2021 Competitive Market Guide for CDPs

2021 Customer Data Platform Landscape

Why Customer Data Platforms Became A Must-Have Technology

Did you know Gartner found Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) to be the least likely technology to be cut from leaders’ budgets during an economic downturn? McKinsey helps explain why by saying:

“Personalization is impossible if marketers don’t have the means to understand the needs of customers on an ongoing basis. Setting up a centralized customer-data platform (CDP) to unify paid and owned data from across channels is essential to these efforts.”

Lastly, deploying a CDP is all about putting data in the hands of your business users. This reduces their friction in understanding customers, building campaigns, reviewing results, and optimizing the customer experience. Remember, data is currently only used in marketing 50% of the time for decision making. CDPs solve that problem. In fact, 37% of marketers cite their most desired benefit of CDP deployment is better access to valuable customer data.

Why This Market Guide’s Classifications of Vendors Are So Helpful

So if CDPs are instrumental to success, why do organizations struggle with selecting the right vendor? The shortest answer is that there’s a high probability of misinformation. Unpacking that, let’s remember there are ~100 vendors in the marketplace (and growing). Then let’s remember that vendors will tell you whatever it takes to win your business. 

The impact of misinformation is real— Tony Byrne of the Real Story Group said just last week that half of the enterprises who have deployed CDPs are replacing them with a new CDP vendor! 

So why is this market guide so helpful? The answer is it analyzes the marketplace through the lens of the end-user instead of examining it from the lens of the product itself. 

Evidence of Its Helpfulness

If you’re hesitant to trust me, then I would encourage you to trust the process I use. As a prior industry analyst covering CDPs and current aficionado of the category, I study CDPs more than anything else. 

But more significant than my perspective is that I’ve already reviewed these classifications with top research analysts, consulting firms, and Fortune 500 brands. You know what their feedback was? Here are some examples…

  • “Your market guide divided the enormous quantity of CDP vendors into easy-to-understand sub-groups”
  • “Your classification of the vendor landscape makes a lot of sense, both in terms of the labels describing the CDP types and their intended users”
  • “Helped me understand who should use what and why the Smart Hub CDP brings extra value”
  • “Big impact on our perspective and really great paper on the classification of CDPs”

Next Steps For You

  1. Don’t ignore the criticality of CDPs. Recent research found 66% of CX leaders saying a customer 360 was essential for success.
  2. Make an informed choice. Download our 2022 competitive market guide on CDPs and reach out to us with questions.
James Meyers
James Meyers
Head of Martech Strategy
James Meyers is Head of Martech Strategy, coming to ActionIQ from a leading research firm where he studied and advised organizations on customer data platforms (CDPs) and customer analytics. James has unique expertise in data management solutions, having built and operationalized a homemade CDP at Lowe’s Home Improvement in addition to implementing an MDM solution there as a data engineer.

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