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The Top 10 Enterprise CDPs

Learn everything there is to know about the top 10 enterprise CDPs on the market today.

Luke Kline.

Luke Kline

April 8, 2024

33 minutes

Enterprise Customer Data Platform (CDPs)

There are 237 products on G2 labeled as a customer data platform (CDP). Every vendor has a slightly different definition of a CDP and the jobs it should address. The market is incredibly saturated, which makes finding and evaluating solutions fairly and unbiasedly incredibly difficult.

At Hightouch, our mission is to streamline every aspect of data and marketing operations–including the cumbersome vendor research process. To assist you in navigating this complex decision-making process, we've compiled an exhaustive guide of the most popular CDPs (yes, this includes our competitors). Our goal? To demystify the CDP landscape and make the selection process as straightforward as possible for you.

Here are the five CDP categories we evaluated.

  • Traditional CDPs: Packaged platforms that help you collect, store, unify, and activate your data in their managed infrastructure
  • Composable CDPs: Modular platforms that collect, unify, and activate data directly from your data warehouse
  • Hybrid CDPs: Packaged CDPs that provide some backward compatibility to integrate with your existing data infrastructure.
  • Marketing Clouds: Extensive suites offered by large software companies that bundle various marketing and data management products.
  • Infrastructure CDPs: Developer-focused platforms that specialize in event tracking and data pipelines

This blog post will tell you everything you need to know about the following solutions: Hightouch, Salesforce CDP, Adobe CDP, mParticle, Segment, Amperity, Treasure Data, ActionIQ, Rudderstack, Simon Data.

2024 CDP Landscape Guide

Evaluating CDPs? Download our 2024 CDP Landscape Guide to learn how the top ten enterprise CDPs compare across the following:

  • Products & Features
  • Core Capabilities
  • CDP Type
  • Key Differentiator
  • Company Direction
Preview of 2024 CDP Landscape Guide.
Preview of 2024 CDP Landscape Guide.

Hightouch

Overview

Key InformationProducts
Summary: Hightouch is a Composable CDP solution that provides all of the capabilities of a traditional CDP, but instead of operating as a separate tool, the platform integrates with your existing data infrastructure (e.g., your data warehouse).Hightouch Events: A library of SDKs that makes it easy to collect & store behavioral data in your data warehouse.
Category: Composable CDPReverse ETL: A robust Data Activation platform that lets you sync data from your warehouse to downstream marketing & operational tools automatically.
Founding Date: 2019Customer Studio: A suite of no-code marketing features to build & manage audiences, run experiments, & orchestrate campaigns.
End Users: Data teams & marketersIdentity Resolution: A warehouse-native algorithm that unifies profiles in your data infrastructure.
HQ: San Francisco, CAMatch Booster: A 3rd-party data onboarding solution that enriches your data “in-flight” to your ad platforms to boost match rates.
Notable Customers: Spotify, PetSmart, WeightWatchers, Grammarly, Tripadvisor, Cars.com, Warner Music Group, NBAPersonalization API: A low latency API that powers real-time use cases like on-site personalization, dynamic content, in-app experiences, etc.
Key Differentiator: Unbundled architecture that centers around the data warehouseCampaign Intelligence: A self-serve marketing analytics & AI-copilot to measure & explore campaign performance.

Company Direction

Hightouch pioneered the Composable CDP by enabling organizations to activate data directly from their cloud data warehouse. Founded by early Segment engineers who saw the potential of the data warehouse and the flexibility it offered, Hightouch quickly established itself as the trusted CDP of choice for organizations that are interested in or already invested in centralizing data within their data warehouse.

The platform has evolved beyond its initial Reverse ETL offering to include warehouse-native capabilities such as event collection, identity resolution, marketing orchestration, and campaign intelligence. Currently, Hightouch is focused on enhancing the platform with AI-driven features aimed at democratizing access to sophisticated decision-making tools across all teams of an organization.

