The report highlights how the pandemic, cookie loss, and data privacy are dictating how marketers will allocate budgets and which tech functionalities they will prioritize in 2021.

SAN DIEGO, March 16, 2021 –  Marketers turned to customer data platforms more than ever in 2020 as the pandemic prompted more urgency for digital transformations, the death of third-party cookies impacted data strategies, and a slew of data privacy changes provided new rules to address. Tealium, the trusted leader in real-time customer data orchestration, today released the “State of the CDP Report 2021,” which details how CDPs are helping marketers adapt to these changing priorities.

Knowing their customer is more important than ever to brands. The elimination of in-person experiences in 2020 forced marketers to offer a unified customer experience across channels — particularly digital ones — or risk losing out to competitors. At the same time, increased attention to consumer privacy and consent has caused marketers to provide a more transparent value exchange to maintain customers’ trust. Marketers are turning to CDPs for the sophistication and agility they need to address and succeed in todays’ fast-paced marketing landscape.

To better understand how marketers are responding to these changes and what it all means for the future of CDPs in 2021 and beyond, Tealium surveyed 300 U.S. marketers across multiple industries — including travel, finance, retail and healthcare — on how they are leveraging CDPs today, the challenges they face with current vendors, and their future plans for CDP technology. Using data from its State of the CDP Report 2020 as benchmarking metrics, Tealium identified the largest shifts in marketers’ priorities over the past year. 

“Now more than ever, organizations find success by connecting with their customers,” said Heidi Bullock, CMO at Tealium. “At Tealium, we’re constantly working to position the best capabilities at the forefront to help our customers better understand their customers and achieve their marketing goals. To do this effectively, we prioritize the opinions of marketers who leverage different resources in their various industries each day. Our 2021 State of the CDP Report shares a comprehensive view of the customer data platform market, diving deeper into how the technology is a key driver for customer success in today’s environment.”

Key findings include: 

  • Martech budgets are growing: Eighty-nine percent of marketers will spend more on tech in 2021 than they did in 2020, and almost a third (32 percent) will spend significantly more.
  • Vendor neutrality is not a given: More than half (53 percent) of marketers strongly agree their martech stacks are walled gardens, consisting of solutions from one vendor that have limited cross-compatibility with other solutions.
  • AI is central to marketers’ plans: Fifty-nine percent of marketers say AI capabilities are extremely important for achieving their marketing priorities for 2021.
  • Privacy is a top priority: Better protection for customer data privacy is the No. 1 outcome marketers are looking to drive with tech in 2021.
  • Integration difficulties are common: Almost two-thirds (62 percent) of marketers say it’s difficult to integrate new third-party solutions into their martech stacks.
  • Only some CDPs meet marketers’ expectations for time-to-value: The majority (57 percent) of marketers expect to see ROI from martech solutions within six months or less, but less than one-third (30 percent) see ROI that quickly from their CDPs.

The full State of the CDP Report 2021 can be found here

About Tealium

Tealium connects customer data – spanning web, mobile, offline, and IoT devices — so brands can connect with their customers. Tealium’s turnkey integration ecosystem supports over 1,300 client-side and server-side vendors and technologies, empowering brands to create a unified, real-time customer data infrastructure. The Tealium Customer Data Hub encompasses tag management, an API hub, a customer data platform with machine learning, and data management solutions that make customer data more valuable, actionable, and secure. More than 1,000 businesses worldwide trust Tealium to power their customer data strategies. For more information, visit

Post Author

Lauren Snedden
Lauren is the Sr. Director of Corporate Communications at Tealium

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