Choosing the right marketing platform: CDP, CEP, or DMP?

How to choose your marketing platform

Businesses are increasingly reliant on sophisticated platforms to manage, understand, and engage with their customers. But choosing the right platform for your marketing needs can be challenging. What is the difference between Customer Data Platforms (CDP), Customer Engagement Platforms (CEP), and Data Management Platforms (DMP)? How can you leverage tools like Actito, Hubspot, Adobe Audience Manager and much more, depending on your marketing objectives?

What are CDP, CEP and DMP?  Key marketing platform types to choose from

1. Customer Data Platform (CDP) to know who your customers are 

A CDP is an integrated customer database that consolidates data from multiple sources, providing a single customer view. This marketing platform enables businesses to unify customer data into comprehensive customer profiles. Identity resolution is a big part of those tools.  

CDPs are primarily used for personalised marketing, customer segmentation, and improving customer experiences. They excel in handling real-time data and can support predictive analytics.  

Most well-known CDPs are Segment (Twilio), Salesforce Data Cloud, Adobe Experience Platform or Raptor 

2. Customer Engagement Platform (CEP) to understand how to best engage with your customers 

A CEP is a suite of tools designed to manage and optimise customer interactions across various touchpoints. It focuses on engaging customers through personalised experiences. 

CEPs are used for campaign management, customer journey mapping, and real-time customer engagement. They are instrumental in orchestrating customer interactions across multiple channels. 

In this type of marketing platform category, you can choose between tools like Hubspot, Salesforce Marketing Cloud, Adobe Marketo Engage, Actito (Belgian product) or Iterable 

3. Data Management Platform (DMP) to optimise your advertising efforts 

A DMP primarily collects and manages large sets of structured and unstructured data from disparate sources. It is more advertising-focused and is used for audience segmentation and targeting. 

DMPs are extensively used in targeted advertising, audience analytics, and content personalisation. They are adept at handling third-party data and integrating it for broader marketing strategies. 

We can cite Snowflake, Adobe Audience Manager or Lotame. The marketing platforms evolve more and more towards CDP as third-party cookies are less relevant and will disappear in 2024 on Chrome.  

Feature/Aspect  Customer Data Platform (CDP)  Customer Engagement Platform (CEP)  Data Management Platform (DMP) 
Marketing challenge addressed  Incomplete customer views  Difficulty in maintaining effective, consistent and personalized customer interactions accross various platforms  Fragmented audiences from multiple sources 
Primary Function  Centralising customer data  Managing customer interactions  Managing and segmenting audience data 
Data Types Handled  First-party data  First-party, and some third-party data  Mainly third-party data 
Real-Time Data Handling  Excellent  Good  Moderate 
Privacy Compliance  High  High  Moderate to low 
Use in Marketing  Personalisation  Customer journey and experience  Targeted advertising 
Integration with Other Systems  High  Moderate to high  Moderate 
Primary users   Mix of Data Scientists & technical profiles to collect the data and marketing teams to activate them  Customer Experience Managers / Campaign Managers  Digital Marketers and media planners 



Criteria to choose the right marketing platform 


How marketing platforms address 2024 key data and marketing trends 

 Data collection and use is evolving rapidly, influenced by several key trends that are poised to reshape marketing strategies fundamentally. CDPs, CEPs and DMPs can help you address some of those challenges and opportunities, from privacy regulation to AI and multichannel engagement. 

 In 2024, four major marketing platforms benefits will help you juggle with the latest data trends and drivebetter business outcomes:  

  1. Emphasis on Zero & First-Party Data: With increasing privacy regulations, the importance of first-party data is paramount. CDPs & CEPs are becoming crucial for businesses that prioritise data privacy and want to leverage their customer data responsibly. On top of first-party data, zero party data (data communicated by the customers) are even more reliable and relevant to drive unified customer experience.  
  2. Unified Customer Experience: CEPs are gaining traction for businesses focusing on holistic customer experiences. They offer tools for engaging customers across various stages of their journey, making them ideal for both B2B and B2C companies. The customer can choose how and when to be contacted via email, SMS, WhatsApp, phone, mail, push notifications …   
  3. The integration of AI in CDPs and CEPs is transforming how businesses understand and interact with customers. AI enables predictive analytics in CDPs, offering deeper insights into customer behaviour and preferences. In CEPs, AI enhances personalization and optimizes customer engagement strategies, making interactions more relevant and timelier. Having generative AI or machine learning capabilities natively integrated in the tools will speed up the adoption and creative usage by marketeers.  
  4. Integration Capabilities: The ability to integrate with existing systems is a key consideration. Businesses should assess platforms based on their compatibility with current tech stacks and link automatically customer data but also any information linked to the customer experience like product & shop information for retailers.   


Have you made you choice?

Choosing the right marketing platform – CDP, CEP, or DMP – hinges on a business’s specific needs, data strategies, and long-term customer engagement goals. In 2024, with an increasing focus on data privacy, personalisation, and integrated customer experiences, businesses must judiciously select tools that align with their objectives and enhance their digital capabilities. With our team of customer data activation experts, let’s discuss your challenges and find the tool that will support your business ambitions!