Apoorv Durga Author's Perspective
3 Minute read

How to Categorize CDPs For Your Needs

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) are a foundational technology piece required for broader Digital Transformation and Customer Experience (CX) initiatives. As a result, they have emerged as a key component of Omnichannel MarTech stacks. However, the CDP marketplace is evolving rapidly and there are numerous CDP vendors. These include large enterprise software vendors such as, Salesforce, Adobe and Microsoft as well as several niche CDP vendors such as, Lytics, Tealium, ActionIQ and others. 

How to make sense of the CDP Marketplace?

CDPs come in all shapes and sizes. There are 100s of products that call themselves CDP. And there are equal or more products in other categories that have CDP-like capabilities. Everyone calls themselves a CDP vendor, even if all they have is basic integration capability to ingest some data. And within that also, every product uses phrases such as largest, first, leading, global or some combination of these to describe themselves.

In addition, there is a constant flux, with new vendors emerging and existing ones getting acquired or simply disappearing. As a result, sorting out most appropriate CDP for your specific needs can become a bit tricky. 

Most CDP vendors claim they can solve all your marketing needs. Several of our customers have the impression that most of these products are similar and there’s not much to differentiate between them.

That’s not true however. There are several ways to differentiate these products, not just based on their respective strengths and weaknesses, but also on the basis of other aspects.

Different ways to categorise CDPs

CDP vendors have been trying to differentiate themselves in this crowded marketplace using several axes. In particular, I’ve seen the following ways to differentiate between these products:

  1. Based on Data Life Cycle
  2. Based on Tiers (e.g., Suites Vs Stand-alone)
  3. Industry Vertical/Domain
  4. Support for Business use cases
  5. Deployment Approaches

Figure: Slide from the webinar: Different Ways of Categorizing CDPs

If you are evaluating CDPs, you can use some of these axes as a first step to create a shortlist. Instead of navigating your way through hundreds of products, you can filter out the products that are obviously not suitable. For example, if your key requirement is to have a single-tenant or a private cloud-based CDP, there is no point in evaluating products that are SaaS only.

Using these category filters can help you come up with a more manageable shortlist- a shortlist that is much more relevant for your own needs. You can then carry out a more detailed evaluation of these vendors.


On-Demand Webinar

Understanding Customer Data Platforms (CDPs): How to Categorize CDPs For Your Needs?

In our on-demand webinar, we will explore this topic further. In this fast-paced webinar, we will cover: 

  • What Does a CDP Do? 
  • Different Ways to Categorize CDPs 
  • How to Use Categorization to create a shortlist for selecting the Right CDP 

If you have any questions, feel free to send them my way.

Apoorv Durga Marketing Technologist, Altudo

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