Tag Archives: CDP

This post is a guest post from Lytics’ partner MetaRouter, authored by Matt Best. The original article can be found on their blog.

In a competitive market dominated by data-driven marketers, the success of your marketing strategy depends on your ability to leverage customer data effectively.

As you may already know, you can start with tools like tag managers for the most basic level of data management. However, using tag management strategies alone leave gaps in mobile data collection. If you’re ready to get more critical with customer data, and looking to collect the data for marketing tools and analytics, then you will find such data collection tools insufficient.

Finding a reliable data management solution

What you need is a reliable data management solution that has the right blend of sophistication and functionality, an instrument that enables you to collect data with accuracy and precision.

Most importantly, you require a system that can not only collect data, but also unlock and activate its value in tandem with your existing and future marketing campaigns.

After all, each organization uses customer data for different purposes and has specific marketing goals.

The problem is that a lot of terms are thrown around in the MarTech, or marketing technology, industry, and it is often hard to distinguish between various tools that technically fall into the same category but operate very uniquely.

In this guide, we will help you understand the three primary technical categories into which the customer data integration tools fall: the Customer Data Platform (CDP), the Data Management Platform (DMP), and the Customer Data Infrastructure (CDI) – and the intended use examples for each.

What Is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

A customer data platform, or a CDP, tracks and maintains first-party data on customer engagement. From websites and ads to email campaigns, CDPs help organizations seeking to improve their understanding of user behavior and tailor their marketing approaches accordingly.

Each of the customer data platforms has unique features that distinguish them from other CDP vendors in the market, but they can vary pretty drastically.

For example, here is a brief comparison of three popular CDPs: Segment, Lytics, and Blueshift.


Segment is a SaaS product versatile enough for use by organizations large and small across different industries. It works by collecting customer data across all touchpoints, meaning that customer service, product development, and sales departments alike can use the platform to streamline and personalize their processes.

Its comprehensive portfolio of integrations with analytics, marketing, and data warehouse services like Google Analytics, WebEngage, and Amazon Redshift allows teams to customize their use of the platform to fit their company’s specific use goals. 


Lytics is an advanced CDP designed with marketers in mind. This CDP seeks to add value to marketing efforts by delivering an advanced, fully aggregated profile of each customer at all points across the customer journey.

The feature Lytics View further helps marketers by synthesizing this data into intuitive AI-led recommendations designed to help drive conversion rates and optimize brand positioning.

This CDP is used by mid-market to enterprise-level brands across the consumer packaged goods (CPG), travel, hospitality, media, entertainment, and technology sectors.

Many of its clients are in the publishing and financial services industries.


Blueshift uses a combination of data collection and patented, AI-driven marketing automation to help marketing departments sift through large datasets, create personalized customer experiences, and scale marketing initiatives for growth.

Predictive scoring, one of the platform’s key features, results in data management that is intuitive and focused, offering teams more streamlined and meaningful customer insights across all marketing channels. The platform’s behavior-based data capabilities, combined with numerous integrations with advertising platforms such as Google Ads, make it a suitable yet high-powered marketing solution for small to medium-sized organizations.

What Is a Data Management Platform (DMP)?

A data management platform, or a DMP, serves as a virtual warehouse for online, offline, and mobile customer data.

DMPs are useful for marketing and advertising teams who seek to understand third-party data to optimize their ad targeting efforts.

They function by storing large swathes of data gathered from all marketing channels and segmenting this data into reports that organizations can use to identify trends in behavior and even unearth new potential customer bases.

Popular data management platforms include Lotame, Salesforce Audience Studio, and Adobe Audience Manager, to name a few. Every DMP focuses on different features. You can compare them to decide which is most suitable for your business needs. For example, some may be better at ad network integration, data transfer, and DSP integration, while others might be better at data classification.

Two examples of campaigns that can be structured based on a thorough analysis of DMP-gathered data are:

  •       Direct mail – In the case of direct mail, the organization holds personally-identifiable data on customers and prospects that allow for targeted outreach.
  •       Cookies – When customers and prospects are unknown, the organization uses cookies to influence audience engagement and, in turn, activate data into revenue.

Publishers, media agencies, and marketers are known for using DMP technology to extract value from the large datasets that their organizations collect.

While some larger enterprises have opted to build their in-house DMPs, choosing a third-party vendor is still the preferred route for most other companies.

The data management platforms in today’s digital market come at different price points and include unique suites of features that businesses can customize to their needs.

Although DMPs typically work with more third-party data, many vendors still offer first-party integration to empower companies to gather data from a greater breadth of sources.

