In 1986, the first CRM debuted. During the 1990s, according to Makhdum, CRM software became more prominent, as it allowed businesses to manage interactions with both customers and potential customers. Commerce technology came next, which allowed brands to help fashion a complete customer journey.
CRMs operate with known data on customers. Another tool, master data management (MDM), provided a 360-degree of customers using structured (and later on) unstructured data. However, an MDM is only a tool for IT and not for marketers.
During the 2000s, Makhdum points out, data management platforms (DMP) started. A DMP gathers and organizes second and third-party data and shares it with other marketing technology systems to gain deeper insights into customers.
According to Makhdum, the term "CDP" was coined in 2013. Customer data platforms came about due to a demand for an improved customer experience and omnichannel initiatives. Previous tools had created data silos that prevented businesses from using all the data they had access to productively.
The CDP Institute defines a customer data platform as “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems.”
Makhdum says that AIs and machine learning enhanced the next generation of CDPs to make them intelligent and result in the customer intelligence platform (CIP).
Watch the video for Makhdum's brief history lesson on customer data platforms: