Skip to main content

Customer Data Platform vs Data Management Platform Guide

Unsure whether to invest in a Customer Data Platform vs Data Management Platform? We'll help you make the decision for your data management needs.

customer segmentation analysis
avatarAkram HassanJune 3, 2024

In customer segmentation analysis, distinguishing between a Customer Data Platform (CDP) and a Data Management Platform (DMP) can be a game-changer. Imagine you're looking for innovative ways to drive customer loyalty and growth, but you're unsure which platform to invest in to refine your customer segmentation analysis. This blog will provide insights to help you confidently navigate this essential decision.

Looking to boost customer loyalty and growth? is your go-to solution. This tool can help you streamline processes and optimize customer segmentation and analysis, allowing you to make data-driven decisions that will drive your business forward.

What Is a Customer Data Platform (CDP)?

What is the comparison between Customer Data Platform vs Data Management Platform

A customer data platform (CDP) is an advanced customer data management software solution consisting of a centralized database that can ingest, integrate, manage, and deliver customer data to other technology solutions to personalize the customer experience (CX) at scale.

The Power of a Single Customer View

According to Gartner, in the first-ever Magic Quadrant for Customer Data Platforms (Get a complimentary copy of the report here, courtesy of Treasure Data.), a CDP is defined as “software applications that support marketing and customer experience use cases by unifying a company’s customer data from marketing and other channels. CDPs optimize the timing and targeting of messages, offers and customer engagement activities, and enable the analysis of individual-level customer behavior over time.”

Data Collection and Integration

CDP software collects and integrates all forms of customer data to create a unified customer profile (also known as a single customer view (SCV). This unified view can then align all business efforts around a single source of customer truth. CDPs can collect consumer behavior, demographic, and transactional data to track and analyze customer interactions with your organization.

CDPs for Sales, Service, and Compliance

CDP platforms were created to manage first-party, second-party, and third-party data from multiple disparate channels, unite customer-centric efforts across marketing, sales, and customer service. CDPs also give brands the ability to manage data and consent centrally attributes to stay in compliance with emerging data privacy regulations.

What Does a CDP Do?

A CDP improves the efficacy and efficiency of your data-driven marketing campaigns. They accomplish this by deploying data-driven insights to tailor personalized experiences at scale.

Combining Structured and Unstructured Data

CDPs allow you to combine structured, unstructured and semi-structured data to create single customer view. A CDP can ingest data from any source, including email, social media, loyalty, and systems like enterprise resource planning (ERP), customer relationship management (CRM) and data management platforms (DMPs). Customer data platforms can analyze and segment customer profiles using rules or machine learning, perform predictive scoring, and provide customer journey orchestration.

Integration with the MarTech Stack

Customer data platforms are designed to integrate easily with the rest of your technology stack through pre-built connectors or application programming interfaces (APIs). This allows CDPs to function as a smart hub, making your technology stack more agile, flexible, and scalable by allowing you to plug in the best-of-breed software for your particular industry and applications

Democratization of Data

CDPs allows data to be democratized across the entire organization (marketing, sales, customer service, support, etc.) A CDP allows a business to tailor its communications and build lasting customer relationships, improving retention rates and lowering churn. CDPs are also a great way to reduce customer acquisition costs in favor of higher retention rates.

Marketing Activation and Personalization

A CDP makes customer data available to other systems for campaign activation with insights that improve the customer experience across the entire omnichannel customer journey. CDPs allows marketers to apply advanced personalization, identify and segment key target audiences, provide relevant product and content recommendations, and implement retargeting programs.

What Are the Most Common CDP Use Cases?

The two most common CDP use cases are personalized customer experiences and targeted advertising. Other common CDP use cases include:

Profile Unification

Customer data records can be combined into a single 360-degree view of the customer, allowing you to do more effective personalization and reduce ineffective ad spend.


A CDP allows marketers to identify and target high-value audiences with advanced segmentation capabilities.

Data Unification

CDPs unify customer data into a single customer identifier that can be enriched over time, reducing duplicate profiles and inaccuracies.

Predictive Scoring

Marketers gain the ability to predict customers behaviors, like who is likely to churn, purchase, click, or convert.


A customer data platform can improve retargeting by connecting customer data to advertising data, creating optimized audience segments, with the ability to automate activations.

Customer Journey Optimization

Iterative insights allow marketers to quickly test, learn and improve marketing efforts across the entire omnichannel customer journey.

