Go back

Customer Data Platform 101: Everything you need to know about this essential marketing tool

CDP has been one of the trendiest buzzwords and most searched tools in the world of marketing — and for good reason. 

Short for customer data platform, CDP is a software solution that combines data from various sources to create a single, unified profile of each customer. As data has become more valuable and the number of channels generating data more abundant, CDPs have only increased in their importance to businesses. 

The Benefits of a CDP for Marketers 

A CDP serves multiple purposes along the customer journey. 

At any given touchpoint, a company’s interaction with an existing or potential customer generates customer data. There are so many different touchpoints on a single channel, let alone across the multiple channels a business has, such as website, app, social media, and email, that it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of all the data. This is where a CDP comes in handy.

Acting as a central repository, a CDP collects data from all the channels a company has set up and makes it available in one place for different departments within the company to access. This setup not only keeps data organized but also prevents data silos from forming. 

Beyond collecting and storing data, a CDP works on the data to generate valuable outputs for businesses, outputs that can be used to better target customers and move them along the customer journey. 

The primary reason that businesses adopt a CDP, as opposed to relying on a really good data storage platform, is to build customer profiles. From all the input data, the CDP creates a single, unified profile of each customer that is informed by all of their visits, actions and the information they provide both online and offline. Of course, the better the CDP, the more accurate and insightful this profile will be. 

Businesses can use the CDP and the profiles it creates to learn more about each customer’s interests and preferences, refine how they segment these customers, and build a more personalized customer experience for them. 

Nowadays, the CDP has become an essential tool for marketers to conveniently and effectively understand the people they are targeting and drive results. 

The AI-Powered CDP: How It Goes Beyond Your Average CDP 

It goes without saying that not all CDPs are created equal. The benefits we described above are the features marketers can expect from most CDPs. However, even with the same set of features, CDPs can differ greatly in performance. 

For the rest of this blog post, we focus on CDP that is powered by artificial intelligence (AI) to optimize its performance.

AI is known for its processing and learning capabilities. Unlike the human brain, AI and AI models can process vast amounts of data in a fraction of the time and derive patterns and insights that they will systematically use to approach new data and situations in the future. 

So, what does this mean for a customer data platform? 

With the power of AI, a CDP can help marketers better process, analyze and understand customer data, especially with the amount of data that is being generated daily on the range of customer touchpoints. 

In creating a customer profile, for instance, an AI CDP can analyze data about a customer's purchase history, browsing behavior, and demographic information to create a 360° view of the customer. AI can even extrapolate potential interests and preferences based on observed patterns that can fill in the gaps in a customer profile. 

A more comprehensive customer profile will enable marketers to personalize their marketing outreach and create experiences that will resonate more with customers. 

More advanced AI CDPs will have additional features, such as real-time analysis and automated decision-making. 

Introducing AIRIS, Appier’s Next-Gen AI CDP

In December of 2022, Appier announced the launch of our very own AI-powered CDP, AIRIS. The name is a portmanteau of the words “AI” and “iris.” The choice of the word “iris” is to highlight our solution’s visualization features that will empower enterprises to identify customers precisely and generate timely predictive insights.

Our goal with AIRIS is to create a CDP that enables seamless data integration and shortens time-to-insight, all while being extremely flexible and easy to use. Here are some of AIRIS’ unique features to note:

  • Data unification with flexibility

AIRIS enables marketers and AI to work together to create the most accurate and comprehensive customer profiles. 


To start, Appier’s AI CDP can seamlessly integrate various data sources, including existing cloud databases, online and offline sales and marketing channels, and more than 50 external platforms. All of the data comes together to establish a user-centric and comprehensive 360° customer view.

The flexibility of AIRIS comes from giving marketers the ability to choose which user ID (e.g., mail address, phone number or app ID) gets priority when identifying a user and their user session. 

Since marketers are the ones who know best what contact information they ask of their customers, this ability to decide what ID the CDP prioritizes will help to create a more accurate customer profile. 

  • Intuitive & actionable data visualization

AIRIS boasts fast data-to-visualization capability that presents everything a marketer needs to know in an intuitive manner. 


Take the customer journey for example. AIRIS presents the customer journey with an interactive figure that has all the touchpoints mapped out on it. Hover over any given touchpoint, and the AIRIS map will show you what actions took place there and the number of users who took those actions.

Whether it was a conversion or a drop, a marketer can click into the label to find out more — all the way down to the individual user who converted or dropped. 

That is the power of AIRIS, allowing marketers not only to know what has taken place but also pinpoint the users who could use the extra attention and take action right then and there. 

  • Real-time predictions before investment

AIRIS can predict performance before any actual investment by providing a deep understanding of customers and tracking how they move along the customer journey. 


The understanding goes beyond a typical human marketer’s understanding because AIRIS tags all the customers with 500+ predictive user attributes that help the system predict which of them will be more likely to purchase. 

With such a system in place, AIRIS will assign a prediction score to each customer in real time, and once the score reaches a certain threshold, it can trigger a pre-set action sequence, such as the delivery of an incentive, to make sure the customer checks out. 


Intrigued by AIRIS? This is the first in a series of blog posts and content dedicated to Appier’s AI CDP. Sign up to our mailing list now so you don’t miss any of our upcoming posts. 

If you want to sit down with our growth experts to learn more about AIRIS, reach out to us now

Subscribe to the Appier Blog

Your source for the newest in marketing technology and automation, industry trends and best practices, and Appier insights.