Wednesday, December 18, 2019

CDP and DMP: What Is the Difference?

Customer Data Platforms (CDP) and Data Management Platforms (DMP) are two commonly used B2B marketing tools. They sound similar and are in some ways are the same. For example, both capture and organize data, use existing data, generate analysis and reports, create a single customer view, and work toward the aim of influencing the customer to buy. 

Yet, there are distinct differences between the platforms that you need to understand to optimize your B2B marketing results from both. 

Platform Purpose

The purpose of DMPs is to collect, categorize, and segment data from different sources. Advertisers and marketers can then use the segmented data to more effectively target their intended audience groups. Designed primarily as an advertiser platform, it’s a DMP that drives those product recommendations on websites for each visitor. 

Examples of how to use a DMP include leveraging audience data to identify any new customer segments and reach target audiences throughout various paid media channels. Another use case can involve using the data to personalize interactions.  

In contrast, the purpose of CDPs is to take data from an existing company customer database, website, app, and CRM to customize promotions and marketing content for existing customers. It’s an ideal solution for your remarketing efforts.   

Data Types and Targets

Both platforms handle first-party (direct from customer, CRM, or purchase transactions), second-party (data from other companies), and third-party data (multiple sources).

Despite these platforms collecting the same types of data, their targets differ. DMPs primarily pursue third-party data (cookies and segmented customer IDs) while CDPs focus on structured, semi-structured, and unstructured first-party data. When it comes to privacy and anonymity, DMP excels. 

User Profiles, Data Selection, and Data Capture

User profiles for DMPs segment and categorize customers tied to the lifespan of the cookie used to capture the anonymous data. Data selection involves several field values to collect the necessary data. 

Yet, as part of the field data, DMPs can gather important insights, including when a user visited a website, how long they spent there, and what type of information they read on the website. To get the most out of what DMPs do, a marketer needs to turn to analytics tools to extract more patterns. 

Choosing to avoid anonymous data, CDPs focus on specific data that identifies individual customers. An email address is one example of the type of customer identifiers used by CDPs.  

Data Storage

A DMP stores data in two places. Having two separate places for the data makes integration difficult. In contrast, a CDP stores data in one place. The primary benefits in having a single place for data include ease of integration, flexibility, and fast analysis. 

Marketing Strategy

With these differences, each platform can play a role in your marketing strategy. For example, DMPs are effective for digital channels and audience segmentation. 

CDPs are beneficial for social media websites, offline interactions, and insights into customer needs and purchase behavior. These platforms also inform your marketing strategy through access to historical data.  

Through this system that manages data, you’ll better understand customer needs and expectations based on their purchase behavior and past interactions with your brand.   Knowing When to Use or Choose a Data Platform 

Deciding on using a CDP or DMP comes down to understanding the aforementioned differences between the two platforms and determining how each platform achieves your marketing objectives. 

To determine which platform works for you or if you can use both, you need to know how you want to use your data. It’s also important to determine if you can dedicate enough resources to using one or more of these platforms to optimize their potential.

Complementary Platforms

A CDP and DMP can work together in certain situations. However, if you need third-party data for short-term customer leads and conversion, then you should select a DMP. If you are seeking long-term customer engagement that requires first-party data, then you should go with a CDP. Both platforms offer ways to enhance the experience you want to create with your audience, providing value and return for your investment.

Depending on the type of CDP, there are also opportunities to combine these platforms for other marketing opportunities. For example, you can use DMP data in real time to personalize the interaction with first-time site visitors to establish trust. Or, you can deepen your customer profiles with third-party data that a DMP delivers.  


Interested in finding out what else a CDP can do for your marketing and how the power of customer data can change the game? See how to “Do More with Customer Data Platforms.”

Take a look.








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