Taming vocabulary in the world of marketing data management tools

Do you lose yourself in the marketing and technological vocabulary? Do you understand the changing framework that is attached to MarTech? If so, you will love this article!
Sophie Lamarche
1 February 2019
Customer Data Platform
9 min 35
apprivoiser le vocabulaire dans l univers des outils de gestion de donnees marketing

Among the best known, there are CRM, ERP and CMS … while in the newer era, there are the DMP, CDP or MDM. Do you also lose yourself in this vocabulary and this changing framework that marks the evolution of marketing?

If so, do not worry. There are important differences between these tools which, in the end, are of great help to marketing experts. In fact, to help you unravel everything, we present an article that compares and differentiates the tools most often confused with each other.

To make things simple, let’s start with the best known ones.



CRM versus ERP

To better understand the differences, let’s begin by outlining who the people affected by these two systems are. The main users of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are in the sales, marketing and customer service departments. They are in contact with the customer and prospects.

In contrast, ERP users focus on the process and logistics of the entire enterprise. Indeed, the ERP allows the rapid sharing of standardized information in all departments, be it production, accounting, R & D, etc. Thus, all employees enter information into the ERP system so as to create an overall picture of the organization in real time.

The goal of an ERP is the automatic reporting of anomalies in connected systems. For example, a problem in one area of ​​the organization will automatically create alerts in other affected area(s). This way of functioning can be implemented in both reactive and predictive modes (which is desired). This allows the company to focus on data rather than operations, since ERP provides a method for streamlining business processes as a whole.

At the feature level, CRM systems must support the following business processes:

  • Qualification of prospects
  • Forecast and sales cycle management (including demos and call planning)
  • Quote generation and order configuration
  • Confirmation of orders and execution
  • Establishment and termination of the contract
  • Account management in progress
  • Renewals of contracts and orders

In fact, CRM has grown to include all areas of the customer experience. It supports customer satisfaction to build loyalty. It also helps identify growth opportunities in the customer portfolio of organizations.

To conclude on these two tools, we can say that CRM and ERP come to intersect, leading to even being fully integrated. In fact, both systems come to talk to each other when what comes out of the CRM must be an entry into the ERP system. To express this integration, let’s think of CRM users who get read-only access to ERP, to view the orders shipped, the due dates, their monthly sales, their customer requests to the support team, and so on.



CDP compared to a CRM

The Customer Data Platform (CDP) is one of the emerging software categories in the field of marketing. It can be defined as a tool who assembles a set of real data about your audience that can be activated for use cases throughout the customer journey : acquisition, engagement, conversion and retention.

There are no restrictions on the types of data you can collect. In addition, the segmentation is done in real time and is independent of the channel used to ensure flow in the data stream. Ultimately, CDPs will solve one of the biggest problems for today’s specialists in the field – getting a single view of the customer in order to work with the data.

In simple terms, CDPs collect customer data from multiple channels, and connect them on these same channels. This allows you to identify an individual as the same user, whether on your blog, on Twitter, or on a landing page. Marketers can then use this database to create a single view and track the journey of the customer, subscriber or lead.

The CDP is often compared to a CRM, which at first glance seems to do the same thing. Nevertheless, it is not the case. Let’s see why.

Firstly, there is some confusion as to the exact nature of a CDP platform and its place in the world of current technologies. A Gartner survey found that 47% of marketers already reported using a CDP, and 19% were looking for one (2017). When we look further, it seems that these famous CDP are rather advanced automation platforms, or CRM. Let’s see how to differentiate them. There are 3 main differences:

  • Omnichannel is possible

CRMs are great software because they track the interactions of your customers and prospects with your sales team. If well organized, they accumulate a ton of client information, but especially on how to develop each account. However, a CRM cannot identify a customer who is not already somewhere in your database.

This is where a CDP shows its biggest advantage. Whether you are collecting data from a loyal customer or an anonymous new visitor, a CDP can identify them. This ability is what creates the unique view of a journey, form an anonymous visitor to a client. There are no more unidentified data points for anonymous visits; they are all accounted for.

  • Single Customer View

CRM focuses primarily on customer transactions. It collects information about calls, e-mails, purchases, etc. These data points are sometimes identified separately, even if it’s the same client. This can occur because a CRM is not designed to handle multiple types of data, which often duplicates customer information.

With a CDP, the data remains unified. They are designed to handle multiple types of data from a wide range of external sources. Thus, customers are always identified, regardless of the channel used. In other words, the data is never duplicated, because the database can function with multiple ID.

  • No need for programmers

The management of a CDP can be summarized in one word: simple. One of the conditions to be qualified as a CDP is that it has to be manageable by marketers. Although IT will be part of the initial implementation, marketing specialists should be able to manage it later. This contrasts with a CRM, which requires IT services for configuration and management because the databases are much more complex.



