Considerations for Selecting a DMP

As Forrester Research prepares to release its first-ever WAVE™ report on Data Management Platforms (DMP), here are a few concepts to help put things into perspective for those new to the idea of using a DMP.

When considering the need for a DMP solution, realize that everything consumers do is an action. These actions can be recorded as data to be used to enhance the brand relationship. The actions of those customers you know (like email subscribers) and those you can’t yet identify (like site visits from a tablet) should be automatically gathered into a single data environment where the information can be congealed with other information from all your internal data stores.

This means your POS system data, marketing data, loyalty programs, customer service records, onsite activity, abandoned cart activity, display ad clicks, etc. all can be used to build in-depth data profiles for each consumer (both known and anonymous) within your entire audience.

Also keep in mind that those anonymous data can and should be autolinked to the proper known profile once an identifying event takes place like they open an email from you on their tablet, for example. Imagine the shift in quality and relevance having this information can do for your marketing! The end-to-end customer lifecycle management to orchestrate genuine, quality experiences across your campaign channels and touch points requires this type of cohesive, data-centric approach. That’s what makes the idea of a DMP solution so appealing.

Things to Keep in Mind When Selecting a DMP

It’s important to consider a platform’s roots, and how they can support your future needs. For instance, many of DMPs rely heavily on 3rd party data within their data streams – even as third-party tracking faces serious challenges in regards to privacy issues, tracking across iOS devices, FireFox and more. This may be because they were originally designed as ad-serving platforms that require a 3rd party approach for retargeting. (What makes Knotice different is simple: We designed around our Universal Profile Management to deliver consistency and relevance across marketing channels.) So, outside of technologies such as device fingerprinting and wireless address recognition, we believe a better alternative for now is the use of 1st party data.

What’s the difference with 1st party data?

First-party is the data collected by the brand itself – it’s your direct relationship with your customer/prospects. Because it’s based on a direct versus assumed relationship, it doesn’t come with all the privacy baggage that have many consumers on edge these days. And because you’re not depending on 3rd party ad networks, you’re able to use advanced audience targeting across a wide variety of devices, including mobile. It’s a cleaner, more effective option in most cases.

It’s interesting to note that while the Knotice platform can take in and make use of 3rd party data, our clients recognize and prefer the value of maintaining that first-party relationship with their customers.

Other points when considering a DMP:

The Need for Data Scientist or a Dedicated Team – Or Not: The people you put in place depend on the size of your organization and the amount of data you’re dealing with. If you’re dealing with a lot of data or are interested in doing things like predictive modeling, then you’ll most likely need to work with someone who has that specialized skill set. Regardless of your organization’s size, however, you will need to build a team within your organization and that means starting to tear down the internal silos that may be hindering your access to data that should be unified. Work together to centralize your data, give team members authority over one channel and be sure you have cross-company involvement.

Getting Started with a DMP Depends on How Fast You Prefer to Move: When you make the decision to go with a DMP, don’t think it’s going to be months of data integration headaches. There are DMPs out there, like Knotice, that can have you up and running in as little as six weeks. It’s all about the speed with which your DMP of choice can ingest and normalize all your incoming data, and how quickly your team prefers to move forward to make it happen. If you’re really in a hurry, be sure to have everything you need ready and in place (which should be communicated to you by your DMP provider) before you start the process. Data is king, but communication is key.

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