Customer Data Platforms. CDP. Get used to that acronym, it’s here to stay. The newcomer platform has had a lot of hype, but it’s now proving its worth. The CDP industry has grown by 19 vendors, and raised $317 million in the first half of 2019 alone. And by the end of 2019? The industry is projected to be worth $1 billion.
The CDP Institute, headed by David Raab, cites that growth into Europe, APAC, and other new markets has played a huge role in the rapid expansion of the martech platform. 15 of the world’s 19 newest CDP offerings are from outside of the U.S. according to CDPI’s half-yearly report. Overall funding of CDPs grew by $680 million, there have been several acquisitions, and big cloud players have announced their CDP iterations.
Is it a “real” CDP?
While many of these new offerings might wear the name of “Customer Data Platforms”, it’s important to distinguish true CDPs from other platforms. The CDPI has defined 3 critical elements that make up every true CDP:
- “packaged software”: the CDP is a prebuilt system that is configured to meet the needs of each client. To set up and maintain the CDP, you will have to exhaust some technical resources. But it does not require the level of technical skill of a typical data warehouse project.
- “creates a persistent, unified customer database”: the CDP creates a comprehensive view of each customer by capturing data from multiple systems, linking information related to the same customer, and storing the information to track behavior over time. The CDP contains personal identifiers used to target marketing messages and track individual-level marketing results.
- “accessible to other systems”: data stored in the CDP can be used by other systems for analysis and to manage customer interactions.
So, what does this mean for marketers and their tech stacks? Most notably, marketers will have to sift through a very saturated market. It’s up to teams entering the evaluation process to have a solid plan going in, and to remain critical throughout the process. Also, you’re still left with a large list of solutions after weeding out platforms that can’t meet all requirements.
Going beyond the CDP
And, even with countless solutions to choose from, most still don’t resolve the issue of utilizing customer data for 1:1 experiences. This period of exponential growth has brought the CDP’s value into the spotlight, but also highlighted its shortcomings. While data becomes organized, there’s no way for marketers to implement this data seamlessly into their data to data messaging.
Enter: the Customer Data Activation Platform. In addition to doing the job of a CDP, the CDAP provides predictive intelligence scores and recommendations via customizable AI, and provides cross-channel decision making and journey orchestration. The result: An intuitive, agile system that uses the breadth of your customer data. The system makes in the moment decisioning to drive revenue, engagement, and loyalty.