Hightouch CDP Architecture Diagram

Hightouch CDP Architecture

Core Capabilities

CategoryPlatform Information
Data CollectionClient-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Data StorageYour existing data infrastructure (data warehouse, data lake, or database)
Data RetentionUnlimited lookback & history
Data SchemaControlled by you (supports any custom entity or object)
Audience ManagementNo-code audience builder (supports any online or offline data stored in your data warehouse)
Journey OrchestrationYes
Identity ResolutionNo-code tool to define exact or fuzzy-match rules to build owned identity graphs within your data warehouse
Identity Graph Compute LocationLives in your warehouse
Reverse ETLCore sync engine that integrates with existing toolsets & workflows
Real-Time Audience ComputationDependent upon data landing in the warehouse
Real-Time Streaming (Event Forwarding)Yes
Low-Latency Profile APIYes
Streaming Reverse ETLYes
Data Activation FlowWarehouse to destination (no data is stored in Hightouch)
Activation Destinations250+
Source of TruthSingle: Your owned data warehouse
Security & ComplianceData lives in your infrastructure (can be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant)
PricingUnbundled: individually priced features with no MTU billing
Proof of Concept (POC)Less than 1 month

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Most powerful point & click audience builder (supports any offline & online customer data)
  • Warehouse-native campaign analytics to experiment, measure & analyze audiences
  • Publicly available customer support metrics (99% CSAT Score)

Cons

  • Newer vendor in the CDP market
  • Must have actionable data available in a data platform

Salesforce CDP (Data Cloud for Marketing)

Overview

Key InformationProducts
Summary: Salesforce CDP is designed to help you integrate all of your Salesforce data across all of your different Salesforce orgs into unified customer profiles that your marketing team can use across various products within the Salesforce ecosystem.Data Collection: A data pipelining feature that lets you build & manage data streams to bring in data from other Salesforce products.
Category: Marketing CloudIdentity Resolution: An identity resolution algorithm that helps you merge customer profiles.
GA Date: 2021Audience Management: A no-code audience builder that lets you create audience cohorts using Salesforce data.
HQ: San Francisco, CAActivation: A sync engine to move data between existing Salesforce products.
End Users: Data & marketing teams
Notable Customers: Heathrow Airport, Turtle Bay
Key Differentiator: Integrations with the Salesforce ecosystem

Company Direction

Salesforce, known for leading sales and marketing-specific products like Sales Cloud and Marketing Cloud, has extended product coverage into the CDP landscape a number of times. The most recent iteration is Salesforce Data Cloud, which is essentially a rebrand of existing Salesforce products and capabilities. The product aims to enable organizations with a data foundation that powers the rest of their Salesforce-specific technologies and use cases. The approach is particularly beneficial for organizations deeply embedded in the Salesforce environment but may present challenges for those needing more open system architecture.

Salesforce CDP Architecture Diagram

Salesforce CDP Architecture

Core Capabilities

CategoryPlatform Information
Data CollectionClient-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Data StorageSalesforce's managed infrastructure
Data RetentionVariable
Data SchemaControlled by Salesforce (Standard 360 data model for all customers)
Audience ManagementNo-code audience builder (limited to data stored in Salesforce)
Journey OrchestrationYes (add-on product)
Identity ResolutionDeterministic IDR managed in Salesforce's infrastructure
Identity Graph Compute LocationOwned by Salesforce
Reverse ETLExtremely limited (all data must be replicated to Salesforce first)
Real-Time Audience ComputationNot supported (minimum sync cadence is 15 minutes to 1 hour)
Real-Time Streaming (Event Forwarding)Yes
Low-Latency Profile APIYes
Streaming Reverse ETLNo
Data Activation FlowSalesforce Data Cloud to destination
Activation DestinationsSalesforce ecosystem (limited support for external destinations)
Source of TruthMultiple: Salesforce & your owned data warehouse
Security & ComplianceData lives outside of your cloud infrastructure (can be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant)
PricingBundled: variable-based pricing (typically the most expensive CDP option)
Proof of Concept (POC)4-6+ months

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Strong integrations with the Salesforce ecosystem (Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, CRM, etc.)
  • Access to Salesforce partner ecosystem & solutions experts
  • Ability to negotiate licenses for free products (Slack, Tableau, etc.)

Cons

  • Very expensive (lots of add-on products required)
  • Limited integration support for external tools & systems
  • Inflexible data data model/schema (cannot support custom objects & entities)
  • Long implementation time & difficult setup process
  • Data is stored outside of your cloud infrastructure

Adobe CDP

Overview

Key InformationProducts
Summary: Adobe CDP is a solution within Adobe Experience Cloud. The platform allows you to create unified customer profiles that you can sync to Adobe-specific marketing tools to power personalization across different marketing channels.Data Connections: A feature to capture behavioral events & collect data from other Adobe products.
Category: Marketing CloudUnified Profiles: An identity resolution algorithm to create unified customer profiles.
GA Date: 2021Data Activation: A no-code audience builder to create audience segments & sync them to Adobe-specific applications.
HQ: San Jose, CAGovernance: A framework to manage user access, security, privacy, & regulatory compliance.
End Users: Data & marketing teams
Notable Customers: Coca-Cola, Dick’s, Petco, Home Depot
Key Differentiator: Integrations with other Adobe products

Company Direction

Adobe, one of the largest software companies in the world, came to popularity through the development of publishing and content technology in the 1990s. After a series of successful products focused on digital marketing, Adobe decided to invest further in enterprise customer experience efforts with Adobe Real-Time CDP–now a core piece of the Adobe Experience Cloud.

