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Understanding the Key Differences Between Automotive CDP and CDXP 

  • February 29, 2024
11 min read
Understanding the Key Differences Between Automotive CDP and CDXP 

Table of Contents

    Ro Oranim

    Ro Oranim

    Table of Contents

      Retail automotive has always been about relationships.

      Before the digital age, dealers would build relationships with people by speaking to them face-to-face in the showroom, learning their likes and dislikes, and understanding their needs to help them find the vehicle that would suit them best. 

      As more and more shoppers shift their car-buying research process to the internet, the process of building dealer-customer relationships has also undergone a digital transformation. Dealerships are now tasked with starting those same personal connections through data points, scattered breadcrumbs of information left by shoppers across their customer journey. 

      Automotive Customer Data Platforms (CDP) and Customer Data and Experience Platforms (CDXP) have become critical tools in helping dealerships build those personal connections with their customers through the power of data. Let’s take a closer look at CDPs and CDXPs and get a clear understanding of the different roles they play in helping dealerships gather, clean, and leverage customer data to build strong, lasting relationships. 

      CDP vs CDXP

      Intro to Customer Data Platforms (CDP)

      A Customer Data Platform is a powerful technology designed to help businesses leverage their data to gain deep insight into their shoppers and customers, execute personalized marketing campaigns, and optimize dealership operations. 

      CDPs have been around for a while. While the technology has been leveraged by retail businesses outside the automotive industry for nearly a decade, the first automotive-centric CDP only hit the market in early 2022. 

      Automotive-centric CDPs are designed specifically to serve the data infrastructure needs of a dealership. They work to unify siloed dealership data, bringing together all of the data sources in play at a dealership into one place – think website analytics, advertising data, CRM, DMS, and more. 

      Once the data has been unified, CDPs work to clean, normalize and sort the data, creating 360° profiles for every shopper, tracking their engagements with the dealership at every step of the customer journey. 

      In addition to their data storing and sorting capabilities, CDPs typically come equipped with powerful filtering technology that allows the dealer to sort and filter their data. This functionality is particularly helpful in creating personalized marketing campaigns as it allows marketing teams to build hyper-specific audiences and lists to use in ad and email campaigns, pulling in specific shoppers based on a particular behavior or preference. This ensures the campaign content will reach the right shopper, providing value at every touch point.

      The filtering capabilities of a CDP can also enable the dealership sales team to identify opportunities to make a sale. By filtering down shoppers based on their behaviors and preferences, sales teams can identify in-market shoppers and reach out to make that personal connection. 

      CDPs can also help dealerships optimize their operations by identifying inventory challenges or trends. Think along the lines of identifying those VINs that are spending too much time on the lot and may need an extra push or making adjustments to which vehicles are on the lot in order to meet shopper demand. 

      CDPs offer dealers a way to leverage their data in multiple ways to improve efficiency, drive sales, and increase customer satisfaction.

      Intro to Customer Data Experience Platforms (CDXP)

      An automotive Customer Data and Experience Platform, or CDXP, is essentially an enhanced CDP that takes it to the next level by adding an activation layer on top of the dealership’s data. 

      Rather than requiring the dealer to manually sort and filter their data to create marketing audiences for their campaigns, a CDXP uses powerful AI technology together with the dealership’s data to activate hyper-specific marketing campaigns. . 

      Here’s how it works: The CDXP will comb through the dealership’s unified data sources to identify each shopper’s individual needs and preferences and sort them into audiences. Then, using AI, the CDXP will automatically create hyper-personalized, targeted ad and email campaigns – including copy and visuals – that speak directly to the needs and preferences of the shopper. 

      Take, for example, a shopper who has visited a particular page on the dealership’s website several times over the last few weeks. The CDXP will identify that behavior and automatically generate an email that includes any special offers the dealership may have on that vehicle. Teh CDXP will also include other related vehicles with similar features to that vehicle or other vehicles that may also interest the shopper based on their shopping history. The shopper will also automatically be added to an audience for an ad campaign that features that particular vehicle. 

      This added level of data activation enables dealerships to create excellent customer experiences by providing value at every touch point with every shopper at every stage of the shopper funnel.  

      In short, the central difference between a CDP and a CDXP is that a CDP focuses primarily on gathering, cleaning, sorting, and organizing customer data whereas a CDXP will take it to the next level by automatically activating the data to engage with customers in a meaningful way. By creating personalized, targeted customer experiences, a CDXP can help dealerships drive customer satisfaction, loyalty, and ultimately, increased sales.

      5 Reasons Why CDXPs are Essential for Your Dealership

      CDXPs are an indispensable technology for dealers looking to stay competitive in today’s digital age. They offer the powerful tools needed to understand dealership shoppers and customers, deliver personalized experiences, and drive business growth.

      CDXPs can help dealers: 

      Drive sales through personalized ad and email marketing campaigns: 

      By utilizing the dealership’s unified shopper data together with AI, a CDXP can automatically create personalized marketing materials for every shopper at scale. Because the CDXP works with real time data, the dealership’s audiences are always updated and optimized, ensuring the customer will always receive messaging that is relevant and valuable to them at that moment.

      Take, for example, a customer whose current lease is up at the end of the year. The CDXP will deliver valuable, relevant offers to the customer through an ad campaign promoting an offer on the latest model of the vehicle he is currently driving. The CDXP will also send personalized emails with the latest dealership offers that may interest him based on his current vehicle and latest shopping trends. This deep level of personalization increases the chance of the customer coming into the dealership to purchase their next vehicle. 

