The Customer Data Platform (CDP) market is rapidly growing, especially after the events of 2020 caused an increase in customer data circulation on digital channels.
Additionally, with the upcoming third-party cookie phase-out, more and more companies are considering implementing a CDP to centralise their existing customer data and focus on first-party data use in their marketing programs.
In essence, CDPs are an evolution of Marketing Automation Platforms (MAPs) and Customer Relationship Platforms (CRMs) that are predominantly built for marketers and refined to be easily applicable in modern marketing use cases.
The purpose of a CDP is to collect, orchestrate, segment, and analyse customer data to enable a single customer view to create highly personalised and predictive customer journeys.
The CDP is becoming an in-demand technology — its market is projected to grow from USD 2.4 billion in 2020 to USD 10.3 billion by 2025.
Our previous CDP selection article mentioned how the choosing process would require businesses to clarify their CDP use cases, capabilities, industry focus, and scale needs. In this article, we want to give more insight into 11 different CDP providers to deliver a vendor-agnostic overview of the platforms based on specific criteria.
Most CDPs nowadays have core capabilities to support data ingestion from all sources, enable external platform access to its unified data, and provide segmentation rules for better personalisation.
However, as with most enterprise technology solutions—subtle distinctions exist—and they can influence the success rate of your purchase decision.
CDP Differentiating Criteria
CDP vendors differentiate by offering more nuanced capabilities that fall under the following categories:
- Identity Management
- Omnichannel Engagement
- Ease of Use
- Scale Capacity
Most CDP platforms facilitate the management of Personally Identifiable Information (PII). However, companies decide what methods they deploy to resolve cross-device data to achieve accurate and valuable unified customer profiles. Most CDPs can link personal identifiers such as email address, phone number, and name using deterministic matching capabilities. Yet, some CDPs offer additional identity management opportunities through probabilistic matching.
In the case of deterministic matching, the CDP links verified first-party data to customer profiles. For example, when a consumer interacts with the company via both mobile and desktop using the same email, deterministic matching will link device-level data from both channels to one customer profile.
On the other hand, probabilistic matching links data based on exhibited behaviours, such as an anonymous visitor browsing the same product on two different devices that are connected to the same wifi network. A probabilistic match has a margin of error given that it connects data based on probability, however, it helps enrich customer profiles if set right.
The role CDP plays in omnichannel engagement is maintaining multi-channel orchestration of real-time personalised messages. This can include capabilities to select content dynamically based on segment-specific rules. Additionally, CDPs can run behaviour-driven campaigns. However, in some cases, the platform will use external systems, such as marketing automation platforms, to deliver the messages to customers.
Ease of Use
Customer Data Platforms were built with a desire to mitigate the IT dependency. The platform is marketer-focused, which means all fundamental capabilities need to be easy to use and reasonably intuitive. This factor brings extreme value to startups or SMEs that require a customer data management solution while not having access to in-house expert support. Additionally, CDPs will differ in the user-friendliness of their interfaces.
The CDP’s scale is represented through the amount of out-of-the-box integrations or whether the vendor offers APIs to help extend or manage the platform to its maximum capacity. Many CDPs come from under the wing of a broader portfolio of products, such as Oracle, Adobe, or Salesforce, which predominantly means that their offering has native integrations to accommodate ease of scale. Other vendors will provide open source solutions or a variety of vendor-native add-ons via their marketplaces.
When implementing a CDP, one of the factors to consider is the ability to meet any industry-specific or worldwide privacy regulation. Some CDPs help address the data privacy challenge by delivering best-practice data governance protocols to meet the mandated data security standards. Others are certified by data-specific organisations that help ensure compliance with data regulations.
Read on to find out the differentiating factors among 11 leading CDPs; Treasure Data Customer Data Platform, Salesforce CDP, Tealium, Blueshift CDP, Bloomreach CDP, Adobe CDP, Oracle CDP, Optimove, Action IQ, Segment and Insider.
Customer Data Platform Comparison
Treasure Data CDP
Treasure Data CDP offers an enterprise-ready customer data platform for both B2B and B2C environments. The platform was built in 2011, and today, it’s capable of managing complex data requirements at any scale as it can ingest two million-plus records per second.
On top of guided rule-based segmentation capabilities, Treasure Data CDP provides machine learning functionalities for current customer behaviour assessment and future behaviour prediction. Moreover, Treasure Data CDP is continuously updated based on user feedback. It offers over 170 integrations for various systems and channels, making it desirable for enterprise companies looking to implement a scalable solution. There is no free trial available, but the vendor does offer a Proof of Concept (POCs).
As a natural extension to its comprehensive customer success solutions for enterprises, Salesforce built a CDP on its core platform and rolled it out to the general public in October 2020.
Salesforce’s offering of CRMs and business intelligence tools help enable easier integrations for customers already using other Salesforce tools, such as Sales or Service CRM. For instance, Salesforce has utilised its business intelligence platform, Tableau and data analytics platform Datorama to help visualise and explore audience data via its native CDP connectors.
The platform offers vital CDP capabilities an average marketer will require, such as real-time interaction management, segmentation, and personalisation. However, as Salesforce’s CDP is a relatively new offering in the CDP market, customers can expect continuous updates on the platform and fine-tuning in the future. The pricing ranges from 12,500 (mid-sized) per month to 65,000 per month (for Enterprise Plus users) and is billed annually.
