Technology Corner: CDP or DMP? Customer Data Management Tips

In the world of marketing acronyms, the most important ones for marketers focus on customer data management. Two important ones for your MarTech shortlist are Customer data Platforms (CDP) and Data Management Platforms (DMP).

The Basics

To navigate this group of technologies, ask yourself:

a) are you looking to centralize all your marketing touchpoints with your customers for lifecycle marketing, or

b) are you looking to collect data from outside your ecosystem to help target your advertising campaigns?

If the former, go with Customer Data Platforms (CDP). It leverages your database of customer interactions and brings together everything you know about them – from what they said to your customer service team, their use of your mobile app, what emails and landing pages have drawn their interest, and what products they viewed and purchased. The CDP becomes your unified customer database that is the sole source of all your marketing campaigns and data analytics.

The DMP, meanwhile, uses data that is outside your customer communications ecosystem. These include second and third-party non-PII data such as cookies, IP addresses, and device IDs, and allows you easier integration with programmatic media buying and selling systems.

Pro Tip: What to look for in a CDP

According to the CDP Institute, you should look for these features when shopping for the right CDP technology:

  • Ingest data from any source.
  • Capture full detail of ingested data.
  • Store ingested data indefinitely (subject to privacy constraints).
  • Create unified profiles of identified individuals.
  • Share data with any system that needs it.

Some of the big guys are looking at DMPs. Cloud giants such as Salesforce, and its Salesforce DMP and Customer 360 data solution, and Adobe with its Experience Platform, lead the way, as are a host of newer startup DMP providers. For marketers striving for a true seamless omni-channel experience, you should go CDP. It will give you a true 360-degree view of the customer, weave together all your data sources, provide a unified customer profile and send your marketing team to only one place for their marketing campaigns – life made simple!

Too much too soon?

Finally, if all this still seems daunting for you, the team at Merkle, a global data-driven marketing agency, recommends a “start small and grow philosophy” with DMP “for organizations that do not yet have the possibility of working with a unified user profile or are starting to develop multichannel initiatives.”

Additional Reading:

1. Customer Data Platform (CDP) Institute

2. Salesforce

3. Adobe

4. Market research

  • A Marketer’s Guide To CDPs (Behind The Hype Edition). Learn more.

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