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How Customer Data Platform is Different from Marketing Automation Platform?

Rajat Kesarwani

By Rajat Kesarwani| Thursday, January 14, 2021 14:20 PM | 5 min read

A customer data platform is a set of software that creates a determined, centralized customer database that is available to other operations. It provides the solution to entire data-driven marketing, a very engaging marketing concept where all your customer data is combined for marketing and other uses.

A customer data platform has many features that define why big companies are looking at them instead of depending purely on other types of data systems like CRM (Customer Relationship Management) or a DMP (Data Management Platform).

What is the Primary Aim of CDP (Customer Data Platform)?

CDP focuses on bringing together all customer data and stitch the data together into unified customer profiles to make the work easier for marketers.

There has never been a lack of technologies that declare to provide a single customer view or a 360-degree customer profile. But, there hasn’t been one platform type out there that has the potential to bring together all the data and adequately make it useful for the marketer.

What is a Marketing Automation Platform?

Marketing Automation Platform is a type of software that enables companies to send customers automated messages through email, websites, social media, and SMS.

Businesses use marketing automation software to eradicate monotonous tasks from their workflows and increase productivity. Some popular marketing automation tools are account-based marketing software, analytics for CRM, campaign management, email marketing, and marketing ROI.

Some marketing automation technologies plug into a company’s CRM system. However, many CRM systems have their own native marketing automation cloud service, such as Salesforce Pardot and Oracle Eloqua. HubSpot is also a successful marketing automation platform with its own CRM resolution.

What are the Benefits of Marketing Automation Platform?

Marketing automation software can benefit both B2B and B2C companies. Both types of companies can use marketing automation tools to keep marketing materials current and deliver them to the right customers who can act on them.

Many B2C companies can benefit the most from marketing automation platforms because they can personalize their messages to more customers than they could without it.

Email marketing tools can help businesses in differentiating customers and giving promotions to smaller groups of customers based on their campaign or revenue goals for that area. Businesses can divide their email marketing lists by various demographics, such as occupation, age, purchase history, and geographic location.

Additionally, many businesses can use email marketing platforms, such as Mailchimp or HubSpot, to collect and store customer data, then use it for customer segmentation.

What are the Advantages of CDPs over DMPs?

Customer Identities Personally Identifiable Data
The most significant difference between CDPs and DMPs are their use of customer identities or personally identifiable information (PII).

PII is any part of data that distinguishes a specific person. It could be a Social Security number, a phone number, email address, etc. In terms of marketing, PII is a combination of data points that can be used to identify one specific person.

The main aim of CDP is to collect as much information as possible about every individual. The more information your CDP collects, the more helpful it will be, as it will allow you to make your marketing more relevant to the audience. For that reason, CDPs depends on PII to work.

Whereas, DMPs use anonymized data. However, DMPs don’t use PII, but they still collect data. That makes it harder to confirm that the data was collected ethically and professionally.

Data Memory

Most CDPs give their users the capability to maintain customer data for a long period. Smart CDPs enable the users to set limits on how long their customer’s data is accommodated, and many CDPs allow their user’s customers to request access to or remove their data.

CDPs retain data for more extended periods because they become more useful when they have more data. The additional data enables CDP users to make their marketing more appropriate to their customers.

DMPs are totally the opposite of CDPs. DMPs are best when they only hold data for a short span. If you are a business marketer, it doesn’t make any sense to target someone who was interested in a particular topic five years ago. You need to target the people who are currently interested in a specific niche or have been interested in the past 90 days, at most.

How is Customer Data Platform Different from Marketing Automation Platform?

If you are a financial marketer, you might be confused about whether to switch to CDPs or not. However, the following comparison between a Customer Data Platform and a Marketing Automation Platform will help you choose the one that suits your business.

Data Management

In terms of data management, CDP is considered the best when compared with a marketing automation platform. Because CDP can aggregate and unify customer data from a wide variety of sources such as online channels, CRM data, call center data, etc. However, marketing automation can handle data input from different sources. But it cannot aggregate and unite it to build a single user view done by a CDP.

Data Sharing

With CDP, many data sources can be integrated with it. Data sharing happens in real-time with the CDP and all the systems that are connected to it through different interfaces. A marketing automation platform is built to drive its core automation feature rather than share data with other tools or systems.

Deriving Actionable Insights

As a financial marketer, you can use CDPs to boost and craft the right marketing campaign for a customer. The main aim of marketing automation is to drive campaigns based on the data that is fed to it. It never generates any kind of insights for you.

Real-Time Personalization

CDPs are considered the best as they can deliver personalized messages in real-time. Simultaneously, a marketing automation platform works as and when data is fed to it manually by the marketer and can’t work in real-time.

Cross-Channel Ability

CDP can benefit financial marketers to power campaigns across channels and send consistent, personalized messages to customers. It means that it enables omnichannel and cross-channel personalization for every individual user. However, it can’t be achieved using a marketing automation platform.


Marketing automation platforms are slowly becoming outdated, and most people use the customer data platform. They have, in fact, resulted into something more beneficial and innovative known as the CDP.

At Dreamstel Technologies, we understand the role of the CDP/DMP, and our experts will help you know which is best for your business in the long run. Contact our experts today!

Rajat Kesarwani
About the Author Rajat Kesarwani is the CEO of Dreamstel Technologies. With over 15 years of experience in maintaining business relations with esteemed companies across the US and Australia, Mr. Kesarwani has earned an excellent reputation in the IT industry. He has been offering advanced technology services to businesses that require any kind of IT solution. His expert services at Dreamstel includes developing and introducing next-generation apps and spreading awareness about Salesforce. His objective is to reach out to companies in need of advanced technology solutions, and he has been successfully moving ahead in the right direction to do so, through Dreamstel Technologies.