According to a survey by Research and Markets in 2021, the CDP sector will attain a 29 percent compound annual growth rate by 2023, increasing its market size to up to $3 billion. All you need to do before diving into this enormous field of chances is define your goals and select the best CDP software to serve your business use case.

Typically referred to as a CDP, a Customer Data Platform is a system operated by marketers developed to gather customer data from all sources, standardize it, and create distinct, unified profiles of each individual customer.

Customers today have high expectations from enterprises. They demand and expect excellent customized service, therefore you must constantly look for opportunities to improve your customer service and continue to offer the same if you want to retain your biz. For today’s clients, four things are essential: a consistent customer experience across channels, relevant suggestions, and personalized messages.

This is why having accurate, readily available, and meaningful consumer data is so important. And it is now made feasible by a competent CDP. Just get the proper information, that’s all. 

Let’s dig deeper into the details of CDP and check out some top free CDP tools that are trending in the market.

What is a CDP?

CDP: Free CDP | Hevo Data
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Customer Data Platform (CDP) is primarily a type of database software that builds permanent, unified records of each of your clients, their characteristics, and their information. A good free CDP should simplify integrating with your current data and accessing the data it keeps.

A CDP creates a detailed representation of each of your consumers. It gathers first-party consumer information (transactional, behavioral, and demographic) from several sources and systems and connects that data to the original customer.

This generates a 360-degree customer profile, often known as a single customer view, that may be utilized by integrated marketing automation solutions or third-party technologies to carry out marketing activities and evaluate their effectiveness.

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Characteristics of a Free CDP:

  • Ready-to-Use Solution: All client information is orderly structured and readily available. Compared to a conventional data warehouse, the CDP does not require a high level of technical expertise, but some technical resources are needed to put it up and manage it.
  • Individual Customer View: Individual data profiles for each user facilitate visualization of the data gathered and managed using a free CDP. The fact that all client information is kept in one single area allows for the creation of this 360-degree point of view for customers.
  • Unification of Customer Data: Various online and offline sources of inconsistent data are merged to form a consolidated, single consumer view.
  • Third-Party Data Access: Third-party adtech and campaign delivery platforms can utilize the data from a CDP instantaneously.

6 Things to Consider When Choosing the Best CDP

Let’s get into the pointers to consider.

Putting Together a Working Team

First, determine who exactly are your stakeholders. Because a CDP collects data from across the enterprise and collaborates with the teams currently gathering consumer data, make sure your sales and marketing departments are represented as stakeholders. 

Of course, you’ll be collaborating with your internal IT team in some manner, and your customer service teams will most likely have some information you’ll need as well. Remember that many of these groups, such as your call center, will benefit from a CDP, therefore it’s critical to explain the CDP’s value throughout your business.

Identifying Your Requirements

What are your main application scenarios? What exactly do you want a CDP to do for you? 

Speak with your stakeholders to ensure that you are meeting their as well as your own requirements. 

Delivering value across the company will make compliance much easier to achieve. It’s usually a good idea to start with basic use cases, perhaps two or three, so you don’t become overwhelmed by attempting to boil the ocean. Are you primarily interested in personalizing the digital consumer experience in order to increase loyalty? Or is data privacy your primary concern?

Deriving Objectives

Your use cases will point you in the direction of the capabilities and functionality you require in a CDP to accomplish your goals and objectives. Within this step, you should determine your requirement priority to guarantee that you can address your core use cases without substantial revisions. 

Make sure to involve your stakeholders in order to obtain their unique demands. When working on any cross-organizational project, such as infrastructural software installation, it is helpful to ensure that all relevant groups feel heard throughout the process.

What Is the Identity of the Vendor?

Your CDP use cases and needs can help you map out the providers you should be looking at. It’s crucial to understand that not all CDPs or CDP providers are native, which means they aren’t designed specifically for use as a central data management platform. 

When considering your data requirements, keep in mind that some CDPs are purpose-built for corporate use cases and worldwide omnichannel campaigns, whilst others have emerged from tag management solutions or portals that have more restricted capability. A CDP should be created from the ground up to enable maximum future-proofing and evolution with your tech stack.

Assigning Roles, Abilities, and Processes

You don’t have to wait until your CDP installation is finished to identify the relevant people, skills, and procedures and guarantee that your CDP can be used for ROI. To begin, digital marketing and marketing technology specialists will be required to run the CDP and use its findings to optimize campaigns. 

The jobs of data scientist and data analyst are then required to assess, integrate, and manage data. Finally, IT specialists will not only assist with initial setup and integrations but also provide continuous assistance for subsequent integrations and campaign customization.

