The 2021 CDP marketplace is diverse

There are now three categories in the CDP marketplace says Real Story Group, although they do overlap.

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Real Story Group says that the CDP marketplace in 2021 is far from homogenous. “While most vendors will claim to do everything, the fact is they can’t,” writes RSG  VP, Research & Advisory, and MarTech contributor Apoorv Durga.

Three flavors of CDP. RSG now perceive three categories in the CDP marketplace, although they admit there are overlaps. The first is the marketing suite-dependent CDP. This includes CDPs built from the ground up to serve marketing suites -— the obvious examples being Adobe, Oracle, SAP and Salesforce. There are, in addition, examples of formerly independent CDPs being integrated with suites, like AgilOne with Acquia.

The other two categories are process-oriented and engagement-oriented solutions. The former (in which RSG includes ActionIQ and mParticle, for instance) are primarily focused on data management and cleansing, identity resolution and the creation of profiles. The latter emphasize activation of profiles — engagement, orchestration, personalization and so on.

Why we care. The CDP marketplace is not static. On the one hand, we’ve seen a steady picking off of independent CDPs by marketing suites which don’t have that capability natively. On the other hand, we’ve indeed seen enterprises using CDPs for their own specific needs rather than according to what the CDP offers. We heard from Oracle, for example, that many customers use the Oracle Unity CDP by loading in data needed for a specific purpose — they don’t attempt to load all their data and create a single source of truth.

Interesting times. Let’s see what the CDP space looks like a year from now.

About the author

Kim Davis
Kim Davis is currently editor at large at MarTech. Born in London, but a New Yorker for almost three decades, Kim started covering enterprise software ten years ago. His experience encompasses SaaS for the enterprise, digital- ad data-driven urban planning, and applications of SaaS, digital technology, and data in the marketing space. He first wrote about marketing technology as editor of Haymarket’s The Hub, a dedicated marketing tech website, which subsequently became a channel on the established direct marketing brand DMN. Kim joined DMN proper in 2016, as a senior editor, becoming Executive Editor, then Editor-in-Chief a position he held until January 2020. Shortly thereafter he joined Third Door Media as Editorial Director at MarTech.

Kim was Associate Editor at a New York Times hyper-local news site, The Local: East Village, and has previously worked as an editor of an academic publication, and as a music journalist. He has written hundreds of New York restaurant reviews for a personal blog, and has been an occasional guest contributor to Eater.

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