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CDP: Friend or Foe? Let’s settle the score once and for all #UncensoredTalks



There’s been a buzz around the martech space – If CDPs are becoming too expensive to handle. Composable CDP, Advertisers CDP, etc., popped up. Some even claimed to say “I have never seen an ROI-positive CDP”. Some say, “You do not need a CDP, GA4 is a CDP”. 

Vishnu Vankayala, Sariga V, Raja Rajan Sundararajan, and Goutham Veerabathini have come together to discuss – what a marketer needs and to settle the debate once and for all!

So, that’s the title – CDP: Friend or Foe?

This is a video discussion transcribed and made as a blog. You can watch the video below

Vishnu Vankayala opens the stage by asking everyone how they are and the plan to start the series on first-party data operations (1st party data Ops / FPD Ops).

Discussion Starts…. With a vision around first-party data ops!

[00:00:21] Vishnu: Hey everyone, how are you? 

[00:00:23] Everyone: Good. 

[00:00:27] Vishnu: Awesome. So, as we are planning to do a series on first-party data Ops. I think it would be nice to have a quick catch-up and talk about what we’ve been learning since January 1st week, 2024. 

[00:00:44]: Let’s discuss all the first-party data and the first-party data ops stuff happening in the world. Let’s keep this discussion more of a quick, natural one. Whatever questions you have, whatever learnings you have, let’s share them with the community. 

Let’s start.

[00:01:05] Sariga: Yeah

[00:01:06] Vishnu: Why don’t we just start with a quick introduction? 

[00:01:10] Sariga: Then, I’ll introduce all of you. I’m Sariga. We have with us Raja Rajan, who is a product marketer. Goutham, who is a content marketer. Vishnu Vankayala – the founder and CEO of the company. And the company’s name is CustomerLabs.

Hi, guys. Thank you. 

The Recent Buzz Around CDPs

[00:01:37] Sariga: We have been discussing a lot of things lately. One very good and big debatable topic that we recently came across on LinkedIn and YouTube everywhere, was too many CDP buzzwords – Integrated CDP, composable CDP, all-in-one CDP, advertisers CDP, performance CDP, etc., and finally, should anybody use CDP.

I saw one good LinkedIn post. I’ll just show you.

The image shows a CDP money pit

[00:02:05] Sariga: This one post caught everyone’s attention. About this, we also had to watch a vodcast (video+podcast). In that discussion, they were genuinely figuring out if CDP can provide value or not. 

Can a CDP provide value? If yes, what? If not, why?

[00:02:25] This video by The Measure Pod: #93 GA4, the CDP you didn’t know you had (with Rick Dronkers @ Data to Value) was a starting point for us to have a discussion. In this video, they spoke about multiple things – what is CDP, what is composable CDP, and all of that. We watched it completely, understood the points they discussed, did our research, and finally, I concluded that composable CDP and CDP are all the same.

“2024 – Make or Break Year for a CDP?”, says Forrester

[00:02:49]: Vishnu V: But before we go into that, I’ll also share another one I just saw this morning. This is the Forrester report, and it says 2024 is the make-or-break year for the CDPs.

2024 is the make or break year for CDP report summary screenshot from Forrester.

Funny story – I was in a toilet going through my mobile, and it just popped up on my LinkedIn. I was like, “Oh Shit”. Hahaha….. 

That made me think about whether we should continue this company or whether we should quit and move into something else. Maybe a PDP, I don’t know, maybe an FDP (First-party data platform). I have no idea what that is, but yeah. A lot of poking for CDP. You’re not alone. So I’ve been looking at a lot of things. 

[00:03:39]: A solid question comes back to whether we should continue what we are doing or not. Genuine question. Right? Maybe. We’ll discuss whether we should continue or whether we should stop the CDP stuff and then move into, I don’t know, whatever that is. Maybe we can start calling ourselves some other platform rather than calling ourselves a CDP. 

[00:04:06]: Anyway, we’ll discuss our learnings, and what our customers are going through. If any of you are looking at this video or reading this, and if you guys are wealthy enough to buy this $2,500 report, buy it. And please share it with us. Hahaha…

[00:04:26] Sariga: Yeah, that helps. Hahaha…

[00:04:31] Vishnu: Alright, Let’s get on with it.

Discussion around Customer Data Platform – The Foundation

[00:04:33] Sariga: Yeah, I think Raja and Goutham, yesterday we had a call. We discussed within ourselves what is this composable CDP versus CDP. We actually think both are the same due to our limited technical knowledge. But Vishnu, Raja, and Goutham, everybody, please make sure that we are not going to talk on a vague and superficial level. Like CDP connects, collects, unifies, and sends data. And let us not use much jargon and actually talk a little more in-depth.

[00:04:55]: Vishnu: Hey, it is CDP right? It collects and sends you data and gives better results.. [sarcastic tone]

{everyone laughs.. Hahaha.. }

[00:05:04] Sariga: Everybody tells the same thing. But let’s talk a little in-depth about what we are talking about so that it can be relatable to somebody who’s using it – an e-commerce marketer, or a lead gen marketer. They should find it useful when they’re watching it. Setting up a campaign or bringing data from CRM, whatever it is, should be discussed in detail. Let’s try to make it very deep so that they will understand. Unfortunately, they are the users. Hahaha… 

[00:05:32]: So, Yeah, Vishnu, you must say, and you should tell us what is this composable CDP and CDP. What is the difference? Are they both different or are they the same? I genuinely don’t understand the difference, or I don’t know.

What is a CDP, What is a composable CDP, and What’s the difference? 

[00:05:49] Vishnu V: I don’t know either. Hahaha… See, I’ll tell you the quick background story. When we started building this whole platform – I am talking about around 2014, and 2015. It’s a very simple problem. We wanted to track something on the website and send it to Facebook because we were running marketing campaigns. 

We used to have these landing pages like Instapage, Unbounce, Jotform, etc. It’s not easy to go ahead and track things. We want to have something that takes the data from A to B. 


