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July 6, 2022
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90% of marketers say their CDP doesn’t meet current business needs

90% of marketers say their CDP doesn’t meet current business needs

The overwhelming majority of CDP owners are disappointed with them. Only 10% say their CDP meets current needs and only 1% think it can handle future ones. That’s according to a new report from Forrester, commissioned by martech company Zeta Global. 

Beyond that: only 26% say their CDP meets most of their current needs, 35% say it’s meeting some of their current needs and 28% say it doesn’t meet any of their current needs. And perhaps most damning, 45% report it has underperformed against business expectations.

Base: 313 CDP users and decision-makers in marketing, IT, and customer experience in the US

Source: A commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Zeta Global, January 2022. Used with permission.

What CDPs do. The aim of CDPs is to help marketers manage the huge amount of customer data generated by many organizations. In addition to centralizing the data, they are supposed to enhance it by identifying customers and assembling customer profiles. They are a relatively recent addition to martech stacks: 85% of CDP implementations are three years old at most, and 43% are within the last year.

Read next: What is a CDP and how does it give marketers the coveted ‘single view’ of their customers?

What’s not working. Close to half of survey respondents expect CDPs to handle personalization, campaign execution across channels, and data activation. Unfortunately, these are the very things they’re not doing well. Here’s how many owners say they’re “mostly satisfied” with some core functions: 

  • Customer segmentation: 29% 
  • Customer profile assembly: 25%
  • Integration with campaign endpoints: 24% 
  • Personalization: 22%

Additionally, 46% report their systems having challenges with data analysis, reporting (45%), and data centralization (34%). 

Vendors aren’t helping. As bad as all that is, the dissatisfaction with vendors is even worse. More than half (52%) are unhappy with the technical support they receive, while 31% say the same about the customer support overall.

Why we care. There is clearly an opportunity for vendors here. First one to provide a CDP that lives up to its promise wins. That is a technical challenge which will clearly take a lot of time, expertise and ingenuity to meet. Customer and technical support, on the other hand, can be worked on now. One place to start may be on the sales side, where there can be a big gap between what’s in the pitch and what’s in the product. You’ll stand out from the competition if they’re all overpromising and underperforming.




About The Author

Constantine von Hoffman is managing editor of MarTech. A veteran journalist, Con has covered business, finance, marketing and tech for CBSNews.com, Brandweek, CMO, and Inc. He has been city editor of the Boston Herald, news producer at NPR, and has written for Harvard Business Review, Boston Magazine, Sierra, and many other publications. He has also been a professional stand-up comedian, given talks at anime and gaming conventions on everything from My Neighbor Totoro to the history of dice and boardgames, and is author of the magical realist novel John Henry the Revelator. He lives in Boston with his wife, Jennifer, and either too many or too few dogs.


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