Does Data Orchestration Replace or Empower the CDP?

Does Data Orchestration Replace or Empower the CDP?

The Customer Data Platform (CDP) is the next evolutionary step after the CRM (Customer Relationship Management). The progression towards the CDP was both natural and necessary.

While relatively new, CDPs are mostly undefined with a lot of surrounding debate. They remain an unfamiliar concept as many organizations are still in the dark.

While the CDP is still an up-and-coming topic, one claim is certain: the CDP isn’t so different from the CRM when it comes to data quality and the required orchestration capabilities to maintain distributed data quality and alignment across your customer data systems. Clean data is king, wherever it resides—and a data orchestration platform makes a great housekeeper. In this post we’ll examine the relationship between the CDP and clean data, with input from Salesforce’s Chris O’Hara and Martin Kihn and RingLead’s Russ Artzt.

Defining Customer Data Platforms

In a nutshell: A CDP is a platform that solves the issues of disconnected customer data. Its potential lies in providing data accessibility by breaching data silos, sources, and channels to compile and unify customer data.


So CDPs are on the rise, but what of our CRMs? A lot of the confusion stems between the two, as they house similar features and functions. Based on the CDP potential, however, using CRMs as a CDP set to be a thing of the past.

Main differences:

  • CDPs mainly act as a customer data receiver
  • CDPs have advanced processes
  • CRMs are more limited in scope
  • CRMs centralize customer interaction and data management
  • CRMs cannot manage all kinds of data from various sources

Most of the functions performed by CRMs can also be managed by CDPs—not necessarily the other way around.

When utilized properly, CDPs are game-changing.

CDP Capabilities

There are several uses for CDPs. While their main function is unification of data through various sources, what sort of capabilities does that entail?

"The (CDP) Arose to solve...disconnected data"

- Martin Kihn

  • Data Unification: Breaches all company data sources and silos to unify, score, and organize.
  • Programmatic Advertising: Automated purchasing of digital space relevant to customers journeys as determined by how your data defines them. CDPs also have the ability to optimize real-time engagement on preferred customer channels.
  • Data Insights: Delivers data insights into each department’s source of truth.
  • Synchronization: Keeps data within different systems in-sync and up-to-date. Runs processes on separate servers.
  • Journey and Devices: Ability to follow and recognize customers across multi-platform use and orchestrate consistent experiences.
  • Capturing Customer Data: With consent, CDPs are able to identify and capture “unknown” prospect data.

Currently only 28% of companies have their data processes and records connected and integrated on separate database servers. This issue is amplified when companies apply 3rd-party data to their strategy.

Additionally, studies suggest that the average customer completes a purchasing journey through use of multiple devices. This statistic is staggering, considering that 66% of companies don’t have systems in place to recognize customers as they jump from device to device.

67% of buyer journeys are completed on multiple devices.

CDP Benefits

With the ability to fill these gaps, CDPs are a game changer. Their potential to help businesses utilize customer data and improve engagement and personalization is likely to result in exponential sales growth.

Customers say that the brand experience is more important to them than the product, with 89% of customers admitting a bad experience would make them switch to a competitor.

"Transform the Future of Marketing Engagement"

- Martin Kihn

CDPs can increase:

  • Customer Data Accuracy
  • Marketing Personalization
  • Sales Efficiency
  • Sales and Marketing Outcomes
  • Revenue

Where are CDPs going?

So where are CDPs going exactly? 2020 sped digital transitions and trends. But even without factoring in the pandemic, the shift to CDPs was already well underway. With this growing popularity, marketing analysts predict most companies will supplement their CRMs with CDPs within the next four to five years.

"CDPs are an evolution of CRM."

- Martin Kihn

With functionality covering all CRM capabilities and data orchestration and integrations, it’s easy to understand the natural evolution of and market need for CDPs.

No matter the future “there’s still a data pipeline”

With regard to both the CDP and the CRM, the importance of data hygiene is not going anywhere.

The CDP Needs Data Orchestration to Complete its Intended Purpose: A Unified, Complete Picture of Every Record Across Your System

CDPs are meant to unify data and send data back to go-to-market systems; however, they lack the data orchestration capabilities like deduplication and enrichment that can create a single source of truth and complete picture of any given record and also lacks the ability to standardize data for the specific use-case of the go-to-market system it is sent back to.

