CDP Vs CRM: What’s The Difference, and How To Choose

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In the world of modern business, customer data reigns supreme as it helps you understand your customers, their preferences, and their behaviours. 

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems are two key players in crafting successful marketing strategies and driving growth. 

But what sets them apart, and how do you choose the right solution for your business needs? 

With SalesWorks Group‘s wealth of industry experience spanning over 25 years, our team is uniquely positioned to provide expert insights. Having navigated the ever-evolving landscape of sales, we understand the nuances of effective strategies. 

Now, let’s explore the differences between Customer Data Platforms (CDPs) and Customer Relationship Management (CRMs), leveraging our seasoned knowledge to guide you towards the optimal solution for your business.


CRM: Nurturing Customer Relationships



A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system focuses on managing interactions and relationships with customers, but it does not usually store every single piece of information on a customer, nor run machine learning on that data to generate insights. 

CRMs typically include tools for tracking communications, managing leads, and streamlining sales processes. They provide a platform for sales teams to maintain customer profiles, track communication history, and manage sales pipelines, ultimately fostering more efficient customer relationships.


CDP: Unifying Customer Data

A Customer Data Platform (CDP) creates detailed, identifiable customer profiles to help you improve your ad targeting, your personalisation, segmentation, loyalty programs, and the entire customer journey across all channels. 

The CDP gets data from all channels as well to help you provide a single view of the customer, and help with constant communication across your touchpoints to help increase your customer experience.

A CDP is designed to unify customer data from various sources into a centralised location. This consolidation allows businesses to gain a comprehensive view of their customers’ interactions and behaviours across different touchpoints. CDPs collect, organise, and analyse data, providing actionable insights that help tailor marketing efforts and enhance customer experiences.


Key Differences Between CDPs and CRMs

1. Data Focus

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CRMs emphasise customer interaction management, enhancing communication and collaboration between sales and customer service teams. Meanwhile, CDPs prioritise data aggregation and analysis from multiple sources, enabling businesses to create a unified customer profile. 

2. Scope of Use

CRMs are primarily utilised by sales teams to manage leads, deals, and customer interactions. On the other hand, CDPs extend their reach to marketing, sales, and customer service departments, offering insights for personalised campaigns. 

3. Data Handling

CRMs primarily manage structured data related to sales and customer interactions. Meanwhile, CDPs excel at handling large volumes of structured and unstructured data, deriving insights from the complete customer journey.  

4. Personalisation

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CRMs focus on personalising sales interactions and tracking customer touchpoints.

CDPs enable highly personalised marketing by analysing vast customer datasets and tailoring campaigns accordingly. 


Choosing the Right Solution

1. Identify Business Needs

Start by understanding your business objectives. For sales-focused needs and enhancing customer relationships, a CRM could be the answer. If you seek comprehensive insights into customer behaviour across channels, a CDP might be your choice. 

2. Data Complexity

Consider the complexity of your data. If you’re dealing with diverse data sources and want to derive insights from various touchpoints, a CDP’s data unification capabilities could be crucial.

3. Integration Capabilities

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When choosing a system, it may help to assess integration possibilities between these two tools. CRMs often integrate well with sales and marketing software, while CDPs might align better with comprehensive data ecosystems.

4. Scalability

As your business grows, scalability becomes important. Evaluate how each solution scales with increasing data and customer volumes.

5. User-Friendly Interface

Both solutions should offer an intuitive interface that suits your team’s needs. A user-friendly platform boosts efficiency and adoption.

6. Cost Considerations

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Analyse the cost versus benefits of each solution. Consider long-term ROI and the value they bring to your business.


SalesWorks: Guiding Your Decision


In general, a CRM may be more suited for smaller businesses that want to focus on personalisation, while CDP is better suited for medium-sized businesses who need to start focusing on data from masses of customers. 

However, this description is not a one-size-fit-all. As you navigate the realm of customer data, it may take a bit of trial and error to figure out which system would work better for your business. 

SalesWorks understands the intricacies of CDPs and CRMs. Our mission to help clients save time and cost enable them to better allocate their efforts towards other goals that they have, alongside managing their customer data. 

Whether you’re inclined toward data-driven marketing or fostering enriched customer relationships, SalesWorks is equipped with the knowledge of our sales professionals to help your business make informed decisions. Click on this contact form to start your journey in gaining a competitive edge that propels your business ahead!