When we were talking to clients, they were like, “You generate tons of leads, and all the leads you have been generating are junk.” That happens only when you want to renew the contract. The whole year the campaign runs, and when you want to renew the contract by asking, “Hey, can you pay me x amount of money?”. And they say, “All the leads you have generated for the whole year are junk.” I’m like, “What the hell is this? You could have told me this in the first month.” 


And the whole idea now is not just to track the data from the website. But also track it out of CRM. Now you connect the CRM, you bring all the data. You know how many leads you generated through which campaigns using the UTM parameters. Now you have all the data coming from the CRM. And then we came up with a metric called LTO – Lead to Opportunity rate. Now you know how many opportunities you generated. 

MQLs, SQLs, the same thing whatever the SaaS companies have been talking about forever. The same thing was happening with us as well. For that, what you need is – visibility. You need to provide visibility back under Performance Marketing. Now, the biggest question was – can you push this into Facebook and Google Ads so that you’ll be able to optimize your campaigns for the opportunities rather than the leads? Because opportunities are the ones who have been qualified, and that’s the data you want to train these ad algorithms on. So can you send this back to these ad platforms? 

Defining CDP

[00:08:34]: Now tell me, this is software, which is, I don’t know whether you want to call it composable CDP or CDP. I don’t even want to say CDP right now. This is software, that actually takes data from three, four, or five places, transforms the data, and pushes it into analytics platforms, ad platforms, or marketing platforms, whatever it is. What is this?

[00:09:01]: I don’t know if I can say.

[00:09:05] Goutham: I remember this very clear statement from Rick Dronkers where he says, an ideal CDP is something like,

[00:09:13]: Just wait, Rick Dronkers right? Okay, was that the video you were talking about earlier?

[00:09:19] Sariga: Yeah, yeah, yeah, that. 

[00:09:21] Vishnu: Okay, okay. 

[00:09:23] Goutham: So he mentioned the definition according to the CDP institute. Like, you know, an ideal CDP should ideally be able to pull in data from multiple places, create a unified 360 profile, and then segment it as you want, and then activate it everywhere. But he also says no CDP is doing it in practice, in reality. It’s only theoretically there, but ideally, no one is doing it. So, Vishnu, did you come across any CDP that does all of this activation and stuff? 

[00:09:58]: Vishnu: No. I think, to be fair to Rick, I think what he’s actually talking about is – the new way, the marketing automation platforms trying to position themselves as CDP. I think that’s the angle that he’s trying to say, all right? But if you call yourself a CDP, the whole idea of CDP, at least in my understanding is – that you bring the data from multiple places, you do all the transformations, unification, whatever it is, and send the data wherever you want it to be. Just activate the shit out of it. Simple. Okay. 

[00:10:38] Vishnu: By nature, it is composable. The reason why CDP exists is because all these platforms do their stuff very well. If it’s an analytics platform, it does its stuff very well – Creation of reports, funnel reports, landing page reports, SEO reports, blah, blah, blah. If it’s a marketing automation platform, you send a contact, you want to create a workflow, ABCDEF, you want to do follow-ups, you want to trigger emails, you want to do card abandonment emails. The marketing automation platform does it. Whether you activate them on email, whether you activate them on WhatsApp, you can do it. Ad platforms, you send something, it learns out of that and shows the people your ads. It brings top-of-the-funnel customers back to your page. And you do it. And then you have, let’s say, webhook, like what we have using Make, right? 

So whenever something happens, you want to notify people and do those things. That is called, I don’t know, maybe some kind of platform. So all these platforms need one source of data. And when you send the data between these platforms, you cannot just send website data alone. You have to take the data from the CRM, and push it back into something else. So all these platforms, do whatever they do really well. And if all the platforms need to work together.

For example, someone booking a demo, and I’m actually hooking up, let’s say, HubSpot. If I’m sending that notification from HubSpot only to the sales guy because he’s the one who needs to follow up within 5 minutes, 10 minutes, or 20 minutes, whatever it is. But the marketing team also needs to know how many leads you are generated. Yeah, so the marketing team sits on a different plane and the sales team sits on a different plane. Both of them do different jobs. But both of them need to talk to each other. And when both the software wants to talk to each other, that’s where the integration happens. 

[00:12:41]: You have two choices. You can integrate those two software with this, or you can just have one other integration middle which can actually take the data from each other and then say, “Okay, this is the data you want marketing in this format. Take it.” Hey, guys, sales guys, this is the data you want in this format. Take it. 

[00:12:58]: So CDP should be composable. If it’s not Composable, please don’t call it a CDP. Simple.

[00:13:07] Sariga: I think, primarily, like the most questions or most thoughts in our heads were around this. I think Goutham and I were also speaking this morning, the same thing. What is this? Then, what is this? Then, multiple again references for LinkedIn posts. Okay, so again, 

Vishnu interrupts….

[00:13:19]: Vishnu: See, I’ll tell you what, um… See, people coming and creating that wave, creating that marketing gimmicks, all that stuff. Let them do it, no problem. Okay, it is also confusing people. Yeah, that’s how marketing is. That’s how the entire world is. You have shoes and then you have sneakers and then you have loafers and then you have, but end of the day, what is it? Shoe. Okay, so you have everything. That’s how marketing works. That’s how the entire um industry evolves. No problem. But the base core of it should be always simple.

What do you want to do? How do you want to help customers? Are we helping customers or not? Who is my customer? Okay, I also saw in that same Forrester report, hey, does CDP go beyond marketers? I’m a CDP, I don’t want to go beyond marketers. I want to stick to marketers, right? I am calling myself a CDP. If you tell me, hey, we know you are a CDP, which is helping only marketers and you don’t want, I mean, please don’t call yourself CDP. Fine, give me a word. I’ll call myself anything. I don’t care, right? The problem is CDP is a very new market, although it was coined in 2013. No definite leader in this market. No one actually said, “You are a CDP. You should do this,” right? No one has ever said that. That’s the reason why all this confusion is, right? 

