Welcome to RealCDP

RealCDP Small.pngCustomer Data Platforms have rapidly become popular because they offer to solve a pressing problem: the need to bring together customer data that is spread among many systems, build a complete profile of information about each customer, and make those profiles available to any system that needs them.  But the popularity of CDPs has attracted many vendors.  Some of these vendors deliver the required database and some do not.   And vendors that do deliver a complete database vary greatly in the other features they offer.  The resulting confusion has made it difficult for buyers to find the right CDP solutions and threatens to destroy the utility of the CDP concept itself.  This would deprive companies of a desperately needed solution.

The RealCDP program seeks to avoid this outcome with two programs:

  • RealCDP certification, which identifies systems that meet a five-point checklist of features needed to provide a complete, unified, accessible customer database
  • CDPFinder, a collection of templates and reports that helps buyers sort through the different types of of CDPs to find the right system for their needs..

RealCDP is a project of the Customer Data Platform Institute, a vendor-neutral organization that helps marketers make the best use of their customer data.

RealCDP Certification

The RealCDP program measures systems against six capabilities:

  • ingest data from any source
  • capture full detail of ingested data
  • store ingested data indefinitely (subject to privacy constraints)
  • create unified profiles of identified individuals
  • share data with any system that needs it
  • respond in real time to new data and to profile requests

Taken together, these capabilities describe a system that meets the true promise of the CDP.  Systems that lack one or more capability will have shortfalls that limit what users can do, often preventing them from supporting important CDP applications. 

CDP Institute certifies compliance with the RealCDP checklist and authorizes vendors to display the RealCDP badge.

For more information, download the RealCDP program description.


The CDPFinder program provides templates for use case definition, vendor screening, and Request for Proposal documents.  The templates are aligned so that use cases build requirement lists that can be compared against vendor screening criteria and used in an RFP.  The program also includes reports that show which CDP vendors provide which features, using the same aligned categories.  Future reports will include additional information to help buyers screen vendors on other factors such as industry specialization and typical client size.

CDPFinder templates and reports are available at no charge.  Download them here:

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