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Customer Data Platform Institute Helps Marketers Build a Unified Customer View

October 31, 2016 – Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) can solve marketers’ biggest data problem: building a unified customer view.  Yet few marketers know that CDPs exist. The Customer Data Platform Institute launched today with a suite of resources to help close this gap.

The Institute defines Customer Data Platform as a “marketer-managed system that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems”. CDPs are a new alternative to systems that have largely failed to deliver a unified customer view, including enterprise data warehouses, data management platforms, and channel applications such as email engines.  Unlike those approaches, CDPs are specifically built for marketing uses, incorporate first party data including personal identifiers, and are open to access by all company systems.  This lets them succeed where other approaches have not.

According to Institute founder David Raab, “The growing need for more complete, more accessible customer data has fueled the rise of CDP systems.  We’ve identified nearly two dozen vendors who fit the definition.  But awareness of CDPs is still low. The Institute will educate marketers about CDP capabilities and to help them take full advantage of these powerful new systems.”

One bright spot Raab noted is that in July, CDPs appeared for the first time on the Gartner Hype Cycle for Digital Marketing and Advertising.

The need for CDPs is clear.  A recent LiveRamp survey found that 90% of marketers consider an omnichannel customer view important for marketing effectiveness, but less than 20% currently have such a view. (LiveRamp, The State of People Based Marketing, October 2016).  An Experian study found that the technology issues were the biggest barriers to delivering a unified customer view, far outranking non-technical issues such as timeliness, lack of data, or poor data quality (Experian, The 2016 Digital Marketer, April 2016).  CDPs remove many of those technical obstacles by using modern methods such as schemaless data stores, machine learning, and cloud-based deployment.

Leading CDP vendors have sponsored the Institute, recognizing the need for vendor-neutral education and community.  Their sponsorship allows the Institute to provide resources at no charge to individual members.  The Institute is managed by Raab Associates, independent technology analysts who first identified CDPs as a category in 2013. 

Raab will be assisted by an Advisory Board of marketing practitioners and sponsor experts.  Practitioner members include Shawn Goodin, Marketing CTO, JPMorgan Chase; Mayur Gupta, VP, Growth & Marketing, Spotify; Steve Herdegren, VP, Marketing Operations, Wiley; and, Tim Suther, Founder, Suther Strategic LLC and former Managing Director at JPMorgan Chase and CMO of Acxiom.

Vendors sponsoring the Institute include: ActionIQ, AgilOne, Ascent360, BlueConic (Gold), BlueVenn, Ensighten, Lytics, mParticle, RedPoint Global (Gold), Segment (Gold), Signal, and Treasure Data (Gold).

Initial Institute offerings include a library of white papers, surveys, evaluation guides, case studies, and product information; a daily newsletter with industry news and opinion; a public forum for marketers and industry experts; and a directory of industry vendors.   These are all available on the Institute Web site at www.cdpinstitute.org.

Comments from Institute sponsors:

“2016 has been a year marked by tremendous growth in both the interest in and obvious need for customer data platforms. This Institute comes at the perfect time to help practitioners, vendors, and other thought leaders accelerate the development of this market in order to solve some of the most complex and pressing data challenges marketers grapple with today. BlueConic is thrilled to be a gold sponsor of this endeavor, as we’re so confident of this category’s transformational potential today and going forward.” – Bart Heilbron, CEO, BlueConic

“As organizations look to maximize the business value of their data assets, marketers have become very focused on finding ways to monetize their customer data. Big Data, which adds “variety, volume, and velocity” to the mix, has created new data access and management challenges – but also potentially great opportunities – for marketers who can capitalize on this data. A customer data platform, like the solution RedPoint provides, enables marketers to create a unified customer view from multiple internal or external databases and/or siloed data stores and is an accelerant for forward-looking, data-driven marketers. But we still have a long way to go to drive awareness of the capabilities and benefits of this technology.  The CDP Institute, in our eyes, has an important charter:  to both raise awareness of CDPs and to educate the market about why this technology is critical to the enterprise.” – Dale Renner, CEO, RedPoint Global

"At Segment, we believe that every customer has a story and that we can help businesses get better insight into who their customers are and what they need at every step in the customer journey. We are excited to be a part of the Customer Data Platform Institute and we look forward to working with other leading vendors in helping companies understand their customer and grow their business." – Prashant Sridharan, VP of Marketing, Segment

“Over the last three years, we've seen more and more data-driven marketing organizations adopt Treasure Data to unify their customer data, analyze them using advanced methodologies such as machine learning and automate and own the end-to-end system without IT help. We now know what to call this, and it's great to see an independent institution built around accelerating this trend." – Hiro Yoshikawa, founder and CEO, Treasure Data.

"Successful marketing puts the customer at the center of all engagement. We've all seen the rise and fall of ad-hoc approaches to customer-centric marketing and the emergence of a new gold standard: customer data platforms. Today's leading enterprise B2C brands have adopted AgilOne to increase customer lifetime value by enabling authentic, direct, and responsive relationships across channels. Sponsorship is a natural fit for us, and we are excited to see the category's tremendous growth and to help further the building momentum." – Omer Artun, CEO, AgilOne

“Faced by a vast martech landscape, a knowledgeable resource community to help marketers appreciate the value of CDPs is essential and BlueVenn is therefore delighted to be a part of the Institute. We welcome the opportunity to share an understanding of the BlueVenn unified customer view offering and how it can optimize and connect customer data from every channel for better marketing.” – Curt Bloom, US President of Operations, BlueVenn

“Being able to collect, stitch, own and act on first-party customer data is paramount to success for today’s marketers. As the leading provider of CDPs for the world’s top brands, we are proud to be a founding sponsor of the Institute and look forward to helping build awareness about the game-changing benefits of having a CDP as the foundation of any marketing technology stack.” – Erik Bratt, VP of Marketing, Ensighten

“Companies are growing more familiar with the concept of a customer data platform, and how it helps them personalize experiences using customer data.  Yet, education is still necessary to help ensure not only selection of a CDP, but also how to get the most out of a CDP investment. We’re excited to help.” – James McDermott, CEO, Lytics

“Too many large enterprise organizations with massive customer bases lack the ability to integrate data across a growing array of engagement screens and marketing SaaS tools. The CDPI is a much-needed resource for accelerating adoption of new technologies these businesses can employ to improve the customer experience across every stage of the customer journey.” – David Spitz, CMO, mParticle

The CDP Institute educates marketers about the issues, methods, and technology used to manage customer data, with a special focus on Customer Data Platforms. Join the CDP Institute for free access to valuable information and insights.

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