First-party data operations: Need of the hour

[00:14:57] Vishnu: So in my opinion, if you are a CDP, you should do first-party data ops. Very simple, okay? So to do first-party, why first-party data ops? Because the entire ad platforms, privacy, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah. They stopped getting data. Now they’re asking you to share the data, and that entire flow of data between tools is called first-party data ops. Yeah, do you have to use CDP? No, you don’t have to use CDP. Can you do it by yourself? Please do, right? Entirely doable. You don’t need a CDP. You plug and play stuff, and then you do it. People are still surviving without CDP, right? 

[00:15:46]: Why do you need a CDP? It just reduces the time, gives you enough control over what you send, and what you don’t send, and finally, you take the entire value out of CDP by sending the data wherever you are, right? So this is the whole concept, at least in my opinion, for the first-party data ops, You need CDP. 

[00:16:07]: Now, the question is, why do you need first-party ops? Because Facebook and Meta are asking, LinkedIn as well, 

[00:16:16] Goutham: Yeah, LinkedIn Conversions API. Vishnu, I totally agree with what you said. You know, at the end of the day, it all comes down to, whether are we helping people solve their problems. That’s totally fine. And Raja, I would like to ask you, like, people started calling Google data manager, it’ll transform into CDP because it is allowing data to flow in through multiple places. And people also started telling GA4 is also like, you know, if you have a GA4, it’s like a CDP. So what are your thoughts on it, Raja? And what do you think about the entire discussion around GA4 and Google Data Manager?

Can GA4 be a CDP?

[00:17:00] Raja: I believe that GA4 is a tool that collates all your data from all the sources. And what you can do with GA4 is all you can do is just reporting and other stuff. In the very recent time, what they have done is they have an API. From there, you can utilize that API to send data to Google Cloud or the Google 360° platform. And there you can use the audiences. But the issue is, when you are sharing that audience through analytics, I don’t think so You can send your email IDs or name and that stuff. That’s the major issue. You have with GA4. So that’s the primary reason why you can’t say GA4 can be a CDP. In the near future, maybe after some time, Google may come up with some other stuff. But at present, you can’t do that. So that’s, 

{Sariga interrupts…}

[00:17:49] Sariga: I even saw, sorry, I even saw in that podcast, they extensively spoke about the potential of GA4. How they had the capacity or infrastructure to use it as a CDP, rather than spending so much money on implementing a CDP for the business itself. So who wants to explain that concept? Does GA4 have the capability and infrastructure for a CDP for marketers’ use? Many marketers, by default, have a GA4 system. Does it have the capability and infrastructure to be a CDP? 

Google Ads Your Data Manager + GA4 CDP?

[00:18:25] Goutham V: Adding to what Sariga asked, I also wanted to understand why the reason I asked you, Raja, is because when Google Ads released this data manager, they told us it is your data manager that is first-party data manager. So Vishnu was telling, you know, the entire world revolves around first-party data operations or first-party data. Google Ads is telling, you know, this is your data manager, your first-party data manager. So it is in those lines. I’m seeing the combination of G4 and Google Ads as such. So combining with Sariga’s question, I would like to know, like, maybe Vishnu or Raja, anyone can throw some light on it. 

[00:19:04] Sariga: Yeah, please. Okay. Start. Somebody.

{Everyone laughing for the silence.. }

[00:19:13] Goutham V:  I think Raja, you go ahead, and maybe then Vishnu can add on some points.

[00:19:19] Raja: Like I said previously, so I believe the primary issue around is you can share your data, again, So through Google Analytics, and you can send it to Google Ads, combine everything and send it. But the biggest issue is the match rates. Since you cannot share your email or name, I don’t think so you will get high match rates, and the data quality will be less. So that would be my take on that. So Vishnu can explain it a lot better, I believe.

GA4 cannot be a CDP 

[00:19:48] Vishnu: I’m not going to tell anything. I’m going to ask GPT. That’s my favorite in recent times. So I said, can you send PII to GA4, right? So what is a PII? Email address, phone number, blah, blah, blah, blah. Is a PII, right? Again, at least, it says, uh, ChatGPT says. Sending PII to GA4 is against Google terms of service. PII includes any data which is names, email address, and phone number. I mean, I have seen the API documents, but then now, ChatGPT is in the rage. So I thought, just simply use the ChatGPT, right? So you cannot send the PII back into G4. 

[00:20:35]: Right. now, the question is, uh, I’ve been also looking at this, AI essentials and this, this particular one, which says, uh, first-party data. You should use it. So three key measurements, consideration for, uh, 2024, which is done by, uh, Google. And it said, uh, all these things. What you guys have to look at this is, in the whole thing, they didn’t talk about GA4 (with respect to audience activation) at all. They talk about tagging, about customer match and about Google Tag Manager. But they never mentioned a single stuff about GA4, right?

GA4 is a wonderful tool

Vishnu: I mean, I personally believe GA4 has all the capabilities like a CDP. And if you connect GA4 and Google Ads, uh, you have the proper, uh, data coming back and forth between both of them. But where it starts failing is, uh, let’s say, let’s look at this one, right? This is an important feature to train Google Ads, which is about customer match. So it says, take your data, the first party data, whatever you have, push it back into Google so that Google understands this, and they would be able to do it. For example, if you just look at, uh, so this is called AI essentials, right? So they say, if you’re going to train Google Ads AI, okay, what is that You should do? first, is Google Tag, Consent Mode, Enhanced Conversions.

When you use enhanced conversions, I think GA4 is also coming with these enhanced conversions nowadays, which means the terms of service might change. So we cannot go to the area where, okay, you cannot send PII. So which we don’t know, right? Because there are few features where, uh, whether Google GA4 would be able to accept the user data and which can be used for enhanced conversions. We don’t know yet. We have to wait and watch.

But, uh, it says this, and all these things, there is one important aspect is customer match. Now, with customer match, what is the customer match? How does it work? So now, the customer match is nothing but you send a customer list, and the customer list should have all the parameters, like first name, last name, um, email address, and all those things. Now, you cannot send the PII data to GA4. How would you be able to do the customer match, right? So now, the question is, GA4 is this CDP or not? I don’t know. Will they change the terms of service? I don’t know. Fine. Fair enough. All these things.

