News,  Vendor Selection

Customer Data is Problem #1

Everybody is making predictions for the next year. Well, I see two certainties in marketing organizations for 2023. 

  1. In response to both the recession and overspending over the last years, most marketing execs. will be culling their martech spend by shrinking user licenses and even cancelling some point solutions altogether.
  2. The one area they will NOT hold back spending is on Customer Data Management.

Marketing and sales professionals alike are saying inaccurate customer data is the biggest impediment to succeeding with data-driven marketing. According to a recent survey among 600 sales and marketing decision-makers in B2B or B2B-B2C hybrid firms by Dun & Bradstreet, some 34% of respondents cite accuracy of customer data as an obstacle to succeeding with data-driven marketing, and 30% cite the cost of third party data and lack of analytic capabilities as obstacles.

Which means that my new Vendor Selection Matrixtm research on Customer Data Management (CDM) is going to be more useful than ever for potential buyers of CDM software. Especially as the report reflects the view of the market, 1500 business decision-makers reported their opinions and ratings for the CDM vendors they know. That is quite different than the standard research reports from my old colleagues (remember, I am ex- Gartner and ex-Forrester) that focus on an analyst’s rating of the product. Buyers much prefer to hear what their peers are saying about a solution, I would suggest. 

Depending on how much you believe the claims, there are over 140 vendors with CDM solutions, often calling their software Customer Data Platforms (CDP). The vendor landscape is actually quite stable with several well-established independent CDP vendors out there. These are now being challenged not only by the expanded sales efforts of enterprise software vendors like Salesforce, Adobe, and Oracle, but also through increased competition from tools that enable in-house IT teams to build their own CDP equivalent. We estimate that 40-45% of companies have automated, or will be automating, parts of the CDM process in 2022.

Providing an optimal customer experience is impossible without having a unified Customer Data Management (CDM) process in place: a process that includes the consolidation and aggregation of all data collected in separate systems across the company. This is not an IT-centric data warehouse or data lakes approach, ideally it should be a Marketing-led CDM initiative, helping to ensure the data unification project is focused directly on marketing requirements. 

These are the 11 vendors that qualified as Market Leader (having both a Strategy and an Execution score of over 4 out of 5) in the Vendor Selection Matrix™ – Customer Data Management 2022 due to their scores in the survey and me (listed alphabetically):


These are the vendor brands named spontaneously by the survey respondents. Some of the brands are part of larger vendor organizations (such as Evergage being part of Salesforce).

The overall Global Leader, as they were in the 2020 report, was Tealium.  

The link above connects you to the public version of the report, with the alphabetical list of market leaders and shorter vendor profiles. Watch out for several versions of report in full detail over the next months as several vendors distribute their licensed reprints.

Always keeping you informed! Peter O’Neill