Next-Best Action

Next-best action relies on robust customer data, analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI) to predict the next-best step sales, service, or marketing teams can take to improve the customer journey and increase conversion.

Programmatic Advertising

CDPs enable you to target customers better with programmatic advertising.

Lookalike Modeling

Advertise across channels to both knowns and unknown audiences with lookalike modeling based on key audience attributes.

Customer Loyalty

Measure and predict customer loyalty, and customize communications to increase the lifetime value of your most loyal customers.


Once segments and audiences are identified, marketing, sales, and customer service teams can tailor messaging that speaks directly to target audiences and is delivered through the right channel at the right time.

Data Governance

A CDP enables IT and data teams to enforce data access policies and permissions across teams, ensuring that specific teams only have access to the needed data.

CDPs can integrate with consent management solutions, allowing customer data privacy preferences to be integrated directly into unified customer profiles.

Demand Planning and Inventory Management

Predictive analytics allows organizations to use customer purchase preferences, transaction data, and inventory data to predict demand and manage inventory mix across channels.

Business Efficiency

A strong customer data foundation forms part of the blueprint for accurate attribution, making forecasting more effective.

What Is a Data Management Platform (DMP)?

Person looking at analytics - Customer Data Platform vs Data Management Platform

A data management platform (DMP) is a comprehensive tool designed to build individual customer profiles, generate big-picture analytics, and enable personalization in marketing campaigns. This technology is a game-changer for app marketers, providing real-time insights on customer behavior and interests to automate digital ad placements.

With a DMP, marketers can leverage business intelligence and automation to maximize data potential, gain insights into consumer behavior and preferences, optimize advertising budgets, and comply with data privacy regulations.

The Role of a DMP in Programmatic Advertising

Data management platforms are crucial in programmatic advertising, leveraging artificial intelligence and machine learning to automate media buying. In mobile user acquisition, DMPs are instrumental for app marketers to target specific audiences, track user behaviors, optimize campaigns, and measure results. By consolidating first-party, second-party, and third-party data, DMPs offer a comprehensive view of customer behavior.

The Three Types of Data in a DMP

Party data includes information collected directly from a source, such as a website or app, which is typically owned by the company itself. Second-party data, on the other hand, is initially collected by one entity and then shared with another through a formal agreement. This category encompasses data like social media profiles and customer reviews shared with a trusted partner.

Third-party data is sourced from multiple origins, aggregated, and sold by a third-party entity. This data is widely used in programmatic advertising to target specific audiences, monitor user behaviors, optimize campaigns, and gauge performance.

In-Depth Customer Data Platform vs Data Management Platform Comparison

Indepth Comparison - Customer Data Platform vs Data Management Platform

Data Sources

The data sources utilized by Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) and Data Management Platforms (DMPs) differ significantly. CDPs are designed to work primarily with first-party data, information gathered directly from your clients. On the other hand, DMPs manage third-party data, which is information obtained from external sources. While CDPs also work with some second-party data, DMPs focus more on pseudonymous data obtained from a larger scale.

Data Models

Regarding data models, CDPs collect personally identifiable information (PII) tied to individual users, whereas DMPs work with anonymous and pseudonymous data to build audience-based personas and segments.

Primary Use Cases

CDPs are primarily used to build customer profiles based on known and unknown customer behaviors, helping marketers personalize experiences. DMPs, on the other hand, help marketers understand how unknown users interact with their brand and provide insights into how to convert customers, making them ideal for targeted advertising campaigns.


While CDPs retain long-term data and are at a low risk of violating privacy regulations, DMPs store data for shorter periods and are at a higher risk of privacy regulation violations.

Data Retention

CDPs offer flexible data storage for medium- to long-term data storage, making them suitable for longer-term strategies. DMPs, store data for shorter intervals of around 90 days, making them ideal for short-term strategies.

CDP and DMP in Action

CDPs are used by companies like Dick’s Sporting Goods to personalize the customer experience and expand loyalty programs. In contrast, DMPs are used by companies like Princess Cruises to understand guest preferences and streamline advertising campaigns.

Drive Loyalty and Growth

Book a free demo with Rengage to learn how you can transform customer interactions into personalized experiences that drive loyalty and growth.

When Should I Use a Customer Data Platform vs Data Management Platform?

