There are dozens of software companies pitching their product, or one of their products, as a customer data platform. How is due diligence possible with such a crowded field? While some customer data platforms are similar, some are actually quite dissimilar. This can be used as an advantage to narrow down the list pretty fast as long as a high level plan for the platform has been formulated.
[October 2018 edit] Here's another tip -- our buyers' guide comes out at the end of October! Click below for access:
To start, consider the first set of features in the CDP Institute’s vendor comparison chart, the “Shared CDP Features” list:
These are just five of a list of dozens of potential features that David Raab categorizes these 24 customer data platforms against. As of the release of the comparison chart, the five shared CDP features are:
- Retain original detail
- Persistent data
- Individual detail
- Vendor-neutral access
- Manage PII
An exercise: how does your organization need to make use of these shared CDP features?
How does this set of features apply to your plans for a customer data platform? What does your organization need and want from a customer data platform on just these five topics? This is a critical exercise for those shopping around for customer data platforms. It is critical because as David points out in the document heading:
“Yes” answers mean only that the system meets the minimum requirement in that definition. This may not be adequate for a particular buyer’s needs. Buyers will need to explore the details of individual systems to find out.
All 24 vendors “manage PII”, for example, but they do not all manage it in the same way. What you need from a customer data platform will dictate the right level of data governance (e.g. validation, history, privacy) to look for in relation to PII.