Customer Data Platform Institute Launches RealCDP to Reduce CDP Confusion

Customer Data Platform Institute Launches RealCDP to Reduce CDP Confusion

SAN JOSE, CA, April 4, 2019   The Customer Data Platform Institute today launched RealCDP, a program to reduce the confusion plaguing the Customer Data Platform industry.  RealCDP has two components:

  • RealCDP certification, a five point checklist of core capabilities needed to build a unified, sharable customer database.
  • CDPFinder templates and vendor information to help buyers find the right CDP for their needs

“The CDP industry faces two challenges,” said CDP Institute Founder David Raab.  “First, many firms offering a CDP or CDP alternative fail to build the complete, shareable customer database that is the heart of the CDP concept.  Second, legitimate CDPs vary hugely in the additional features they provide, leaving buyers confused by the range of options.  These two programs address each challenge separately and, taken together, we hope they will make it easier for buyers to find the products they truly need – and avoid alternatives that will leave them disappointed.”

RealCDP Ensures the Systems Deliver a True CDP Database

The RealCDP program provides a checklist of five capabilities:

  • ingest data from any source
  • capture full detail of ingested data
  • store ingested data indefinitely (subject to privacy constraints)
  • create unified profiles of identified individuals
  • share data with any system that needs it

“CDPs have become popular because they promise to give users open access to complete customer data,” said Raab.  “Buyers understand this to mean all data, with full detail, stored over time, presented in a unified customer view, and available to any system that needs it.  But many systems fail to provide one or more of these capabilities.  Buyers who purchase them are likely to be disappointed when they discover they don’t get what they expected.”

Common examples of incomplete solutions include systems that build a unified database but don’t allow other systems to read it, systems that create unified profiles in real time but don’t store data outside of the original sources, and systems that summarize data before storing it.  Each shortfall limits how the data can be used, often blocking critical applications such as identity resolution, personalization, or experience orchestration.

CDP Institute will certify compliance with the RealCDP checklist and authorize qualified vendors to display the RealCDP badge.


CDPFinder Streamlines the CDP Selection Process

The CDPFinder program provides templates for use case definition, vendor screening, and Request for Proposal documents.  The templates are aligned so that use cases build requirement lists that can be compared against vendor screening criteria and used in an RFP.  The program also includes reports that show which CDP vendors provide which features, using the same aligned categories.  Future reports will include additional information to help buyers screen vendors on other factors such as industry specialization and typical client size.

CDPFinder templates and reports are available at no charge.

For more details, visit


Customer Data Platforms are defined by the CDP Institute as “packaged software that builds a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems”.  The category was named in 2013 and has grown sharply since 2016.  CDP Institute has identified nearly 100 CDP vendors worldwide with estimated combined revenue of $1 billion in 2019.

About the Customer Data Platform Institute

The Customer Data Platform Institute educates marketers and technologists about customer data management.   The Institute publishes industry news and educational materials, provides vendor comparison reports, builds directories of industry vendors and service firms, and offers Webinars, workshops, and consulting on related issues.

Customer Data Platforms are defined as “packaged software that maintains a unified, persistent customer database which is accessible to external systems.”  They are the only types of packaged software specifically designed to create and share a complete view of each customer.  Institute Founder and CEO David Raab named the Customer Data Platform category in 2013.

Visit for more information.