What is Salesforce CDP and Why Do Marketers Need It?


Welcome to the following scenario: you’re the marketing team manager and have been asked to design a campaign for the next product launch. You’re out of ideas, have a deadline, and inspiration doesn’t seem to be striking at the moment. Currently, there are five to ten Excel sheets with client insights from different platforms opened on your computer and your head hurts thinking of all the manual segmentation you’re about to do.

Much too often deadlines stomp our imagination, and there is just so much information to ingest and not enough time. Sometimes the marketing team in your company is small and the budget isn’t that high. The last Instagram campaign didn’t do as well as previous ones, and you don’t understand why… Are you having deja vu?

What if I told you there is a way to view all of this information in one single place, tidied up and ready to be used? Well, I have good news for you: Salesforce has created a CDP.

What exactly is Salesforce CDP?

Let’s begin with the basics: CDP stands for Customer Data Platform. Simply put, CDPs collect every bit of information a user leaves behind when using any platform managed by your company (aka first-party data)– think emails, social media, even items they have removed from their online shopping carts! All this behavioral data is collected and compiled into one single source, so people like you, me, and anybody else in a company can later use it to gain insight into what customers want and need. They can then target said customers with the most specific and relevant marketing and sales strategies.

First-party data can be divided into two types: “engagement” and “insight.” Engagement data shows customers’ behavior within your organization, how they have interacted with your marketing journeys, mobile apps, even what they purchased in-store! A client’s engagement then leads into what we’re going to call “insight data,” helping us dive even deeper into who the customer is, what their purchase habits and intents are, what revenue we have earned from them, privacy management, and so much more.

How CDP Has Changed Marketing

Before Customer Data Platforms existed, marketers would spend valuable time and resources collecting as much data as possible when creating user profiles. They would then deliver the insights to other teams in the organization… The worst part? The information wasn’t always accurate. Real-time data was difficult to keep up with, so KPIs weren’t always met and ROIs weren’t always as high as one would hope.

Smaller companies were even worse off. We all know segmenting audiences manually is no easy task, and imagine being a one-person marketing team! There’s so much data coming in every day, and deciding what to use for campaigns is hard, time-consuming work.

As marketers, we all know there is a lot of information we need to consider when designing campaigns and deciding which audiences to target. But there is only so much time in a day, and the marketing team’s budget isn’t always high. To optimize time management, report accurate (and hopefully higher!) ROIs, and pick the best medium to communicate your message to customers, using a CDP is the way to go!

Example Use Case

Small and large companies alike can benefit from Salesforce Customer Data Platform. If the goal is to take advantage of all obtained data, maximize ROIs, meet KPIs, and save time… it’s the right tool for you.

We’ll take clothing retailer UNIQLO as a use case example. One of their customers, we’ll call her Stacy, is signed up to the retailer’s email newsletter (first touchpoint) and sees a short-sleeved dress she likes. Stacy clicks on the email link, browses the selection, reads other customers’ reviews, checks out their social media campaign, and finally decides to purchase the dress. A few days later a package with her new outfit arrives in the mail and that’s that!

In the background, the Salesforce CDP is automatically recording Stacy’s journey and purchase into her unique customer profile. The information is being filed segmenting her into a contact list that is interested in women’s fashion and she is currently interested in lighter garments.

Now, UNIQLO’s Summer collection is about to roll out and the marketing team manager, Mary, needs to find the best way to communicate the news to the clients. Checking the CDP, she sees the program has managed to connect the dots and segmented Stacy and others with similar interests, purchase history, and engagement into one list. Mary notes this list’s preferred method of communication is email and they tend to check their inbox in the afternoon.

Mary now has all the information she needs, and can target Stacy with a personalized campaign. She’s confident Stacy’s trust in the retailer will remain unchanged and will surely come back the next time she needs a new outfit!

Thanks to Salesforce CDP, Mary has saved so much time! Before UNIQLO implemented the program, Mary and her team would spend hours manually building and sending their customer insights to other company departments because their silo networks couldn’t do it for them. Since their past programs didn’t offer suppression features, their email unsubscribe rates were off the roof! Audiences were clumped into general email lists and were being targeted with campaigns that didn’t interest them.

What are the benefits of Salesforce Customer Data Platform?

1. Stop wasting time.

Salesforce CDP allocates every ounce of data into one single platform, becoming available to every department in the organization! Teams like marketing can take this tool and determine when is the best time to target a specific user with a specific product using the appropriate channels.

2. Recognize missed opportunities.

We’re all human. There are details we may miss or patterns we don’t notice, but thanks to CDPs we can now recognize marketing and sales opportunities that can help us further segment our audience. This can lead to higher conversion rates and help us meet KPIs!

3. Segment and Suppress.

CDPs are great because not only do they segment audiences based on their interests and level of engagement, they also recognize when a list of contacts is just not interested in what you’re selling at the moment. We’ve all unsubscribed from a retailer’s emails when we keep being targeted with the same pair of shoes we just don’t like, haven’t we? Salesforce Customer Data Platform understands that and hears you. With its suppression feature, the program recognizes when users won’t be interested in a certain marketing campaign or are in a different stage in the buyer’s journey, and will refrain from including them in said campaigns.

4. Optimize, optimize, optimize.

Target the right audience with the right message! Use all this valuable information and adapt your strategies faster. Your org’s sales team can identify who has purchased the latest product and redirect this information to the marketing team. Using a CDP, marketers can then identify what mediums to use when offering a different product based on the customer’s past behavior and purchase history.

Upgrade from CRM to CDP

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is a tool used by companies to manually analyze their interactions with their customers… that’s it. CDPs go way beyond that!

Customer Data Platforms can automatically analyze the users’ behavior in every step of their journey. It also scoops up data relationships that CRMs just don’t– finding multiple identifiers such as IP addresses, emails, and phone numbers to remove the possibility of duplicate profiles. Thus keeping contact lists clean so later it can optimize segmentation.


By this point you may already be searching “How can I get started with Salesforce CDP?”, and we don’t blame you. It’s a great platform with so many benefits that’s not only easy to use, but can also implement other Salesforce programs that we recommend our clients explore. Your business will be thanking you for future-proofing your marketing operations with Salesforce Customer Data Program, trust us.

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The team at Ceterna never failed to understand our needs. They provided good consultancy advice which streamlined and improved our business process.

The team at Ceterna never failed to understand our needs. They provided good consultancy advice which streamlined and improved our business process.