Tealium CDP is a data management solution that serves various B2B and B2C industries, from startups to enterprises. It offers marketing-critical data management capabilities such as data collection, unification, enrichment, and activation. Following the standard for leading CDPs, Tealium provides real-time unified data with machine-learning capabilities to predict customer behaviour. Additionally, it offers one of the industry’s largest marketplaces with over 1300 turnkey and customisable integrations available. Pricing is based on the number of collected events.
Another important differentiating factor is that companies can deploy Tealium CDP on-premises. For businesses that need to comply with more stringent data regulations, Tealium offers this choice. With Tealium Private Cloud, organisations can put their customer data to work in a company-regulated environment instead of public cloud servers that most other CDP vendors use.
Blueshift brings an omnichannel CDP for B2C brands from SMBs to enterprises. Its patented AI technology helps companies capture complete histories and real-time behaviours to unify, enrich, and utilise the customer experiences across all channels and applications. Blueshift delivers the opportunity for marketers to use the out-of-the-box predictive models, bring their own models or customise them based on business-specific goals via an easy-to-use interface.
Pricing is based on customer profiles and message volumes, and an annual contract is required. There is no free trial, but Proof of Concept is offered.
Bloomreach CDP was designed for B2C enterprises, and its use cases are predominantly orientated towards ecommerce companies. Bloomreach acquired Exponea in January 2021 with its Customer Data and Experience platform. Today, the Bloomreach digital experience platform, known as Bloomreach Experience, includes three different packages:
- Discovery, offering AI-driven search and merchandising
- Content, offering a headless CMS
- Engagement, offering a CDP and marketing automation
The CDP offers all capabilities that leading providers bring to the table, including personalisation, segmentation and collecting customers’ real-time behavioural data to predict future experiences. Pricing is based on product packages tailored to specific needs and is provided upon request.
Adobe launched its real-time CDP in November of 2019. Powered by Adobe’s proprietary AI engine, Adobe Sensei, the CDP can generate actionable insights and scale audiences through machine learning. The platform is built for B2C and B2B enterprises and can deliver personalised experiences in real-time across all channels and destinations.
Adobe brings a patented Data Governance framework that helps simplify data management practices by correctly categorising datasets and using tools for data source labelling and policy creation to ensure compliance with data regulations. Adobe CDPs pricing and contract terms are disclosed upon request.
As the previously mentioned giants of the enterprise software solutions Adobe and Salesforce, Oracle too joined the CDP market in the recent stages, launching its platform Oracle CX Unity in October 2018.
Its offering is aimed at both B2B and B2C enterprises, and it encompasses the complete customer intelligence platform for managing all customer data. The platform facilitates high data quality management within enterprise environments. It aids the data cleansing and preparation process to enable the most optimal use in enterprise data models. Oracle CDP unifies data from various online, offline, and third-party sources and applies built-in machine learning to create and predict optimal customer experiences.
The platform also offers integration between CX Unity and Oracle B2C Service to empower more efficient customer service issues resolution.
Additionally, Oracle has partnered with consulting partners including Capgemini and Accenture to ensure a more streamlined CX Unity platform implementation and integration process. The platform pricing isn’t disclosed.
Optimove CDP is branded as a Relationship Marketing Hub, offering real-time CDP capabilities. At its core, Optimove has a data-focused foundation, with cross-channel marketing capabilities. The platform’s target customers are primarily enterprise-level B2C brands across various (online-first) industries.
The platform offers fundamental CDP features such as data unification, dynamic segmentation, behavioural tracking, and future behaviour predicting. It promises to be marketer-friendly by bringing AI-powered tools for marketers to explore and discover insights from customer data without any technical expertise. There are no free trials, but the pricing is available on a monthly subscription model.
ActionIQ CDP platform was founded in 2015, and it helps both B2C and B2B brands connect to their customers by bringing the customer data together in one central location. It delivers real-time CDP capabilities together with a user-friendly interface to orchestrate cross-channel personalised experiences.
The platform is designed to serve enterprise-grade companies by offering a scalable, flexible, and secure platform for their customer data. It brings both rule-based or machine learning-based segmentation logic to allow for increased automation and accuracy. The platform implementation usually lasts fewer than 90 days. Pricing is not disclosed, but Proof of Concept is offered.
Segment is one of the leading CDPs that targets B2B and B2C companies across various maturity levels, from early-stage businesses to enterprises. Twilio acquired Segment in October 2020, so future platform fine-tuning is expected.
The platform offers a complete toolkit to standardise data collection and enable real-time decision-making. With Segment CDP, companies can navigate customer data across any system and use machine-learning capabilities for predictive modelling to deliver memorable customer experiences. The platform offers free trials as well as a free plan for companies to try it out.
Insider is not actually positioned as a CDP. Instead, the company delivers the platform as a Growth Marketing Platform with CDP-native capabilities, such as in-depth customer understanding. This type of technology grants more commercial flexibility along with innovative cross-channel functionality.
Insider’s customer base consists of enterprise brands mainly in the ecommerce sector. Some of their customers include brands such as Ikea, Singapore Airlines, and Virgin.
The platform scored the highest rating in the Forrester Wave™: Cross-Channel Campaign Management report for Q3 in 2021. The report reviewed prominent independent platforms across numerous criteria, including personalisation, platform architecture, innovation roadmap, native & 3rd party integration, predictive analytics & machine learning. The Insider CDP pricing isn’t disclosed on the website.
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