Things change fast in marketing. Just 50 years ago, there was a lack of detailed, in-depth consumer data. Today, marketers complain about the opposite: There is a staggering amount of data, and brands have no idea how to deal use it.
The No. 1 problem is there is a shortage of efficiently trained quantitative analysts, data scientists and technologists. Secondly, there are few courses or university programs in data science that train and promote young talents in the field. Finally, a lack of communication within a company’s departments, fragmented infrastructure and information silos lead to trapped data.
So, what’s a marketer to do while they wait for a fresh batch of data science graduates to flood the job market? Fortunately, there is a technology available today that is competent enough to capture your data, make sense of it and deliver actionable insights: data management platforms.
What Is a Data Management Platform?
A data management platform (DMP) is a powerful, centralized data warehouse that brings together information from all advertising channels, platforms and touchpoints. The idea behind DMPs is to help marketers aggregate diverse kinds of data coming from a variety of sources under one roof and gain a 360-degree view of their consumers.
With the help of DMPs, advertisers store essential customer data, tap into new audience segments and extract knowledge to target prospective audiences, optimize media buying processes, and create ads that resonate with the public.
DMPs are seamlessly integrated with demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs) and ad exchanges to give publishers and media buyers complete control over ad distribution and audience definition. This means that if you have a data management platform, it’s better to use it in compliance with other ad tech solutions so your data is activated right away (read more additional information about the dots of the programmatic ecosystem).
Major data management platform companies include Adobe AudienceManager, Oracle DMP, Krux, Lotame and Turn. Visit G2Crowd to check out the full list of DMP software providers.
How Does a Data Management Platform Work?
Data management platforms collect essential customer data, such as demographic and geographic attributes, cookie IDs, mobile identifiers, history of online behavior, user interests, and more. Data is gathered from multiple online and offline first-party sources: websites, mobile apps, social media platforms, CRM, web analytic tools, and even TV. Additionally, DMPs import third-party data that can extend and enrich the outlook.
When the data is assembled, DPMs start to process it. The data is then sorted into segments and prioritized. DMPs structure data hierarchically, classifying it according to predefined parameters and form explicit audience catalogs.
Once the raw data is cleared of errors and inaccuracies and carefully segmented into taxonomies, it can be interpreted. DMPs analyze data about user’s past clicks, downloads, preferences and engagement rates. A DMP records how users interact with an ad creative and evaluate which offers they respond to more positively.
When DMPs find correlation and causation between variables, they output meaningful patterns that are ready to be used. Data is then transferred directly to DSPs, SSPs, ad networks, portals, trading desks and ad exchanges. After data is used in real life, DMPs collect response data and check the performance again. This is a constant loop of filtering, distilling and refining data to determine the best customer for your brand.
Who Uses Data Management Platforms?
Marketers and ad agencies use DMPs to manage audience data. Data management platforms help advertisers understand existing consumers better and point out audience segments that generate potential clients. This is especially important with the rise of real-time bidding technology, which is all about buying audiences rather than ad placements. DMPs process information over and over again, helping brands optimize their ad campaigns and deliver relevant brand messages. This leads to positive emotional experiences, increased customer lifetime value, product satisfaction and higher return on marketing investment.
Publishers use DMPs to figure out what their audiences opt for, which content they want to see and what types of ads perform better. DMPs enable publishers to deliver better on-site personalization and optimize content according to audience preferences. This drives higher engagement and increases conversions, attracting even more media buyers. In this way, publishers monetize their direct and programmatic inventory to the fullest.
What Does the Future Hold for DMPs?
The abundance of audience data puts constant pressure on advertisers to create a better online experience, which will boost brand awareness and customer loyalty. Consumers are looking for more tailored content, hyper-personalized messages, optimized shopping experiences and customized entertainment recommendations that are less intrusive and more consistent. Easier said than done.
Consider data processing your prime strategy because big data and analytics are the future of marketing. A data management platform is an important piece of technology for your advertising stack, so learn how to maneuver it. Integrate all types of data you have into a single system, take care of your database, and invest in technology and machine learning software. It will pay off.