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What Pharmaceutical Marketers and Agencies need to know about Customer Data Platforms vs. Marketing

Pharmaceutical marketers and agencies need a good tech stack to manage their marketing efforts. The right technology will help you stay organized and on target when you send marketing campaigns to your audience.

So, as you have been building your tech stack, you may have come across two platforms that seem very similar – customer data platforms (CDP) and marketing automation platforms (MAP).

In this article, we’ll discuss what each platform does and how to use them for your pharmaceutical marketing efforts effectively.

What is a CDP?

A CDP is a centralized depository that aggregates data for the contacts in your databases from numerous sources to create a single view of a customer. Another way to think of a CDP is as a switchboard that takes information about a customer from a central database and routes it to the correct channel.

The data types that a CDP collects are far-ranging and include behavioral, transactional, structured, and unstructured data. CDPs tend to work primarily with first-party data (i.e., data that is directly collected from the customer). They handle very little third-party data (i.e., data collected by another source).

What is a MAP?

Like a CDP, a MAP collects data from particular sources, such as web fills. This is where the similarity between CDP and MAP ends. Unlike a CDP, a MAP lacks the capability to compile and organize data.

Instead, the purpose of a MAP is to create automated processes and efficiencies for common marketing campaign tasks. This is why MAPs are commonly used for email marketing, audience segmentation, lead scoring, and website monitoring.

There’s no reason to choose between a CDP or a MAP. Instead, you can get the best of both worlds by integrating a MAP with a CDP. A MAP can serve as both a data source and a destination for a CDP. A MAP can give your CDP customer data that has been collected from forms or other sources. Then, it can be a destination for data that gets routed from various sources through the CDP.

Is There an Overlap Between CDPs and MAPs?

Both CDPs and MAPs are concerned with improving the customer experience, which is why they can both be valuable assets to any marketing agency or organization. Yet, they are worlds apart regarding their function and purpose.

A CDP is a centralized database that houses customer information that is collected from multiple first-party sources.

A MAP is a more general type of platform that has the primary purpose of automating specific marketing tasks and activities.

The overlap between a CDP and a MAP comes from the fact that they both rely on customer data to perform their specific functions. That’s where the similarities end.

While several things distinguish a CDP from a MAP, the primary differentiator is that the CDP can compile and organize unstructured data. A MAP will automate tasks based on the data it has, while a CDP will actively structure data in a way that is useful for the end user.

Need Help Making Sense of Your Data? Let’s Talk

To make the most of your data, it’s essential to use software that will collect, store, and organize it to leverage data in your marketing efforts.

HealthLink Dimensions can help you make sense of your data and ensure that you are working with a clean dataset for all of your marketing outreach. Whether you are using programmatic marketing, email marketing, native advertising, or a combination of different digital marketing strategies, we can help! Contact us to get started.

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