Data Management Platforms
#Digital Marketing

Data Management Platforms: The Marketer's Silver Bullet?

There has been a great deal written about Data Management Platforms (DMPs).  They are often talked about in terms that suggest they can solve all of a marketer’s problems; clean data, improve measurement, target specifically and probably even do the washing up.  In reality, a DMP is a powerful database front end that:

        1. Ingests data: website, customer database (online & offline), data partnerships, third-party, etc.;
        2. Then organises it to create a single customer view (SCV);
        3. And sorts it in a structured way – a usable taxonomy.

Marketers can then use this organised data to deliver tailored, efficient and impactful messaging via activation platforms such as a Demand Side Platform (DSP).

The reason marketers get so excited about a DMP is its potential for helping to deliver the holy grail of right message, right person, right time, every time.  The SCV prevents unintentionally targeting the same customer multiple times; this is less annoying for the customer and vastly reduces wastage in media spend.  The DMP needs a well-structured data set and this allows advertisers to uncover insights about their customers, have greater ownership of that data and provide tailored messages based on known behaviours and preferences. 

This tailoring is particularly beneficial.  Advertising cars to non-drivers or cat food to a dog owner simply does not make sense – why wouldn’t you want to avoid this and provide the right message?  The DMP powers this by providing the audiences (segments) that inform the targeting that can be delivered across platforms such as display, video, mobile, search, digital out-of-home and social. As these channels become ever more connected the easier it is becoming to inform them from a single or consistent source

So where’s the catch?  It is notoriously difficult to get to a SCV.  Consumers are becoming increasingly savvy with handing over their data, and multiple devices make this even more challenging.  Data is the DMP’s fuel – without the right fuel, performance will never be there.  Some advertisers simply do not have the first-party data available, and for those that do, work is required to structure that data effectively.  This leads to the primary barrier for most: investment.  A DMP can require significant spend and time.  This is not an overnight process – implementation to optimisation can take months, require changes in ways of working and the DMP set up and running costs can add more expense to marketing Profit and Losses that are already constrained.

A DMP is an undeniably powerful tool, but only if delivered in the right way and at the right time.  We recommend undertaking a thorough needs analysis before committing to an expensive tech implementation. Consult @ iProspect has been on this journey with a number of clients, truly understanding business readiness and asking whether a DMP is right, and right for now, to implement a solution which not only leverages best practices but works in practice.