Your go-to CDP for all platforms

[00:23:40] Vishnu: Now that you have GA4 for Google Ads, what do you have for LinkedIn? What do you have for Facebook? Is it CustomerLabs? I’m happy to be GA4 for Facebook, LinkedIn, CAPI, TikTok, Snapchat, I don’t know Pinterest, whichever that is, right, so yeah, it resembles what it does, which is a good validation that you need some system to do it. But then GA4 is also not considered as an individual CDP because it’s primarily focused on analytics and sharing the data, yes. So that is a phase of a CDP, like how every single automation software has it, how marketing automation has it. 

[00:23:34]: Now the question comes back to is GA4 a composable CDP? So now anything which takes the data, activates it, is a CDP. Is it composable? Now the question is, every CDP is supposed to be composable. If GA4 is not composable, then it’s not a CDP.

[00:24:56]: Sariga: LHS = RHS. Hence Proved.. Hahaha


[00:25:05] Goutham: I have one question here, Vishnu. I have been seeing people who send the data from GA4 to a server or some server, and then they bring in something else, and from there, they send it to Facebook and LinkedIn, like you were mentioning. What do you have for LinkedIn, TikTok, and Facebook? So people are sending it to some server and then sending it. Do you think it’s very easy to have these integrations and set up the data flow between one platform to another? It’s not like you’re sending it to one platform. You’re sending it from here to there, here to there. Is it worth doing all that?

[00:25:50] Vishnu: I mean, the question is, is it definitely worth doing it? Definitely worth sending the data to platforms. Now the question is, like you said, can you do this or can you do this? So it’s purely up to you. You don’t believe in, or you don’t know, or if you think this is better, build it, buy it. It’s a typical issue between multiple businesses.

Do you want to build yourself, or do you people think, “Okay, I have all these things. I’ll go ahead and build myself.” Or whether you use it. The platforms need the data, and whatever works for them, however they want to implement it, they’re happy to do it. So the question is, yeah, we have an easier way to do it. And if that doesn’t fit into their context, let them do it. But the whole idea is, ad platforms need data. You send it. Whether it is from your database, whether it is from your Excel sheet, whether it’s using CDP or not, just do it. Just send it.

[00:26:59] Sariga: Just send it, please. Send it.

[00:27:02] Raja: Why do you think CDP is much better in sending quality first-party data to these ad platforms rather than GA4 or any other platforms that are available on the net?

Leave GA4 out of discussion…

[00:27:17] Vishnu: No, I personally think we should actually leave G4 out of the context. I think it was entirely misunderstood and not properly conceived in terms of how you see these things very effectively. The problem with GA4 is you have to maintain the client IDs. You have to set the client IDs and push the data back into GA4. And GA4 cannot handle multiple IDs. For example, let’s say I have this LinkedIn CAPI right now. For the LinkedIn CAPI, I wanted to send the data back into LinkedIn. The first and foremost important stuff is this li_fat_id. So the li_fat_id, you click on an ad, you come to Facebook, and li_fat_id comes in, and you need to capture the li_fat_id, and save it as anonymous user. This user hasn’t converted yet. He comes back after 24 days.

Let’s say a typical B2B case. He comes back after 10 days or 15 days or 20 days. Right. And he submits a form, and it gets into your CRM. You should have this Li fat ID for this user in the cookie. He comes back to the same CRM, and he gets an opportunity stage, and you need to attach this li_fat_id back and send it. Yeah, yeah.

I don’t know if someone has done that in GA4. If I am actually doing it in our company, I wouldn’t touch GA4 because from GA4 sending this data is not that easy. It would require a lot of stuff. I would rather spend $99, get CustomerLabs, and do a few clicks and automatically start sending it out. This is what I would do. But then, like I said, people have choices. They should have choices. Let them do whatever works for them. But at end of the day, what LinkedIn needs, is this. LinkedIn also needs click IDs and a few stuff. If they can do it, yeah, they can. And we are providing the easiest way. We believe we are providing the easiest way. But yeah, the customer has to say.

[00:29:29] Goutham: Just to summarize, let me know if I understood it right. Regarding LinkedIn Conversions API, so someone watches an ad on LinkedIn, clicks on it, comes to the website, lands on it, does not convert, and leaves the website. Now, whenever they land on the website, you collect this li_fat_id, store it in your systems, and sorry,..

[00:29:51] Vishnu: No. So you land on the website, we collect li_fat_id. When he converts after 10 days, we need to pick up this li_fat_id and push it back. 

[00:30:02] Goutham: Oh, okay. Okay. Yeah, all the confusion there. So I just, wanted to clarify.

[00:30:05] Vishnu: The same is true for FB click ID, the same is true for Google click ID, and the same is true for TT click ID, which is TikTok. I think TTP or something. Okay. So this is all true for those. It is also true for your UTM source attribution. Okay. Again, let’s not get into attribution. But yeah, it is also true because which platform has created the genuine awareness and which platform is actually assisting in between, the marketer should know. So that you exactly know where you have to invest money and where you have to reduce investing money. To do that, you need to know where he landed first. The same concept applies for this as well. 

Now, whether GA4 is capable of doing this or not, if you ask me, it’s not. But yeah, like I said, maybe we should leave GA4 out of it. 

I love GA4. 

If you say, “Okay, can you live without GA4?” I won’t live without GA4 because it’s free. It’s free. But is it like a CDP? No. Yeah, it’s a CDP. But like I said, it’s not composable. Let’s not call it a CDP.

[00:31:24]  Sariga: Yeah, okay, so I think, uh, the first thing which we spoke, the first part data ops, I think it all sums up to there, right? So the LinkedIn ID is the first part data of the user. Again, this all sums up to where we started in CDP composable CDP somewhere, and I think it bottled up, and somewhere it summarized to first-party data Ops, I think I was searching for some document.

