It’s only the second month of the new year and the customer data platform (CDP) market is picking up right where it left off in 2019—continuing to grow by adding new entrants in the market.
During the first half of 2019 alone, according to the CDP Institute, 19 new vendors entered the CDP market. Last year also saw numerous mergers and acquisitions take place in the CDP market, including Acquia acquiring AgilOne, Kabbage acquiring Radius Intelligence (now Radius Unify), and Dun & Bradstreet acquiring Lattice Engines.
Recently, Salesforce announced it acquired CDP platform and real-time personalization platform Evergage. While Evergage is a CDP, it’s likely that Salesforce acquired the company for its cross-channel personalization and machine learning capabilities as Salesforce announced its own CDP offering, Customer 360 Audiences, in March of last year. This announcement came after Salesforce’s Dreamforce conference in 2018, where the vendor introduced the Customer 360 platform, which includes the following functionality:
- An admin interface that connects and manages customer data across Salesforce apps
- Customer 360 ID, which gives customers one ID that will have up-to-date contextually relevant profiles across apps and experiences
- Packages for Customer 360 focused on service, marketing, and commerce to scale cross-channel customer experiences
Fast forward to November 2019, when Salesforce introduced Customer 360 Truth, a set of data and identity services that enables companies to build a single source of truth across all customer relationships. Customer 360 Truth connects data across sales, service, marketing, commerce, and more to create a single Salesforce ID for each customer. Customer 360 Truth includes Customer 360 Data Manager, Customer 360 Audiences, Identity for Customers, and privacy and data governance (which address obligations from data privacy regulation like the GDPR and CCPA).
This recent acquisition isn’t the first for Salesforce that overlaps product functionality for different use cases. In August 2019, Salesforce acquired ClickSoftware to enhance capabilities in the field service space with its Field Service Lightning product (launched in 2016). According to Bill Patterson, EVP and GM of Salesforce Service Cloud, the acquisition of ClickSoftware “will not only accelerate the growth of Service Cloud, but drive further innovation with Field Service Lightning to better meet the needs of our customers.”
Another example of this occurred during the same month when Salesforce acquired Tableau. Analytics platform Tableau is complementary to other Salesforce Einstein Analytics products. According to Keith Block, co-CEO of Salesforce, “Tableau will make Salesforce Customer 360 stronger than ever, and together with Einstein, will enable Salesforce to offer a complete AI-powered analytics platform for everyone.”
So why has Salesforce acquired Evergage?
While Evergage is a CDP platform, it also provides cross-channel, real-time personalization and machine learning capabilities. Evergage’s machine learning algorithms provide 1:1 personalization experiences, including product and content recommendations. While Salesforce has launched its own CDP (currently in pilot), for true personalization a CDP needs AI and machine learning capabilities. Evergage’s AI-driven recommendations helps companies more accurately predict what is most likely to engage individuals at a 1:1 level.
According to G2 reviewers, the average score (as of publication) for Evergage’s website personalization feature, which personalizes web experiences and presented content based on customer metrics, is 6.32 out of 7.
One G2 reviewer claimed:
Evergage’s personalization capabilities will complement Salesforce’s Marketing Cloud and Salesforce’s CDP, Customer 360 Audiences.