Modern-day marketers and their marketing strategies rely heavily on data. With more data at our disposal comes the need to effectively utilize all that data to streamline marketing decisions. We know a customer goes through different touch points in a user’s journey and technical solutions like CRM, DMP, and CDP. We will focus on understanding the difference and commonalities between these solutions and how we choose between them. Some organizations keep their tech stack to one or two choices, while others harmonize their CRM, DMP, and CDP solutions to get the most out of the asset. When I say asset, I don’t necessarily mean only the operational cost of these tech solutions. The big data surrounding us and practical technology tools are an asset in a marketer’s arsenal.
What is a CRM/ Customer Relationship Management?
A CRM tool collects the data of an organization’s interaction with its customers or potential customers from various portals like websites, telephone, email, live chat, social media, etc. The primary goal of a CRM tool is to integrate and automate sales, marketing, and customer support. Generally, they do not usually store every available piece of information on a customer, nor do they run any type of machine learning algorithms on the data to generate insights.
What is a DMP/ Data Management Platform?
A DMP is a tool/platform that collects, analyzes, organizes, and activates data from various sources and puts it into a usable form. A DMP tool collects third-party data, for example, data collected and shared from an external source, like Google Analytics) from various websites and platforms. These data are anonymous or non-non-personally identifiable information. It facilitates external data purchase and transfer and connects with third-party ad networks and exchanges for targeted advertising purchases. The primary goal of the DMP tool is to store sorted data in a central location for a short period to help marketers target web ads to the right audience. It supports marketers in serving the targeted ads programmatically and at scale, primarily using anonymized customer data in the form of third-party browser cookies.
What is a CDP/ Customer Data Platform?
A CDP tool ultimately ingests customer data from various sources, including your website, mobile app, analytics systems, messaging systems, sales and support systems, etc. The CDP then consolidates and unifies this data to create unique customer profiles by creating a unified customer profile called Single Customer View ( SCV). CDPs are commonly used to improve ad targeting, segmentation, loyalty programs, and most importantly, ad personalization.
What is common between CRM, DMP & CDP?
CRM, DMP, and CDP: Similarities
All three tools have their functions and use cases in the marketing ecosystem, but there can be some overlap. What they share is that all three have been designed to improve the overall customer experience, making targeting and segmentation easier
- CDP and DMP: These two platforms are managed mainly by a marketing team and significantly impact modern-day data-driven marketing decisions.
- CDP and CRM: These platforms may store first-party, second-party, and third-party data.
- DMP and CRM: Potential weakness in terms of data privacy.
- CDP, DMP, and CRM: All three work toward improving customer experience through segmentation
CRM, DMP, and CDP: Differences
A CRM system is typically managed by a sales team with limited data integration and is less adept than CDPs at integrating with other sources and types of customer data. Everyday use for a CRM is to compile and manage all contacts with a customer, including sales calls, contact center records, support, and maintenance calls. Customer Relationship Management (CRMs) platforms manage contact with prospects and customers. Sales channel interactions, as well as contact-center and customer-support calls, are also typically included.
CDP can fulfill some DMP functionality, however, DMPs are specific to advertising and customer acquisition campaigns. DMPs work best with new or anonymous audiences and join third-party cookies. DMPs operate on a massive scale specific to audiences, and that’s why the data they process has a limited data retention period—but can help lookalike audiences and programmatic advertising. On the other hand, a CDP builds a persistent, true SCV—linking sessions based on first-party data and doing ID resolution across channels. That’s how a CDP manages customer experiences across all channels, helping to provide consistent messaging and exceptional customer experiences.
A CDP integrates and unifies customer data, creating the most accurate user profile. .. A CDP, on the other hand, pulls in data from all of the different sources (online and offline) to create an accurate single view of customers, storing data as long as necessary without limitations (including first-party, second-party, third-party, and PII data). With a CDP, you wouldn’t typically update data directly in the CDP; it would pull data automatically from other systems and aggregate it.
CRM, DMP, and CDP: Possible Use Case
Asha visits its website of, Lenox and views its white dinnerware collection, and reads a few blogs on how to accentuate white dinnerware table settings. The CDP captures data captures these two data inputs. CDP could understand the similarity and patterns in these actions that Asha took on Lenox’s site and build a persona for Asha. Now a DMP tool can be used in this scenario to build ad campaigns related to dinnerware/ white dinnerware or table place setting for Asha. A CDP adds to the functionality of CRMs and DMPs by integrating the data from first-, second-, and third-party sources. In other words, CDP incorporates CRM and DMP information to provide a comprehensive view of each customer, so you can find all the information you need from a single view.
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