Lately I've seen several examples of organizations working with multiple Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). Earlier this month a video-on-demand (VOD) firm announced they had licensed a Customer Data Platform from Quaero. Earlier, they also licensed Optimove's CDP. Hey, wait: if a CDP is supposed to serve as a consolidated repository of customer data, doesn't having multiple CDPs mitigate against the core rationale?
Single Vs. Multiple Platforms
The issue of single versus multiple platforms in the same tool space is not unique to CDPs. In the past, we've seen this trend with Portals, Email Marketing/Automation vendors, and Web Content Management (WCM) platforms. In all these cases, enterprises quite reasonably seek a single solution, but in real life, some firms need multiple different platforms for very good reasons.
So let's not get surprised to see multiple CDPs within an enterprise. CDP platforms - like other technologies - will have different focus areas. We call them scenarios.
What Exactly Is a Scenario?
Think of a Scenario as a high-level business use case. Explicitly or not, different technology products target different use cases - whatever a vendor may claim. This is usually because the product’s initial incubators or customers wanted it for those use cases. The product might have broadened its scope as it matured but most often, the initial roots remain visible.
That's why we always encourage you to look beyond feature checklists when evaluating tools and instead, prioritize your business scenarios when selecting CDPs and other tools. RSG has defined nine scenarios for the CDP marketplace.
Fig: RSG defines nine scenarios for CDPs
Two Different Use Cases
Now let's return to that VOD firm with two CDPs. In this case, Quaero handles data management, profile stitching, and other core customer data management tasks. This cleaned up data will get fed into Optimove, which will use that data for content/video recommendations and personalization.
The two are obviously very different scenarios. Now, I'm not suggesting that your firm should deploy two different CDPs, but this particular case study signifies the breadth of potential functionality in this technology segment, and highlights the importance of prioritizing your business objectives at a time when CDP vendors may prove more specialized than you might think.
As always, if you'd like help clarifying your business scenarios and mapping them to individual vendors, you can read detailed evaluations of Quaero, Optimove, and 30+ other vendors in RSG's CDP evaluations.