Designed for data teams in large IT departments, the platform integrates customer data across Adobe's suite, which is ideal for enterprises deeply embedded in the Adobe ecosystem. The goal of the solution is to create a holistic data management platform that consolidates Adobe's existing products into a more cohesive toolset that streamlines customer experience operations for marketers.

Adobe CDP Architecture Diagram

Adobe CDP Architecture

Core Capabilities

CategoryPlatform Information
Data CollectionClient-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Data StorageAdobe's managed infrastructure
Data RetentionVariable
Data SchemaControlled by Adobe (supports users, accounts, & events)
Audience ManagementNo-code audience builder (integrates with some data warehouses, but limited to 250 syncs per destination)
Journey OrchestrationYes (add-on product)
Identity ResolutionDeterministic IDR managed in Adobe's infrastructure
Identity Graph Compute LocationOwned by Adobe
Reverse ETLNA
Real-Time Audience ComputationYes (limited to clickstream/behavioral data with no time-based lookbacks)
Real-Time Streaming (Event Forwarding)Yes
Low-Latency Profile APIYes
Streaming Reverse ETLNo
Data Activation FlowAdobe CDP to destination
Activation DestinationsAdobe ecosystem (limited support for external destinations)
Source of TruthMultiple: Adobe & your owned data warehouse
Security & ComplianceData lives outside of your cloud infrastructure (can be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant)
PricingBundled pricing: dependent on monthly tracked users (MTUs) & feature add-ons
Proof of Concept (POC)4-6+ months

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Strong integrations with the Adobe ecosystem (Adobe Target, Adobe Analytics, Marketo, etc.)
  • Segmentation builder has some basic AI capabilities
  • Identity resolution supports clean room use cases through a “Co-op graph” for Adobe CDP customers

Cons

  • Very expensive (lots of add-on products required)
  • Limited integration support for external tools & systems
  • Event collection is only accessible through Adobe's closed-source library
  • Long implementation time & difficult setup process
  • Inflexible data data model/schema (cannot support custom objects & entities)

mParticle

Overview

Key InformationProducts
Summary: mParticle is a traditional CDP that specializes in mobile event collection, allowing you to easily capture behavioral events & sync that data to hundreds of destinations without having to manage & maintain custom integrations & APIs.Data Connections: A data collection product that captures behavioral events & forwards them to your marketing destinations.
Category: Traditional CDPData Quality: A framework & suite of tools designed to help you manage your schema structure.
Founding Date: 2012Data-Driven Personalization: A no-code audience builder that lets you orchestrate campaigns & journeys across marketing channels.
HQ: New York, NYIndicative: An audience analytics tool that lets you perform cohort analysis & analyze marketing metrics.
End Users: Data teams & technical marketersCortex: An AI prediction tool that helps you build prediction-based models for your customers.
Notable Customers: Burger King, HBO Max, Venmo, JetBlue, Sofi, SeakGeek
Key Differentiator: Mobile SDKs with a focus on supporting enterprise companies

Company Direction

Founded in 2013 as a direct competitor to marketing clouds and early CDPs, mParticle set out to create a CDP for enterprise brands, particularly those with mobile applications looking to centralize data sources and provide marketing teams with a central store of customer profiles. Coming off acquisitions of analytics provider Indicative and AI startup Vidora, the company is working to implement composable pricing models and warehouse-centric features like Reverse ETL to satisfy the rapid demand for more flexible, warehouse-centric CDP capabilities.

mParticle Architecture Diagram

mParticle Architecture

Core Capabilities

CategoryPlatform Information
Data CollectionClient-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Data StoragemParticle's managed infrastructure
Data Retention1-2 years (unlimited lookback can be purchased)
Data SchemaControlled by mParticle (only supports users & events)
Audience ManagementNo-code audience builder (limited to data stored in mParticle)
Journey OrchestrationYes
Identity ResolutionDeterministic IDR managed in mParticle's infrastructure
Identity Graph Compute LocationOwned by mParticle
Reverse ETLWarehouse data must be ingested into mParticle first
Real-Time Audience ComputationYes (limited to clickstream/behavioral data with no time-based lookbacks)
Real-Time Streaming (Event Forwarding)Yes
Low-Latency Profile APIYes
Streaming Reverse ETLNo
Data Activation FlowmParticle to destination
Activation Destinations200+
Source of TruthMultiple: mParticle & your owned data warehouse
Security & ComplianceData lives outside of your cloud infrastructure (can be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant)
PricingBundled (variable-based pricing)
Proof of Concept (POC)1-3 months

