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, the real value of a CDP is unlocked when the solution is deployed as a critical underpinning to an enterprisewide customer experience (CX) strategy that demands an enterprisewide understanding of the customer.

The profiles and segments created within a CDP are intended to give frontline teams executing cross-channel engagements deeper insights and a comprehensive roadmap to optimized customer interactions. These tools ingest and unify customer data but also create, manage, and continually enhance customer and audience profiles and segments central to creating and deploying effective personalized campaigns.

CDPs are quickly evolving and offerings are taking on new shapes. While stand-alone solutions continue to expand their offerings and refine use cases, large platform players are integrating CDPs as part of overarching digital and experience suites and platforms with tools that, out of the box, connect across a comprehensive library of points of operations and engagement well beyond marketing use cases. In some platforms, the CDP is being included as a core capability in marketing and commerce tools and not sold (or charged) as a separate SKU.

Threshold Criteria

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 across internal and external connectors
  • Support large volumes of data from a broad set of sources
  • Security, privacy, identity, access and compliance controls
  • Scalable beyond a single function or data silo
  • Robust reporting and analytics (engagement, revenue impact, attribution, and ROI tracking) including insights on journey analytics, interaction and orchestration optimization and overarching campaign management
  • Increased support for analytical processes and complex workflows for automation
  • 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
  • Out of the box integrations with large enterprise database solutions including Snowflake, Databricks, Redshift and beyond
  • AI/ML capabilities for data normalization, smart segmentation, engagement recommendations, and predictive analytics
  • GenerativeAI introduced for “smart” segment generation based on conversational prompts
  • Advanced criteria include automated cross-channel engagement orchestration, industry specific data models, segments and customer profiles to enable adoption acceleration and shorten time to value

The Constellation ShortList™

Constellation evaluates over 50 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.

  • Adobe Real-Time CDP
  • Acquia CDP
  • Amperity
  • BlueConic CDP
  • Microsoft Dynamics 365 Customer Insights
  • Oracle Unity
  • Salesforce Data Cloud
  • Tealium
  • Zeta CDP+nt

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.

Evaluation Services

Constellation clients may work with the analyst and research team to conduct a more thorough discussion, vendor selection and contract negotiation.

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