Orchestrating & Automating Processes for the end point: Sales

“You have this customer data that’s being stored somewhere. You’re extracting it. You’re enriching it you’re tooling that data for the obvious use case at the end point, which is sales. Right. And that is highly valuable. So that takes, you know, what would have been a highly fraught, you know, kind of long process of prepping, preparing, qualifying a lead, putting it right in front of the sales person saying go right and minimizing and shrinking that time to value.”

While CDPs have and store data, it is not their primary function.

Even if you employ a CDP, look to data orchestration platforms for data quality management for a solid data foundation. Otherwise may run into the same issues experienced in the CRM realm.

"Typically our customers are using multiple systems to manage their data - a CRM, a Marketing Automation Platform, a Help Desk and maybe an ERP. So they use a CDP or MDM to unify that data. However, without the data orchestration component, that can dedupe, and enrich that data, they don't have a complete picture of every record or a single version of every record—this is why our customers use Data Orchestration to make their CDPs work like they're supposed to."

- Russ Artzt

RingLead Executive Chairman

Why data orchestration platforms are CDPs’ best friends

During their appearance on the Datavana podcast, Chris O’Hara and Martin Kihn spoke about a 2019 online survey for VPs of Marketing. The survey asked respondents “What CDP do you use?

The majority answered that they were using Salesforce, at 62%.

Respondents added that they were using the CRM and service cloud functionality in Salesforce to act as a single source of truth and repository for marketing data.

The results surprised O’Hara and Kihn, who pointed out the oddity that Salesforce didn’t even have a CDP at the time of the survey.

This implied the Marketing community had developed workarounds, like combining their CRM with the data orchestration platform RingLead to yield a single source of truth among their separate customer data systems.

"We use RingLead to bridge the gap between Salesforce and our CDP."

- Matt Kromer

CRM Marketing Manager at Spectrum Enterprise

Data orchestration empowers CDPs

To provide accurate, current, and actionable insights, your CDP needs to run on the highest-quality data possible.

"The CDP is only as good as the quality of the data."

- Russ Artzt

Russ Artzt from RingLead is certain that if you don’t have data quality on your side, providing a great customer experience is challenging. He adds that due to the ever-penetrating state of bad data, a data orchestration platform is paramount.

"If the quality isn't there, you're going to run into the same problems you run into when you're using your CRM."

- Russ Artzt

When used together, data orchestration platforms like RingLead empower CDPs.

Why Data hygiene is important for CDPs

For CDPs to operate at their full potential, companies need to ensure that they have the highest-quality data.

"When you're sending data from A CDP to a CRM system like Salesforce, or a marketing or advertising endpoint, the data needs to be harmonized and prepared for the specific system that's going to be using the data. That's another missing piece of these CDPs that data orchestration solves."

- Chris O'Hara

If your database is filled with incomplete, inaccurate, and duplicate data, your CDP fundamentally won’t be able to perform at full capacity. Customer experience suffers and revenue is lost.

Data hygiene is particularly important in the beginning stages of your CDP. Feeding your CDP with quality, accurate, and actionable data ensures that your customer interactions are relevant and productive.

How do data orchestration platforms like RingLead Empower CDPs?

"When it comes to things like data orchestration quality you're going to need partners to attach to that CDP box to do the route and data quality and data orchestration things that can make that experience not only happen, but make it better."

- Chris O’Hara

Orchestrating your data gives your CDP the unified, normalized, and enriched data that it needs to perform its functions properly, at capacity.

RingLead has been the data orchestration platform of choice for many years and is even recommended by Salesforce marketers. It’s automated processes have no industry equal for routing leads and surfacing information necessary for personalized and engaging ABM campaigns.

Data orchestration entails:

  • Lead Routing
  • Cleansing
  • Deduplication
  • Enrichment
  • Unification
  • Segmentation
  • Activation

RingLead is industry-leading for data quality management. Take charge of RingLead’s data management functions to be more effective in your market by empowering your CDP.

CDPs are new, but with far more capabilities to provide your company with better data management capabilities, so transitioning from CRMs is an easy choice.

Get out in front of your competitors, make the most of your data, and become a more effective marketer with increased sales opportunities.

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Does Data Orchestration Replace or Empower the CDP?

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