Data Management Platform

I recently had the pleasure to speak at All Things Data, which is a conference about… well, data. At the event, I talked about what is a data management platform, and how it can help marketers connect the dots and truly understand the customer journey.

When I got off the stage, there was a queue of people lined up and waiting to speak to me.

Some said that they are already considering to implement a Data Management Platform but needed to learn more about it – How does it work? How can it be integrated with their existing marketing stack?

Others had never even heard about it and were so curious to learn what a data management platform actually is and how it can help them be better at what they do.

So I decided to write the answer to some of these questions, and I hope to answer them in this article.

Let’s start from the basics…

Representing Mapp at All Things Data conference

What is a Data Management Platform?

First comes first, what is a Data Management Platform (DMP)?

A Data Management Platform enables marketers to use data from various sources in order to manage the customer journey more efficiently and automatically optimize results of their marketing and advertising campaigns.

A #DMP lets you collect #data from various sources, and activate the data to target respective audiences across multiple channels, with the optimal message for them
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A DMP lets you collect and analyze data about your customers-including behavioral, geographic and profile data-from every touch point in one platform. The result is an integrated picture of all your data sources, from both your own first party data and third party. This step is crucial as it lets you activate that data and use it to target your respective audience with the utmost accuracy possible across a number of different marketing channels.

The right DMP allows your results to perform in real time. It allows you to optimize media buy and advertising creative on the fly. This possibility of receiving a 360-degree view of your customer and how your campaign is performing is truly vital to actually reaching a specific audience in real time.

How does a Data Management Platform work?

A DMP essentially collects all your data from any touch point you have with your customer. This can be a digital touch point – your website, mobile app, marketing campaigns, social media etc. as well as offline – store information, call center inquires. It also collects third party data. The DMP then creates audiences and uses data to push the audiences into buying /execution points.

Next, the DMP optimises your results using lookalike audiences. A lookalike audience is a term used to identify potential prospects that exhibit the same characteristics as your best performing customer groups. Having all your data in one place allows the DMP to analyse and track your best performing customers and create lookalike audiences that are very similar to it. This is a great way to tap into new prospects while knowing in advance that there is a good chance of turning them into profitable customers for your company.

Finally, the DMP collects response data and repeats the process using the new data gathered. This process is a constant loop that continues to grow and optimize in order to fine tune your campaigns in real time and find new audiences for you.

What is a data management platform

To summarize, a DMP:

  • Collects data from various sources, both online, offline and third party
  • Creates audiences
  • Pushes audiences through the buying process
  • Optimizes the results Collect response data

It is a circular process leading to infinite optimization and marketing efficiency. Using lookalike audiences, a DMP can help you discover new audiences that are likely to buy and automatically match your marketing messages with the right audiences.

When it comes to meeting the challenge of the ‘on-demand’ consumer, knowing your audience is absolutely essential to enable brands to react and provide relevant personalised marketing in real-time. Let me unravel the beauty a Data Management Platform can offer you and then you can decide whether a DMP should be at the top of your 2016 checklist for success this year.

Why Do I Need a Data Management Platform?

In a recent survey by Infogroup 62% of marketers noted that they are already investing in data marketing solutions, with additional 26% planning to start investing within the next two years. Marketers are beginning to see worth and become aware of the benefits of a data-driven marketing strategy in driving more engaging real-time customer interactions and as a result a much more valuable customer experience. But with all this data to our disposals, marketers are still finding it difficult to connect the dots. In fact, seven in ten marketers have gaps in capabilities and effectiveness of their technology when it comes to creating a view of the customer.

A Data Management Platform is a dream come true for data driven marketers. With all the technology we have at our disposal, the challenge is to bring all the data into one place, and to be able to analyze it in real time and then act upon it in order to optimize our campaigns. One of the biggest challenges for marketers today is to build a single view of their customer. We collect data from different sources, such as social media, email, media campaigns, and our website as well as offline channels such as our call center. Then adding the dots becomes almost impossible.

But, what if you could imitate a Kaleidoscope to create one single view of your customer across the entire buyer journey?

Well, you can. The solution is to implement a Data Management Platform that will allow you to break the silos and unify all your data in one place.

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What are the main functions of a DMP?

Integrating a DMP into your marketing stack will enable you to become a smarter, more efficient and more data-driven marketer.

Amongst others, these are the key functions that a DMP offers and for you to take into consideration:

  • Robust data collection: The ability to collect various offline and online sources.
  • Data classification & structure: The ability to structure your data based around user attributes for future segmentation, engagement, flexible event definition and value assignment.
  • Integration with media buying platforms (networks, exchanges, DSP)
  • Integration with 2nd and 3rd party data providers
  • Centralized audience analytics & reporting: providing on a campaign and audience level

Your Turn

If you step back and take in the view of what a Data Management Platform has to offer, you begin to see a much larger picture than you could have truly imagined. In an era when minute-by minute campaign reporting is possible, no brand can afford not to examine its potential.

To find out more about and how a DMP can accelerate your digital marketing capability, get more resources here.

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