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Data Management Platform (DMP)
What's a Data Management Platform (DMP)?
A DMP (Data Management Platform) is a platform where on- and offline data is gathered, linked & exposed in actionable way. It's a platform which manages the segmentation and identity definition of users to then provide actionable & targetable audiences towards various execution channels where one engages with a consumer (e.g., mail, social, bannering or own website/app).
What does a DMP do?
A DMP has various roles to play in an organization depending on the type of organization (publisher or advertiser) & its activities. We see 4 important roles of any DMP.
(1) Orchestrating target audiences across channels
If you think about it: most marketeers have custom-built audiences in their Facebook Advertising account, their Google Ads (previously called Google Adwords), their Marketing Automation platform & their Media buying tool. However, typically, it's the same customer receiving those messages across various channels. There is no solution which orchestrates the target audiences & guarantees that the same target audiences are used by all execution channels. That is a first role of a DMP.
(2) Smart retargeting
We all know retargeting pixels: one click makes a visitor enter a target audience, now used for reminding that user of a given product. Retargeting pixels, however, don't offer any finetuning or advanced selection. Maybe you want to only retarget visitors if they aren't a frequent visitor of your site or you only want to remind your male customers when they abandon their basket.
A DMP offers the ability to, with all flexibility, do smart retargeting & use advanced rules in building targeting audiences taking into account the user's profile & his/her previous on- & offline purchases or visits.
(3) Suppression of online advertising when an (off-line) purchase is made
There is no relevance in bannering a product a customer already bought. Most organizations however don't manage to succesfully suppress their online advertisment when a purchase is made; especially when it's made off-line.
A DMP can do such suppression in real-time & thus typically brings direct Return On Investment (ROI) . Using suppression, prevents irrelevant ad spend & typically results in an ROI return of 3 to 5% of total advertising spend.
(4) Suppression of online advertising across channels
Most marketeers leverage both Facebook, Adwords & Paid Media Display to get their messages to users. However, there is similarly no value in bannering one user over & over again, yet most marketeers can only control capping per channel.
A DMP offers the ability for cross-channel capping & can prevent that any user sees one given ad 5 times across all channels. This functionality typically brings direct ROI for an advertiser as it prevents again irrelevant ad spend.
What types of DMPs exist?
A DMP is typically at the heart of a marketing or publisher organization.
All DMPs have the same basic functionalities yet no DMP platforms have the exact same functionalities.
A first relevant split to make is a Publisher DMP vs. an Advertiser DMP.
- a Publisher DMP is typically focused on helping Publishers to slice & dice its visitors in audiences the publisher can sell in its advertising being it direct or programmatic.
Focus lies typically on:
- integration with Adtech tools such as Supply Side Platforms (SSPs) & Adservers
- integration with Third-Party data platforms to sell/buy data from
- integration with Single-Sign-on tools
- an Advertiser DMP is typically focused on supporting advertisers in getting their target audiences to all their execution channels & monitoring audiences along the campaigns.
Focus lies typically on:
- integration with Marketing execution tools such as Facebook, Google Ads, Demand Side Platforms (DSPs)
- integration with Marketing Automation platforms & CRM systems
- ability to track ad impressions
A second relevant split is pure DMPs platforms vs. a platform with some DMP-functionalities
- Pure DMP platforms are platforms such as Adobe Audience Manager, Cxense DMP & Salesforce DMP.
These dedicated platforms typically give a Marketeer or Publisher a solid set of functionalities allowing above described use-cases. These platforms, however, do have a license cost specifically for the DMP functionalities. All of these platforms are standalone & it is thus in essence perfectly possible to have a DMP of one vendor & a marketing/ad-stack from another vendor.
- Platforms with DMP-functionalities such as Google 360 or Tealium Audiencestream are platforms which offer for free or at an additional cost DMP-functionalities as part of another product.
- Google Analytics has DMP functionalities as it allows Marketeers to upload 1st party information & push GA audiences to its Google Ad Manager buying platform. Google Analytics, however, doesn't allow to push to other channels such as Facebook nor does it enable capping across all channels.
- Tealium Audiencestream is a paid product as an extension of Tealium Tag Manager.
- Most Demand Side Platforms (DSPs) have some DMP-functionalities by allowing basic Audience definitions based on their pixel. It is, however, rarely linked with 1st party nor allows to leverage these same audiences in other channels.
How to get started?
Chosing & implementing a DMP isn't rocket science yet it needs to be done knowing your data-driven marketing strategy & the technics behind it. Too often organizations chose & implement a DMP without truly knowing how they will use it & create ROI.
We recommend to take the follow actions step to deliver a succesful DMP project:
- Understand your context. Do you need a DMP in the first place ? If you have e-commerce activities and/or combined on- & off-line activities you likely will.
- Define your use-cases in detail: what audiences would you want to build & leverage? What execution channels do you use & who owns them (agency or interal)?
- Build your business case: how much could you save through suppression across channels or combining on- & offline? How much better could you target & thus spend your budget?
- Choose your DMP platform: evaluate the functionalities you need vs. the functionalities every platform offers. Try to look beyond the sales pitch to evaluate if this platform can truly enable your use-cases
- Technically implement your DMP platform into detail and make sure you track what you need & connect to all your execution channels
- Deliver use-cases 1 by 1: no DMP trajectory ends at technical implementation. Once implemented, your DMP Coach needs to work with marketeers to set-up & deliver the use-cases one by one.
element61 has done various DMP RFPs, is partner to multiple DMP platforms & has managed various DMP implementations. We understand DMPs in-depth & understand their potential. It is our mission to help organizations along every step.
Our consultants are experienced in all major DMPs. We are a trusted implementation partner of below DMPs: