CDP vs. CRM: Understanding The Difference Between a CDP and CRM

In today’s digital age, organizations require information about their customers to do their jobs effectively. Marketing, sales, and product teams must have access to data to make informed decisions, reach out to customers and deliver a personalised experience. Two technologies have emerged to collect and manage this information – Customer Data Platforms (CDP) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems. In this blog post, we will explore the difference between a CDP and a CRM, so you can decide which of the two technologies would be more beneficial for your organisation.

What is a CDP?

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a technology that helps organisations to collect, manage, and activate customer data from multiple sources. It centralises customer data in a single location and provides a unified view of each customer across all touchpoints.

For example, Zeta’s CDP collects first-party customer data from various sources such as websites, mobile apps, and other digital touchpoints and creates a single source of truth that is made available to marketing systems in real-time. The goal of a CDP is to provide a comprehensive understanding of each customer, their behavior, and preferences, and use this information to deliver personalised experiences.

What is a CRM?

A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system is a technology used by organisations to manage their interactions with customers, clients, and sales prospects. Its main goal is to help organisations improve customer relationships, increase customer loyalty, and drive revenue growth. For example, the Zeta Marketing Platform features an embedded CRM that enables businesses to manage customer relationships and interactions with prospects and consumers.

A CRM system tracks customer interactions and communication, analyses customer behavior, and provides a centralised location for storing customer information. This information can be used by sales and customer service teams to personalise their approach, increase efficiency, and close more deals. A CRM system can also help organisations manage customer interactions, automate repetitive tasks, and provide insights into customer behavior and preferences. The information stored in a CRM system can be used to deliver better customer experiences and improve the overall relationship with customers.

The Difference Between a CDP and CRM: Use Cases

CDPs and CRMs have different use cases and are designed to serve different purposes within an organisation. CDPs are great for delivering personalised experiences to customers, segmenting customers based on behavior and other attributes, and providing a unified view across touchpoints. In contrast, CRMS are great for managing customer interactions, tracking communications, and providing insights into customer behavior and preferences.

CRMs Are for Customer Facing Roles

CRMs are designed for customer-facing roles such as sales and customer service. These systems help these teams manage customer interactions, track customer interactions and communication, and analyse customer behavior to drive sales and improve customer relationships. CRMs also allow organisations to automate routine tasks and store all customer information in a centralised location, making it easier for employees to access customer data and provide a personalised experience. For example, with a CRM, a sales team can easily access customer information, see the history of interactions, and personalise their approach to close a deal.

CDPs Are for Non-Customer Facing Roles

CDPs, on the other hand, are designed for non-customer facing roles such as marketing and product teams. These systems help these teams collect and manage customer data from multiple sources, including websites, mobile apps, and other digital touchpoints. The goal of a CDP is to provide a comprehensive understanding of each customer, their behavior, and preferences, and use this information to deliver personalised experiences. For example, a marketing team can use a CDP to create targeted campaigns based on customer behavior, preferences, and past interactions.

The Difference Between a CDP and CRM: Managing Data

CDPs and CRMs also differ in how they manage customer data. With CDPs, data collection is automated. Data is then unified, analysed, and available for real-time access. With CRMs data entry is often manual, but the way data is standardized and controlled allows for personalisation of customer interactions and communications

How Do CDPs Manage Data?

CDPs gather a broader range of customer data by automatically collecting it from various devices and touchpoints. This data is then consolidated and stored in a single location, providing a unified view of each customer. CDPs use algorithms and machine learning to analyse customer data, identify patterns, and deliver personalised experiences based on customer behavior and preferences.

How Do CRMs Manage Data?

CRMs, on the other hand, rely on manual data entry every time an exchange occurs between the customer and the organisation. Because each interaction varies, it can be difficult to standardise the data, making it challenging for CRMs to provide a comprehensive view of each customer. However, CRMs control and keep the data, allowing employees to access all the information they need on the customer and add a personal touch when closing deals or providing customer support.

CDP vs. CRM: The Right Fit for Your Organisation

CDPs and CRMs are not either/or tools. In some cases, organisations may choose to implement both a CDP and a CRM, as they complement each other and provide a complete view of the customer. For example, a CDP can provide a comprehensive understanding of each customer, while a CRM can provide a more personal touch and help organisations manage customer interactions.

At Zeta, we consider the connection between the CDP and CRM to be of utmost importance. This is why our Zeta Marketing Platform has a built-in CDP at its center, making sure that precise and enhanced customer data is readily accessible for activation through the ZMP’s customer relationship management functions – which include carefully planned, customised campaigns and promotions across various channels.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, both CDPs and CRMs play a critical role in helping organizations understand and engage with their customers. By choosing the right technology for your organisation and using them in concert, you can improve customer relationships, increase customer loyalty, and drive revenue growth.

If you’re looking for a CRM or CDP solution, Zeta Global has been recognised as one of the most promising CRM solutions and also offers a CDP+ solution that includes a single view, centralised data, enrichment, analytics, and segmentation plus additional benefits such as persisting ID management, and AI generated insights. Request a demo today to learn more about what the Zeta Marketing Platform can do for your business.


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