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Good with mobile apps
  • Marketer friendly UI
  • Acquisitions & new product offerings (Vidora for AI modeling & Indicative for audience analytics)

Cons

  • Inflexible data data model/schema (cannot support custom objects & entities)
  • Identity graph is owned by mParticle
  • Long implementation & difficult setup process
  • Data is stored outside of your cloud infrastructure

Segment

Overview

Key InformationProducts
Summary: Segment is a traditional CDP that specializes in event collection & Data Activation. The platform collects data from websites, mobile apps, servers, & cloud applications & pushes that data to downstream destinations.Connections: A framework for collecting data from mobile apps, websites, servers, & SaaS applications.
Category: Traditional CDPProtocols: A governance feature for how your data is stored & collected.
Founding Date: 2012Unify: An identity resolution product to help you link known & anonymous users to a single profile.
HQ: San Francisco, CATwilio Engage: A suite of no-code marketing features to help you build audiences & orchestrate campaigns/journeys across channels.
End Users: Data teams & technical marketers
Notable Customers: Fox, CrossFit, Sanofi, The Motley Fool, Trust Pilot, CraftJack, Crypto.com, TravelPerk
Key Differentiator: Event collection

Company Direction

Segment emerged as an early innovator in the CDP space by focusing on data collection, governance, and event routing. These core capabilities quickly made it a favorite among data teams. Over time, new features like identity resolution and audience management were added to appeal to marketing teams as well. The acquisition by Twilio in 2020 kicked off a new focus on adding journey orchestration and enhanced communication capabilities.

In recent years, Segment has faced challenges in maintaining its performance standards, prompting discussions about a potential divesture from Twilio. In response to emerging demands for more adaptable data architectures, Segment is actively developing MVP warehouse-connectivity features. This effort is part of a strategic pivot intended to modernize product offerings, combat composable alternatives, and refine the company’s overall market approach amidst evolving industry expectations.

Segment Architecture Diagram

Segment Architecture

Core Capabilities

CategoryPlatform Information
Data CollectionClient-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Data StorageSegment's managed infrastructure (less mature data warehouse option available)
Data Retention1-3 years
Data SchemaControlled by Segment (supports users, events & limited support of linked entities)
Audience ManagementNo-code audience builder (supports some backward compatibility with data warehouses)
Journey OrchestrationYes
Identity ResolutionDeterministic IDR managed in Segment's infrastructure
Identity Graph Compute LocationOwned by Segment
Reverse ETLBasic add-on feature, with limited features & destinations (not a core sync engine)
Real-Time Audience ComputationYes (limited to clickstream/behavioral data with no time-based lookbacks)
Real-Time Streaming (Event Forwarding)Yes
Low-Latency Profile APIYes
Streaming Reverse ETLNo
Data Activation FlowSegment to destination
Activation Destinations400+
Source of TruthMultiple: Segment & your owned data warehouse
Security & ComplianceData lives outside of your cloud infrastructure (can be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant)
PricingBundled pricing: dependent on monthly tracked users (MTUs) & feature add-ons
Proof of Concept (POC)1-3 months

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Mature event collection infrastructure
  • Strong product documentation
  • Easy to scale & add additional event streaming destinations

Cons

  • Inflexible data data model/schema (cannot support custom objects & entities)
  • Identity graph is owned by Segment
  • Long implementation & difficult setup process
  • Data is stored outside of your cloud infrastructure

Amperity

Overview

Key InformationProducts
Summary: Amperity is a traditional CDP that specializes in identity resolution for B2C retailers. The platform helps you merge & deduplicate known & anonymous user profiles using patented technology so you can better understand your customers & create unified customer profiles for your marketing use cases.AmpID: A number of proprietary identity resolution algorithms to stitch user events into a comprehensive identity graph.
Category: Traditional CDPAmp360: A customer 360 framework to help you model & transform your data.
Founding Date: 2016AmpIQ: An activation feature that lets you sync audiences to your operational tools.
End Users: Data teamsDataGrid: The underlying infrastructure that powers data collection, processing, storage, & activation in the platform.
Key Differentiator: Identity resolution
HQ: Seattle, WA
Notable Customers: Wyndham, Brooks, Alaska Airlines, Stanley, Servco

Company Direction

Amperity has gained traction in the CDP space as one of the most advanced identity resolution providers on the market today. The company has amassed a number of patents on various identity resolution algorithms.

