What is a DMP, and why would you need one? | DMP Deep Dive #1

One big advertiser after another decides to put his data at the heart of its (Digital) Marketing strategy and chooses to use a Data Management Platform (DMP) to get maximum value out of its data. So, what is a DMP exactly? And why would you need one? The answer is quite complex and depends heavily on your marketing goals and strategy. As onboarding a DMP will affect most parts of your organization, conducting thorough research is advised. In this deep dive series, we will address key questions surrounding Data Management Platforms.

You might have come across this quote on LinkedIn a few times: “Data Management Platforms are like teenage sex, everybody is talking about it but nobody is doing it.” This was indeed the case up until last year, apart from a few early adopters. Some bold marketers were already betting big on centralizing and activating the data they gathered through their marketing and communication channels. The majority of advertisers, however, was mainly interested in talking about DMPs. This has completely changed starting 2016: one big advertiser after another now chooses to put its data at the heart of its (digital) marketing strategy.


So, what is a DMP?

In short, a Data Management Platform (DMP) is a place where an advertiser combines the data they have already saved with data that the advertiser collects via interactions with the consumer across all communication channels. Using a DMP, advertisers can activate this data across all communication channels.


The challenge

For advertisers, getting and staying in touch with their preferred audiences is already a challenging task by itself, considering the number of platforms used by the average consumer on a daily basis. Considering that these platforms tend to store the data on these touchpoints on their own servers, exporting and combining this data in order to track and influence a consumer’s journey is even harder. Despite the fact that most platforms offer quite extensive analytics features these days, turning single channel data into cross-channel insights requires an overarching storage and processing solution.


The solution

Enter the DMP: SaaS solution that allows advertisers to turn all separate touch points with target audiences spread out over multiple channels, into a cross-channel dialog with an actual human being. In addition to identifying the same people across multiple channels, a DMP acts as a centralized storage unit where campaign interaction data can be gathered. When leveraged to its full potential, a DMP can be used to provide the preferred audience with advertising content catered to their needs, based on their actual behavior instead of on estimation by demographic, for instance.

What is a DMP? And why would you need one? Data Management Platform provider Relay42 share their vision.


The data

What is a DMP worth without data? Well, not so much. It actually needs as much data as possible, in order to get the best results. First-party data would be the most obvious place to start, as most advertisers will be able to access or unlock this kind of data fairly easily. To be more precise: first-party data is data that an advertiser already has and is therefore often the first to be disclosed, from CRM and e-mail databases, call center databases and inventory systems. This data can be combined in the DMP with the data collected from digital channels such as Display, Video, Social, and Search. In addition to these digital paid channels, the data gathered via Websites, Mobile Apps and offline data (originating from, for example, a beacon in a physical store) are often accessed and combined in a DMP. All before mentioned data sources can be considered first-party data.

Also, this data can be combined with data purchased from third parties. This can be data about the demographic profile of a consumer, his purchasing power or, for example, so-called intent data. This is data showing that a consumer is in the market for, for example, a mortgage or a new car. This data is generally referred to as third-party data.


Next week, we will move on to ‘What is a DMP best used for?’, in part 2 of our DMP Deep Dive series. Segments of this article first appeared on Emerce (🇳🇱)