Data and Insights

Data Management Platforms: Beyond the Tech

A great deal has been written about data management platforms (DMPs) and their technological capabilities. There is an abundance of information available on individual DMP providers’ integrations and data collection methodologies. Businesses are either adopting a DMP in their marketing strategy or are becoming better acquainted with the concept of owning a DMP and the multitude of advantages this piece of technology can bring to their organisation. DMPs are moving away from being an unexplored area of marketing technology and becoming the best tool for audience management. But, do we truly know what it takes to make a successful DMP beyond the technical implementation?

Enter the audience manager

Once a business has gone through the process of procuring a suitable DMP and all basic integrations with the rest of the MarTech ecosystem are in place, a business should then seek to understand who is going to manage this technology on a daily basis. At this point, many organisations will have hired an audience manager role – the go-to person for any DMP related questions. This specialist will be tasked with managing the multiple data collection sources, organisation and activation processes, as well as coming up with potential new use cases and overall strategy. However, while having a single owner of the platform to provide a holistic oversight works well, who else needs to be involved and to what extent?

The people behind the tech

A DMP manager will need to work with a variety of stakeholders (in-house, agency-side and vendors) to ensure that the correct processes are in place, they will also consider the different operational workstreams and provide best practice guidance. This could include:

  • Ad Ops: implementing DMP pixels; adhering to DMP naming conventions; ensuring Paid Media is correctly captured in the DMP;

  • Web Analytics: onsite data tagging and collection;

  • Data Insights: reporting via the DMP or using the DMP as an extra source of data insight;

  • Marketing Channel teams (Search, Social, Display): supporting integrations between the DMP and DSPs, AdWords, Facebook, etc; creating audiences based on DMP data;

  • Planning: defining and creating DMP audiences; co-ordinating channel teams and the cross-channel DMP strategy;

  • Legal: ensuring that any 2nd and 3rd Party Data bought via the DMP is compliant;

The list above is only a guideline and roles and responsibilities will vary depending on the structural set up of a business. However, it clearly outlines the number of touch points the process of managing a DMP can have.

Digital Transformation

The fundamental purpose of a DMP is to break data silos and allow the execution of an integrated data strategy. In order for this goal to be fulfilled, a process of digital transformation, which will fuel the collaboration between various teams, needs to take place. Digital transformation refers to the shift of an organisation’s internal operations and mechanisms in order to accommodate for the successful adoption of digital technology. This transition is both operational and cultural in nature and can require specialised change management support in order to address the process effectively. As a DMP sits in the very core of a MarTech ecosystem it is likely that implementation will alter many of the day-to-day digital marketing processes. An open mindset is crucial for all involved individuals to embrace this change and adapt to it.

Back to basics

Stakeholder education on the capabilities of the platform is the other absolutely vital element on the path of setting up for success. It may seem counter-intuitive something so simple is crucial, we should not forget that DMPs are still a relatively new player in the MarTech landscape and many people do not have a clear understanding of the way it operates. A structured training plan that involves process documentation and hands-on workshops are good for educating the wider business.

As a high level requirement everyone in the business should be familiar with the concept of a DMP, as well as the terminology and processes specific to the provider their organisation has chosen. Additionally, the business should have a clear idea of the types of data collected in the platform, the map of the stakeholders involved and any considerations they should now be taking into account in their day-to-day work. Ultimately, everyone should be able to feel at ease when discussing the platform and should be able to add value to a DMP conversation by providing different points of view, specific to their area of expertise.

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