20 for 2020

  1. Growth of the industry: The CDP marketplace will continue its rapid expansion in 2020, this year driven less by new entrants (of which we expect few) and more by increased marketer adoption, and the primacy of first party data in a post CCPA environment (see more below).  New scale entrants, Adobe and Salesforce, too, will accelerate growth of the category.
  2. Entrance of Adobe & Salesforce: Expect these new entrants to push their new CDP offerings aggressively in 2020. These efforts, in turn, will increase category awareness and also the ecosystem of enabling service providers, fueling a virtuous cycle of growth.
  3. 1st party cookies: 2020 may be the year first party cookies gain real currency as an ad tracking tool.
  4. CCPA Compliance: Expect a scramble in the first half of the year as data owners caught flat-footed scramble to comply with (and interpret) the California Consumer Privacy Act.  The law’s implications and applications will come to light as the year progresses.
  5. Consolidation of the field: 2019 saw an initial wave of CDP consolidation – with MasterCard + SessionM, Dunn & Bradstreet + Lattice Engines, and Acquia + AgilOne, respectively.  Expect this to heat up in 2020 as data providers, omni-channel stacks, and scaled channel management platforms all seek to expand their first party data fluency.
  6. MarTech skill gap: Marketers cite lack of available talent as one of the biggest impediments to successful MarTech deployment.  This gap has no signs of abating in 2020, putting expertise at a premium.
  7. Mindful data models: Gone are the days where companies should be blindly dumping all their data into a CDP. CDP’s are about activation of use cases.  The data that goes into a CDP should be focused on activations that power customer experiences.  Unnecessary clutter from data lakes muddies the waters in using the CDP to the maximum benefit and can increase cloud storage costs.
  8. Identity resolution: CDPs are not magic when it comes to ID resolution…they still rely on a robust set of logic and identifiers that CDP clients must provide.  However, once the groundwork has been done, a CDP can transform an organization’s ability to recognize a customer across devices and channels.  For those companies designing for great cross-channel experiences, CDP may be a big missing piece of the puzzle.
  9. Real-time data processing: With human attention as fractured as it has ever been, it’s critical to recognize a customer in your brief interactions with them.  Real-time processing of identity matters in on-site offers and in many real-world interactions. CDP helps.
  10. Single View of the Customer: While many CDPs don’t promise a single view of the customer specifically, it is what many organizations are searching for in effect. The CDP – while not the system of record – provides a single view of the customer to all the marketing activation channels.  Additionally, that single view is often used by BI systems to provide additional reporting and insights.
  11. Democratization of data: Does your organization’s marketing team have all the necessary customer data to run the campaigns they want to?  In the vast majority of organizations before a CDP implementation, the answer is no.  A CDP can help democratize data to all the teams that power customer experiences – on site, in app, in email, in ads, in store, etc.
  12. Cross-channel activations: Companies who are able to deliver meaningful, helpful, relevant content across channels see much stronger revenue growth and improved customer retention.  Estimates of the impact start at 10% at the low end.  The trouble is that many organizations lack the ability to share audiences and customers across channels…CDP helps with that.
  13. Customer suppression: Sometimes, it’s what you don’t do that matters. That’s certainly the case when it comes to intelligent customer suppression. Saving money, improving performance, and better customer experiences are all benefits of selective, precise cross-channel customer suppression – possible only with a proper CDP implementation and proper downstream platform management.
  14. Predictive modeling (custom modeling): Custom data models are the key to harnessing your data’s competitive edge. Understanding your customer behavior as interpreted through a predictive model, especially one that incorporates 3rd party data, helps make decisions in real time, refine messaging to audiences, and drastically improve performance. CDPs make these models actionable – supercharging your downstream messaging efforts.
  15. Playbooks: Deciding to adopt a CDP is just part of a strategic move toward 1:1 marketing excellence. Playbooks that govern data strategy, management, usage, measurement and optimization are critical to a successful overall 1:1 marketing practice. In addition to creating a knowledge base, playbooks chart a course toward building sustainable, scalable practices across various functional groups, which is critical for 1:1 marketing success.
  16. Insights: Quality insights are at the heart of growth for any marketing organization. Ensuring that your data strategy accounts for insight generation is a critical component of effective personalized marketing. CDPs lay the groundwork for rich insights, but often 1st party data streams are limited in what they can show about customers off-property. Data augmentation and a well-managed data transformation environment can help avoid these pitfalls, and deliver on the insights promise.
  17. Data Enrichments: 1st party data is the bedrock of effective personalized marketing, but there are inevitably customer data points that exist beyond what an organization can gather for themselves. Data augmentation using 3rd party sources is an obvious solution, but the execution can be extremely complex and expensive, and in the worst cases, not actionable. Cracking the code on data augmentation requires a great read on the landscape, an understanding of how data is structured and packaged, and an airtight activation strategy that ensures precise execution and rich feedback loops.
  18. CDP for B2B: B2B marketers have historically spent significantly in marketing automation technologies that help them organize their valuable customer data, and extract maximum value from it with precise, intelligent messaging through legacy channels such as email. CDPs are a natural fit for B2B marketers, allowing them to greatly expand their channel footprints, move into real-time audience optimization, and mitigate advertising waste typically associated with expanded audience reach. Furthermore, the associational capabilities of CDPs, which allow for user records to be stitched together from fragmented sources, allow B2B marketers to discover net-new customers who would otherwise be extremely difficult or expensive to convert.
  19. ROI: Business results and quantifiable revenue gains will be central to tech and data teams assessing CDP options.
  20. Cross-functional teams: Forward-thinking marketing organizations will start to deploy cross-functional teams drawing from tech, BI, marketing and creative to address customer-centric goals.