Considering ROI

The final factor to analyze is the ROI of the CDPs under consideration. ROI does not imply that you should go with the lowest-priced alternative. It’s more about which solution offers the best value. 

One of the most compelling reasons to utilize a CDP is the expense. A good free CDP should minimize the amount of time your engineers spend establishing tool integrations, which can result in significant cost savings and better business efficacy.

How to Implement a Free CDP?

An adequate CDP deployment assists a brand in being more customer-centric and data-driven. A strong implementation allows you to better understand your clients and improve their experience, resulting in higher revenue and cost benefits.

Here are the three key phases involved in implementing free CDP software for your marketing teams:

Phase 1: Planning

Before any technical work starts, all prerequisite tasks for integrating a CDP must be completed. The essential aspects in this stage include:

  • Defining the project’s scope by describing the use cases, business objectives, and methodical integration and execution.
  • Creating a tracking document by describing the customer characteristics, consents, and specific events that need to be recorded.

Phase 2: Integration (CDP Integration)

This phase mainly comprises four critical steps.

  • CDP Initialization: This step involves establishing a connection between the CDP and your online and offline data sources so that you can recognize your consumers and examine their behavior. 
  • Customer IDs & Characteristics Tracking: After starting the CDP, set up customer IDs and attributes tracking for the data you’ve chosen to gather. This information may be used to categorize your audience, start campaigns, deliver tailored messages, and more.
  • Events Tracking: Track transactions, clicks, returns, browsing habits, and more to follow and get insight into consumer behavior. To create thorough profiles of each consumer, link this to their exclusive identification number.
  • Consolidation: Connect all of your current data, including customer information, event information, and product catalogs, to your new platform. This involves:
    • Importing customer feeds and permissions from third-party tools
    • Importing product feed

Phase 3: Execution

Your CDP has been fully initialized; customer identification and event tracking have been set up, and all your platforms and tools have been integrated. Your platform may now be used to drive smart analytics and marketing automation.

Top 8 Free CDP Software

You can find a variety of free CDP software in the market to help you break down data silos and aggregate customer data from offline and online sources. Here are the 8 best-known and free CDP software to build unified customer profiles, craft personalized experiences and save time and money with automation.

Segment 

Segment Logo: Free CDP | Hevo Data
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Segment is a free CDP software to utilize consumer data at numerous touchpoints and enhance the overall customer experience. It offers omnichannel data collection to capture complete customer data and create 360-degree customer profiles.

Using Segment, businesses can grant product development teams access to customer data to better understand the demands of their consumers and personalize their journeys and product experiences accordingly. 

Positives:

  • Easy implementation with straightforward libraries and documentation
  • A wide array of data sources, including web, mobile, server, CRM, help desk, and payments, to analyze the complete customer journey
  • Quick integration capabilities for businesses with their current CRM software
  • Real-time data processing in data integration

Negatives:

  • The onboarding procedure is ambiguous
  • Price increases rapidly for a large number of events
  • Lack of complete control over data

Segment receives a high user rating of 4.6 out of 5.

Lytics

Lytics Logo: Free CDP | Hevo Data
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With Lytics, a free CDP tool, you can design advertising strategies that are both pertinent and unique. Additionally, teams may simplify the campaign over several systems with the use of machine learning and data analytics. Many organizations’ business practices have been greatly benefited by Lytics’ ability to pinpoint and target individual users within a segment.

It offers integration with more than 80 downstream technologies. Thus, it improves marketing’s technological foundation.

Positives:

  • It’s easy to segment your audience
  • Likewise, a superior approach for behavioral scoring
  • Fantastic at targeting

Negatives:

  • There are few choices for customization
  • Linking with other apps is also challenging

Lytics receives a user rating of 3.9 out of 5.  

Hull

Hull Logo: Free CDP | Hevo Data
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Hull, a free CDP, breaks down the data silos. In a similar fashion, it compiles all client data to keep all teams in harmony by uniting everyone in your business who interacts with customers & generating a unified array of customer data that spans the entire customer journey.

For consistent representation, this platform also incorporates marketing data, CRM, and customer data integration.

Positives:

  • Provides a catalog of integrations that helps the variety of departments involved
  • Supports real-time data synchronization
  • Offers a fantastic client assistance and service

Negatives:

  • Downtime is typical
  • Fewer integrations are offered

Hull receives a high user rating of 4.6 out of 5.   

Klaviyo

Klaviyo Logo: Free CDP
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Klaviyo is a free CDP, sophisticated marketing tool that enables eCommerce business owners to provide their consumers with a more tailored experience.

To assist business owners in creating a comprehensive marketing environment, Klaviyo email marketing is frequently used in conjunction with tools like Shopify.