Deciding on when to choose - Customer Data Platform vs Data Management Platform

Before deciding which customer data platform (CDP) or data management platform (DMP) is right for your business, several key factors must be considered. Understanding the differences between CDPs and DMPs is crucial. CDPs unify data across various customer touchpoints to create a single view of the customer. At the same time, DMPs collect, organize, and activate anonymous user data to assist marketers and advertisers in targeting their ads more effectively.

Data Storage and User Focus

The type of data collected and stored by each platform, the duration for which the data is stored, target users, and the ability to provide a single view of the customer are categorized for each platform. CDPs can store personally identifiable information (PII) and non-PII data, as well as first-, second-, and third-party data.

DMPs only store anonymized, non-PII data, primarily known for their ability to collect and activate third-party data. CDPs have long-term data storage capabilities, while DMPs typically store data for around 90 days. Understanding these key differences is essential as they can significantly impact your marketing strategies and data requirements.

Reaching the Right Audience with Targeted Messaging

Another aspect to examine is how each platform can help you achieve your marketing goals. CDPs and DMPs facilitate the connection between different tools and orchestrate data, enriching customer profiles and audience lists with real-time data from various sources.

Leveraging this data for personalization can be a winning strategy for companies in today's dynamic marketplace. A CDP may be more suitable for long-term customer relationships and user engagement depending on your business objectives. At the same time, a DMP can assist you in reaching and targeting new prospects if your business is in growth mode.

Implementation Considerations

The resources required to use these platforms effectively should also be considered. Setting up CDPs and DMPs can require significant time and effort, as they rely on customer data to function efficiently. Implementing a CDP involves consolidating cross-channel first-, second-, and third-party data to create a unified view of the customer.

DMPs, on the other hand, require tagging, behavior categorization, rule creation, and audience building to track user journeys and gather valuable customer data over time. In most cases, assistance from your engineering and analytics teams may be necessary to maximize these platforms' potential effectively.

Can I Use a Customer Data Platform Alongside a Data Management Platform?

Combination of both technologies - Customer Data Platform vs Data Management Platform

CDPs are your best bet for long-term customer engagement and relationship building, as they store PII customer data for an extended period. This helps your customer data get more accurate and reliable over time, so your business can use it to send personalized content and campaigns to your known customers.

DMPs, by contrast, are better suited for businesses needing to drive leads and conversions in the short term. They help you reach bigger audiences and serve targeted ads and marketing campaigns to individuals most likely to do business with your brand.

Potential Complementary Use Cases for CDP and DMP in Tandem

Depending on the type of CDP, there are also potential opportunities to combine platforms. For example, you can use real-time DMP data to personalize interactions with anonymous visitors, helping your company establish and maintain trust.

Of course, you can connect your CDP and DMPs to share data across the two platforms, allowing your business to benefit from first- and third-party data. You can drive new leads with your DMP and connect and engage with known customers via your CDP.

Integration Challenges or Limitations in a Dual CDP/DMP Setup

While CDPs and DMPs can work together, businesses typically use them for two distinct purposes. A dual CDP/DMP setup may have some integration challenges or limitations. In many cases, the benefits of using both platforms outweigh these integration challenges.

Leveraging first-party data for personalized experiences while also tapping into third-party data for broader audience targeting can significantly enhance a business's marketing efforts. By addressing any integration challenges and utilizing the strengths of each platform, businesses can effectively deploy CDPs and DMPs in tandem.

Create Personalized Experiences That Drive Loyalty and Growth with Rengage — Book A Free Demo Today

Our customer segmentation is top-notch. We ensure every Rengage user can access a comprehensive solution for managing and enhancing customer journeys. With Rengage, we deliver insights and measurable outcomes with no code in a single platform that accelerates your customer journey from onboarding, and activation to conversion and churn. We aim to enable customers to unlock revenue from their existing user bases.

Building Powerful Customer Journeys with Actionable Insights

Rengage provides unique tools and features that make customer segmentations and journeys seamless, intuitive, and actionable. Through our Journey Moments and Journey Builder features, users can leverage insights into micro-segments, intuitive multi-channel marketing automation, insights prediction and attribution. With Rengage, you can run campaigns, measure how your journeys impact users' conversion, and gain an in-depth understanding of your segments to drive personalized experiences that foster loyalty and growth.

Let's dissect the elements of our customer segmentation and journey features to fully understand how Rengage can transform your customer interactions into personalized experiences.