Here comes the customer data platform consolidation: Amperity is buying customer analytics platform Custora to help clients do more with their data in a merger announced on Tuesday.
Kabir Shahani, Amperity’s CEO and co-founder, declined to share a deal price.
The companies will spend the first 100 days following the acquisition focused on fully integrating Amperity’s and Custora’s engineering and product teams.
To accelerate that process, a handful of people from Amperity’s Seattle office will move to Custora’s HQ in New York City, and vice versa, and Custora will become Amperity’s east coast headquarters. Most of Custora’s roughly 50 employees will stay, bringing Amperity’s total headcount to around 175, which is double what it was a year ago.
The deal is a sign that CDP consolidation is beginning, which is inevitable as the category matures, Shahani said.
In late October, Mastercard announced its intention to acquire CDP SessionM to help the brand do more with personalized messaging and real-time offers.
“Can’t say I could have predicted that one,” Shahani said. “But in general there are certainly a lot of interesting opportunities out there for more alignment.”
Despite the hype around CDPs, marketers are starting to “separate the fact from the fiction” and move beyond the tire-kicking stage, Shahani said.
Jeans and apparel retailer Lucky Brand, for example, a joint customer of both Amperity and Custora, turned to CDP technology out of frustration. The brand couldn’t get sophisticated with its personalized messaging efforts without first reconciling its customer records – nearly 55 million of them – into profiles.
“Honestly, the hardest thing is getting your customer numbers and reports to match across the various systems,” said Michael Relich, Lucky Brand’s chief operating officer.
Amperity’s technology uses machine learning to match customer records across data sources so that marketers can make their data actionable within different systems.
Custora’s tech will help Amperity customers gather insights from their data once it’s been cleaned up. Custora analyzes user behavior and purchase behavior to create predictive segments and insights, such as whether someone’s likely to be a return shopper, about to churn or seems price sensitive.
It makes sense for a CDP to offer these sorts of capabilities out of the box, Shahani said.
Marketers are getting sick of point solutions, and they’re looking for something end to end, rather than going to one vendor for segmentation, another for insights and onward down the line, said Corey Pierson, CEO and co-founder of Custora. (Amperity is still hammering out Pierson’s new title.)
But what about the marketing clouds as big competitors on the horizon? End to end is their shtick, and they’ve been aggressively moving into the CDP category over the past year.
“The marketing clouds say they provide one place to go that has it all, and they do acquire good companies,” Pierson said. “But then they don’t stitch them together in a cohesive way. They don’t have the greatest track record with that.”