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Comparison B/W CDP vs DMP vs CRM

Data management platforms (DMPs), Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) and CRM are all about handling customer data. The main difference between them is in their functionality and scope. In this post, you will look at the differences between these three technologies and explore why a DMP or CDP is the best fit for your business.

What is Data Management Platform (DMP)? Comparison B/W CDP vs DMP vs CRM

A Data Management Platform (DMP) is a platform used to collect, store and analyze data from various sources. DMP helps you in improving your marketing performance by helping you to target your audience better, understand customers better and hence improve your sales conversion rates.

What is Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

A customer Data Platform (CDP) is a marketing and advertising tool that allows you to:

  • Collect customer information from various sources.
  • Store this data in one place so it’s easy to access.
  • Use the data to send targeted marketing messages through email, SMS, and other channels.

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What is CRM?

Customer Relationship Management (CRM) is software that allows you to manage your client interactions.

It can be used for sales, marketing and customer service. CRM not only helps in tracking customers but also takes care of their needs and requirements.

DMP & CDP & CRM Relationship

There are many similarities between CDP, DMP and CRM, but they also have some unique features that set them apart.

DMP: Definition & Scope

A DMP is a database of data collected about your business, your customers and the media you have used to reach them. It’s often referred to as a “shadow database” because it contains information about your audience that you may not know yourself. Data can include age range, gender, household income level and purchasing history.

The scope of a DMP is broader than just marketing; it encompasses all aspects of customer interaction across channels (email campaigns through social media) throughout the customer lifecycle phases of acquisition/retention/monetization (A/R/M).


You might be wondering, “Is the difference between CDP vs DMP vs CRM really that important?”

Well, yes and no. They’re all related, but they do have distinct areas of focus. Let’s take a look at each one:

  • Customer Data Platform (CDP) – Companies use a CDP to collect and analyze customer data to understand them, their preferences, behaviors better, and so on. In other words, it helps marketers learn more about their consumers to make smarter marketing decisions going forward with each campaign or project they run. It’s important to note that CDPs are an extension of DMPs—they’re just targeted at certain industries like retail or healthcare where there’s already plenty of data available since they’ve been around longer than social media has been popularized amongst consumers (or business professionals).
  • Database Marketing Platform (DMP) – A DMP collects information about people based on information provided voluntarily through online forms/apps/websites or otherwise collected passively through cookies placed on someone’s browser when visiting those sites/apps/etcetera.”
  • “The focus of a CRM is managing relationships with existing customers and leads,” as per Adobe Real-Time CDP professionals.

So, CDP vs DMP vs CRM is not a black-and-white issue. It’s more like shades of grey. They all serve different purposes and have their own advantages and disadvantages. The important thing to remember is that it depends on your business needs and the kind of data you are collecting about your customers or clients!

FAQs on CDP vs DMP vs CRM:

How does a CDP differ from a DMP?

CDPs focus on first-party data for personalized experiences, while DMPs prioritize third-party data for targeted advertising. The distinction lies in their core functionalities and data utilization strategies.

Can a CRM replace the need for a CDP?

While CRM systems centralize customer interactions, they lack the depth of data personalization offered by CDPs. Integrating both can create a robust customer-centric strategy.

What role does a DMP play in advertising?

DMPs play a crucial role in advertising by aggregating third-party data, enabling precise audience targeting, and enhancing the effectiveness of marketing campaigns.

How does a CDP enhance customer engagement?

CDPs excel in creating a unified customer profile, enabling businesses to tailor their interactions based on individual preferences, thus fostering higher engagement.

Is CRM only beneficial for large enterprises?

No, CRM systems are adaptable to businesses of all sizes. They streamline communication, enhance customer satisfaction, and provide valuable insights for strategic decision-making.

Can DMPs work without third-party data?

While DMPs primarily focus on third-party data, they can also incorporate first-party data, providing a more comprehensive audience view for marketers.


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