Data Management Platforms Part II - Picking the right DMP for your organisation
After the overwhelming interest in our previous DMP Q&A blog post, we decided to highlight some areas we received questions about. Welcome to part two of Peregrine’s data management platform spotlight! From the feedback we received, it became clear you were particularly interested in the topic of picking the right DMP for your organisation. As you know by now, data management platforms (DMPs) are central hubs that store and analyze all of a company’s customer, audience, and marketing data. They help companies make best use of the massive amounts of data they collect by analyzing data from multiple sources and presenting it in easily digestible ways. But what are some key features and qualities to look for in your DMP?
Last week we suggested you base your evaluation on DMP scalability, analytics capability, security, retargeting & prospecting, media integration and tag management as well as quality of local support. Here is what we mean by that in more detail:
Scalability: A DMP must be able to use all possible data points efficiently to guarantee your data provides the maximum benefits to your business. Since you have potentially millions of data points at your disposal, your DMP must also be able to scale to millions of data points, as well as being able to analyze them simultaneously. This is crucial to deliver your critical, actionable insights. Growth of your data-sets (and requirements) may be slow and steady, or it may be rapid. Look for a solution that can grow with you, one that you don’t constantly have to upgrade or switch - or worse - fear that you might be at risk of losing out on valuable data. If you have many systems in your tech stack or work for a larger organisation, look for an open API solution that allows you to connect & keep adding different data sources (Google, Adobe, marketing automation etc.). To turn your data insights into appealing ads, some DMPs may have a 'creative studio' built in (AdForm and Adobe for example). Some of our clients however prefer being able to easily integrate their own creative platforms, such as BannerFlow.
Analytics Capabilities: To truly understand the needs of your customers (and how best to market to them) you need to tap into customer data from across all of your marketing channels (preferably online and offline). You will want to pick a solution that provides an easy-to-use tool to understand your various audience segments, and one single dashboard where you can measure and compare campaign performance for said audiences, across all available channels. Good DMPs will combine analytics, campaign, search, email, social media and CRM data, while being able to enhance it further with 3rd party data. Ideally, the analytics are not only data rich, but also visually appealing and easy to access & interpret for you and your team. Strong contender in this category may be Google's 360 suite.
Security: This one sounds pretty straight forward, but it is very important. Collecting and analyzing 1st and 3rd party data requires compliance with all applicable privacy regulations. A critical deciding factor should therefore be the consumer data privacy and protection standards of your vendor. If you have a DMP built with transparency and clear data pathways, and one that is fully under your control (ideally self-hosted or hosted in a private cloud), you can save yourself a lot of trouble. How and what data is being collected and stored in your DMP is hereby equally as important as how the data is handled and moved around, e.g. pushed to your advertising solutions. For some of you, it may be worth looking into a full service solution (e.g. DMP with DSP, maybe even incl. creative part) to keep all processes under one roof and in a closed environment. With GDPR around the corner, you may also have to think of ways to decrease the amount of tools that collect, store and send sensitive data.
Prospecting & Retargeting: By using a DMP with access to 3rd party data sources, you will be able to acquire lots of anonymous data to achieve higher precision and scale with your targeting campaigns. The 3rd party data you purchase complements and enhances your own 1st party data, and enables you to reach more of your targeted audiences, including people who haven’t previously interacted with your properties. Retargeting then refers to aiming at users who have previously visited your website or otherwise shown an interest in your products and services. Good DMPs can make retargeting truly intelligent by serving retargeting ads on the device a user is mostly likely to use, cross-device, matching behavioral information with actions. Ask your vendor prospects about these functionalities for your DMP, they should be more than happy to demo them for you.
Media Integration & Tag Management: A DMP is used to store and analyze data, while a demand-side platform (DSP) is used to actually buy advertising based on that information. That means unless you connect your data management platform to a DSP (or other programmatic media), you are not realizing the full potential of your data or your programmatic media and DSPs. That’s why solid DMP media integrations allow you to easily share your audience segments with ad networks, agency partners, and DSPs in real time. Tag management then enables you to actively monitor and track all tags relating to your various campaigns. So while DMPs are brilliantly built to maximize audience monetization, tag management gives you the data to put to work on behalf of transparency and improved ad performance. Those core functionalities will become part of your routine, make sure you are comfortable with how they work and what they look like within the tools you are considering.
Local Support: We strongly recommend working with a team that can assist you along the way, a team you have access to and enjoy working with. You are likely to need ongoing support during DMP implementation and thereafter. Try to find some someone you will be able to meet face-to-face on a regular basis and get on the phone quickly if needed. Aim for same time zone at least and use your local network to find a trusted vendor nearby. While you may technically be able to save a few SEK working with a remote provider, local support oftentimes is invaluable.
As you can see, there are not only plenty of data management platforms out there, but also a whole array of things to look out for. There is not one best solution out there, but a best fit for your organisation. The sweet spot is where functionality and ease of use meets your requirements. As always, if you have any further questions or input, please do not hesitate to reach out. This blog is a follow up to our previous DMP Q&A.
Sources / further reading:
BONUS: Process of a DMP Implementation – Project Steps via Deloitte: