– Internet Marketing Services – A Global Marketing Group Company

30-second summary:

  • Exponea created a Knowledgecard, CDP vs DMP vs CRM, which serves as a handy cheat sheet to help clarify the definition and purpose of each martech solution.
  • Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) collect first-party data from online and offline sources in real-time, creating a unified view of each customer that enables ultra-personalized targeting for marketing campaigns.
  • Data Management Platforms (DMPs) segment anonymous third-party data from other websites that can be used to create audience segments for marketing campaigns.
  • Customer Relationship Platforms (CRMs) are utilized by customer-facing teams, including sales, customer support, and client/customer advocates to facilitate managing a company’s relationships with existing or potential customers.

CDPs, CMS, SaaS… the world of marketing technology (martech) is punctuated by acronyms representing a host of technologies that can be confusing to parse through, particularly when companies are evaluating what they need to add to their tech stack.

Chiefmartec’s infamous graphic, the Martech 5000, boasted over 7,000 companies last April. These companies effectively represent the marketing technology landscape. Growth in this sector is nothing short of astounding. When Chiefmartec originally created their infographic in 2011, there were roughly 150 companies included.

Image source: Chiefmartec

High among the list of martech tools are CDPs, DMPs, and CRMs, platforms that facilitate improved customer experience, inform more targeted and personalized marketing, and help foster better communication between internal client-facing teams.

Exponea’s newly released Knowledgecard, CDP vs DMP vs CRM, helps differentiate these tools and is a handy cheat sheet which helps clarify the different benefits of each solution.

In this post, we’ll break down all three technologies that are profiled in Exponea’s Knowledgecard and summarize the key elements of each.

Content produced in collaboration with Exponea.

CDPs, a.k.a. Customer Data Platforms

CDPs like Exponea collect first-party data from online and offline sources in real-time, creating a unified view of each customer that enables ultra-personalized targeting for marketing campaigns.


Illustration of how a CDP works—source: Exponea

CDPs can be differentiated from DMPs based on the type of data they aggregate and collect—namely, first-party data which is collected from existing customers and/or people who have a direct relationship with a brand. Most CDPs will collect behavioral data, demographic data/customer attributes, campaign metrics and customer service data.

CDPs also leverage offline data and consolidate it with online data to create a universal source of customer data which is accessible by other systems for the following:

  • Analytics
  • Web optimization
  • Email marketing
  • Retargeting
  • Business use cases

Exponea’s technology can act as either a CDP or a CDXP, which is a CDP with analytics, AI, and marketing automation capabilities.

Writes Exponea, “CDPs are often integrated with advertising systems, therefore, they are also capable of collecting and segmenting 3rd-party DMP-like data such as cookies and building audiences for retargeting.”

DMPs, a.k.a. Data Management Platforms

DMPs segment anonymous third-party data from other websites which can be used to create anonymous audience segments for use in marketing campaigns.

Anonymous data typically expires after 90 days and is not collected from a company’s existing customers. Another distinction between a DMP and a CDP is that DMPs usually can’t use real-time data for marketing campaigns because they pull from past data records of a user’s attributes.

Examples of data collected by a DMP include:

  • Cookies
  • IP addresses
  • Device IDs
  • Anonymous segmentation: gender, age, nationality, etc.

“A DMP collects and categorizes this data into segments to create anonymous audiences that marketers can use for targeting their campaigns,” writes Exponea.

CRMs, a.k.a. Customer Relationship Management Systems

CRMs are the primary tool utilized by customer-facing teams including sales, customer support, and client advocates. They are built to manage a company’s relationships with their existing and potential customers. They utilize transactional data to do this.

Examples of data captured via CRMs include:

  • Customer name
  • Items purchased
  • Payment method
  • Email correspondence
  • Transactional financial data
  • Customer support data (e.g., service tickets)

While CDPs are designed to work with both identified and unidentified customers, CRMs work with identified customers only.

The core functionality of a CRM is that it aggregates a customer’s attributes and transaction history to help customer-facing teams understand the “who, when, and how of a specific product purchase.”

CDPs are designed to work concurrently with CRMs, ingesting data from CRM systems to enrich CDP and CRM data and create a more robust customer profile.

CRMs have some limitations compared with CDPs. For example, they do not match customer data across different channels and touchpoints (e.g., offline versus online). Instead, they treat the two data sources as separate entities, which results in poor data quality. CRMs are also unable to activate customer data in real time.

Per Exponea, “A CDP is able to match data from different customer interactions under the same customer profile.”

To learn more about how these three technologies differ from each other (but also work together) download Exponea’s Knowledgecard, CDP vs DMP vs CRM.

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