Salesforce CDP: Data highway for cookieless future

We provide Salesforce-related insights based on our knowledge and expertise.
Author: Daria Kulikova
Molecule And Communication Background.

Capture – Unify – Segment – Activate – Repeat

CDP, or customer data platform, is still a relatively new MarTech buzzword that is rapidly gaining in popularity in the view of tightening privacy protection regulations, and cookies gradually turning back into a cozy dessert. In spite of this, CDP still causes confusion among marketers and raises a number of questions concerning its role and place in the MarTech stack.

LeverUP’s Salesforce Marketing Cloud consultants explained the basics of CDP and answered the most common questions:

1. What exactly is CDP, anyway? 

Our client described Salesforce CDP as a “data highway” that connects marketers to all the different types of customer data. In other words, CDP’s main purpose is to bring the variety of the company’s data together, build logical connections between those data streams and make it actionable and immediately available for further use.

2. Why have CDP? 

While you hear a lot about how customers’ expectations are changing, and how customer experience is as important as the product itself, in reality, you are still chasing your data analysts for that list of customers who slipped away last week. Once you receive it, can you revive the relationship before it’s too late? CDP empowers marketing and CX teams with real-time data at their hands, no-code segmentation functionality, and the ability to push the customer segments to the tool as per your choice, from marketing automation to customer support platforms.

3. If CDP collects and structures data, can it be replaced by a data warehouse?

While DWH, or data warehouse, can be considered as CDP’s ancestor, in reality, the two technologies often co-exist as they serve different purposes. DWH is more of a data repository, as data gets into it in bulk and almost never in real-time. DWH is usually not capable of triggering any immediate actions in MarTech platforms. Salesforce CDP, on the contrary, consumes data in real-time, and offers a user-friendly interface as well as no-code options to build customer segments and improve customer experience based on data insights, with the help of AI. 

4. Will CDP replace CRM?

Despite having similar names, CRM and CDP are not mutually exclusive. At a high level, CRM manages customer relationships, while CDP manages customer touch points with your product/service. Still confusing? To dive deeper, CRM is here to help your sales team manage their interactions with customers, automate routine processes, and keep track of the pipeline, while CDP knows everything about how customers interact with your product, mobile application, website, as well as email and SMS (text) communication, and so on. When it comes to actions, CRM automates processes for your internal team, while CDP provides insights that have a direct impact on customer experience.  


  • 70% of customers expect a consistent, connected experience across all the channels BUT 83% of companies’ systems are not integrated
  • 84% of customers surveyed say the experience a company provides is as important as its products and services. 


5. Which data can be consumed by CDP?

Data flowing into CDP comes in the form of first-party data, meaning that this data is freely provided by the company’s known contacts, and is used for the marketing purposes of that same company. Unlike third-party data that is collected from other companies, and is mainly used to detect potential customers and unknown users, first-party data is focused more on known customers. At this point, CDP gathers data from various sources and runs reconciliation and unification to create one “holy grail” of marketing – Unified Customer Profile.

6. Data integration capabilities of Salesforce CDP

Salesforce CDP breaks down the silos between Service, Commerce, Advertising, CRM, Analytics and other teams by bringing together the following data (including but not limited to):

  • Orders / checkout / abandoned transactions (E-commerce)
  • Email, SMS, WhatsApp, push communication (Salesforce Marketing Cloud)
  • Support cases (Service Cloud)
  • Customers and leads personal data and contact information (Sales Cloud)
  • Interaction with website and affinities (MC personalization)
  • Digital advertising platforms
  • Offline and other data through data lake (AWS Cloud)
  • Custom integrations through Mulesoft

7. How does CDP make data actionable for marketers?

CDP democratizes data access. It eliminates the time marketers wait for their technology teams to gather customer insights from across the different departments and thus shortens the time to go live with campaigns, making that process a lot smoother. With CDP, the marketing team has all the data about each individual stored in one place, unified, clean and tidy. But mere unification of customer data is not going to make you a market leader! What’s going to put you closer is CDP’s powerful, AI-driven actionable insights that improve customer experience and personalize every interaction.

8. Does CDP take care of privacy and customer consent

At this point, every marketing enthusiast has realized that we are heading towards a cookieless future and that third-party cookies are becoming a thing of the past. The reason for this is that third-party data changes hands and it’s hard to determine if it was collected with consent or not. Given the fact that CDP collects only first-party data, you will know exactly how, when, where, and why your company acquired each piece of data. This solves the problem of data accuracy and compliance, making you ready for the era of respecting your customers’ data privacy at most.

9. What can be the expected impact and ROI of Salesforce CDP implementation?

While the actual impact depends on each particular implementation and industry, the benchmark you can align with, as reported by Salesforce customers:

  • 2X return on investment 
  • +30X speed of customer segment creation
  • 65% better customer profile consolidation rate
  • 50% more Marketing Qualified Leads in the pipeline


Five “Vs” of customer data management – Salesforce CDP answers them all:

  • Data Velocity: the ability to ingest data at various speeds
  • Data Variety: the ability to take data in various models, and bring it together in one model
  • Data Veracity: the ability to match data in order to de-duplicate it and build a consistent customer profile
  • Data Volume: the need for secure cloud-based storage to manage large amounts of fast-changing customer data
  • Data Value: the ability to put the data into use