[00:31:52] Goutham: it converges at first-party data ops, which is the future. 

[00:31:56] Sariga : Haa, yeah, right, I got. So, uh, now, now I got. I have the, so this is the first-party data ops infrastructure that we’re building. We keep the CDP aside, and first-party data ops is CDP is equal to first-party data ops.Now I wanted to share again the same picture. 

One second. Vishnu, be ready for the answer. Okay, I think you can answer this better. This is my favorite for like one week. Answer this question, 

The image shows a CDP money pit

{laughter erupts}

Sariga: Please answer this question.

[00:32:25] Vishnu: I have never seen an RoI positive CDP implementation. So now I have, um, I think so far the conversation, we are helping a marketer. Let’s say a B2B marketer. CustomerLabs is B2B marketing, and we do LinkedIn ads, we do Facebook ads, we do RLSA ads, and we have a fresh sale CRM. We have a lot of sources coming from data from different sources. We connected everything using CustomerLabs, and we are doing a decent marketing job is what I think, and everyone should know. Yeah. So, uh, yeah, 

 [00:32:58 ] Sariga: Now please answer the need of the hour. Somebody who purchases CustomerLabs CDP or somebody who purchases any composable CDP, let it be. Do they see value or not? Answer the nation wants to know.

[00:33:17] Vishnu: Okay, it’s like giving a knife to me and then asking me to poke myself. 

{Laughters burst out}

Hey, um, I don’t know. Um, I don’t know about other CDPs , how they positioning it, how they are selling it. I never bothered to look into the. I never participated in . Okay, we are considering this. They said this. They said this. Uh, so maybe I can’t answer for them, right? But what we are doing in terms of Customer Labs and how we are helping or how we are measuring, right? How we are measuring, let’s do that way. 

[00:34:00] Sariga: Measure is the right word. 

[00:34:02] Vishnu: How we are measuring and how we are actually retaining our customers. Our retention is like what? 92, 93 percent at this point. 

[00:34:10] Sariga: Yes, yes, yes, yes. 

[00:34:12] Vishnu: Now the question is, why are we retaining the customers and how our customer success team actually looks at a customer. How do we define the metrics would be the right answer. 

 [00:34:24] Sariga: Measure is the right word. Yeah, yeah. Measure is the right word. Let’s measure. 

[00:34:28] Vishnu: Good. Okay. So now, Sariga, you are the head of RevOps, and you are making sure customers are seeing value. Now you tell me, how do you put across customers day one they start? Okay. And that’s also another thing to implement CDP. They say in that particular video, they said it’ll take forever. Okay. What is the trial we are giving to a customer?

How, I mean, like, maybe why don’t you take it through the journey? Okay, you handle the customer success, and your metrics is churn metrics. So whenever your customer leaves, you cry. So tell, why would someone, uh, or how, how we measure it? Why don’t you just give a picture? Maybe be out about it. If I mean, it’s proprietary. I know it’s very, very close to our business, but then I don’t mind sharing it. So if you don’t mind sharing it, 

[00:35:23] Sariga: So I have to search for it, but anyway. So the Churn metrics is our Metrics. So we make sure if a customer is leaving either the website should crash, they are not running the business anymore, and they are all leaving the business. They’re quitting the job only on those reasons. The customer has to churn. So that was our metrics.

[00:35:41] Vishnu: If agency is losing that particular Client

[00:35:43] Sariga: if I’m an agency, they lose the client, or if they’re shutting down the business, if I’m in a brand, I’m shutting down the business, or maybe I’m not running ads. Maybe this is not my season. I run the ads during Easter, Christmas, or something. So I’m not running, and I don’t want any digital advertising. So these are the reasons. If somebody comes as a customer, if they’re leaving, this should be the reason. If otherwise, they are leaving, we start discussing on every Thursday’s why did they leave? Why did they leave? What is it? Our problem. The problems we actually discuss the reason.

Measuring the ROI of a CDP

[00:36:15] Sariga: So recently, I was also working on the entire customer list, and I was checking on the values and everything. So our implementation doesn’t take a complicated implementation also doesn’t take more than five, five to six days, probably. If it is a funnel tracking or something, something we are not aware of, it may take five days, but other than that, a website or any B2B, it doesn’t take more than two, three days. So the setup is done.

Let’s assume the setup is taking seven days. So the setup is done, seven days done, and our trial period is 14 days. So when I meet somebody on a demo call and I say 14 days trial and I’m in a position where I have to give them a value, promise a value in 14 days, you see this. Only then the customer actually pays, and the customer pays $99 first month. So what we show is first thing is Meta.

Meta is everybody’s first destination to send the data or anything to. So we promise we send them the high-quality event signals, audience signals on Facebook, and we make sure that they have at least five to nine event match quality on their event manager. This is something that we promise that you get it by. Otherwise, they have below five or four. Their grading is poor or okay. But we make sure we promise that they get good or great. So this is the first promise. We agree on this promise. We get the money. So that’s where the customer actually starts with us and basic CAPI implementation. And then they go to quadrant 2, quadrant 3.1. So quadrant two is – we are sending the right audience signals. We won first milestone. Hit number two is sending audiences. 

[00:37:59] Vishnu: So what you’re saying is, what you’re saying is, within 14 days, they will start the trial. They will hit the quadrant 2. 

 [00:38:07] Sariga: Yeah, yeah. So I heard people say that CDP implementations take six months, two years. All that. We already saw a result in 14 days. We see in 14 days. 

[00:38: 15] Vishnu: Exactly. So you start this, and then you start a trial. We do the implementation, and you’ll we’ll make sure they see the conversions. They see the data inside Meta. They, the data inside GoogleAds within 14 days itself. 

 [00:38:30] Sariga: Absolutely. Absolutely. 

[00:38:31] Vishnu: All the server side tracking right?

[00:38:34] Sariga: GA4, Google Ads, LinkedIn, Facebook, primarily these are the ad platforms primarily our customers use. So these, we connect everywhere. The pass conversions we pass data, and they’re all good data. And good.

