CDP Marketplace, Circa 2021

As the customer data platform marketplace evolves, it's becoming increasingly clear that enterprise CDP requirements can prove quite diverse.

For example, some larger enterprises already have some sort of customer data fabric, successfully handling things like data ingestion, data quality management, and identity resolution. On the other hand, other enterprises that would look to handle many if not most of these services in a packaged CDP. Of course this is rarely a straight-up binary choice, and among RSG's subscribers I see a lot of important variances in the details.

Still, from a vendor perspective, this matters a lot. While most vendors will claim to do everything, the fact is they can’t. Some players are beginning to understand this. For example, several vendors have given up on features such as identity resolution in favor of partnering with dedicated ID resolution products.

CDP Marketplace, circa 2021

So at RSG we've revised our categorization of CDP vendors:

  1. MarTech Suite-Dependent: These CDP offerings from major MarTech vendors can be either processing- or engagement-oriented but the most salient thing about that them is how tightly they bind their CDPs to the rest of their suite, rather than serving as an independent layer
  2. Processing-Oriented Independents: These are independent, stand-alone CDP vendors that focus more on data management aspects (ingestion, profile unification, data cleaning, stewardship, ID resolution, and so on…)
  3. Engagement-Oriented Independents: These are independent, stand-alone CDP vendors that focus more on activation and/or engagement (self-service segmentation, journey orchestration, personalization, marketing campaigns, and so on…)

Again, you will find overlaps among these three broad categories, but RSG's detailed CDP vendor evaluations will clue you into specifics. This market keeps evolving; we'll keep watching — and critiquing — on your behalf.

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