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CDP vs DMP: How to choose the right solution for your business

In the crowded field of martech solutions, finding the right tools can be challenging. Businesses not only need to identify the right customer data strategy to fit their goals, but then source or upgrade the right software and systems to bring that strategy to life. In this quick comparison, we’ll define two commonly misunderstood tools, help you sort through the CDP vs DMP conundrum, and explore how they might fit into your technology stack. 

What is a Customer Data Platform (CDP) and what does it do?  

A CDP is not technically a platform; it’s a software solution that collects and streamlines customer data primarily from first-party sources to improve marketing operations. Because they are designed in support of long-term customer engagement, CDPs store data longer and can provide a single source of truth for customer records.  

Learn more about how CDPs fit into a customer data strategy >>

What is a Data Management Platform (DMP) and what does it do?  

A DMP is a data warehouse that collects, segments, analyzes, and stores primarily third-party customer data for use in advertising campaigns. This adtech component plays a critical role in targeting and retargeting for short-term leads and customer conversions, but is not set up to support historical analysis.  

Learn how third-party cookie deprecation is impacting adtech >>

How CDP and DMP solutions can work together 

A CDP and DMP can work together in a modern martech stack. A DMP can be one source of data for a CDP, and the CDP can also share information back to the DMP. When approached strategically, the question isn’t CDP vs DMP, but how the two systems can support each other. With the right processes in place, a DMP can help bring in new prospects, a CDP can help brands connect and engage, and retargeting and customer cultivation can continue in a seamless loop.  

More resources for your martech stack 

Also wondering about the CDP vs CRM debate? We’ve got five factors to consider >> 

Wondering how to choose a CDP? Check out our approach >> 

Need to get a big picture view? Get the Ultimate Guide to Creating a Customer Data Strategy >> 

About the author

Amy Brown

Amy Brown is a Digital Solutions Director at Fusion Alliance. With more than a decade of expertise, she finds her passion in crafting experiences that make brands and customers more valuable to one another. Amy has created numerous omnichannel strategies that are backed by executives of global Fortune 10 companies. Her strength lies in bridging the technical and the practical. With a unique background that blends both hard and soft skillsets, she finds joy in tackling business challenges that require both technology and empathy.

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