What is Salesforce CDP?

Salesforce CDP is a Customer Data Platform designed to combine customer information from multiple sources into a single view of the customer in real time. It allows business teams to collect, store, and analyze customer data from all customer interaction channels, including mobile apps, websites, social media, and others.

How does a CDP work?

Let’s start with a use case:

You are an e-commerce business owner and need to improve your marketing email campaigns. Using Salesforce CDP, you can combine your customer data from all the touchpoints and sources, gathering mobile app, website, and social media interactions into a single customer profile. This profile will keep all your customers’ information and preferences, such as purchase history and social media updates.

Source: Salesforce

With this data available, it is possible to create custom email campaigns designed for each customer’s preferences and interests. If a due customer searched a specific product on your website, you can trigger an email with offers for that product and highlighting other related products that go well together.

To do this, you would first segment your customer data based on specific attributes and behaviors, such as purchase power and preferred brands. Then, you would create personalized email content using an email marketing tool that is integrated with Salesforce CDP, such as Salesforce Marketing Cloud.

Next, you can use Genie, a Salesforce-native application that connects Salesforce CDP with different marketing channels, sending that tailored email to the customer according to their preferred contact channel.

Eventually, you could track the campaign performance using analytics and reporting powered by Genie, and make enhancements based on the feedback and insights you were able to gather. This could include opened and read emails, web pages accessed through the email links, purchases performed after sending a campaign, products that go well with previous purchases, and so on. This use case is how Salesforce CDP works to improve marketing email campaigns.

When it comes to security measures, Salesforce CDP is encrypted using industry-standard encryption algorithms. That means that it is compliant with several data protection regulations, including GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA. Salesforce CDP regularly undergoes third-party audits and certifications to ensure compliance with industry standards.

In addition to these security measures, Salesforce CDP offers customers the ability to configure their own security policies and controls, tailoring security settings to their needs.

Benefits of Salesforce CDP

With a unified view of the customer profile, business teams can better understand their customers’ needs, behaviors and preferences. By analyzing data provided by each touchpoint, businesses can improve customer engagement and satisfaction. Here are some ways Salesforce CDP can improve business processes:

Tailored Marketing: With Salesforce CDP, businesses can segment their customers and target groups with tailored messages, offers, or both. It’s also possible to identify the unique preferences and behavior of each customer, improving their loyalty, engagement and conversion rates.

Increased Revenue: With a better understanding of their customers’ needs, behavior and interests into a unified profile, sales teams can customize their approach to be more effective in the sales process. That capability can lead the sales team toward more successful sales conversions.

Improved Customer Service: By having access to a complete view of a customer's interactions, preferences, and issues, customer service teams can assist the customer with more personalized service, improving customer satisfactions and retention.

Data-driven Insights: Salesforce CDP provides businesses with valuable insights regarding customer behavior and preferences, which informs decision-making across all company departments. The same real-time data can be used as a resource by marketing teams to customize campaigns while the customer service department can use it to identify the customer’s main pain points.

Salesforce CDP compared to other CDP solutions

Salesforce CDP

As part of the Salesforce Customer 360 platform, Salesforce CDP integrates with all the Salesforce Clouds and applications seamlessly, easily managing info from Sales Cloud, Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud, and many others. For a company that has invested in a Salesforce CRM platform and its ecosystem, the Salesforce CDP solution makes sense. Besides the Salesforce ecosystem, Salesforce CDP can also grab data from a variety of external sources, including legacy CRM Systems, web analytics tools, social media platforms, mobile applications, IoT devices, and more.

To streamline external data to flow seamlessly into the platform, Salesforce CDP uses a wide range of connectors, SDKs, and APIs, always ensuring security measures to protect customer data. Salesforce CDP is known for its strong focus on data security and compliance, and it has certifications for several data protection regulations, including GDPR, CCPA, and HIPAA.6.

MS Dynamics 365 Customer Insights

Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights and Salesforce CDP are both customer data platforms that offer similar features. Both can work with data from a variety of external sources such as websites, data lakes, and marketing automation tools.

While Salesforce works seamlessly with the Salesforce Customer 360 platform, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights is totally integrated with Dynamics 365 and a variety of Microsoft tools, using the same Dynamics 365 infrastructure and connectivity.

In terms of external source connection, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights boasts a wide range of integration capabilities through connectors, APIs, SDKs, and data pipelines.

Like Salesforce CDP, Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights also has robust data security measures in place, including data encryption, access controls, and auditing and monitoring tools. Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights also provides compliance with industry-specific regulations such as SOC, ISO 27001, and FedRAMP.

Adobe Experience Platform Real-Time CDP

Real-Time CDP is built on the cloud-based Adobe Experience Platform, which provides a range of capabilities, such as data management, analytics, and AI-powered insights. The platform can be integrated with a variety of sources though APIs and offers a real-time customer journey creation feature: its Journey Orchestration tool.

Real-Time CDP offers connection with integration tools such as SnapLogic, Informatica and Unifi. It’s also possible to get data from external sources through SDKs, APIs, and connectors.

With security measures in place, Real-Time CDP complies with SOC, HIPAA, and ISO 27001. It’s also possible to manage its user data preferences and consent across channels through a privacy center tool provided by the platform.

Twilio Segment CDP

Segment CDP offers most of the common features found in a Customer Data Platform, such as analytic tools, audience segmentation, and data collection from emails, websites, and CRMs.

Though not a native CRM tool, it can connect to existing CRMs, data providers, social media platforms, marketing automation data, websites, mobile apps, and more, through various integration methods, such as APIs, SDKs, data connectors, and batch uploads.

Twilio Segment provides compliance with various regulation standards such as SOC 2 Type 2, HIPAA, and PCI DSS. It’s also possible to control a range of security measures through the platform UI as profile-based data control and audit logs.

Compared CDPs table

Salesforce CDP vs other CDP solutions


Overall, Salesforce CDP can improve business processes by providing a better understanding of customers and their behavior, enabling personalization, improving customer service, providing analytics and insights, and seamlessly integrating with other Salesforce products.

The numerous benefits of Salesforce CDP empower businesses to improve their customer engagement, satisfaction, and loyalty. By gaining a broader view of their customers’ preferences, they can target experiences and personalize marketing campaigns. The Salesforce CDP data model helps businesses make data-driven decisions more quickly and efficiently, while simultaneously ensuring data quality and compliance with privacy best practices.

The decision regarding choice of CDP depends largely on your current toolset. For example, companies using Microsoft products may adopt Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights easily, whereas Salesforce users may find Salesforce CDP more compatible. When it comes to starting from scratch, Salesforce CDP's logical user interface and extensive integration capability create an intuitive platform, making it an excellent choice.