You can also pair a DMP with a DSP – a demand-side platform – to further spur advertising initiatives through the buying and selling of campaign-level data with media buyers.

What Is a Customer Data Infrastructure (CDI)?

The customer data infrastructure (CDI) plays an integral role in revolutionizing customer experience in today’s growing digital market.

This SaaS product expands upon the customer relationship management (CRM) system by collecting first-party data from customers at all touchpoints in the customer lifecycle – from the first contact to registration to churn. Organizations can then activate this data to analyze consumer trends and more effectively strategize their outreach campaigns to different audience segments.

An example of one such CDI is MetaRouter. When used alongside leading digital marketing tools and analytics, MetaRouter has delivered proven results to companies at all levels – from startups to large enterprises.

Among other common CDIs, Oracle GoldenGate and Matillion are two that essentially focus on helping users connect to data sources and transform, model, and govern customer data. Perhaps we’re biased, but CDIs have some additional benefits:


In a digital age with data breaches that adversely affect customer trust, data security is a high priority for organizations.

One benefit of MetaRouter for customer data integration is that the platform can be deployed on your private cloud, ensuring that your data is housed in a high-security, GDPR, CCPA, HIPAA, and PCI-compliant location, preventing the risky sharing of data and minimizing the chance for data loss.


CDIs offer a full suite of features and third-party tools that empower companies to have complete control over their data governance, routing, and audience management.

Some popular options on most rosters of client, server, and mobile integrations include Amazon Redshift, Google Analytics, and Webhooks.

Simplified Hosting

The intuitive, optimized hosting capabilities offered by a CDI help companies on both the customer-facing end and the back end.

Customers experience faster-loading pages and less lag time when accessing a company’s site, and data governance teams can work more effectively with minimized instances of data bloat and duplicated data.

Do you need a CDP, DMP, or CDI? 

Since every use case is different, here is a brief recap of the similarities and differences between CDP, DMP, and CDI.

Customer Data Platform (CDP) Data Management Platform (DMP) Customer Data Infrastructure (CDI)

Centralized area for tracking and maintaining all first-party data on customer engagement

Analyze and personalize the customer experience, whether from service, sales, or marketing standpoint


Virtual warehouse for anonymous, third-party (online, offline, and mobile) customer data

Optimize ad targeting by use of tools such as cookies

Focused on building, managing, and refining audiences


Collects first-party data from customers at all touchpoints in the customer lifecycle

Involves data routing and hosting, integrations with third-party marketing and advertising tools

Data is no longer a consequence of the digital era – rather, it is a resource that service, sales, and marketing teams alike can utilize to gain targeted leverage in today’s competitive consumer market. Each of these SaaS products has a specific angle of focus, and organizations can choose to use one, two, or all three in tandem.

  •       Is a company’s current goal to make the customer experience more personable and friendly? Analyzing data gathered by a CDP can give customer service teams the insight needed to accomplish this.
  •       Does a business development team need a better way of viewing and managing leads, with more analytics capabilities than that offered by a standard CRM? Or does an organization with highly-sensitive data need to essentially own a private data router in order to ensure security and compliance? A CDI could be the answer.
  •       Is an organization seeking new audience segments to expand its marketing outreach? In that case, the ad targeting power of a DMP is most appropriate.

Today’s dynamic consumers interact with businesses across numerous platforms and touchpoints in their customer journeys. It is thus essential for an organization to have a marketing strategy in place that can collect, understand, and use this data in an intentional, results-oriented way.

SaaS vendors in the MarTech industry are acutely aware that their products – whether a CDP, CDI, or DMP – have value to organizations at all levels, but often deal with granular information and processes. A thorough consultation with a vendor representative, along with having an understanding of their organization’s current data strategy, can help a team determine which combination of tools is ideal for their needs and goals.

Photo by Ashim D’Silva on Unsplash

Tag Archives: CDP

When I was younger (notice I’m not giving dates here), my mother came to the bank with me to open my first checking account. I tracked every transaction in a check register and deposit book. Looking back, it was a dangerous time, living among the dinosaurs, but at least managing my account was simple. I had this checking account through my college education, but after graduation, I decided I was getting hit with too many unjustified fees on my limited budget, and I switched banks. Now, perhaps the fees were “justified” technically, but I still believe I was right.

Switching banks was easy. I withdrew my money, maybe even with a little sneer of disdain, walked across the street to a competing bank, and made a deposit. I was ready to start my professional life with a new, better banking relationship. The years passed, online banking took off, and I kept with my old ways. I gathered receipts in an overstuffed wallet. I reconciled my account and bank statements with my personal finance software. 

