A DMP Primer

A DMP or Data Management Platform typically allows you to:

  • Collect information about visitors to your online properties (websites and apps).
  • Provide a medium to acquire data from second and third parties
  • Leverage your data in audience modeling scenarios
  • Provide a basis for measurement and analysis
  • Facilitate media exposure to specific audiences
  • Control access to your data

A brand or advertisers first exposure to a DMP is often via their media agency who use the technology to facilitate media exposure to specific audiences. The agency will configure the DMP to collect data from the clients (first party) online properties and CRM tools etc and supplement it with data from third parties to extend reach and scale. Using these techniques, the media agency is able to optimize media buying and ensure that the right message is going out to the right audiences.

As the custodian of the DMP the agency is also typically the custodian of the data but that has been changing. Brands, advertisers and publishers have been licensing DMPs (from vendors like Lotame, BlueKai, Adobe and Krux) as they recognize the strategic value in owning the data that resides in the DMP after all agencies can come and go but the data within a DMP is a strategic asset that should be retained.

As this gradual transition of DMP ownership and maintenance moves from agencies to their client’s adoption isn’t always universal. Ideally data should be gathered by a DMP from all customer touch points whether through paid, owned or earned media channels. Unfortunately, this remains a challenge for multiple reasons but principally because it requires alignment across multiple stakeholders both internally and externally.

Why should I ensure a DMP captures data across all customer touch points?

All too often we see data silos appearing across a company as they deploy point solutions for email, web analytics, CRM etc. and no connective tissue between these silos. Without a way to join the dots between these different touch points it’s very challenging or impossible to see the consumer journey, understand, model or exploit it.

Control your data

Deploying your own DMP allows you to better control access to your data not only to the users (internal and external) accessing it on a daily basis but also to 3rd party data providers who may have, unbeknownst to you, been aggregating your data and selling it. This later scenario is frightening for many marketers but sometimes an unfortunate consequence of granting far reaching rights to your media agency without understanding the implications.

When you bring a DMP in house you will of course have to put process, governance and standards in place but with the right approach you don’t have to boil the ocean all at once and can establish a very pragmatic roadmap to adoption.

Keep your data clean and flowing

You will need to monitor the ongoing data gathering process to ensure that the information being collected is kept clean and error free. Website or app updates and email changes etc. can impede or corrupt data flow so ensure that the governance processes you establish take these things into account.