CDP compared to a DMP

Another often confusing term with the CDP is the Data Management Platform (DMP). However, there are also differences between these systems. In fact, we can name four.

  • The function

The DMP is a unifying platform that collects and organizes audience data from multiple sources, including online, offline, mobile, and others. This is the essence of data marketing, as it stores them and allows businesses to obtain unique information about audiences.

However, it is difficult to use them effectively since they are in raw form. They must be sorted and converted to be usable, at least to understand what is before our eyes. And that’s where the major difference lies with the CDP. It connects multiple platforms so marketers can use their audience data whenever and wherever they want. Remember that a CDP must be easy to use by marketers, so it must structure the data more easily than a DMP.

  • User profiles

This second difference is quite technical, but worth exploring. The profiles compiled by DMPs focus on the segmentation of information collected on individuals, but are anonymous. While cookies still exist, this information is normally stored in a DMP for a maximum of 90 days, depending on the lifetime of the cookie. Thus, when processing the data, it is done on anonymous profiles, so that a DMP selects the information based on several field values called probabilistic matching.

CDPs, on the other hand, eliminate uncertainties and perform data selection based on a specific customer identifier, such as an e-mail address. Because this correspondence is consistent across a set of data from different channels, it is called deterministic correspondence.

To capture both, CDP integrates online and offline data to create targeted and even personalized marketing campaigns. It also allows for a predictive dimension based on cumulative information about an individual’s profile. On the other hand, the DMP can only provide an anonymous audience for the creation of online ads. It is also often used to cross-reference the DMP’s anonymous data with the company’s known data to create what are known as lookalike segments.

In fact, where CDPs focus on all aspects of marketing, DMPs are designed specifically for advertisers and agencies to improve the targeting of ads on the web.

  • Types of operating data

CDP and DMP deal mainly with three types of data; first, second and third party data.

Personal data (primary source) is collected directly from individuals who have interacted with the company’s website or application. They can also be generated from a CRM, purchase transactions or registration for communications. Second-party data is that which is collected or purchased from another company. Third-party data is obtained from a collection of different sources. This last level is the main target of the DMP. It works with anonymous tags, such as IP addresses and cookies.

On the other hand, the CDP targets data from all levels. With this global view, he seeks to identify, at a certain time, an individual by name, an email address, a postal address or a contact number. No matter the ID, it can and will be stored in the CDP database in a structured way.

  • Data capture

Finally, DMPs are useful for capturing generic data, such as noting when a user has visited a website, the pages they have viewed, and how long they have been on the page. CDPs can go further in this analysis to determine if the same user can be converted to a client, or to understand which content is suitable for the client based on data stored in their profile.

As a result, CDPs store historical data, making them capable of capturing customer communications, product or service transactions, and more. With this, they can use, for example, automatic intelligence to associate data with customer behavior. CDPs also have the advantage of accessing Facebook, Google, etc. ads, and can even integrate data with DMPs.



CDP versus automated marketing

Finally, the last big difference between the concepts to cover is the one that connects CDP to automated marketing. It must be understood that CDP is the natural evolution of automated marketing. Here’s what you need to remember.

  • Magnitude of data and data sources.

It is no longer enough to just collect data on a few channels in order to trigger a series of automated actions. On the contrary, we must move to the concept of CDP, which extracts data from all sources of an organization. They come from the web, online channels, customer profiles, store data, call centers, and more. Connecting this is the breadth of data that can move marketing to the next stage. In fact, it allows your points of contact to provide real personalized experiences. How?

  • By transforming data into information

Automated marketing aims to manage campaigns based on the data you have collected and stored. The aim of the CDP is to generate insight by creating more and more targeted campaigns without the marketers having to interfere in the process. That’s how customer experiences get richer. It is also about taking advantage of the data and using it to inform all strategic decisions. To get there, you have to move on to the next point.

  • Real-time personalization 

Automated marketing has successfully established links with certain channels, primarily email, to conduct targeted campaigns. On the other hand, the goal of the CDP is to offer real-time customization. As an example, if a VIP client arrives on your website, it would be ideal to know and modify the customer experience accordingly, with textual content, images and layout. Thus, all points of contact of an organization adapt at all times, and leads to a 1 to 1 approach.

  • Transform multiple products into one

With all this, a CDP can replace an automated marketing platform, email sending platform, as well as landing page creation, monitoring, but also a badly or untapped marketing database. It’s really a global tool that improves marketing intelligence on many levels!


To wrap it up

The technological universe continues to grow. Nothing scares me more than one of those famous images that gather all the marketing tools by category. There is enough to make your eyes bleed just by looking at it! However, it’s inevitable. In fact, the marketing of tomorrow is more and more oriented towards the customer, the personalization and the predictive. To get there, data will be king and queen of the ball.

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