Historically, Amperity has always operated as a platform designed for data teams due to limited activation capabilities. However, Amperity is now beginning to build out more holistic marketing features for non-technical users to help marketers power personalization use cases across channels.

Amperity Architecture Diagram

Amperity Architecture

Core Capabilities

CategoryPlatform Information
Data CollectionClient-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Data StorageAmperity's managed infrastructure
Data RetentionVariable
Data SchemaControlled by Amperity (opinionated data models centered around user profiles)
Audience ManagementNo-code audience builder (limited to data stored in Amperity)
Journey OrchestrationYes
Identity ResolutionSupports both probabilistic & ML algorithms in Amperity's managed infrastructure
Identity Graph Compute LocationOwned by Amperity
Reverse ETLNA
Real-Time Audience ComputationYes (limited to clickstream/behavioral data with no time-based lookbacks)
Real-Time Streaming (Event Forwarding)Yes
Low-Latency Profile APIYes
Streaming Reverse ETLNo
Data Activation FlowAmperity to destination
Activation Destinations70+
Source of TruthMultiple: Amperity & your owned data warehouse
Security & ComplianceData lives outside of your cloud infrastructure (can be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant)
PricingBundled pricing: dependent on monthly tracked users (MTUs) & feature add-ons
Proof of Concept (POC)4-6+ months

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Strong identity resolution offerings
  • Non-supported cloud sources can be ingested into Amperity via Fivetran ETL pipelines
  • Implementation support via solution architects

Cons

  • Not marketer-friendly
  • Long implementation time & difficult setup process
  • Pricing is based on MTUs
  • Limited number of activation destinations

Treasure Data

Overview

Key InformationProducts
Summary: Treasure Data is a traditional CDP built for data teams & enterprise companies that helps you collect & transform your data so you can build custom audience segments to power personalization.Data Collection: A suite of pre-built connectors & integrations to collect both traditional data & behavioral data.
Category: Traditional CDPProfile Unification: A set of transformation capabilities you can use to perform identity resolution & merge profiles together.
Founding Date: 2011Audience Segmentation: A no-code audience builder to create cohorts of users using the data available in the platform.
HQ: Mountain View, CAExperimentation & Analytics: An analytics portal that displays metrics about your segments so you can measure performance across campaigns.
End Users: Data teamsActivation: A data syncing engine that lets you push audience cohorts to other operational systems.
Notable Customers: Subaru, Lion Corp., Credit Saison, Shiseido
Key Differentiator: Can operate as a data warehouse or a CDP

Company Direction

Treasure Data didn’t actually start out as a CDP; it was originally created as a big data platform for enterprise companies. The company pivoted into the CDP space after realizing that most of the use cases the platform was powering were actually marketing-related. Since then, the company has been focused on building out marketing features to create a complete CDP offering for marketers.

While the platform's architecture was initially developed to meet the complex needs of data teams, it has been adapted to support marketing functions. However, this adaptation means that the interface and user experience may not be as intuitive for non-technical users, a factor the company continues to address as it evolves.

Treasure Data Architecture Diagram

Treasure Data Architecture

Core Capabilities

CategoryPlatform Information
Data CollectionClient-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Data StorageTreasure Data's managed infrastructure
Data RetentionVariable
Data SchemaMore flexible than most traditional CDPs, more difficult to set up than Composable CDPs
Audience ManagementLimited audience-building capabilities for non-technical users
Journey OrchestrationYes
Identity ResolutionDeterministic IDR managed in Treasure Data's infrastructure
Identity Graph Compute LocationOwned by Treasure Data
Reverse ETLNA
Real-Time Audience ComputationYes (limited to clickstream/behavioral data with no time-based lookbacks)
Real-Time Streaming (Event Forwarding)Yes
Low-Latency Profile APIYes
Streaming Reverse ETLNo
Data Activation FlowTreasure Data to destination
Activation Destinations170+
Source of TruthMultiple: Treasure Data & your owned data warehouse
Security & ComplianceData lives outside of your cloud infrastructure (can be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant)
PricingBundled pricing: dependent on monthly tracked users (MTUs) & feature add-ons
Proof of Concept (POC)4-6+ months

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Strong support for Japanese-specific brands/companies
  • Data engineering & analytics functionality
  • AI/ML capabilities

