Can CDPs Solve the Customer Data Puzzle

Can CDPs Solve the Customer Data Puzzle?

Authored by Ranga Srinivasan, President and CTO at Ameex Technologies on 07 Jan 2020

Achieving a single view of the customer has been the holy grail for marketers. Why do so many companies struggle to get a unified view of their customer? Customers often oscillate between phones, desktops, laptops, IoT devices and physical stores. The data collected from these interactions are often spread across different repositories and siloed. Hence marketers need to find an effective way to gather variety of customer data from different sources and unify it to create a Single Customer View. According to a Salesforce survey, marketers use data from a median of 15 sources, up 25% since 2018.

Customer Data Platforms and its promise to democratize data


CDPs have been around for quite sometime but in recent years CDPs are becoming mission-critical for any marketer to eliminate data silos, improve analytics, segmentation and support 1:1 personalization. When every CDP vendor claims to help marketers create Single Customer View (SCV), why is it still elusive to many marketers?

CDPs should be a marketer-managed system. Often CDP selection is left to IT. While IT’s involvement is critical, since they play a key role in integrating and supporting the platform, IT shouldn’t be validating platforms for marketing use cases. Marketers aren’t too obsessed about data, they care about better engagement, increasing conversions, higher ROI, customer retention and loyalty. Most of them have more data than they know what to do with. Hence, marketers should consider their current data maturity, determine their current / future goals and what data is needed to achieve those goals before selecting a CDP platform. 

The quest is not only about data gathering

Merely having access to data won’t help, CDPs should provide high-value actionable insights – collect data from all sources, unify customer profiles, understand customer behaviors and activate that data to external systems and platforms (delivering unified customer experiences when, where and how they prefer)

According to Gartner, a true CDP should include a marketing-friendly interface that helps data collection, profile unification, segmentation and activation. 

Entry of Big Marketing Cloud Vendors into CDP industry

“Customer Data Platform Industry Grew 71% in One Year; Will Reach $1 Billion Revenue in 2019 – CDP Institute”

Since 2018, large marketing cloud vendors such as Salesforce, Adobe and Oracle are making inroads into the customer data platform space to help their customers address their customer data challenges. Salesforce’s acquisition of Datorama and enhancements of its CDP product – Customer 360, enhancements to Adobe Experience Platform with real-time customer data capabilities, Oracle’s partnership with Accenture and Capgemini to help their customers have quick and easy access to comprehensive insights and intelligence. And the latest being Acquia’s entry into CDP space

Acquia’s acquisition of AgilOne CDP

Acquia addressed a huge gap in their Digital Experience Platform strategy – Customer data management by acquiring Agilone. This is Acquia’s third major marketing technology acquisition in 2019. According to Steve Schult, VP Product of Acquia, “AgilOne will bring machine learning capabilities that can go across Acquia's entire platform, unifying online and offline data sources”. Acquia co-founder and CTO Dries Buytaert says he liked AgilOne’s CDP offering for its machine learning capabilities, which intelligently segment customers and predict customer behaviors.

It will be interesting to see how Acquia incorporates AgilOne and other newly acquired technology into its ecosystem. It’s expected to be integrated into Acquia’s Open Marketing Cloud with products that include Acquia Lift, Acquia Journey, Mautic Cloud and Mautic Maestro. Acquia is expected to provide more details on the integration roadmap over the next 90 Days.  

CDPs are here to stay

Brands are seeing success with CDPs. Companies like Airbnb, Netflix and Amazon are leveraging CDPs to drive significant results. Airbnb reported a 10% lift in conversions due to data science insights. Amazon’s recommendation engine (driven by customer data) generates 35% of the company revenue. According to Forrester, “Insights-Driven Businesses are growing at an average of more than 30% annually and are on track to earn $1.8 trillion by 2021.”

CDPs will be a critical component of martech stack for those who are looking to run data-driven, multi-channel marketing campaigns. It can certainly solve the customer data puzzle only if you choose the right one that meets the marketing and IT data needs of your brand. 

If you are looking for more details, you can contact us