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CRM vs CDP: What’s the Difference?

Customers are arguably the most important aspect of a company. No matter how good a team is or how unique its goods are, a business cannot thrive if they do not reach the right customers.

Knowing information about your audience and the right approach to attract them will propel your business into steady growth. Thankfully, today’s technology, like CRM and CDP, has allowed you to execute this vital task automatically at a favorable price.

CRM and CDP are the top two automation systems used by the best companies in any industry. Notwithstanding their popularity, many businesses often lump CRM vs CDP together despite having different purposes. 

CRM, or Customer Relationship Management, is a system that manages your interactions with potential customers and regular customers. With the best software providers, CRM software is further separated into CRM for leads and CRM for sales.

It’s important to note that in both leads and sales, CRM manages the relationships between businesses and customers. On the other hand, DCP or customer data platforms collect quantitative customer data to back qualitative decisions.

The main difference between the two lies in what type of data they offer. Customer information and interaction history with your team are the data you can access with CRM, while CDP gives you the touchpoints where the customer interacted with your business. 


Who CRM vs CDP Are For

The qualitative data of CRMs and the quantitative data of DCPs make outreach personalization possible. Still, each system is bound to cater to different people because of the difference in data forms.

CRMs suit positions that require direct communication with customers, such as sales and customer service. These two roles use the help of CRM to speed up their effort in pursuing leads or customers in tasks like support forms, offering, setting up meetings, and more.

Contrarily, teams use CDPs more productively in positions with indirect customer interactions, such as product and marketing. All the necessary customer data, from web traffic to ads, will be ingested with CDPs to ensure that the team creates the right marketing strategies. 

How CRM vs CDP Gather and Manage Data

The best analogy to explain how CDP gathers data is to imagine your search history as branches of one big tree. CDP can accumulate that data from Google searches to website visits or clicked ads into its main stem, the software database.

After the data is collected, the system will automatically create a unified customer profile so that it can be a point of reference in future advertisements. For example, you might have noticed that when you search for something on the internet multiple times, ads for similar products or services start showing up everywhere on your browser.

This slight adjustment was made with CDP’s data after it understood your interests. As for CRM, the system gathers data from every point where you can encounter interaction with customers.

This includes data from website mailing subscriptions, forms, call logs, online chats, and outgoing emails. Every time a new customer interacts with you, the system will create a customer profile with their information.

If the profile already exists, the system will automatically add the new information. CRM can also gather data logged on other platforms as long as it contains the right type of customer information.

After the database is created, you can improve the data as new updates occur. The software will automatically manage all data and generate automatic notifications to follow up on these customers. With this feature, you won’t ever lose out on potential customers.

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What CRM vs CDP Are For

Functions of CDP and CRM
Source: The Actuarial Club

Although CRMs and CDPs offer different functions and retain different data types, you can ultimately use both to better understand customers. If interactions with external stakeholders are not personalized, the company might risk looking ingenuine.

Especially with customer communication and marketing campaigns, authenticity and personalization almost always guarantee success. This is because all customers want to feel valued by brands.

Ensuring that you cater to each customer in their own way is a tough challenge for big companies, and that’s precisely why you need CRM and CDP. CRM provides an easy way to organize customer data and preferences.

Furthermore, DCP provides behavioral data on how customers and leads interact with your brand. Your business can use CDP and CRM in tandem, but it is essential to remember that you can use one can without the other. 

Which One is Right for You?

Choosing the suitable software for your company is a little tricky because it is a question only you can answer. Often, you do not even have to choose between the two. However, there are some points that could aid you in the consideration process if you only want to utilize one of them.

CRM is a more efficient software because it is personalized and keeps everything centralized. CRM is also usable for companies of any size and from any field. The catch is if you feel like your CRM software is not giving you enough analytics.

If that happens, you might also want to start looking into CDP software. That is why you must choose the most comprehensive CRM software available in the market to avoid this kind of situation. 

Also read: Top 10 Lead Management Software in Singapore


Your company’s growth relies heavily on your customers and how well you know them. However, compiling customer information and regulating them for future marketing strategies is also where the challenge lies.

Thankfully, CRM and CDP can make it easy by automating everything for you. Both software has a valuable contribution to your sales and marketing process, but their actual function is different.

CDP handles more of the analytics side of customer acquisition and retainment meanwhile CRM handles the communication side more prominently. For most companies, you may want to consider starting with just CRM software.

If you’d like to get started with a CRM, HashMicro CRM-Leads is your best option. This software provides a complete set of features to help you accurately organize your customer database and automate analytics.

The CRM-leads software is also fit for integration with other software like Marketing Automation and Help Desk. Get the best possible deal at a suitable price for your budget, or try out the software with a free demo to experience the CRM features today. 


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