannel customer engagement platform that was acquired by SAP in 2020. Their CDP is called an “Integrated Data Layer” and it combines, cleanses, and analyzes data to create a single customer view. The platform relies on AI-powered audience segmentation to surface useful customer insights and supports activation channels like email, on-site, SMS, and mobile apps.
Learn more: 9 Best Emarsys competitors & alternatives
Note: Click here to see how Emarsys (left in the screenshot below) compares to Insider (right).
These CDPs focus on more technical use cases like:
This makes them a great choice for data analysts, data scientists, and developers who want to manage, transform, and analyze their data.
At the same time, these traditional CDPs don’t support as many native channels or personalization features as the Actionable CDPs. This means you’ll need to integrate them with third-party tools (e.g., email tools, SMS solutions, or WhatsApp marketing software) to activate your data across channels, which can make their setup and workflow complex and reliant on developer assistance.
Segment is the company that made CDPs popular in the first place. Like Emarsys, Segment was also acquired by an enterprise company in 2020 (Twilio) but still exists as a standalone CDP. Segment has lots of integrations with popular marketing tools, customer support platforms, and data warehouses. It can also be integrated with Twilio Engage for brands looking to fuel their SMS and email campaigns with insights from their aggregated data. See 9 best Emarsys competitors and alternatives (detailed review).
Note: Click here to see how Segment (right in the screenshot below) compares to Insider (left).
Tealium is a CDP that combines five different products:
mParticle helps brands build a single view of their customers, create segments, and utilize predictive analytics. mParticle also offers schema management and transformation tools that help developers manage data quality. This CDP supports lots of data integrations with tools for product, development, and marketing teams, including Insider, Google Analytics, BigQuery, and Amazon RedShift.
Treasure Data is a Customer Data Cloud that unifies data and ensures compliance and security. Its CDP can be useful for marketing, sales, customer success, and technical teams. It also supports many different technical use cases like data hygiene and advanced analytics but doesn’t have built-in activation channels.
Insider’s Actionable CDP can aggregate all your customer data from any relevant source into one place. Our team will help you get that data into Insider as fast as possible, so you can focus on what really matters — segmenting your audience, uncovering valuable customer insights, and driving revenue.
Plus, Insider’s personalization features and broad channel support — including email, SMS, WhatsApp, on-site, and more — will help you create individualized, cross-channel customer experiences.
CDPs and data management platforms (DMPs) don’t do the same thing. While they both collect and organize customer data, they focus on different types of information and are used for different purposes.
– DMPs are mainly used for storing third-party data with the goal of helping advertisers and ad agencies segment and target audiences via paid ads.
– CDPs make use of all kinds of data, including first-, second-, and third-party data to help brands remove data silos, understand their customers, and build detailed customer segments.
Overall, CDPs are more versatile than DMPs, as they can be employed in all sorts of use cases beyond paid advertising, like unifying all customer data, personalizing on-site experiences, and creating multichannel customer journeys.
Customer relationship management systems (CRMs) like Salesforce store customer interaction data like emails, support tickets, sales demos, and contracts. They’re used by marketing, customer support, and sales teams as a single source of truth regarding interactions with leads and customers.
CDPs provide a single place to store all customer and visitor data, regardless of its source. This can include customer interaction data, but it can also include behavioral data, event data, survey data, and much more. This makes CDPs a better choice for companies that want a unified view of the data generated at each customer touchpoint, not just through interactions with the sales and customer support teams.
CDPs can aggregate different types of data, including:
1. Basic customer information, like names, email addresses, phone numbers, and demographic details.
2. Behavioral and interaction data, such as website visits, product purchases, message channel interactions (e.g., email, SMS, and WhatsApp), and frequently used features.
3. Attitudinal data, like survey responses, net promoter scores (NPS), customer effort scores (CES), and preferences.
Depending on the data source, CDPs can also work with first-, second-, and third-party data. However, most brands have shifted their focus toward first-party data due to strict data privacy regulations (like the GDPR and CCPA) and recent privacy updates from Google and Apple.
Edwin is oversees Insider's customer success team in Indonesia and the Philippines. He has 6+ years of experience in digital marketing, with a special focus on multichannel CRM strategy, growth hacking, and A/B testing. Before Insider, Edwin was a technology consultant at Accenture and co-founded his own Digital Agency.