The expanding role of data management platforms in digital marketing

Data management platforms (DMPs) are not new players in the digital marketing space. For years, media buyers and agencies have relied on DMPs to build customer profiles from online activity, perform segmentation analytics and reveal segments for targeted online advertising buys. With the trend toward personalization—specifically, individual-based marketing across all channels—the role of the DMP is expanding and evolving. Enterprise digital marketers are focusing more on comprehensive customer data assets to enable individualized omnichannel marketing, and the DMP can play an important role.

How DMPs work

A DMP ingests disparate data, normalizes it and provides segmentation functionality. For digital marketers, the DMP data warehouse houses online activity behavior, marketing campaign data, purchase data, third-party enrichment data, first-party transactional data and so on.

Its core functionalities—data matching from multiple sources into user profiles, as well as advanced analytics for segmentation building—create a necessary bridge between the marketing technology ecosystem (CRM, marketing automation, e-commerce, CMS) and the advertising technology ecosystem (data exchange, DSP, SSP, publishers). Leading DMPs, such as Adobe Audience Manager, Oracle BlueKai, Krux, Lotame and Neustar, include stand-alone products and combined functionality in products with complementary features.

Traditional use cases: Media buying and optimization

Most enterprises use a DMP to address two key use cases in targeted media buying. By adding behavioral segments to buying platforms derived from analyzing online user profiles, marketers can target specific audiences with greater precision and a better return on ad spend (ROAS).

More sophisticated DMP users leverage the tool’s tracking and analytics capabilities to optimize ad spend even further. Attribution modeling and cross-channel performance tracking have yielded significant savings for advertisers who tend to overspend.

The benefits of using a DMP in buying and optimizing online media are well documented. I have yet to hear of a marketer moving away from a DMP and its pivotal place in the media buying toolbox. If your business buys digital advertising on a meaningful scale, this tool is most likely in your ecosystem already—though it may be hidden away with the media team or even an external agency. It’s time for your customer experience strategy to take advantage of this powerful asset.

New use cases: better data analysis, stronger CX

Beyond its core media activation functions, the DMP is evolving to play a larger role in businesses. Two new use cases will accelerate enterprise capability:

  1. Marketers are rightly focused on improving the customer experience across channels. Leveraging the DMP—in particular, real-time access to segmentation triggers for known and anonymous users—to enable personalization on websites and in email, mobile apps and customer service facilitates one-to-one experiences that yield higher conversions, fuller shopping baskets and deeper loyalty.
  2. CMOs, CDOs and CIOs are driving initiatives to increase their understanding of customers, which in turn informs a variety of enterprise activities: product development, customer service, marketing, research and analytics. The DMP’s inherent ability to ingest wide-ranging structured and unstructured data, match identities across devices and interactions, and enrich existing datasets with behavioral attributes can accelerate initiatives intended to build internal customer and prospect data assets.

Unexpected opportunity

A surprising number of at-scale organizations already have a DMP in their ecosystems but have yet to leverage it for—at the very least—website personalization. This is the quintessential low-hanging fruit. Similarly, many DMP conversations seem to ignore all but media-focused use cases. If you take advantage of this powerful tool, its rich customer behavioral data and its effective user segments, you’ll see a fast but major win by providing tailored customer experiences. From there, you’ll be well on your way to insight-driven person-based marketing across every touchpoint.

Mindtree has the right tools to let you harness the power of your DMP. Our digital team can help form your strategy, define and implement the best toolsets, and support your marketing operations organization with expert consulting and services. Contact us today to schedule an initial workshop.