Report: CDP adoption hampered by data maturity

New study into customer data platforms adoption shows challenges teams are facing in creating and actioning a single customer view


A lack of data maturity and actionability is hampering utilisation of customer data platforms (CDPs), a new joint study by Epsilon, Adobe and Publicis Groupe and conducted by Forrester Consulting has found.

The Quest for Data-driven Engagement in APAC and the Middle East report examined marketers’ priorities and challenges in enabling CDPs and the broader data value chain. The 250 respondents encompassed Australia and New Zealand, Singapore, India and the UAE and came from banking and financial services, hospitality and tourism and retail industries.

According to findings, data management issues are stifling success, with those who have implemented a CDP citing challenges with merging data into a single repository, keeping customer profiles up to date and analysing data to find actionable insights. For example, 58 per cent admitted to challenges merging all data into one place, while 57 per struggled with keeping customer profiles refreshed and up to date.

Forty-five per cent are having trouble resolving identities across different data sources, and 51 per cent are struggling to put insights to work in their various marketing and CX applications.

What’s more, 17 per cent of respondents said their attempts to create a single unified profile from all organisational data were either very or somewhat ineffective, compared to 25 per cent citing some effectiveness. Just shy of one in five stated their efforts to use customer data to drive contextually relevant engagement with customers were also ineffective, and 23 per cent said efforts to personalise CX based on behaviour across channels and devices were ineffective. A further 21 per cent said their ability to use Web visitor data to drive contextually relevant engagement with prospects was also either somewhat or very ineffective.

Despite the hurdles, the report found 35 per cent of respondents are planning to invest or increase investment into CDPs over the next 12 months.

Three major reasons came up trumps for why. The first was the ability to create unified customer profiles across channels and devices (83 per cent), while the second was increasing customer acquisition through more targeting advertising (71 per cent). Just shy of two-third of respondents also agreed CDP adoption would help them better customise experiences for both known and unknown customers.

The report also found half of decision-makers have mostly or significantly combined online and offline first-party data sources and linked to customer records for sales and marketing teams. According to seven in 10 respondents, integration of these two data sources leads to a differentiated customer experience.

More broadly, two-thirds of marketing leaders and 54 per cent of technology leaders agreed building a single customer view is vital to shaping products and capabilities. In addition, 66 per cent are combining direct and indirect data sources to build a comprehensive understanding of customer preferences for targeted outreach.

Another notable finding was around priorities. The survey found 76 per cent of respondents are working to streamline content planning and communications, while 72 per cent are working to turn customer insights into marketing actions. Providing outreach to new customers and online audiences to expand the customer case is another high priority for 69 per cent of respondents, while 67 per cent said a priority was updating digital marketing channels and partners.

Overall, the Forrester-penned research found APAC marketers have committed 22 per cent of their budgets to technology related initiatives, and 79 per cent plan to increase martech budgets this year.  

A report into CDP adoption in late 2020 also found the platforms are chalking up fast growth. According to the

CDP Institute, 12-month growth rates across the CDP technology space included a 48 per cent increase across vendors, a 64 per cent increase for employment and a 32 per cent rise in funding. The Institute has estimated total 2019 revenue for CDPs at US$1 billion and projects industry revenue exceeded $1.3 billion in 2020.

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