[00:38:48] Vishnu: In the meanwhile, we also send a, um, uh, a, um, uh, website tagging, website conversions. We also connect the CRM, CRM tagging. If they’re using subscription systems like Shopify subscription system freecharge, chargeeBee, we also connect that. And if they have an offline store, we can also push the data and uh, all these things happen.

[00:39:13] Sariga: We are a CDP so, we have multiple sources. 


[00:39:19] Goutham: Sariga, actually when you were telling it will take three days, was wondering, uh, how like when I, when you told the setup, I was only thinking about the collection part because most of them when they talk about CDP setup, they focus on the collection part, bringing data in. So I was thinking because when I posted on LinkedIn, uh, recently a poll, you know, how much time do you take for conversion tracking, but in conversion tracking because we are focusing on marketers’ problem and not CDP what CDP. So they said it will take five hours. When you told three days, I was wondering 

[00:39:48] Sariga: dude, we run ads saying 60 minutes CAPI implementation


[00:39:53] Goutham: Yeah, yeah, yeah. 

[00:39:56]  Sariga:  We say 60 minutes conversion tracking, uh, like a few hours Shopify implementation. That’s what our ad copy, you know, 60 minutes here, one hour here. 

[00:40:05] Goutham: When you said three days, I was wondering like how come it is three days? It is like just a few hours! Is she thinking something else? But now I understand what you meant Sariga…

[00:40:14] Sariga: That’s what.. people refuse to go ahead post-trial if they don’t see the result within 14 days. Yeah, and once 14 day trial is completed, we give them 90 days plan. 


Milestone 1: After 14 days – EMQs

Second milestone: At the end of the first month where they actually use first-party audiences. Here, audiences mean; let us take lead generation – Users who booked the demo, or maybe they interacted with the business but then did not progress into the next stage of the funnel. Then no response. So these are the cold audience. I have this cold audience in my CRM. I create an audience, and I send it to Facebook for the re-targeting ads.

Similarly, for e-commerce, let’s say product viewed. They view, view content and, a couple of products but do not purchase for maybe 90 days or 30 days or whatever. I can create audiences for that and any personalized segments that you want to do. You can create those audiences and you can send it to multiple platforms for your re-targeting. So by the end of the second month, that is their 60th day, they are using the re-targeting audience. They are using the CustomerLabs audience for retargeting campaigns.

First thing is they see 2x to 3x higher audience match rate. Somebody share the screen. I don’t have my, uh,.. Vishnu do you have the screen? Please share or Goutham somebody share the screen and show that we have 2x to 3x higher match list than what we actually see in Facebook. Let’s say, let’s do a poll. Facebook pixel. You have created audiences for the same event behavior – view content, not purchased or demo book, not purchased something. And the same audience in first-party using first-party data in customers. We are seeing actually a world of difference.

Facebook says there is only 20,000 audience out of one lakh, and we are seeing there 60,000, to 70,000 on Facebook. So this is the audiences that we actually give Facebook to run the retargeting campaign.

This is the second milestone that we actually give to our customers so that they retain for the second month. Is anybody looking for that so that you have it. 

[00:42:23] Vishnu: No, I don’t have the Facebook, but today morning I was actually, uh, looking at, uh, GA4 and CustomerLabs. I want to compare the audience between Google Analytics and CustomerLabs. That is actually interesting. So if you look at this data. 

So this is the data we are sending through CustomerLabs, right. And this is the same segment coming from GA4. So if you look at this here, the same segment coming from GA4 and created on September 19, 2022, because I wanted to do the analysis back then. And I also created the same segment back in 2022, right? And, uh, this is the data that we have. So this is 36,000 and this is like Milestone 2 achieved. 

Google Ads screenshot of audiences that shows CustomerLabs first party audience has higher match rates compared to Google Ads pixel audience

[00:43:44] Sariga: Yeah, I’m giving audiences and I’m giving you all your audiences, whoever is there on your website, whoever is there on your CRM. I’m sending all of the data from GA4 GAds and Facebook with higher Match rates. So my second milestone achieved. So my customer is of course there for the second month as well. Okay.

Actually, they see visibility that it is better than what I have shown. The second milestone is done. So they are in quadrant three so from Quadrant 2 to I push them to quadrant three. Now my next job is now I have given you audience like good high audience than what you had. Now you actually use them in your retargeting campaigns and what they are the results that they actually get using the right audience are incredible. They see by the end of the third month that they scale their campaigns.

The first impact is in their CPMs (Cost per thousand impressions). They slowly see betterment in their cost per purchase like, how much they spend for their top-of-the-funnel, what is your CPP (cost per purchase) or CPL (cost per lead). By nature, retargeting campaigns have lesser CPLs, but the difference we see across businesses, and campaigns are good. Again, do you have that? Shall I share the presentation that should help?

[00:45:02] Vishnu: Yeah. I’ ll share the presentation. Maybe you can just say what you’re looking to do. 

[00:45:06] Sariga:  So please show the 3.1, the campaign performance metrics . Yes. So this is the customer who is in 3.1 in their 170th, 70th, or 80th day using the custom audience they used in the campaign.

Performance Metrics dashboard which shows the performance of first-party data

So here, uh, customer first-party audience helps in campaigns reducing their CPL by half to $14. The same audience. I mean, the same business is running a total where their CPL is $31, which is like 54 % of difference. And if you see the ad spend and if you see the number of leads they are generated using those audiences is actually is giving actually 50% difference everywhere in terms of the number of leads they are generated in terms of their CPL and the money they have spent for running that particular campaign on the ad platform. 

[00:46:00]  Vishnu: Now I have a question here. How much this customer is paying for it per month? 

[00:46:05] Sariga: Oh, yeah, that was very depressing after I took this that he is paying only $99. He’s not gone to $120 also. 