      Optimize every marketing campaign around the clock:

      The CDXP leverages AI and machine learning to identify the most effective advertising channels to maximize the impact of dealership advertising efforts. By monitoring the dealership’s campaigns 24/7, the CDXP can instantly identify if there is one channel that is performing better than another based on the dealership’s stated business goals. The CDXP will then automatically – with no need for human intervention –  reallocate the dealership’s ad budgets cross-platform in real time to bring in more leads. 

      That means that, if there is a sudden spike in social media activity and social ads are performing significantly better than display ads, the CDXP will instantly shift more of the marketing budget over to support the social media campaigns to ensure the dealership is getting the most out of their marketing dollars.

      Identify new revenue opportunities from cold leads:

      The typical dealership only images 15% of their leads. One of the most powerful capabilities of a CDXP is that it can re-engage cold or dead leads and turn them back into active shoppers. 

      The CDXP leverages the dealership’s first party data to create timely, personalized lead nurture campaigns. If, say, a customer purchased a vehicle from the dealership several years ago, the CDXP will create a targeted campaign to reach out to them with a valuable trade-in offer, encouraging the customer to come back into the dealership for their next vehicle. Or, if a lead converted on a specific vehicle a few months ago but never followed up, the CDXP will create a campaign with an attractive offer on a similar vehicle to encourage the lead to re-engage with the dealership. 

      Winning leads is an expensive process for dealerships. CDXPs ensures every possible action is taken to revive those leads and turn them into a new stream of revenue. 

      Increase their customer lifetime value (LTV): 

      CDXPs help dealers build long-term relationships with customers and increase their lifetime value through timely and valuable engagements. Consider the customer who just drove their brand new vehicle off the lot. That step should only be the beginning of their relationship with the dealership. 

      The CDXP will continue the relationship beyond the showroom by prompting the customer to schedule their next service appointment, following up over time with upgrade or refinancing opportunities, and when the time is right, with a push to get them into their next vehicle. 

      Timely, relevant, personalized engagements automatically created and executed by the CDXP helps to keep the dealership top of mind for every customer, creating a much higher chance they will return to the dealership for their next purchase rather than visiting a competitor. 

      Build a competitive advantage: 

      Modern shoppers have come to expect a deep level of personalization from their retailer which means that dealerships that offer a more individualized experience automatically set themselves apart. Fact is, shoppers are more likely to choose a dealership that offers an exceptional, personalized experience over a competitor who does not, making a CDXP an invaluable tool in winning new and repeat business. 

      Incorporating AI in CDXPs for Advanced Insights and Automation

      CDPs and AI are the perfect match. CDPs bring the data, and AI activates it to achieve new levels of success for the dealership using:

      • Predictive Analytics: AI is capable of analyzing vast amounts of customer data stored in a CDP to predict future behavior and trends. This allows for dealerships to make data-driven business decisions to anticipate customer needs. For example, the AI can leverage the data from the CDP to identify inventory trends and make accurate predictions for vehicle demand which will allow the dealership to prepare in advance and ensure their inventory is well equipped to meet that demand.
      • Customer Segmentation: AI effectively segments shoppers and customers into hyper-specific audiences pulled from the dealership’s data based on their behavior, preferences, and demographics. Leveraging these segments, the CDXP can then automatically execute targeted marketing campaigns and experiences for each audience. This can lead to higher engagement and conversion rates.
      • Automated Marketing Actions: A CDXP uses AI to take specific marketing actions based on real-time data. For example, AI can personalize email campaigns, recommend products based on past purchases, and even help the dealership optimize their pricing strategies based on real-time shopper data. This automation not only saves time but also ensures that marketing efforts are more relevant and effective.

      The combined power of data and AI offers dealers deeper insights into customer behavior which can optimize the dealership’s marketing and operations and improve their overall customer experience. 

      Fullpath, automotive’s leading Customer Data and Experience Platform (CDXP), helps dealers drive their businesses into the future by providing them with the cutting-edge AI-powered solutions they need to drive long term success. Fullpath focuses on sorting, cleaning, and storing every piece of dealership data in one place in order to provide deep insight into business operations and to execute hyper-targeted marketing campaigns for automated deeply-segmented customer audiences. 

      Fullpath’s CDXP makes it easy to slice and dice different audiences and then automatically target them with digital touch points throughout the customer journey, from their first engagement with the dealership, through to their first purchase, and beyond. 

      Recapping The Differences Between a CDP and CDXP

      The central difference between a CDP and a CDXP is the activation aspect. Both platforms work to consolidate dealer data, bringing together every data source in play at the dealership to build comprehensive shopper profiles that can then be leveraged to build personalized customer experiences and surface important insight about the business that can be used to optimize operations. 

      The CDXP takes things to the next level by layering AI and marketing automations on top of the dealership data layer, automatically generating and executing personalized, targeted marketing engagements designed to improve the customer experience and drive loyalty over time. 
      Here at Fullpath we believe data connectivity and infrastructure is the way forward for retail automotive. By offering powerful data solutions through our CDP and a CDXP, Fullpath can help dealers navigate the complexities of the dealership data landscape, and enable them to harness the full power of their data in order to drive future business success. Click here to explore Fullpath’s AI-Powered solutions and to reach out to our team at to experience the full extent of our industry-leading CDXP technology.

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