Cons

  • Not marketer-friendly (built for data teams)
  • Architecture is built on legacy technology (Presto & Hive)
  • Requires substantial data engineering resources to implement & maintain
  • Identity graph is owned by Treasure Data

ActionIQ

Overview

Key InformationProducts
Summary: ActionIQ is a hybrid CDP that aims to help you unify & manage your customer data in one central platform & then activate it across your various marketing channels. The platform offers a number of features, including data collection, audience segmentation, identity resolution, & even some real-time capabilities.Customer Data Platform: A centralized platform where you can collect & store behavioral data.
Category: Hybrid CDPIdentity: An identity resolution service to resolve customer profiles.
Founding Date: 2014Audience Center: A no-code audience builder to segment customers using attributes & user events.
HQ: New York, NYJourney Management: An orchestration tool to coordinate multi-step touchpoints with your customers.
End Users: Data teams & technical marketersReal-Time CX: A suite of real-time capabilities to help you coordinate triggers & pull data using a low-latency API.
Notable Customers: Albertsons, Autodesk, Pandora, Washington Post
Key Differentiator: Supports managed-deployment or warehouse-native deployment

Company Direction

ActionIQ started out as a traditional CDP offering, similar to Segment and mParticle. However, due to the customer demand for more “warehouse-native” and “composable” solutions, ActionIQ has been trying to re-architect the platform to better integrate with data warehouses. Currently, the company positions itself as offering a hybrid model, enabling clients to store data either within ActionIQ-managed infrastructure or in their own data warehouses.

ActionIQ Architecture Diagram

ActionIQ Architecture

Core Capabilities

CategoryPlatform Information
Data CollectionClient-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Data StorageActionIQ's managed infrastructure (less mature data warehouse option available)
Data RetentionVariable
Data SchemaFlexible but must involve an ActionIQ engineer to edit a schema
Audience ManagementNo-code audience builder (offers some functionality to leverage data in your data warehouse)
Journey OrchestrationYes
Identity ResolutionDeterministic IDR managed in ActionIQ's infrastructure
Identity Graph Compute LocationOwned by ActionIQ
Reverse ETLBasic features supported - limited functionality for data teams (not a core sync engine)
Real-Time Audience ComputationYes (limited to clickstream/behavioral data with no time-based lookbacks)
Real-Time Streaming (Event Forwarding)Yes
Low-Latency Profile APIYes
Streaming Reverse ETLNo
Data Activation FlowActionIQ to destination or data warehouse to destination
Activation Destinations200+
Source of TruthMultiple: ActionIQ & your owned data warehouse
Security & ComplianceData can live in your infrastructure or ActionIQ managed infrastructure (can be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant)
PricingBundled (variable-based pricing)
Proof of Concept (POC)4-6+ months

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Integrates with some data warehouses
  • Audience builder is easy & intuitive to use
  • More flexible than traditional CDPs

Cons

  • Setting up new integrations requires you to submit support tickets
  • Migrating to hybrid or warehouse-only architectures requires significant engineering effort
  • Identity graph is owned by ActionIQ
  • Documentation is only available to paying customers

RudderStack

Overview

Key InformationProducts
Summary: RudderStack is a customer data infrastructure solution designed to help your data teams collect events, manage ETL pipelines, & build audience cohorts. The platform acts as a customer data pipelining tool to help you move data between systems.Event Stream: An open-source event tracking solution that lets you capture behavioral events & route them to your downstream tools.
Category: Infrastructure CDPCloud Extract (ETL): A data integration tool that helps you move data from your SaaS applications to your warehouse.
Founding Date: 2019Identity Stitching: An identity resolution feature that enables you to merge & combine identifiers across digital touchpoints to deduplicate profiles.
HQ: San Francisco, CAReverse ETL: A sync engine to help you move data out of your warehouse to your operational tools.
End Users: Data teamsAudiences: A no-code audience builder to create segments from your warehouse.
Notable Customers: Manscaped, StatPearls, Wyze, Joybyrd, InfluxData, Grafana
Key Differentiator: Open-source event collection

Company Direction

RudderStack was originally founded as an open-source alternative to Segment that data teams could easily implement to capture behavioral data. The company is focused on helping data teams build and maintain customer data infrastructure (CDI) rather than supporting the marketer-friendly features that one would typically expect within a CDP.

