More Than Just A Letter: Why An EDP Is More Than A CDP

Application of laptop with business graph and analytics data on isometric laptop .

Marketing technology platforms all have the same goal — to develop a relationship with a consumer that turns them into a customer. Every marketing technology platform out there promises this end result. One especially, the Customer Data Platform (CDP), has been hailed as the “brain” of marketing technology platforms. 

What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

Customer Data Platform. The name says it all — it’s a platform that stores customer data. It’s the tool of the data-centric marketer. 

According to the CDP Institute, a platform must have these five capabilities to earn the “RealCDP” distinction: 

  1. Ingest data from any source
  2. Capture full detail of ingested data
  3. Store ingested data indefinitely (subject to privacy constraints)
  4. Create unified profiles of identified individuals
  5. Share data with any system that needs it

There are many different types of CDPs. Some common types include digital CDPs, campaign CDPs, integration CDPs, and analytical CDPs. Ideally, a CDP would take the data gathered by a marketer and show a full picture of the customer they’re marketing to. 

Unfortunately, many CDPs have failed to demonstrate that they can easily take data and activate it for customer engagement strategies. While CDPs claim to be holistic solutions for gathering data and presenting a unified view, they fall short at taking action from that view. That’s because many CDPs are IT-driven data environments that lack the business use cases that can make them successful for marketing campaigns. They ingest various data types but rely on costly and time-intensive integrations to deliver value.

In theory, they sound like comprehensive solutions, but in execution, Customer Data Platforms are failing the marketer. Marketers cannot personalise campaigns to a customer without manually accessing data from various systems. If you want to evolve from being a data-centric marketer to a customer-centric marketer, what you need is the Engagement Data Platform.

How the Engagement Data Platform is different from a Customer Data Platform.

What differentiates the Cheetah EDP from a traditional CDP is that it provides marketers with that holistic view of the customer, machine learning, native omnichannel touchpoints, and solutions that drive customer acquisition, loyalty, and retention. Together, these capabilities provide marketers with solutions to create value throughout the customer lifecycle, from acquiring customers to watching them become brand advocates.

And because it’s built natively with channels, experiences, and loyalty in mind, it is better at providing a full picture of a customer, throughout the customer lifecycle.  

Simply put, Cheetah Digital’s Engagement Data Platform helps marketers build valuable relationships with the people they’re marketing to. Unlike many CDPs that focus on anonymous third-party data, the Engagement Data Platform collects and uses first- and zero-party data.

Cheetah Digital’s Engagement Data Platform has many capabilities, including: 

  • Enterprise data management 
  • Audience segmentation
  • Advanced analytics
  • Integrated machine learning
  • Streaming data ingestion
  • Connectors framework
  • Trigger engine
  • Smart messaging

It is just as smart about handling data as a CDP is. But most importantly, what sets the Engagement Data Platform apart from a CDP is the ability to connect that data into a system of action. 

The Cheetah EDP is a core component of the Cheetah Engagement Suite, which includes Cheetah Messaging, Cheetah Loyalty, and Cheetah Experiences. Together, these solutions uniquely combine delivering customer experiences at any point in the customer lifecycle, email, and other channels, with a robust data platform. The benefit is that marketers can take a data-driven approach to make connections with customers, through strategies that help them better engage with customers, encourage or reestablish loyalty, and deeper relationships.

The Engagement Data Platform turns data insights into action.

Amassing large amounts of data is useless if the marketer can’t do anything with it — or if the marketer frequently needs the involvement of IT to make use of that data. Marketers need a platform that takes data, transforms it into a holistic view of a customer, and then enables them to create campaigns that truly connect with a customer with deeper personalisation. 

So, how exactly does the Engagement Data Platform turn this data into action? It natively connects to and drives Cheetah Digital’s Customer Engagement Suite, which includes Cheetah Experiences, Cheetah Messaging, and Cheetah Loyalty.

The Customer Engagement Suite uses the data that flows into and out of the Engagement Data Platform to personalise campaigns throughout the customer lifecycle. It allows marketers to take the intelligent insights earned from Cheetah Messaging, Cheetah Loyalty, and Cheetah Experiences and turn them into action, in real time, at scale, across multiple channels. 

Why is it important to differentiate the Engagement Data Platform from a Customer Data Platform?

Consumers repeatedly tell us that they are only listening and responding to brands that see them. 

The reality is that consumers want better personalization: approximately 80 percent of them say it’s important to them.” — McKinsey & Company

Customer data resides in systems like analytics, email, mobile, campaign management, point-of-sale, and social, which are not integrated, nor were designed to be integrated. A way to overcome the challenge of disparate systems is to consider a customer data platform (CDP), which the CDP Institute defines as “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.” A CDP does more than just bring all of the data together; it provides marketers with a single, accessible, and actionable view that can be used to drive meaningful engagement with consumers.

Customers are likely to only continue doing business with the brands that personalise campaigns to them. Add to that customer concerns about data privacy, as well as increasingly strict regulations and governance rules on data, and marketers have a complex world to navigate. 

With a platform like the Engagement Data Platform, there is a focus on receiving data from customers themselves. This data that is intentionally and proactively shared by the customer is called zero-party data (and can be gathered using a solution like Cheetah Experiences). That, along with first-party data, is the best data to create campaigns from, because the data is gathered from the customer themselves. Instead of inferring what customers want, we ask them.  

This zero-party data, along with first-party data, will be absolutely essential in creating personalised campaigns that build a path toward engagement, and then emotional loyalty

According to McKinsey & Company, personalised campaigns “build real value.” Focusing on personalisation can result in: 

  • 10-20 per cent more efficient marketing and greater cost savings
  • 10-30 per cent uplift in revenue and retention

CDPs attempt to unify data to reach these results. The Engagement Data Platform is the only one that actually does.

The Engagement Data Platform creates better, more meaningful relationships.

Cheetah Digital’s Engagement Data Platform improves upon the Customer Data Platform model in multiple ways, but its biggest advantage is native connectivity to systems of action that allow marketers to create a relationship with their customers. It’s the only solution that partners with marketers to nurture a customer from acquisition to engagement, to emotional loyalty.

The CDP Institute recognises the Cheetah Engagement Data Platform (EDP) as meeting the definition of a CDP. The Cheetah EDP has all of the features expected in a CDP, as well as most of the distinguishing features that meet the need for today’s marketer that desires to make meaningful connections.


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