A row of newspaper machines.
PHOTO: Ling Li Yeoh

The Customer Data Platform (CDP) industry has seen its share of growth. For the first half of this year, the industry added 19 new vendors, 2,300 employees and $680 million in cumulative funding, according to a report from the CDP Institute. A CDP is “packaged software that creates a persistent, unified customer database that is accessible to other systems,” according to the CDP Institute. It requires less technical assistance to manage than a data warehouse and “puts marketing in direct control of the data unification project.”

And earlier this year, some pretty big marketing technology vendors joined the CDP party, too. Two of those vendors — Adobe and Salesforce — have made announcements around their CDP software this month. 

At the recent Dreamforce Conference in San Francisco, Salesforce, as part of its large set of product updates announced on Nov. 19 Customer 360 Truth, which Salesfroce in a press release said, includes capabilities that allow companies to connect, authenticate and govern customer data and identity across Salesforce. 

Adobe, meanwhile, Nov. 14 announced product updates around its Adobe Experience Platform, including the general availability of Adobe’s Real-time Customer Data Platform (CDP) service.

Salesforce All in on CDPs

Salesforce had been skeptical of CDPs publically but is now bullish. According to officials, customer 360 Truth connects data from across sales, service, marketing and commerce and allows for a single Salesforce ID for each customer, whose previous interactions and shared preferences are brought together.

It includes a Customer 360 Data Manager, which uses a canonical data model and a universal Salesforce ID that represents each customer. Salesforce Identity for Customers includes one login across all of a company’s digital properties and includes identity reporting and analytics. Customer 360 Audiences builds unified customer profiles across known data such as email addresses and first party IDs and unknown data such as website visits and device IDs. 

Salesforce Customer 360 Truth is powered by the Cloud Information Model (CIM), an open source data model that standardizes data interoperability across cloud applications. The publication of CIM is enabled by MuleSoft's open source modeling technology, providing multiple file formats. Salesforce acquired Mulesoft for $6.5 billion in 2018. 

Adobe's Getting Real with CDPs

Adobe’s Real-time CDP service allows users to bring together known and unknown customer data, activate customer profiles across channels and leverage intelligent decision-making. It brings together customer data from CRM to online analytics and offline POS systems. The Adobe CDP works alongside Customer Journey Analytics, analytics tools for omnichannel data in Adobe Experience Platform. Users can also access Adobe Sensei, an AI and machine learning framework.

In other customer experience software news ...

Marketo San Jose Data Center Suffers Outage

Marketo, a CRM and marketing automation software provided by Adobe, suffered an outage this week that lasted approximately one hour. The problem, first reported by Marketo at 1:17 p.m. ET Thursday, Nov. 21, stemmed from an issue related to accessibility at its San Jose Data Center, according to the Marketo status page. Marketo reported then it was investigating after it learned a “subset of Marketo customers in our San Jose data center may have noticed errors when attempting to access services related to their instances.”

Marketo reported that all Marketo services were restored as of 3:35 p.m. ET and a minute later said all systems were fully operational.

According to ThousandEyes, an internet and cloud intelligence provider, the outage was due to connectivity issues between Marketo’s CDN provider, Cloudflare, and its own data center. It lasted for around an hour, according to a Tweet from ThousandEyes

The outaged created the predictable buzz on Twitter for Marketo users.

6sense Partners With Drift

6sense, an Account Based Orchestration platform, has partnered with Drift to provide account identification capabilities to customers using the company’s Drift Intel feature. The integration between 6sense’s Company Graph and Drift provides curated company-level data of website visitors to Drift Intel customers, according to a press release. Drift is conversational marketing platform that offers chatbots, video, conversational emails and AI-powered automation. Customers using 6sense and Drift can also leverage the integration to bring 6sense account segments and buying stage predictions into Drift.

Jason Zintak, CEO of 6sense, told CMSWire in an email interview the challenge being solved with the Drift partnership is sellers and marketers can create a better, more personalized experience and navigate the layers of anonymity that prospects desire. "Prospects today are tech-savvy and smart,” Zintak said. “They understand their business needs and want to handle a bulk of their research on their own, rather than immediately open the floodgates to cold calls, forms, or spammy emails. And usually, this process is anonymously viewing website material or content.”

Asked if the partnership was a gap filler, extension of existing capabilities or an integration with a particular other component of the existing tech stack, Zintak said the partnership “takes one of our capabilities — AI recognition — and proves its worth, by being included in the tech stack of the conversational marketing platform, Drift. 50,000 customers have chosen Drift to remove the friction from business buying, and this highlights how both revenue teams and buyers can meet each others’ needs."  

Decibel Raises $17 Million in Series B Funding Round

Decibel, which provides digital experience intelligence, has closed its Series B investment round raising $17 million. The round was led by Draper Esprit along with existing Series A investors Eight Road Ventures and John Simon, via his Ventureforgood investment entity. 

Decibel has raised $26 million over two rounds. Company officials said the investment will be used for product development and expansion across Europe and North America. Decibel provides real-time intelligence to help brands create online customer experiences. Using machine learning, it is designed to reveal digital body language, understand user state of mind and pinpoint problem areas on websites, web applications and native apps. 

Nuxeo Partners with University on DAM

Nuxeo, a digital asset management (DAM) provider, has partnered with Rutgers University, a college in New Jersey. Rutgers launched a DAM certificate program in North America, a six-week online course that will expose the students to DAM information and knowledge, including Nuxeo. Nuxeo collaborated with the university to provide content and articles as part of the course curriculum. 

The program was launched online in September. It is a non-credit professional DAM education certificate program composed of six classes. Nuxeo officials said the course is made for DAM professionals working in the field wanting additional education, information professionals, people interested in a career change to information management and technical professionals who work with data.