New research from Tealium indicates many companies still struggle with their data strategies despite having a CDP, thanks in part to a confusing marketplace and evolving business challenges that are causing companies to re-evaluate their need for a data-first CDP. Read the full report now: State of the CDP Report 2020: How Organizations Buy, Implement and Use CDPs.

When we created AudienceStream in 2013, the “Customer Data Platform” category was non-existent. At that time, siren song of social media pulled marketers in, mobile marketing became a must-have, and many of us were looking to the cloud for the first time. Since that time, nearly 100 vendors, along with Tealium, have entered the Customer Data Platform market with what can only be described as a smorgasbord of offerings. 

It’s easy to understand why Customer Data Platforms have such wide appeal. “Customer data” is a huge universe of information at any company, and includes everything from the innocuous (names and emails) to the sensitive (health and financial information). Customer data also touches a multitude of departments in a company, from marketing and analytics to customer service and sales to IT and customer retention.

CDPs have established themselves as a foundational part of many companies’ customer data infrastructures. But with so many different approaches to customer data housed under the moniker “Customer Data Platform,” choosing the right CDP can be a massive challenge for businesses. With vendors taking such divergent approaches to collecting, transforming, and activating customer data but often using similar marketing terminology, it’s a dizzying world to step into for any CDP buyer. 

That’s why we set out to get the pulse of the industry by querying CDP buyers and users in our 2020 State of the CDP report. With such diversity in the CDP space, we wanted to understand how actual CDP users view the technology, where it excelled, and where users needed the technology to grow to meet the demands of the future.

We asked over 300 U.S. decision makers in marketing and data/analytics questions— representing a multitude of different CDP vendors— about their CDP experience, and what we found was that the technology is— and will continue to be— a critical piece of companies’ customer data infrastructure. However, there is not a clear consensus on who— or even what— a CDP is for. 

What is clear is that several of today’s biggest trends are shaping the way companies view Customer Data Platforms, from the data privacy regulations popping up everywhere to consumers’ demands for real-time, personalized experiences. While the vendor landscape may shift over time, companies clearly need a way to take control over their entire universe of customer data, turning it into a trusted asset for today and the future.

Key Findings of the 2020 State of the CDP Report

The biggest takeaway from our report is that CDPs are here to stay, but companies may need time to find the right strategy— and the right vendor— for the future of their customer data infrastructure. 

  1. Even satisfied customers are switching CDPs. Eighty-five percent of respondents with CDPs were satisfied with their current CDP provider, but a majority still said they planned to switch their CDP within the next 12 months. 
  2. Many solutions calling themselves CDPs don’t offer full CDP functionality. Over 50% of organizations said their CDP lacked basic capabilities like the ability to ingest data from any channel.
  3. Organizations are hungry for real-time functionality. More real-time functionality was the top answer for how an organization’s CDP could improve.
  4. Many stakeholders aren’t yet convinced of CDPs’ value. Getting buy-in from other departments was most respondents’ biggest challenge in implementing a CDP.
  5. Data governance in CDPs needs improvement. Eighteen percent said that better data governance was the top improvement they’d like to see in their current CDP — the second most popular response. 
  6. Data privacy compliance will drive CDP adoption. Sixty-two percent of respondents said that CDPs will be absolutely essential for complying with data regulations by 2025.

Read the report for yourself today to get the full story behind the key findings. But don’t just take our word about its value, see what others had to say about it:

“This survey is a wake-up call for everyone who uses customer data: while many have an existing system that’s called a CDP, half of those systems don’t meet even the most basic CDP requirements. Even fewer provide other important features. Companies need to be rigorous in defining what they need from a CDP and be sure they find a solution that can actually provide it.” – David Raab, Founder of the CDP Institute

“Bad data is a silent killer of otherwise great marketing programs. This guide is a fantastic primer on why getting your data strategy right (and applying the right resources to do it) can be make or break for your objectives and success.” – Matt Heinz, Founder of Heinz Marketing

“This is a helpful and practical guide for anyone evaluating a CDP.” – Howard Sewell, President of Spear Marketing

Download Your Copy Today

Learn what real CDP users think about the technology, including the challenges they face, the value they derive, and the future of the technology.

Post Author

Hilary Noonan
Hilary is Director of Content at Tealium.

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