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Published: 05.17.2021

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Data and Audience

CDPs or DMPs? Providing Multidimensional Audience Views For Better Insights

Combining data analytics platforms means marketing power in numbers.

It’s a question that comes up frequently from clients: Should we use a consumer data platform (CDP) and/or a data management platform (DMP)? Many people might think they actually serve the same function. But before we get into the nitty-gritty of the effectiveness of CDPs and more, we have to take things back to marketing attribution. We’ve covered the importance of customer attribution in the past, as well as some of the AI-primed analytical structures that measure the probability value of campaigns and channels that reach potential customers. 

We wanted to give readers a peek into the way that marketing professionals assess ROI in channels that connect to potential customers for clients. Spending lots of money with multiple partners across different platforms and channels remains an ongoing — and necessary — challenge when trying to determine which of those channels drives the most conversion and makes the most financial impact. The bottom line is that not every brand needs a CDP, but there’s really a massive difference when considering them and DMPs from an informed marketing perspective. 

But what’s with all the acronyms, and what do they really mean to marketers? To demystify those acronyms, and to get a better sense of how attribution connects to marketing efforts across these platforms, let’s take a look at CDPs, DMPs, and building the right audiences to drive better insights. 

What’s a CDP?

A CDP is a centralized customer relationship management hub for clients to gather data on known customers in real-time — this encapsulates sources like e-commerce and P.O.S. transactions, CRM data, email response, social interactions, and more. They’re becoming more important as a single point of data accumulation that allows CMOs and brands to understand the impact each of their mediums is having on their business’s bottom line.

CMOs and marketing decision-makers face increasingly dynamic business challenges that require connected data, intelligence, and experience solutions.

These platforms work well when you have situations where there’s a lot of first-party data flowing back and forth about a customer. The volume of detailed customer profiles that include personally identifiable information (PII) means marketing communications remain relevant to that audience only, which is a limiting setback. You’re only able to reach, say, your highest value in-store customers with an email, or populate personalized traits like names on a customer service call.

The more a client drives numerous transactions, with marketing driven heavily to customers by trying to cross-sell or upsell, the greater the CDP functionality. The other setback is that investing in them is incredibly expensive and cost-prohibitive.

What’s a DMP?

A DMP is a second-and-third-party data platform that is able to classify anonymous audiences from multiple external sources, that also houses first-party data that is not visible to any of the other second-and-third-party data providers. These are more short-term, affordable solutions because they provide a top-line view of customers via probabilistic identifiers. Cookie IDs, programmatic ad buying, and other digital signals optimize campaign performance over shorter periods of time by targeting top-of-funnel audience segments. Think of these as the middleman between the data source and the content delivery mechanism. 

These are limitations unto themselves, but DMPs are still important because these types of segments are good for building targeted advertising and personalization initiatives toward unfamiliar audiences and beyond known customers. The third-party data differentiator of a DMP gives views of both customer and prospect audiences. They can see where the client’s own customers overlap with the other datasets.

Why Should Marketers Care?

CMOs and marketing decision-makers face increasingly dynamic business challenges that require connected data, intelligence, and experience solutions. By integrating CDPs or DMPs into a marketing stack, brands have an opportunity to start connecting the most important data for any marketer who faces the challenge of justifying omnichannel spend. 

In fact, by plugging the customer data of a CDP into the prior behavior signal power of a DMP, marketers can give brands the most affordable, and rounded, 360-degree view of understanding customers. 

Amsive in particular is able to position ourselves with clients by plugging our DMP insights into their CDP. This enhanced view is able to give clients access to a large amount of acute enterprise-level data that they can connect to gain a bigger, more robust picture of what’s going on with their customers, and to add more value to marketing to a client’s full customer journey.


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