What is the difference between a CDP and CRM?

When it comes to delivering experiences that turn one-off stays into repeat visits, data is a must-have. To build loyalty, your front-line staff needs recent and accurate information, available quickly at their fingertips. Marketing and sales teams also need data to do their jobs; from pipeline tracking to optimizing marketing spend, data is critical to success.

To collect this data and get it into the hands of staff, the CRM has traditionally been the heart of the operation. It’s been a shared source of truth, relied on by any department that deals directly with guests. Over the past few years, a second data-focused technology has become more commonplace: the customer data platform, or CDP, which is a data layer that bridges across your entire operation.

This new addition to the acronym jargon can be confusing. It’s no surprise that these two technologies are easily mistaken for one other. They both focus on collecting, managing, and using customer data to improve operations, marketing and sales. While there are certainly overlaps, a few essential differences make these two tools a must-have in any hotel marketing tech stack.

With that in mind, let’s compare customer data platforms with customer relationship management tools so that you can get a solid grasp on how both fit into your hotel’s technology needs.

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