This past year saw a strong expansion of interest in packaged Customer Data Platform technology. Sure, some of this was hype, but there's a reason for this enthusiasm as well: CDPs (whether homegrown or off-the-shelf) can address longstanding marketer challenges around a single source of truth for customer data.
First, you'll want to get clear around what a CDP is and isn't. At its core a CDP should ingest and aggregate diverse customer information from various sources, so that marketers (and their favorite engagement platforms) have a single place to go to analyze, segment, and deliver customer and prospect data.
But many vendors do much more than that. In fact, RSG's vendor evaluation research keys off nine key business use cases. You likely won't need to execute on all nine and no single vendor excels at more than three or four of them, so it's a surprisingly wide marketplace.
Perhaps the biggest two trends for 2018 were:
- Continued growth among heavily venture-fueled pure-play vendors. This is a highly fragmented marketplace
- Renewed attention among major vendors like Oracle, Adobe, IBM, and Salesforce. We evaluate all of them in our CDP vendor research, and they all come up lacking in some key areas
Like any early-stage marketplace, we saw a lot of hype in 2018, and you'll want to temper your enthusiasm, even as you explore more deeply.
Get Independent Advice
As you explore this technology, you can rely on RSG's typically hard-hitting CDP evaluations, covering 22 vendors. Like any other technology, remember there's no "best" CDP. The real story is: which one is the right fit for your enterprise?
A savvy customer will prioritize their needs to figure this out. RSG subscribers can always use our "Real Quadrant" decision support tool to identify and weight your functional and strategic priorities.
And if your enterprise is already in selection mode, check out RSG's recorded briefing, "How to Select the Right CDP."
Let's keep in touch during 2019. We'll keep watching the vendors, with your best interests in mind...