RudderStack Architecture Diagram

RudderStack Architecture

Core Capabilities

CategoryPlatform Information
Data CollectionClient-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Data StorageYour existing data infrastructure (data warehouse, data lake, or database)
Data RetentionUnlimited lookback & history
Data SchemaControlled by you (supports any custom entity or object)
Audience ManagementLimited audience-building capabilities for non-technical users
Journey OrchestrationYes
Identity ResolutionWarehouse-native, code-based, deterministic IDR
Identity Graph Compute LocationLives in your warehouse
Reverse ETLAvailable with limited capabilities (visual mapping is not available for all destinations)
Real-Time Audience ComputationDependent upon data landing in the warehouse
Real-Time Streaming (Event Forwarding)Yes
Low-Latency Profile APIYes
Streaming Reverse ETL
Data Activation FlowData warehouse to destination
Activation Destinations200+
Source of TruthSingle: Your owned data warehouse
Security & ComplianceCan be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant
PricingDependent on event volume & add-on features
Proof of Concept (POC)Variable

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Open-source SDKs
  • Can leverage your existing data platform for underlying storage
  • Supports ETL pipelines to ingest data in addition to event collection

Cons

  • Not marketer-friendly (built for data teams)
  • Audience builder is difficult to use
  • Identity resolution mapping/merging logic is inflexible & purely deterministic
  • Reverse ETL is limited & underdeveloped

Simon Data

Overview

Key InformationProducts
Summary: Simon Data is a fully managed CDP solution that runs on top of Snowflake. The platform provides all of the typical capabilities of a CDP & focuses on helping marketers build audiences, orchestrate campaigns, & sync data directly to downstream operational tools.Simon Signal: An event tracking framework that helps you collect, process, & ingest events into the Simon Data.
Category: Composable CDPIdentity: An identity resolution algorithm that helps you resolve customer identities.
Founding Date: 2014Segments: A no-code audience builder to create segments using attributes or user-completed events.
HQ: New York, NYFlows: An activation engine that lets you sync audiences to destinations or send messages to specific audiences.
End Users: Data teams & technical marketersSimon Mail: An email service platform (ESP).
Notable Customers: RCI, Vimeo, Catch Co., The Farmer’s Dog, ASOSJourneys: An orchestration tool to manage flows & coordinate cross-channel engagement.
Key Differentiator: Integrates with Snowflake

Company Direction

Founded in 2013, Simon Data initially emerged as a messaging platform aimed at enhancing data accessibility for marketing teams. Over the years, the company has transitioned into positioning itself as a CDP while maintaining a strong emphasis on messaging and engagement capabilities. Recently embracing Snowflake for both positioning and architecture, Simon Data has committed to leveraging the Data Cloud to facilitate better access and use of data across organizations.

Simon Data Architecture Diagram

Simon Data Architecture

Core Capabilities

CategoryPlatform Information
Data CollectionClient-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Data StorageSimon Data's managed Snowflake instance or your existing owned Snowflake instance
Data Retention2 years for Simon's managed Snowflake Instance (unlimited lookback & history available when using your existing Snowflake instance)
Data SchemaSupports custom objects, but you must rebuild your data warehouse models to fit in Simon Data
Audience ManagementNo-code audience builder (can reference data from Snowflake)
Journey OrchestrationYes
Identity ResolutionDeterministic IDR managed in Simon Data's infrastructure
Identity Graph Compute LocationOwned by Simon Data
Reverse ETLLimited to Snowflake as a source
Real-Time Audience ComputationYes (limited to clickstream/behavioral data with no time-based lookbacks)
Real-Time Streaming (Event Forwarding)Yes
Low-Latency Profile APIYes
Streaming Reverse ETLNo
Data Activation FlowSnowflake to destination
Activation Destinations45+
Source of TruthSnowflake Data Cloud
Security & ComplianceData lives in your Snowflake instance or a Snowflake instance managed by Simon Data (can be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant)
PricingBundled (variable-based pricing)
Proof of Concept (POC)4-6 months

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • Non-supported cloud sources can be ingested into Simon Data via Stitch ETL pipelines
  • Built-in email service provider (ESP) via Simon Mail
  • Some AI capabilities to build predictive data science models

Cons

  • Only integrates with Snowflake
  • Limited number of activation destinations
  • Some aspects of IDR are outsourced via FullContact

2024 CDP Landscape Guide

Evaluating CDPs? Download our 2024 CDP Landscape Guide to learn how the top ten enterprise CDPs compare across the following:

  • Products & Features
  • Core Capabilities
  • CDP Type
  • Key Differentiator
  • Company Direction
Preview of 2024 CDP Landscape Guide.
Preview of 2024 CDP Landscape Guide.

