Are CDPs Worth the Investment?

Customer data management solutions are the #1 technology being implemented by enterprise companies right now, and CDPs in particular are at the top of every marketers wish list. But are CDPs worth the investment? Unfortunately, early research suggests they might not. 

For example, one study found that almost 75% of marketers believe the implementation of new technologies (like CDPs) are making personalization harder, not easier. In another study, researchers found that 63% of marketers are getting bigger budgets for data, yet 87% of marketers believe their companies fail to properly utilize their existing data. 

To better understand whether or not CDPs are worth the investment, you need to understand some of the issues marketers face when implementing a CDP.

CDPs are in their infancy

CDPs are an emerging technology, which means the marketplace can be tough to read—ask 10 CDP vendors “what can a CDP do?” and you’ll get 10 different answers. 

Because every vendor frames the challenges they’re solving differently, marketers’ understanding of how a CDP can help becomes confused. 

This confusion is what sets most CDP partnerships up for failure.

CDPs don’t solve the actual problem

The uncomfortable truth surrounding the CDP market is this: 

Conversations are focused on data, but data isn’t what’s keeping marketers up at night. 

In other words, data isn’t the problem marketers are trying to solve—marketers are concerned with conversions, customer retention, and customer experience. 

Most marketers already have plenty of data at their fingertips, they just don’t know how to use that data to obtain actionable insights that improve the effectiveness of their campaigns. 

For a CDP to actually be helpful to a marketer, it must do more than make accessing data easy. It must also empower marketers to identify and reach their most engaged customers when, where, and how they prefer.

Why?—Because cleaner, more centralized data doesn’t mean more conversions, more engagement, or more personalization. It is the insights extracted from that data that lead to more conversions, engagement, and personalization. Insight extraction is the missing piece of the puzzle in most CDPs, and it’s a piece that’s absolutely vital for marketing success. 

There are multiple factors to consider in a CDP

Yes, data unification and centralization should be the primary offering of any CDP, but there are other factors worth consideration as well. 

  • How easily does the CDP integrate with your existing technology? 

  • Can your CDP identify BOTH prospects and customers (unknown and known profiles)?

  • Can your CDP identify individuals across different devices and channels? 

  • Does your CDP offer omnichannel activation? Multi-touch attribution? Performance analysis?

To solve marketing goals, a CDP needs to be able to provide individual customers with the content that’s most relevant to them and, therefore, most likely to drive a conversion. Moreover, it needs to deliver that content in the channel that’s most relevant to the individual.

Are CDPs worth the investment?—5 Questions to ask  

The key to achieving the results you want with a CDP is to stay grounded in the problems you set out to solve: 

  • Understanding individual customers better

  • Truly personalizing customer experiences

  • Driving real ROI with increased revenue, customer loyalty, higher customer lifetime values, etc.

Therefore, when you sit down to consider a CDP, ask yourself these five questions:

  1. Is this CDP built to solve my specific problems? 

  2. Does this CDP fit my specific use cases? 

  3. How will this CDP support my business goals? 

  4. What do I need to change about my processes, training, and marketing strategy to make this CDP work? 

  5. Is this CDP capable of providing real customers at the 1:1 level so I can deliver true personalization?

By considering these questions beforehand, you and every marketer like you will be better able to determine if the customer data management solution you’re thinking about investing in will help you work more efficiently and effectively for maximized outcomes.

Zeta CDP+ is the only CDP worth the investment

This is what a customer data platform should be—unique, real-time insights enriched with private signals from more than 2.4 billion identities so marketers can take effective action across all channels.    

With Zeta CDP+, you get everything in a traditional Customer Data Platform plus…

  • More opportunities to acquire new customers and accelerate purchases from current customers

  • The added benefits of identity resolution plus data enrichment, syndication, activation

  • Data unification for a real-time customer view that’s clearer and more actionable than anything on the market

To learn more about Zeta’s approach to CDPs and customer data management, read this whitepaper or visit our CDP+ product page


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