Salesforce declares plans for CDP to tie into Customer 360 platform
After earlier expressing doubts about the longevity of the customer data platform category, Salesforce concedes and plants a flag in the ground.
Despite previously poo-poohing Customer Data Platforms as “a passing fad,” Salesforce this week laid out its plans to build what it calls “the first enterprise-grade CDP,” though specific details on the upcoming release were scarce.
Salesforce Marketing Cloud CEO and chief analytics officer Bob Stutz painted the move as a way to fulfill marketers’ needs at a time when Forrester says CDPs are disappointing B2C marketers. Winterberry Group found that, of 100 companies described as CDPs, only 20 meet the research firm’s definition.
“While we meet many CDP requirements today,” Stutz wrote, “…we are also always listening to our customers. We believe the time is right for a dedicated solution designed to help them manage their customer data better, using advanced technology, at the scale and with the built-in trust they can only get from a partner such as Salesforce.”
The elements of a CDP. Back in September, Salesforce began a private pilot of Customer 360, software that lets B2C companies bring together various sources of data into a single profile, mapping customer records from Service Cloud, Marketing Cloud and Commerce Cloud into one master view. At the time, Salesforce made it clear that Customer 360 should not be called a CDP. Stutz says the CDP in development will be “a natural extension of Salesforce Customer 360,” which is set to be widely released later this year.
Salesforceoffered its own definition of a CDP, saying its tool will be primarily for marketers but also encompass customer touchpoints like point-of-purchase and customer service. Further, the company believes a CDP needs to both provide a single view of the customer and also enable marketers to reach out to and respond to those customers in a timely manner.
Stutz urged marketers to stay tuned and promised more details at the company’s customer engagement-focused Connections event in mid-June.
Why you should care. If you’re a Salesforce customer looking for a CDP, perhaps it’s worth holding off on adoption until we hear more from the company later this year. Specifically, Salesforce seems to have timed this week’s announcement to catch the attention of those interested in Adobe’s Experience Manager CDP, the global availability of which was announced this week at Adobe Summit.
While Adobe’s description of Experience Manager seems to tick all the boxes Salesforce declares as essential for a CDP, Salesforce clearly believes it can bring something more to the table.