When it comes to use, familiarity, market share and mindshare in the customer data platform (CDP) ecosystem, the big marketing clouds lead their smaller indie counterparts by a mile.
But a peek under the hood reveals a more nuanced story.
The marketing clouds are sucking all the air out of the room, but it’s the pure play CDPs that actually have the capabilities and features marketers say they’re looking for, according to market research firm Advertiser Perceptions in its first report on the CDP market, released Tuesday.
Advertiser Perceptions polled 231 marketers, data scientists and IT professionals at large companies who have either used a CDP, were involved in the selection process or plan to start using one within the year.
Fighting for their share
Despite only being in market with their CDP solutions for roughly a year or less, Salesforce, Adobe, Oracle and even SAP are winning on awareness. More than half of marketers (60%) said that they’re “very familiar” with Salesforce’s CDP. Awareness was also high for Adobe’s CDP offering (59% are very familiar), for Oracle, at 56%, and SAP at 49%.
The same can’t be said for the indies. Only 16% of those interviewed said that they’re very familiar with Tealium, 15% with Segment, 12% with Redpoint Global and 9% with Lytics and mParticle. (See chart for a full breakdown).
The pure play CDPs evaluated by Advertiser Perceptions score highly on the benchmarks that marketers and their counterparts in IT say they’re looking for in a CDP.
Take scalability and data security, which are the two tech-related criteria most highly correlated with consideration in the CDP category. Although Salesforce still does fairly well on these metrics, the other marketing clouds dip precipitously – while the indie CDPs knock it out of the park.
When asked to rate a series of CDPs based on scalability, marketers scored ARM Treasure Data and mParticle the highest, BlueConic third, followed by Salesforce, Segment, SAP, a bunch of other indies, Oracle and Lytics, with Adobe bringing up the rear. ARM Treasure Data also got top marks for data security, followed by SessionM, ActionIQ, mParticle, BlueConic, Redpoint, a cluster of other indies and marketing clouds … and then Adobe last, again.
One of the reasons the marketing clouds have been able to overshadow the category so quickly, is because they already have deep relationships with marketers. Salesforce has CRM, Oracle has database management and Adobe has its creative suite.
“These companies already had CDP-like capabilities and now they’re good at blurring the lines,” Mannion said.
Which could be an explanation behind a real head scratcher that came out of the report. When asked what the main promise of a CDP is, the majority of marketers responded with “digital advertising.” But … isn’t that what a data management platform is for?
“It’s a real puzzler,” Mannion said.
The finding could speak to the notion that marketers are starting to think of CDPs, at least in part, as an evolution of the DMP. But perhaps it’s also evidence that DMPs haven’t fulfilled their promise.
“There were a lot of capabilities people believed they were going to get from a DMP, and now two things are happening,” Mannion said. “Some marketers are trying not to use a DMP anymore, and we’re also seeing a growing desire among marketers to combine their CDP with their DMP to help them finally do better digital advertising.”