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Compare Adobe CDP and Rudderstack

Adobe CDP is marketing platform that helps you create unified profiles. Rudderstack is an open source customer data infrastructure tool. Get a deep-dive on each tool below.

Adobe CDP
Rudderstack

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Spotify.
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NBA.
PetSmart.
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Weight Watchers.
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Calendly.
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Grammarly.

Adobe CDP and RudderStack both are platforms that allow you to sync data to downstream marketing destinations like CRM tools, email tools, and advertising platforms. Both platforms have the functionality to collect events via an SDK, and functionality to resolve identities.

However, there are plenty of differences across feature sets, functionality, usability, and more. Below we take a deep-dive into both platforms to highlight the differences.

Compare Adobe CDP and RudderStack

FunctionalityAdobe CDPRudderstack
Data Collection
Client-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Client-side, server-side, & other 3rd-party sources
Data Storage
Adobe's managed infrastructure
Your existing data infrastructure (data warehouse, data lake, or database)
Data Retention
Variable
Unlimited lookback & history
Data Schema
Controlled by Adobe (supports users, accounts, & events)
Controlled by you (supports any custom entity or object)
Audience Management
No-code audience builder (integrates with some data warehouses, but limited 250 syncs per destination)
Limited audience-building capabilities for non-technical users
Journey Orchestration
Yes (add-on product)
Yes
Identity Resolution
Deterministic IDR managed in Adobe's infrastructure
Warehouse-native, code-based, deterministic IDR
Identity Graph Storage Location
Owned by Adobe
Lives in your warehouse
Reverse ETL
NA
Available with limited capabilities (visual mapping is not available for all destinations)
Real-Time Audience Computation
Yes (limited to clickstream/behavioral data with no time-based lookbacks)
Dependent upon data landing in the warehouse
Real-Time Streaming (Event Forwarding)
Yes
Yes
Low-Latency Profile API
Yes
Yes
Streaming Reverse ETL
No
Yes
Data Activation Flow
Adobe CDP to destination
Data warehouse to destination
Activation Destinations
Adobe ecosystem (limited support for external destinations)
200+
Source of Truth
Multiple: Adobe & your owned data warehouse
Single: Your owned data warehouse
Security & Compliance
Data lives outside of your cloud infrastructure (can be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant)
Can be configured to be GDPR, CCPA, & HIPAA compliant
Pricing
Bundled pricing: dependent on monthly tracked users (MTUs) & feature add-ons
Dependent on event volume & add-on features
Proof of Concept (POC)
4-6+ months
Variable

Pros and Cons of Adobe CDP

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)

Pros and Cons of RudderStack

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

Should I Buy Adobe CDP or RudderStack?

Before you purchase a customer data platform, there are a few important factors to consider:

  1. Time-to-value: You need to show ROI quickly to your internal stakeholders to validate that the platform can provide business value. Many customer data platforms can take upwards of 6-12 months to implement and get started.

  2. Usability: Tools like Segment and ActionIQ can come with steep learning curves that make them difficult to use, especially for non-technical marketing teams. It doesn't matter how good the technology is if your marketing team doesn't use it.

  3. Functionality: Before you purchase any tool you need to ensure that it has functionality to solve your business-specific use cases, and that means supporting your proprietary data. Your main goal should be to purchase a solution that actually solves the problem you're facing.

  4. Flexibility: Not every company is the same. Make sure the tool you're purchasing can dynamically adapt and conform to your data. Otherwise, you'll end with a failed implementation and an upset marketing team.

What's the Best Alternative to Adobe CDP and RudderStack?

Hightouch is a Composable Customer Data Platform that is the perfect alternative to both Segment and ActionIQ because the platform offers the following:

Fast Implementation: Hightouch enables you to start activating your data immediately. The average customer is powering live use cases within weeks and sometimes days.

Ease-of-Use: Hightouch was specifically built for non-technical users. The platform has an easy-to-use audience builder, built-in analytics, and experimentation and measurement capabilities your marketers can drive value and optimize performance without getting blocked by your data team.

Completeness: Hightouch offers a complete suite of capabilities to collect data, resolve identities, build audiences, sync data to any destination, and increase match rates. You won't end up with a bloated tech stack because you can select the functionalities you need for your specific use cases.

Flexibility: The Composable CDP approach that Hightouch provides allows you to have the most flexible data activation solution. Unlike traditional CDPs, Hightouch lets you access any data in your organization and use any schema structure imaginable to power your most complicated marketing use cases.

Our team of experts at Hightouch is comprised of former CDP experts, so if you have any questions about CDPs, schedule some time with a Hightouch expert so we can point you in the right direction.

200%
increase in engagement

"We’re syncing millions of records every single day to orchestrate personalized journeys for the 65+ million members in our loyalty program."

PetSmart.
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1 day
migration

"The beauty of Hightouch events is that the SDK is built in such a way that you can rip and replace Segment or any other event collection tool in minutes."

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Hightouch Audiences user interface.

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

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One to Watch for Activation & Measurement

G2

CDP Category Leader

G2

Easiest Setup & Fastest Implementation

Composable CDPs are more secure

Hightouch doesn’t store your data. Instead we simply read from your data warehouse where it stays safe and sound.

Sync data to 200+ tools

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PostHog
Facebook Custom Audiences
PostgreSQL
Slack
Redis
Retention Science
Adobe Target
Stripe
MongoDB
Salesforce Pardot (Sandbox)
HubSpot
Mailchimp
MariaDB
NCR Advanced Marketing Solution
Salesforce (Sandbox)
Amazon Ads DSP and AMC
Zoho CRM
Gladly

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