Customer Data Platforms: Delivering Real-Time CX and Personalization at Scale for Global Brands

This paper represents IDC's perspective on the path of the business transformation that is underway at all firms to become digital first or digital only. These transformations are motivated by the customer driven imperative for improved customer experiences (CXs) that make the difference between winners and losers in every business and market in which competition exists. The foundation on which improved customer experiences will be delivered is the customer data platform (CDP), which illuminates and animates a high-resolution, ever-changing picture of a firm's customers' interactions, behaviors, journeys and, most importantly, uncommunicated needs and desires through unified profiles that are constantly updated.

The CDP profiles feed artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) algorithms that identify the perfect moment, deliver the perfect content to the optimal device or channel, and communicate the high level of insight, understanding, and empathy from the brand to its customers that create or enhance trust and loyalty. This paper provides a perspective on CDPs and discusses the importance and value of the technology that enables firms to deliver the high level of customer experience required to compete and win in the digital-first era, now and in the future. CDPs are central to provisioning unified customer data as an enterprise service that can enable every customer-facing function in the business to "sing in unison," and this view is reflected in the Essential Guidance section at the end of this paper.

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