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RudderStack as Customer Data Infrastructure

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Eric Dodds
Head of Product Marketing at RudderStack

July 01, 2022

One question our team often hears is: “is RudderStack a customer data platform, or customer data infrastructure?”

This is a tricky question because the term customer data platform (CDP) has a lot of history, primarily in the world of marketing. More specifically, CDPs are traditionally used by marketing teams to deliver the ‘last mile’ of the customer experience in the form of emails, messages and ad campaigns.

If you answer the question from that perspective, RudderStack provides customer data infrastructure (CDI). Our product doesn’t send emails and isn’t built for marketers to execute campaigns—it is built for data teams who collect and distribute customer data across their companies (including marketing and their toolset). In fact, our product integrates with multiple marketing CDPs and our customers use RudderStack to feed them with data.

As with any set of terms, though, referring to RudderStack as only “infrastructure” doesn’t tell the entire story, because we enable all sorts of powerful use cases with data, they just occur either in your data warehouse or downstream tools (including CDPs used by marketing teams).

One example of a product feature that transcends the infrastructure term is identity resolution. Our SDKs track anonymous and known users and push a fully transparent identity graph into your data warehouse (as opposed to living in a third-party black box). That doesn’t mean we compete with marketing CDPs that also offer identity resolution. In fact, it’s the opposite: better, more comprehensive, more transparent customer data from RudderStack helps make downstream identity resolution better.

The identity resolution example reveals a big part of our fundamental vision at RudderStack: we want to give you full control of all of your customer data in your warehouse and make it easy for you to push that data to every team and tool in your stack.

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About the author
Eric Dodds
Head of Product Marketing at RudderStack
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