Quick Reflections on Data Management Platforms
In a marketing world with untold amounts of data about millions upon millions of potential customers and their media and purchasing habits it is crucial to have systems and structures to efficiently store, manage and analyse this data. This is where Data Management Platforms (DMPs) come in.
So let’s begin with the basics – What is a DMP? A recent Euroconsultancy blog captures the essence in its description of a DMP as “A very smart, very fast cookie [data] warehouse with analytical firepower to crunch, de-duplicate and integrate your data with any technology platform you desire.” In plain English, this means a DMP is essentially a large storeroom of data that “absorbs” additional data and re-works it into a fashion which can be used by businesses.
In terms of chronology, the DMP will first import data from a variety of systems and house a number of cookie IDs from which things like audience segments can be generated. For marketing purposes an audience could be selected from the DMP to target (eg 21 – 20 year old males, in New York, who have clicked on a particular display ad and been on certain specific pages on your website and completed certain key actions). The DMP would then find the anonymous cookies that fit this audience group, ultimately enabling you to buy ad space against these cookies.
So how does a DMP differ from a Demand Side Platform (DSP)? As with a lot of things in this industry, the lines are pretty blurred and there are a lot of similarities between the two, yet strictly speaking they are separate entities. A DMP is where all of the data is housed, and a DSP is used to buy the advertising that is stored in the DMP. However, DSPs have begun to realise that it is in their best interest to offer customers both the service of being a DSP and DMP at the same time, so now we are seeing DSPs offering their clients both services.
In the final analysis, there are a number of benefits to using a DMP, keys ones are highlighted below:
- Enables a company to make better use of data it already has;
- Enables a company to find meaning in its data;
- Enables attribution of the value of marketing spend to different channels, formats and ads;
- Enables a company to attract more quality customers who look like existing “best customers”;
- Enables a company to deliver tailored communication across the entire customer journey.
Given the above benefits, it is likely that DMPs are going to become more and more critical to the efficient and effective running of all enterprises in the future.