Positives:

  • Creative management: Klavio provides the ability to save visuals from prior campaigns
  • The AB testing feature enables campaign refinement
  • Allows segmentation based on behavior, buying history, and demographics

Negatives:

  • Creating segments can be challenging
  • Inefficient live chat

Klaviyo receives a high user rating of 4.6 out of 5. 

SALESmango

SALESmango Logo: Free CDP
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SALESmanago is a fully-featured solution designed to let any e-commerce company make omnichannel contact with consumers and establish automated processes that enhance engagement and sales at every step of the customer lifecycle.

It leverages the full potential of first- and zero-party data, integrating powerful analytics with AI hyper-personalization to create highly flexible customized experiences across a wide range of natively developed and connected marketing execution channels. 

Positives:

  • Personalized email marketing campaigns
  • Swift integration
  • Excellent assistance
  • New connectors are often implemented quickly

Negatives:

  • Lack of detailed tutorials
  • UX not up to the mark

You can request a quote from their official website. SALESmango receives a high user rating of 4.4 out of 5.

Insider

Insider Logo: Free CDP
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Insider—a free CDP platform for personalized, cross-channel experiences—allows business marketers to integrate customer data across channels and systems, forecast future behavior with an AI intent engine, and personalize customer experiences. Insider’s platform is used by marketers to provide experiences across several channels such as web, app, web push, email, SMS, and messaging apps (WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, RCS).

Positives:

  • Personalization technology allows consumers to be targeted with tailored messaging & offers useful suggestions on the site 
  • Allows A/B tests using several UX designs on the website
  • Premium consulting/integration services
  • Clear and understandable reporting for digital marketers

Negatives:

  • Support could be better
  • Less targeting options

Totango receives a high user rating of 4.4 out of 5.

Totango 

Totango Logo: Free CDP
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Totango’s free CDP is a customer success and retention solution that is hosted in the cloud. Managing all post-sales operations, it helps a company to increase client success, adoption, retention, and expansion. It also boosts conversion rates by gathering customer information, monitoring data for relevant customer health changes, and encourages proactive interaction by customer success teams.

This platform is excellent for segmenting your consumers and seeing various metrics that will assist you in determining which of your clients should be prioritized.

Positives:

  • Simple reporting with an ability to create segments on practically everything that needed to be monitored
  • Email campaigns and reporting are easily customizable
  • Combines all data into one place and enables the customer service staff to continuously enhance client relationships
  • Excellent assistance from support team

Negatives:

  • Difficult to examine the timeline of chats
  • Offers a plethora of software upgrades that aren’t truly beneficial

Totango receives a high user rating of 4.4 out of 5.

Ortto 

Ortto Logo: Free CDP
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Ortto is a product-driven growth engine that assists organizations in acquiring and retaining new consumers. Ortto’s software has enabled over 10,000 businesses to reap the benefits of improved decision-making since 2015.

Ortto helps online businesses to combine their customer data with their free CDP, segment key audiences across the customer lifecycle, activate these audiences with tailored, omnichannel experiences, and assess their company for growth using a comprehensive suite of business intelligence tools. 

Positives:

  • Provides a greater degree of control and customization than any other marketing tools
  • Innovative & easy-to-use UX design saves a lot of time while reporting to management
  • Offers a knowledgeable and very responsive customer service 

Negatives:

  • Not being able to exclude some synchronizations using Pipedrive based on custom fields or another value

Ortto provides multiple pricing places that cater to your organization’s needs. It starts at $509 USD/month for the Professional Plan to $1699 USD /month for the enterprise plan. You can check out their official website for more details. Ortto receives a high user rating of 4.3 out of 5.

Final Thoughts

The Customer Data Platform (CDP) is the cutting-edge solution for gaining more and better data insights into your consumers. CDPs help in the consolidation and management of customer data across all touchpoints, resulting in a single, unified customer picture. These “unified perspectives” of multiple buyers and prospects will eventually help you identify the whole customer journey.

All teams can make better data-informed decisions with reliable insights. You will have a greater chance of spotting friction components or funnel points that increase engagement. You’ll know exactly what actions resulted in a positive response or result. This will assist you in better managing your resources and spending.

Make sure that the CDP you purchase is completely market-friendly. See that the marketing team can handle targeting, campaign management, and segmentation without having to rely on the IT department to function.

Give us your views on Top Free CDP in the market!

Akshaan Sehgal
Former Marketing Content Analyst, Hevo Data

Akshaan is a data science enthusiast who loves to embrace challenges associated with maintaining and exploiting growing data stores. He has a flair for writing in-depth articles on data science where he incorporates his experience in hands-on training and guided participation in effective data management tasks.

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