[00:46:15]  Vishnu: No, I think last month he went to $124. But he has been paying $99 per month for almost a year. Now, Goutham I think you were the kind of Math expert in our company. Now what is the ROI? Okay he paid $99, so for 1 year a total of $1000 okay. And, uh, he has been spending $31 per lead right now uh for every lead he has saved like say approximately $15. Okay, what is ROI? I mean forget about the ROI in terms of how many he has converted and all the things – let, let the sales team take all the credit but what is the ROI here? here for $1,000 he has spent on CDP to collect that bloody data whichever he has been coming, what is the ROI?

[00:47:04]  Goutham: it’s like 10x times like he’s paying $100 and getting like 

[00:47:15]  Vishnu: No no he spent $99 per month. So, this for one-year data he spent uh he spent let’s say uh $1,000, right, and, uh, for $1,000 how much money we saved him.

15 x 1000 = $15,000 and, uh, 26 * 927 sorry another $5. so, $5 x 927 = $4635.

That’s the kind of money we just saved. Okay, take, take 50 percent, okay. If you run default retargeting campaigns you would have got half of it. Fair enough, okay. For $1,000, I’m definitely sure I would have added at least $10,000 more.

[00:47:56] Goutham: Yeah that’s, that’s what 10x at least minimum.

[00:47: 57] Vishnu: minimum, minimum, crudely. Okay now let’s look into the other one right. Okay, so this is another data. Yeah, this is again, one-year data. This is e-commerce this is this client pays a slightly bigger amount for us. He pays about, uh, $1,000 per month, or $1,200 per month, and uh the revenue is again guys, uh, if you, if you are from the US, this revenue is not in dollars, this revenue is INR. So please don’t be confused. It is about – $1.6, $1.7, or let’s say, $1.5 or $1.6 Million, right. And how much he paid?

[00:48:55] Goutham: Around $14,400

[00:48:57] Sariga: yeah yeah 

[00:49:00] Vishnu:  let’s $15,000, $15,000, okay, $15,000 and what is the kind of money they have generated here 1.3 million, 1.2 or 1.3 million.

[00:49:14] Sariga: how much X dude this is?

[00:49:17] Goutham: Sariga, I think we should we stop calculating even because it’s clear..  

[00:49:20] Sariga: It’s a big number daa (a slang used).

[00:49:25] Goutham: Exactly it’s like getting an AUDI for uh I think uh $10 *($100)

[00:49:31] Vishnu: no again like I said uh you take half of it, right. My, my, my point is this is an incremental value. Even if I’m adding, let’s say $500,000 for $15,000, that extra $500,000, what I’ll say is you will never get, right. I can, I can stand and say you would have not got that extra $500,000 if the CDP is not in place. The reason is, this is all coming from Anonymous uses data right and uh, you can use GA4, use, uh, composable CDP, okay, sorry. So use, uh, uh, known user CDP, you will never get that uh, data, no matter what. Let me share stop sharing screen.


[00:50:31] Vishnu: See, as a Founder it’s always good, I always need to ask right, am I going in the right direction, am I building the team to solve a real pain, or my first and foremost answer – is do we have to solve this? Always ask the question right, and uh, I mean fortunately or incidentally today morning, I also posted uh, a LinkedIn post. I said, “I don’t care you want to call yourself a CDP or you want to call yourself a PDP.”

Every single week, we get tons of support requests asking for help – a lot of help, right I want this, I want that, I want this data, can you actually see whether this user is the right user or which campaign has sent this user, where we have got the uh, leads from, and, and uh, why this conversion is not reporting. Because my client is actually saying my agency is not working, so uh, can you send the conversions properly?, can you do, we are getting a lot of junk leads, can you actually help us optimize, optimize this, right? and uh, we have, we need to do the server side set up, tracking, we have to do LinkedIn CAPI, we have to do Facebook CAPI, we have to do Facebook CAPI for these products separately, we have to do Facebook conversions for these products separately, quickly, right.

They have been funded – 100 crores that’s about 20, 25, $30 million they have been funded in the last 6 months. They get to ask us the questions, right? we help them day in and day out, and they say okay can you pull me a report which has been, uh, uh, doing, uh, add to cart events not purchased, right. That’s what. It is CDP, no CDP I don’t care. what I care is, am I solving the users’ problem? You want to call that as a CDP?


CDP = First-party data operations (FPD Ops)

I saw an opportunity that we could define what a CDP is – first-party data Ops. That’s what we are going to stand for. Tomorrow the market says, if you do a first-party data Ops, then you are a FDP (first party data platform), fine you call yourself as FDP. Okay, I don’t care, okay. We will help digital marketers that is our mission are we helping genuinely? Yes, and uh, are they happy to pay? Yes, can we prove ROI? I think the way we have proved the ROI, I don’t think we should be proving it. 

It’s ideally Facebook or Google should be proving, okay. When you do this XYZ, when you send this audience, when you do this Facebook or Google should be proving. We don’t have to prove our clients. Actually, okay, you send this data, you want the data somewhere, we will give you the data, right. And, uh, you want that at x speed, I will give you that speed, okay.

Beyond that, they are actually doing it, and I don’t want to prove whether Facebook is working for this audience or Google is working for this audience. That’s Facebook and Google marketing teams or Facebook and Google to prove – when you send these High-intent audiences it works it doesn’t work, right? But then we went that ahead and we have been proving this. And, the, the data I showed you the customer has been with us for the last three and a half years and uh in India, small company, and we have been proving that to them right that’s what motivates me. Like I said, you call yourself FDP, yeah, fine, no problem. 

But first-party data Ops is important and this is what we’ll be doing for the next forthcoming future. Because, because, because I’ll tell you why, it’s not Vishnu or CustomerLabs or Sariga or Goutham or Raja who is telling. It’s because Google is saying, it is literally saying please use first-party data, right, and uh we have in here yeah tons of this right so Google is saying it okay fine is it only Google uh no not really uh Al the uh Facebook and… 

[00:55:00] Goutham: Even Marketers are saying it, Vishnu, like every marketer, if I ask there he realizes the importance of first-party data, but you know, the problem is, they don’t know how to utilize their full first-party data effectively. That’s the, that’s where the real problem is.

