Key considerations when comparing DMPs and CDPs to InfoSum’s UDP - Part One

Key considerations when comparing DMPs and CDPs to InfoSum’s UDP - Part One
Key considerations when comparing DMPs and CDPs to InfoSum’s UDP - Part One
January 9, 2020
Ben Cicchetti

As the advertising and marketing technology stacks have become ever more crowded with solutions designed to provide data-driven insights into consumer behaviour, it has become increasingly difficult for businesses to ascertain the benefits of each and how to select the right data platform for their business needs

In this three part blog series, we’re going to look at these different solutions, and examine key considerations businesses should make when selecting the right platform. But before we get into those key considerations, let’s start with some definitions.

DMP, CDP and UDP definitions

Data Management Platforms (DMP) 

DMPs have existed in the Adtech sector for some time. Their key functionality is the ability to use third-party cookies, placed on a business's website to record user behaviour and to offer segmentation capabilities. Data can be enriched through the purchase of third-party data to broaden reach or increase audience definition. Data is stored in a central repository(the vendor’s platform), tied to the platform’s Master ID, and most commonly used to drive programmatic advertising. Their use in wider marketing activity is limited.  

Customer Data Platforms (CDP) 

CDPs are a more recent addition to the MarTech world, gaining popularity in 2018 and 2019. They are designed to collect and centralise event and customer data from multiple online and offline sources, matching them to a single customer profile and master ID. This data can then be routed to other systems and used to segment and activate an audience across various channels.

InfoSum’s Unified Data Platform (UDP)

UDP is the latest addition to the MarTech stack from InfoSum. A UDP is designed to connect first, second or third-party data sources to drive insights, audience creation, segmentation, and activation. Unlike both DMPs and CDPs, InfoSum’s UDP never centralises data, instead it utilises a federated architecture to analyse decentralised datasets...a unique proposition in the market.

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Key comparisons to consider


In an era of frequent data breaches and leakages, it is important to consider the infrastructure that data platforms are built on. Both DMPs and CDPs are built on a centralised database infrastructure, meaning that as data is collected, it is aggregated into a single pot. The benefit of this approach is having all your data in one place, but this is also the downfall, as it creates a single-point-of-failure.

Comparatively, InfoSum’s UDP has been built on a federated architecture. This approach enables data sources to remain completely decentralised, and instead, a virtual database is built that provides the same insights as centralising the data, just without a lot fewer risks. This pioneering approach makes bringing together various internal data sources, quick, easy and painless. Data collaboration becomes more seamless when you remove the common frictions that are created when using platforms that require data to be moved, centralised and stored.

Data types

As we have explored in a previous article, multiple types of data can be utilised in today's marketing landscape, each has its benefits. However, not all platforms can offer access to these various data types.

DMPs are primarily designed to collect and aggregate cookie-based data, held in a third-party ID (usually a cookie). This has long been the fuel that powered programmatic advertising across the advertising ecosystem. But with Safari and Firefox blocking third-party cookies, and Google’s announcements at the end of 2019 that signalled their intent to remove the data portability that third-party cookies provided, their usage for audience tracking and targeting seems to limited and in imminent risk of collapse.

CDPs are capable of handling both third-party cookie data and a business's first-party data (for example, CRM data). Additionally, CDP’s can sometimes also process both online and offline data. However, CDPs require that all the data is commingled and ‘flattened’ against a single ID, their own. This removes a lot of the richness that retaining the data at an individual record level can afford.

InfoSum is entirely agnostic to the types of data that can be utilised in our UDP. First and third-party data can be used for analysis, segmentation and targeting, without requiring the data to be commingled or flattened against a profile. The federated nature of the UDP also opens up opportunities for companies to make their data available for monetisation as second-party data in a privacy-safe and secure environment, as well as enabling businesses to access other second-party data for enrichment, validation and media planning purposes.

In our next blog, we will look at how each of these solutions enable data collaboration, and handle identity and data cleansing.