Customer data platforms are becoming more and more important in organisations as marketing and sales teams find it a struggle to take advantage of growing amounts of data from separate sources. Although they are not yet extremely common, product options are diversifying. The CDP Institute reported a 65% growth in the industry in 2018 and there were revenues of more than $1 billion last year.
Implementing customer data platform software marks substantial changes and tells how software is bolstering broad goals of CX across organisations. Up until recently, CRM’s were the ideal way through which companies could build and maintain strong relationships with both suppliers and customers. They provide essential data for purchasing predictions, augmented support and campaign planning however, CRM platforms are restricted to actual customer contacts which limits its capabilities.
CRM is taken to the next level now though, with the advent of Customer Data Platform software. These platforms also draw data from various other sources, allowing organisations to identify a customer’s purchasing patterns and peripheral interests, going so far as to be able to track even those who are anonymous. CPDs can bring together various offline and online sources and integrate the data into a unified profile that can be used across the whole business.
Just like with other customer-focused software, CDP doesn’t need to be a standalone entity. It is already making an appearance as a set of add-on features on CRM systems. Due to the growing demand for pure-play CDP, the big CRM platform providers are rolling out increased functionality to compete better with stand-alone CDP providers.
Microsoft has recently released its Dynamics 365 Customer Insights CDP, but although late it hopes that its strong features and deep integration with the existing Dynamics platform with bring market share quickly. Not only does it offer data unification utility, which encompasses cross-channel multisourcing and persistent storage, it also offers self-service, extensive data ownership, data-driven analytics, identity resolution and governance features. On top of all that, it also includes leader boards and goal tracking for sales professionals.
-Easy to set up and integrate with other platforms
-Based on existing Dynamics infrastructure and features
-Easy data organisation
-Customers can manage their accounts
-Internal chat system
-Setting up Insights is tricky
-Searching for accounts and products is a challenge
-Reporting is unfriendly
-Integration with other platforms is pretty much universal
-Offers strong API gallery and software development kits
Much like Microsoft, Salesforce is late to the party. Adding several new features to its Customer 360 product, Salesforce has made its improved version of Salesforce Customer 360 Truth a strong contender in built-in, CRM-based CDP. Some of the new capabilities include integrated customer engagement that optimises the Salesforce acquisition of MuleSoft for cross-device, cross-channel connection and unifies the data in a consent management framework.
The platform also includes personalised engagement and advanced audience segmentation, and the Salesforce Einstein AI engine has been configured to bolster customer loyalty by offering insights. The pilot for the new CDP features is currently underway.
-Builds on mature customer data management technology that already exists
-CDP features of Customer 360 already nest in the Salesforce ecosystem
-The entrenched architecture will make a CDP to IoT data-gathering product likely difficult to implement
-Done via MuleSoft and its vast API library and runtime engine
-Customer 360 integration is virtually limitless
-Extendable to most other CRM platforms, custom point-to-point connections and analytics sources
-APIs are customisable
Oracle’s CX Unity product that integrates with existing Customer Experience Cloud has many months lead on the Microsoft and Salesforce CDP offerings. It is also integrated with Oracle Marketing Cloud and Data Cloud and offers real-time clickstream activity analysis and on-the-fly message modification.
-Deep integration with Oracle’s existing platform
-Subscription management features (makes it possible for products to be shared across facilitis)
-Challenges bringing IoT into its data-gathering because of entrenched architecture
-Through existing Oracle Data Cloud (can access any third party source)
The Adobe Experience Platform allows the streamlining of intelligent workflows across marketing systems. Customer segments that are fine-tuned can be tested for personalised campaigns and customer profiles can be updated in real time.
The CDP updates in real-time across different sources with real-time activation. Also, more complex customer journeys are possible, including customer-activated strategies, open-ecosystem channels and real-time engagement.
-Friendly user interface
-Flexible customer journey touchpoints
-Strong customer service
-Powerful search function
-Difficult for non-technical users
-Toolbar not very intuitive
-Integrates with universal data integration tools (Snaplogic, Unifi)
-Offers API integration and mobile software development kits