Over time, I came to realize that this online banking thing wasn’t so bad. I could pay all my bills without writing checks, filling out forms, buying stamps, remembering when bills were due, and so on. Everything was automated for me. Because of this, I have no desire to change banks ever again; I don’t want to rebuild all the convenience I’ve gained from my online banking relationship. For me, this is great news. For banks used to winning new customers, though, it’s a challenge.

Digital transformation for financial institutions

No industry is exempt from the forces of “digital transformation” sweeping the economy; and finance is no exception. Organizations that wish to keep up with the competition must understand their customers base and deliver personalized experiences.  In finance, the model of growth by acquiring customers from other banks is no longer enough. The costs of switching banks for consumers is higher–after all, who wants to change over every recurring payment they have–so customer attrition rates are sinking. (It’s worth noting though that the #1 reason for churn is poor customer service.)

What strategy for growth do financial institutions have left if poaching customers is too costly? Growing wallet share, also known as assets under management (AUM).

The key to growing wallet share is understanding customers

Consumers’ banking and financial needs change throughout the course of their life. An individual customer may start out as a high school student working his or her first job and saving for college. Once they’re in college, they’re probably taking out a series of loans and building a credit history, perhaps with an introductory credit card. They may then graduate and get an entry level job, one that requires them to buy a car for their commute or rent an apartment in the city. The next stage of their life may see them purchasing a home, growing their family, and saving for their kids’ college education. They’ll be saving for retirement hopefully all along the way (perhaps even investing on their own or through a broker) and eventually funding their retirement.

Naturally, this hypothetical customer will be interested in a variety of different products and services across their life–checking accounts, loans and savings instruments, credit cards, and more. To grow wallet share, a bank or other financial institution has to be aware of their customers’ needs and offer the appropriate product at the right time–and perhaps even through the right channel, as one customer may prefer in-person banking and email messages, another web experiences, and a third using their app.

Delivering personalized marketing experiences to customers

What does “understanding customers” look like in today’s digital economy for financial services companies? Chances are it’s a lot like the service consumers have come to expect across the economy. Customers expect companies to know who they are–what products they’re using, their communication preferences, their transaction history. They want a seamless experience across all channels–mobile apps, chat, and customer service. They don’t mind getting relevant offers of products and services, but impersonal, irrelevant offers leave them feeling ignored or taken advantage of. 

The key to delivering this level of customer experience is a smart hub CDP, what Lytics refers to as a decision engine. A decision engine does aggregate data, but it doesn’t stop at creating a customer profile. It uses machine learning to analyze the data that leads to desired outcomes, and delivers marketing experiences to further the customer along their journey. It represents a shift in focus from just collecting data to leveraging it in their customer interactions.

And what does this look like? Rather than acquiring third-party data about customers (names, addresses, income levels, etc.), they might look at their own first-party data and interest it. Data sent to their cloud warehouse might show recurring ACH payments to another company for a mortgage, leading them to make a favorable refinancing offer. A company that sees payments to a variety of student loan lenders might offer a debt consolidation product, and so on. 

Applying this case to customers who have opted in for marketing offers can create both immediate interest and longer-term customer awareness for additional banking services. By gathering and leveraging first-party behavioral data, institutions can make product recommendations to existing customers in compliance with the increasing amount of data privacy regulations, like CCPA.

How financial institutions can benefit from a smart hub CDP

As customer attrition rates have decreased over the past year, deepening share of wallet has become more important to banks’ overall strategy. They need to understand the drivers that lead to increased AUM. For new customers, they need to deliver an exemplary onboarding experience, as that builds customer loyalty and increases the likelihood of further deposits. They should focus on decreasing fee-related problems, and adopt proactive messaging and communication strategies, not just fulfill a requirement to inform, to ensure customers understand what triggers fees. And they must understand a customer’s account holdings so they can offer appropriate products and services at the right time and through the right channels.

Lytics smart hub CDP can do these things–and even discover more ways to deepen customer engagement. Predictive modeling can help banks turn casual customer relationships into long-term commitments. Marketers can define desirable audiences, such as ones with high wallet share, and then identify other customers that resemble them and make personalized offers. Content affinity can allow banks to see what investment topics interest a consumer and offer up recommendations that move the customer down the funnel for that particular offering. 

For financial institutions today, the question is not if, but when, they should invest in a decision engine CDP to increase their AUM and revenue. Assess your CDP readiness with Lytics CDP Readiness Guide.