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

by | Apr 28, 2022

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
Solution Director, Digital
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.

Connect with Amy on LinkedIn


How to choose a CDP

Organizations collect data from a wide range of sources and store it in any number of solutions, which can be spread across the business. For marketing departments trying to deliver personalized customer experiences, those silos present a problem, and a customer data...

Customer data privacy compliance

Building trust into your customer data strategy In the rapidly changing regulatory environment around customer data privacy and security, it’s easy to get so caught up in specifics that you miss the big picture opportunity to build trust with your customers. ...

How a customer data strategy comes to life

After investing in martech solutions — often layering in new platforms and software over time — many organizations find themselves stuck. Whether the root issue is technology, processes, or capabilities, teams get frustrated when their tools don’t deliver.  If...

CDP vs CRM: 5 key questions to inform your decision 

The difference between a customer data platform (CDP) and customer relationship management (CRM) solution may be difficult to determine at first, because both options collect, store, and put customer data to use in support of business goals. While their functions may...

Success in a cookieless future: What’s next?

Third-party cookies are a staple in a marketer’s arsenal and have been for decades. So, now that they are soon to be fully eliminated, marketing teams are panicking. Are we truly ready for a future without this key source of third-party data?  While some...

Download the Ultimate Guide to Customer Data Strategy

Ready to talk?

Let us know how we can help you out, and one of our experts will be in touch right away.

Share This