 [00:55:14] Vishnu: Yeah whoever says that, ask them to work with us. We are happy to guide them. Hahaha… see, like I said, it’s not us, right? That’s how the world is moving forward – especially with privacy regulations and stuff that’s where most of them would be going ahead they definitely need it they definitely need systems to deliver. This, whichever the data they want, that being said, whether they do it on their own whether they use CustomerLabs, uh, I mean we are happy to help, we happy to help, and, uh, if they can do it on their own, they can, because these systems need.

Like the last decade, you hook up a pixel it just works. But not anymore. You have to, you have to be very very good at it. So, you have to be very good at training the AI and, uh, structured way of training the AI is going to give you the structured way of doing it and the transition happens, like you said, not many of them understand how to use this. They will, they will, they eventually will. The moment they, they, they, know how to use the data starting from the conversion, starting from the micro conversions, audience segments, and sub-sub-segment of audiences, they will eventually need systems and we would be there in that particular time as a strong Contender. We are a strong Contender already, but yeah, we’ll be there eventually for them when they need us.

[00:56:33] Goutham: Perfect. cool!

[00:56:36] Sariga: I think I think 

[00:56:38 ] Goutham: This, this brings me to one last thing Sariga. I was reading this, uh, book which Vishnu suggested back room to the boardroom by Debbie. So, uh, there she told this – like you know, ‘customer data is King’. I think that’s where we’re moving forward. And that’s where we are completely focusing – the entire first part data that we are focusing on is because – the customer is the prime point, and it is their data that we have to use, so, First Party Data. That’s what I see.

[00:57:09] Sariga: I think LHS = RHS. Hence proved..


Growth of business using a CDP

[00:57:14] Sariga: Uh, I don’t know the question for me – started like – what is composable, what is not composable, all that. And then, we stumbled upon okay, is it like, we are also CDP, like work here and we wanted to know are we providing value, and, yes, we, maybe we don’t know about other CDPs. I’ve not worked anywhere else, so I really don’t know.

And, uh, I see my customers are happy, and who is using the data like I didn’t finish 3.2 people who are seeing good results are in my quadrant 3.2. And, they are not going to leave. So, the results that we showed are all like one year, two years, of data people who stay here for like 3 to 4 months, and, and, if they are, if you are able to retain them for 3 to 4 months, they are not going to leave, and, uh, answering the question – we are actually showing the value providing the value the math expert is at 10X. I think we are good, we are at good spot.

[00:58:09] Goutham: before we go Sariga, I just have uh, this question – how many small businesses do you have? Because, I see people, uh, looking at….

[00:58:16] Sariga: we have a lot of small businesses only. 

Goutham: it is an enterpr…

Only Enterprises can use a CDP?

[00:58:20] Vishnu: No, I think the question – no, no, the question should be – how many Enterprises or how many uh, uh, big businesses we have? That should be the question. And the answer is zero!

[00:58:30] Sariga: Zero! yeah, All of them we have are small businesses.

[00:58:31] Vishnu: And a zero dedicated person for CDP. They don’t have to learn ETL, reverse ETL, etc. They don’t have to know, like I said, they don’t even have to know they have a CDP. Yeah, right. Let them not know they have a CDP. They have a problem – let us solve it, right. Simple. Let them not even know they have it. Doesn’t matter, okay, so, uh, big businesses – zero; medium businesses – zero; small businesses – tons of them. Okay, and uh we are able to show the value, help them out and yeah we are happy where they are at this point.

[00:59:17] Sariga: Small businesses are ready to listen, try, and all of that. I think it’s so difficult to talk to any big business.


 sorry I’m…..Hahahaha….


[00:59:29]  Vishnu: Maybe they will be looking at Forrester’s report, paying $2,500…. {laughter} So big businesses take a lot of time. They, they analyze it but small businesses – their problem is very simple, okay. Can I do, can I, can I do this? Yeah. Do this and then move into the quadrant 2, okay. Can you use audiences? Then move to the quadrant three.

You are seeing the results, right? And then we are now, I think we need to rework the quadrants because people are actually at 3.2 for a long time. We need to work on pushing this much further – Maybe 2, 2.1, 2.1 – bring the audiences; 3 show the revenue, 3.2 – use them for measurement of all those things. So, we need to move those quadrants. I think it’s time. So yeah, I mean, um, yeah the starting point, uh, can you share the screen again? I just wanted to see that again once again to slap myself the, uh, yeah…

[01:00:45] Sariga: okay thank you guys this is where we are yeah….

[01:00:50] Vishnu: I think, I think, uh, this should be my birthday gift. I should actually hang it in my, uh, in my desk always see okay I never seen an ROI. okay, cool, okay, fine, um, I think this keeps me motivated.

[01:01:04] Sariga: But this is a very innovative post. I like this….

[01:01:07] Vishnu: I know yeah but yeah uh maybe I think we should do this as uh change that to CDP Money Pit change that to CDP gold mine right it’s wow yeah have some gold and then say okay uh CDP gold mine and yeah you see this pit or you see this as a gold mine whichever that way uh it would work just uh yeah uh repay them back, yep.

[01:01:39] Everyone: bye-bye thank you guys bye.

First-party data Ops: The Future

[01:01:47] Vishnu: And, yeah, I think the closing statement um um we are, as we are, um, I think maybe we should uh be doing this FDP what is this oh CDP okay oh we have CDP okay sorry this first part data Ops series to help Marketers talking about uh uh what we are learning and how we can help um so yeah we’ll continue to do this and uh stay tuned see you.

Everyone – bye bye thank you see you thank you.

CTA with the text Maximize Ad Campaign Performance with Firsst-party Data Talk To Us Now Button

Marketing enthusiast who enjoys writing articles on a wide range of topics including Marketing, SaaS, Technology, Construction, Life lessons, Public Policy Nature, and Sustainability. Good at Public Policy analysis with a deeper understanding of societal issues and potential solutions. Also loves to volunteer & contribute to society in every possible way.

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