About This Constellation ShortList™
Customer data platforms (CDP) serve as a centralized hub of structured and unstructured data about, and in service of, the customer. These platforms—unlike their cousins the data warehouse, customer relationship management (CRM), or the data management platform (DMP)— aggregate and harmonize data from a broad variety of sources, largely without manual intervention, to create a unified customer profile purpose-built for contextual engagement. Once believed to be a marketing tool for marketing teams, this next generation of CDP is deployed as a critical underpinning to an enterprisewide customer experience strategy that demands an enterprisewide view of the customer.
The profiles created within a CDP are intended to give frontline teams executing cross-channel engagements deeper insights and a comprehensive roadmap to optimized customer engagement. These tools ingest and unify customer data but also create, manage, and continually enhance customer and audience segments central to effective personalized campaigns.
While the CDP is hardly a new segment of technology, it is a rapidly evolving one. Stand-alone solutions have received significant infusions of investment and capital to expand their offerings and footprints while large platform players have brought on offerings that, out of the box, connect a comprehensive library of points of operations and engagement into a platform-native CDP. With new entries from suites like Salesforce and Microsoft, expect for this ShortList to be updated with high frequency as we see reactions and results from implementations.
Constellation considers the following criteria for these solutions:
- Integrations with marketing, sales, service, and, increasingly, ERP solutions
- Integrations with data warehouse tools
- Persistent aggregation and ingestion of structured and unstructured data
- Security and compliance controls
- Data ingestion and data matching capabilities to manage structured and unstructured data as well as internal and external connectors
- Scalable beyond a single function or data silo
- Robust reporting and analytics (engagement, revenue impact, attribution, and ROI tracking)
- Dashboards and customizable data visualization
- Omnichannel customer identity resolution and user permission controls
- Engagement automation spanning cross-channel journey orchestration
- B2B-specific capabilities including account-level data, data enrichment, and firmographic intelligence
- Powerful audience and customer segmentation
- AI/ML capabilities for data normalization, smart segmentation, engagement recommendations, and predictive analytics
- Advanced criteria include automated cross-channel engagement orchestration, B2B lead matching, and some third-party data integrations traditionally managed by data management platforms (DMP)
The Constellation ShortList™
Constellation evaluates more than 25 solutions categorized in this market. This Constellation ShortList is determined by client inquiries, partner conversations, customer references, vendor selection projects, market share and internal research. In alphabetical order:
- Adobe Real-Time CDP
- Acquia CDP
- Oracle Unity
- SAP CDP
- Twilio Segment
Frequency of Evaluation
Each Constellation ShortList will be updated at least once per year. There could be an update after six months, should the analyst deem it necessary.
Constellation clients may work with the analyst and research team to conduct a more thorough discussion, vendor selection and contract negotiation.