Platform Comparison Matrix

PlatformProsCons
Hightouch
  • Most powerful point & click audience builder (supports any offline & online customer data)
  • Warehouse-native campaign analytics to experiment, measure & analyze audiences
  • Publicly available customer support metrics (99% CSAT Score)
  • Newer vendor in the CDP market
  • Must have actionable data available in a data platform
Salesforce CDP
  • Strong integrations with the Salesforce ecosystem (Marketing Cloud, Service Cloud, CRM, etc.)
  • Access to Salesforce partner ecosystem & solutions experts
  • Ability to negotiate licenses for free products (Slack, Tableau, etc.)
  • Very expensive (lots of add-on products required)
  • Limited integration support for external tools & systems
  • Inflexible data data model/schema (cannot support custom objects & entities)
  • Long implementation time & difficult setup process
  • Data is stored outside of your cloud infrastructure
Adobe CDP
  • Strong integrations with the Adobe ecosystem (Adobe Target, Adobe Analytics, Marketo, etc.)
  • Segmentation builder has some basic AI capabilities
  • Identity resolution supports clean room use cases through a “Co-op graph” for Adobe CDP customers
  • Very expensive (lots of add-on products required)
  • Limited integration support for external tools & systems
  • Event collection is only accessible through Adobe's closed-source library
  • Long implementation & difficult setup process
  • Inflexible data data model/schema (cannot support custom objects & entities)
mParticle
  • Good with mobile apps
  • Marketer friendly UI
  • Acquisitions & new product offerings (Vidora for AI modeling & Indicative for audience analytics)
  • Inflexible data data model/schema (cannot support custom objects & entities)
  • Identity graph is owned by mParticle
  • Long implementation & difficult setup process
  • Data is stored outside of your cloud infrastructure
Segment
  • Mature event collection infrastructure
  • Strong product documentation
  • Easy to scale & add additional event streaming destinations
  • Inflexible data data model/schema (cannot support custom objects & entities)
  • Identity graph is owned by Segment
  • Long implementation & difficult setup process
  • Data is stored outside of your cloud infrastructure
Amperity
  • Strong identity resolution offerings
  • Non-supported cloud sources can be ingested into Amperity via Fivetran ETL pipelines
  • Implementation support via solution architects
  • Not marketer-friendly
  • Long implementation & difficult setup process
  • Pricing is based on MTUs
  • Limited number of activation destinations
Treasure Data
  • Strong support for Japanese-specific brands/companies
  • Data engineering & analytics functionality
  • AI/ML capabilities
  • Not marketer-friendly (built for data teams)
  • Architecture is built on legacy technology (Presto & Hive)
  • Requires substantial data engineering resources to implement & maintain
  • Identity graph is owned by Treasure Data
ActionIQ
  • Integrates with some data warehouses
  • Audience builder is easy & intuitive to use
  • More flexible than traditional CDPs
  • Setting up new integrations requires you to submit support tickets
  • Migrating to hybrid or warehouse-only architectures requires significant engineering effort
  • Identity graph is owned by ActionIQ
  • Documentation is only available to paying customers
RudderStack
  • Open-source SDKs
  • Can leverage your existing data platform for underlying storage
  • Supports ETL pipelines to ingest data in addition to event collection
  • Not marketer-friendly (built for data teams)
  • Audience builder is difficult to use
  • Identity resolution mapping/merging logic is inflexible & purely deterministic
  • Reverse ETL is limited & underdeveloped
Simon Data
  • Non-supported cloud sources can be ingested into Simon Data via Stitch ETL pipelines
  • Built-in email service provider (ESP) via Simon Mail
  • Some AI capabilities to build predictive data science models
  • Only integrates with Snowflake
  • Limited number of activation destinations
  • Some aspects of IDR are outsourced via FullContact

Closing Thoughts

Your decsion to purchase a CDP should never come down to a single vendor's analysis, but hopefully this guide serves as a practicle starting point wich can enable you to choose a CDP that best meets the unique needs of your business.

At Hightouch, our team is comprised of former CDP users and buyers, so we have firsthand experience dealing with the complexities of researching and purchasing CDPs. If you're evaluating CDPs book a demo with one of our solution engineers to learn how you can use Hightouch to leverage data faster, drive personalization, and unlock performance across your marketing channels.

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Recognized as an industry leader
by industry leaders

G2

Reverse ETL Category Leader

Snowflake

Marketplace Partner of the Year

Gartner

Cool Vendor in Marketing Data & Analytics

Fivetran

Ecosystem Partner of the Year

G2

Best Estimated ROI

Snowflake

One to Watch for Activation & Measurement

G2

CDP Category Leader

G2

Easiest Setup & Fastest Implementation

Activate your data in less than 5 minutes