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Digital customer interactions are increasing at the same time that customer data management is growing more complex due to security, privacy and data governance constraints. 

This is underscoring the importance of customer data platforms (CDPs) in supporting enterprise growth. Companies are increasingly implementing CDPs to improve customer experiences because the platforms are typically more strategic than existing customer relationship management (CRM) systems in their engagement, analysis and personalization. 

According to a research report from MarketsandMarkets, the CDP platform market will be worth $15.3 billion by 2026, up from $3.5 billion in 2021 – representing a 34.6% compound annual growth rate (CAGR). Similarly, a global report by London Research found that 51% of companies are already using a CDP and that 35% planned to in the near future. 

Most of the dominant tech companies – Salesforce, Adobe, Microsoft, Oracle, SAP – are already in the CDP arena in one way or another, and other top and quickly emerging players include Zeotap, Tealium, Leadspace, mParticle, Segment, Totango and Treasure Data. The latter company is backed by a recent $234 million data round that it describes as the largest-ever for a CDP.

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Focusing on customer success

Gainsight, which has dedicated itself to defining “customer success” as a category, has released new and enhanced packages and features to expand its reach in this growing CDP market. The San Francisco company’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform aims to help organizations bolster customer success, product experience and community engagement. 

Now it has launched Gainsight Essentials, which includes two new packages for its flagship Gainsight CS product – Essentials and Essentials Plus. These new offerings provide enhanced data centralization, more training tools and guided administrative support, and are intended to make the platform easier, faster and more affordable to implement and scale, according to senior vice president and general manager of Essentials Scott Salkin. 

As he explained, Gainsight commissioned a study by Method Garage to determine how it could be more accessible and broaden its presence in the market. The news that came back was that Gainsight CS could take a lot of work to implement, didn’t always appear to have a clear path to start and stage, and could be considered complex and pricey, Salkin said. 

In quick response, the company simplified and redesigned more than 80% of its CS platform interface. 

“We listened to the market and made some big changes,” he said. 

The two packages are simpler and more affordable, containing pre-built integrations and quick access to customer data, AI insights and recommended actions, he said. They also provide guided administration support and immediate access to a large library of content, training and thought leadership tools. 

All this, Salkin said, enables companies to get started in as few as two weeks, accelerate their time to value, reduce their administration costs and provide them the capability to scale up to Gainsight’s complete product portfolio when they’re ready. 

“The north star for SaaS companies is net retention,” Salkin said. Early-stage companies can be on a “customer rollercoaster, and customer success can really smooth out that growth engine.”

The $1 billion-plus-valuation company whose customers include GE Digital, SAP Concur and Box has also announced enhancements to Gainsight CS and Gainsight PX, its full product experience platform. 

New customer success qualified leads capabilities allow customer success and product management teams to share up-sell and cross-sell leads with sales and marketing and track how much those have contributed to business. For example, a customer success manager can create a lead within Gainsight and send it directly to a CRM, then follow its progress as it moves through the system, and identify which leads have stalled, are being worked, or have been disqualified, closed, or won. This can provide insights and opportunities throughout the onboarding, adoption, and retention processes, Salkin noted. 

More integration, more AI

Zoom and Gong have also been integrated into Gainsight CS tools Timeline and Customer 360, and an AI-powered Impact Analyzer tool uncovers drivers – such as scorecard measures and customer sentiment – impacting business goals. 

Overall, Salkin said, it is critical that customer success and product management teams have centralized systems so that they can pull out business intelligence (BI). Insights can then be integrated into new and existing playbooks, and companies can establish multi-step and automated journeys for customers. He emphasized the importance of tying together the “flywheel” of product-led growth, customer-led growth, and community-led growth. 

“We listened and developed solutions that are accessible and powerful for companies at any stage to implement and see value in a matter of weeks,” Salkin said. “Together with administrative support, thought leadership, a community cohort, and strategic guidance, Essentials is packaged and priced to help any modern business accelerate their own growth engine.”

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