CDP stands for customer data platform, so the name seems to imply that it has less to do with the communication channel you use it for and more to do with the breadth of data you need to work with. A CDP seems to be channel agnostic which, speaking for ourselves at least, BlueConic is.
Still, a lot of features in CDPs (again, ours and also in other CDP systems) are designed for the web. We noticed that and discussed at length among our various product and customer teams a clear way to explain why web is so important for CDPs. The following is our rationale:
- The web is low latency and real time
Compared to other communication channels, the web is amazingly realtime. You click, and you get an answer in split seconds. When designing a CDP, you design for the highest demanding requirements, so a CDP is designed to be able to handle split seconds decisions, data collection, and delivery of messages.
If you design your CDP for the web, you know it can handle all other channels with ease, as they have either low latency and/or are not real time. So it’s logical to start with that channel.
- The web is open
The openness of the web enables assembly of a webpage from various components. By placing tags on your website(s), all kinds of software can interact with the webpage. This kind of message delivery and data collection is very powerful and is not something that is possible with other technologies. It gives CDP users a lot of power out of the box, without complicated integrations that are needed for other channels like call centers, mobile apps, or ESPs.
- The technology of the web is used in other communication channels
HTML, HTTP, cookies, and many other technologies are not only used for websites. They are present in mobile websites, hybrid apps (combining native and web), native apps (that leverage HTTP), and email (presented in HTML and images are retrieved through HTTP). Social media is based on open web standards like oAuth and HTML. URL redirectors can be used by email, social media and many more types of channels. Even Samsung TV apps are based on web technology.
So, when you design your CDP with the technology of the web as the core, you are actually prepared for a lot more than merely websites.
- The web is anonymous and massive
If you were to design a CDP with CRM or an ESP as the starting point, you’d know exactly how many users the CDP must be able to handle. The web has an interesting dynamic: because people can visit a website without logging in you might have to store millions and millions of anonymous profiles. So when designing a CDP to be used on websites, you have to design your CDP to be able to handle this large amount of profiles.
- The traffic on the web is massive and unpredictable
The web is also a very dynamic communication channel. All of a sudden, your website can go viral and need to handle a lot of traffic. So, a CDP must be able to scale up and down with the highs and lows of website traffic.
So, if the web is the most demanding and powerful channel for a CDP out there, no wonder most CDPs, including BlueConic, choose web as a first class citizen in a CDP. If you can handle the speed, openness, and volume of the web, you can handle anything and everything so long as you apply these principles to other channels – such as mobile, email, or advertising, to name a few.
A rhetorical question for you, the reader: how would a CDP that is not designed for the web ever be able to handle the web with these fundamental requirements?