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What is Customer Data?

Discover how to effectively utilize customer data to support your marketing strategy and meet business goals.

Customer Data: Defined

Customer data encompasses all personal, transactional, and behavioral information collected by brands. Leveraging customer data effectively allows marketers to deliver personalized omnichannel customer experiences.

Types of Customer Data

Personally Identifiable Information

PII refers to any data that can be used to identify a particular individual.
● First and last name
● Date of birth, age
● Home and email address
● Phone number
● Credit card number

Qualitative Data

Non-numerical data that characterizes customer opinions, thoughts, or feelings.
● Sentiment
● Preferences
● Intent

Quantitative Data

Data represented in numerical values that reflects customer behavior.
● Transaction history
● Email behavior
● Web visits
● Mobile downloads

Marketers leverage customer data from a myriad of engagement systems and databases. In fact, 60 percent of marketers utilize at least 10 sources of data at one time.

Common Customer Data Sources

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Customer Relationship Management (CRM)

These systems contain mostly PII, such as first and last name, email and mailing address, phone number, and more

Point-of-Sale (POS)

POS systems store quantitative customer data like purchase and return history

Call Center

These databases possess qualitative information regarding customer issue resolution, feedback, and post call survey results

Web Activity

Tracks qualitative and quantitative customer data, like anonymous and known visits, preferences, purchased and abandoned products, and purchase intent

Mobile Activity

Encompasses quantitative data such as mobile downloads, engagement with SMS and push notifications, saved items, purchased products

Within those sources, the formats of customer data vary and can include:

  • First-, second-, and third-party data
  • Unstructured, semi-structured, and structured data
  • Batch and streaming data
  • Anonymous and known data

How Does Customer Data Support the Customer Experience?

Customer data is the foundation of personalized omnichannel customer journeys delivered in real time.

Effectively using your data improves your ability to:

  • Build a unified view, or Golden Record, of every customer
  • Significantly improve your ability to deliver contextually relevant, personalized communications
  • Understand customer transactions, behavior, and preferences in real time

Aggregating data into a single customer view, or Golden Record, allows you to know all that is knowable about individual customers. This persistent customer profile helps you recognize any given customer’s behavioral context and cadence, two crucial factors in optimizing interactions across the lifecycle.

Leveraging this insight enables you to deploy hyper-personalized campaigns across your omnichannel environment, which increases acquisition, repeat engagement, and customer lifetime value.

Customer Data Challenges

Marketers report that the biggest obstacles hindering their ability to execute personalized customer experiences comes down to data.

Common Customer Data Challenges

Data Silos

Customer data is locked within engagement systems and databases that don’t connect with one another and limit your ability to understand individual customers

Inaccurate Data

Old or incorrect customer data impacts your ability to identify customers across channels and determine next-best actions, resulting in irrelevant offers that create friction throughout customer journeys


Waiting for customer data to load into databases or engagement systems prevents you from interacting with customers in real time

How Does a Customer Data Platform Solve Marketing Challenges?

A customer data platform (CDP) enhances the critical capabilities necessary to deliver hyper-personalized omnichannel customer experiences.

CDPs solve common customer data challenges marketers encounter:

  • Real-time data ingestion A CDP can take in data as customers make transactions or progress through their journey at the moment the behavior occurs
  • Connected data CDPs eliminate data silos and integrate with existing engagement systems and databases through native connectors and APIs
  • Know all that’s knowable Once customer data is connected, a CDP creates a persistent, up-to-date Golden Records that follow customers across their entire lifecycle
  • Unify interactions across channels since a CDP connects to all systems, customer data is available and accessible for marketers to orchestrate relevant customer experience


What is a Customer Data Platform?

Explore what a CDP is, what is isn't, and why it matters to marketers.

Use Cases a CDP Supports

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Single Customer View

A single customer view is your single point of control over all your customer data, enabling you to know all that is knowable about individual customers and optimizing your ability to deliver highly relevant messages and offers.


Personalization is the use of individual customer data points that allow you to target individuals with highly relevant, intent-based content and offers. Personalizing customer journeys increases key metrics like customer lifetime value and revenue.

Omnichannel Marketing

Omnichannel encompasses every ‘last mile’ to your consumer. Ensuring your customer has a consistent experience across all touchpoints drives engagement, visit or purchase frequencies, and retention.

Real-Time Engagement

The ability to keep pace with your customer is often referred to as real-time customer engagement. Supported by real-time analytics and decisioning, marketers can orchestrate personalized interactions at the speed of every customer.


Respecting privacy is paramount to customer engagement. Find out how a CDP supports privacy and compliance regulations.

Trusted by

Redpoint Global is RealCDP certified by the Customer Data Platform Institute.

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