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Volume 32, Issue 2

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Friday, 12 April 2019 15:12

Marketing Cloud Vendors Pick Up Where CDPs Left Off

The last couple weeks have been an exciting time for the customer data platform (CDP) category. At long last, major marketing technology vendors formally declared their intentions to get serious about managing and activating data for marketing. For the CDP community, the entry of marketing clouds is a big deal, carrying equal parts excitement over the implied market validation and concern (nay, fear?) as competition intensifies.

The concept of CDPs originated about three years ago in response to the very real challenges of collecting and leveraging data for marketing. Since then, a broad range of vendors offering an equally broad variety of solutions claimed the label and have been marketing themselves as such. At their core, CDPs promise to unify corporate and customer data and make it accessible to marketers for analytics and campaigns. But Forrester believes that standalone CDPs aren’t equipped to solve this problem for enterprise B2C marketers. For these reasons, Forrester welcomes continued progress from CDPs as well as new solutions entering the market. The question about CDPs was never whether there’s a business problem to address but rather who would ultimately solve it.

It was nearly inevitable that large martech vendors would join the fray. Forrester made the call in 2018 that marketing clouds would enter this market and have solutions in place by the end of 2019. In our October 2018 report, we stated that: “Ultimately, CDPs’ greatest competitive threat is the marketing clouds, such as Adobe, Oracle, and Salesforce, that are already ingrained in most enterprise martech stacks and are investing in capabilities far more sophisticated than CDPs’.”