The Customer Data Platform category was named in a blog post published in April, 2013 by David Raab, a long-time marketing technology consultant and industry analyst. Mr. Raab noticed a number of new marketing applications that included features to assemble a unified customer database from multiple sources. Before that time, most marketing applications were limited to using data they generated internally or connected to multi-source databases that were built separately.
Mr. Raab published the first industry report on Customer Data Platforms in September 2013, profiling eleven systems. He continued to develop the CDP concept in writings and presentations in the following years.
Interest in the CDP category began to grow sharply in 2016 when CDPs first appeared on the Gartner Hype Cycle and the Customer Data Platform Institute was founded. The purpose of the Institute is to explain the CDP category to potential users, technology companies, media, and others. Activities of the Institute to promote this mission includes a Web site with a library of papers, directory of CDP vendors, and blog on CDP topics; Institute-created content including explanatory papers, reports on the industry, and surveys of CDP users; a daily newsletter and event calendar; workshops and training sessions; and presentations at industry events.