What is a Data Management Platform?

17th Aug 2017

What is a Data Management Platform and do you need one?

To some, a data management platform (DMP) is fast becoming the way they understand their customer journey. However, many marketers, who have yet to implement a DMP, are looking to learn more about what they offer. How they work? How they can be integrated into an existing marketing stack? Some marketers are yet to be convinced that a DMP can actually help them be better at what they do. So, in an effort to shed some light on DMPs, I’m going to look at a few of these questions, so you have the information you need to decide whether you need to invest in one.

What is a Data Management Platform (DMP)?

Let’s start from the basics. A DMP enables marketers to use data from various sources to manage the customer journey more efficiently. 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 first- and third-party data. This step is crucial as it lets you activate data to target your respective audience with the utmost accuracy across different marketing channels.

The right DMP allows your results to perform in real-time. This possibility of receiving a 360-degree view of your customer, and how your campaign is performing, is vital to reaching a specific audience.

How does a Data Management Platform work?

A DMP essentially collects data from any customer touchpoint -- including digital or offline touch points. The DMP then creates audiences and uses data to push the audiences into buying/execution points.

Next, the DMP optimizes 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 analyze and track your best performing customers and create lookalike audiences that are very similar to it.

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 campaigns in real-time and find new audiences.

Why do I need a data management platform?

In a recent survey by Infogroup, 62% of marketers noted they already invest in data marketing solutions, with an additional 26% planning to start investing within the next two years. Marketers experience 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, marketers still find 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.

With all the technology, we have at our disposal, the challenge is bringing all our data into one place, and analyzing it in real-time to optimize campaigns. One of the biggest challenges for marketers today is to build a single view of customer.

But, what if you could imitate a Kaleidoscope to better understand your customer across the entire buyer journey? Well, you can. The solution is to implement a Data Management Platform that ensures you break silos and unify all your data.

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:

  • 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

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 at www.mapp.com/digital.

Omar Janabi is Senior Director of Marketing at Mapp Digital. Mapp Digital is one of the largest, global independent marketing technology companies. Our Customer Engagement Platform, with integrated Data Management Platform and customer-centric services assist mid-market and Fortune 500 companies maximize return from digital marketing executions.

Follow us @Mapp_Digital, or visit us at www.mapp.com/digital

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