Signature Tricks and Habits of a DMP Guru

I loved interviewing Nina and Sean, and now it’s time to hear from their former boss, Kiki Burton. Kiki is one of the most impressive, yet humble people I know. Her experience working directly with customers has helped the Adobe Audience Manager team drive product strategy. Check out what she has to say when asked the same questions we provided her former team.

Kiki Burton is a Senior Manager and Product Strategist who has been an ad tech force at Adobe for over three years. Kiki is a former college basketball star (no surprise, she’s super tall) and registered foodie. She loves cooking and challenging her taste buds. Being an ad tech guru is not always ice cream and cupcakes, but sometimes it is. She recently made the move from NYC to San Francisco to start a new Audience Manager journey on the west coast. Kiki offers us sound advice in taking on the challenges of the DMP.

_In your former consulting role, which industries were your area of focus?
_I continue to work with a wide variety of publishers, advertisers and agencies spanning a multitude of industries, but I’m heavily involved in retail, FSI, travel and leisure as well as media and entertainment verticals.

_Do you work with publishers, advertisers, agencies?
_I work with all of them, but I have a passion for the publisher business. Growing up my mom worked for a newspaper that was a making the transition into the digital world and I saw first-hand the unique challenges and versatility that is required of a publisher in today’s business. In my early years of ad tech I focused on advertising operations for Fortune 500 companies and the complexity of developing and managing a comprehensive offering of inventory options. I’m passionate about the targeting efficiencies and audience monetization opportunities that the DMP can bring to a publisher.

_Describe your typical day as a DMP guru.
_The amazing thing about the DMP space is that there is no such thing as a typical day. There is such a wide variety of third party partners that a customer needs to integrate into their DMP and I’m always learning about new start-ups and advertising technologies that have help drive user personalization. To go into a food analogy (I told you I’m obsessed), the DMP is like this amazing state of the art, industrial kitchen that gives our customers the forum to use their custom ingredients to create amazing delicacies that reflect their unique brands. It’s fun to take that journey with them.

_What is a popular new use case these days?
_Connecting delivery information back to your audiences is key to understanding the full customer journey and cross channel attribution. The flexible framework within the DMP to ingest data from multiple targeting platforms and structure it in a meaningful way is an incredibly powerful tool for various parts of an organization. From the buy side for a media planner to a data science team for cross channel attribution, the DMP is a technology that breaks the silos of a marketing organization.

_In your opinion, why is a DMP important to the enterprise?
_At the end of the day, marketing is all about the user. Sometimes I worry that as an industry we get too caught up with the trends of the moment and we lose sight of the user amid the buzzwords of attribution, thirds party data, profiling, retargeting, beacons, analysis, view ability, mobile engagement, cross-channel, etc. With the DMP, it all goes back to audience management to ensure your users have a tailored, personalized experience in order to have a positive engagement with a brand. Though the DMP doesn’t house the actual message or content, it identifies the right user that should receive the message. The result — a more efficient ad spend and the enabling of a more unified journey with that user across channels.

_In your vast experience, what are some of the challenges customers have faced with implementing a DMP?
_There are so many powerful use cases with a DMP (and believe me, it’s really fun to hit the gas and go full steam ahead), but it’s also important to start with realistic use cases to plan an audience development program. Take your time and build things thoughtfully and correctly.

Give it to us straight, we’ve been dying to know. How does Kiki define best practices:

  1. Collaborate with teams/stakeholders within your organization. The DMP spans so many different groups (site, CRM, marketing, analytics, IT) and it’s important to share ideas and build a comprehensive data strategy.
  2. Take control of your own data. Be aware of where you push data and which partners you work with. After all, you are going to spend energy to consolidate and merge those data sets, don’t put it in the hands of someone who doesn’t have your best data interests in mind.
  3. Start with low hanging fruit. Build key, strategic segments first, then gradually build a larger DMP strategy. It’s not going to be built over night and you need a strong foundation.
  4. Data governance — make it a priority. It’s not sexy, but build up the controls in your DMP to ensure that all parts of the organization have access to the right data. It’s important to keep a clean, tightly governed platform so everything is organized. And when it comes to privacy, note that Adobe has your back.
  5. Realize value of data independence. Develop a flexible framework to seamlessly move audiences across targeting platforms. From an advertising perspective, there are going to be different platforms that will excel for different types of campaigns. As an advertiser, don’t get pigeonholed into one DSP.

_How should customers measure success with a DMP?
_There are many metrics, but start with your objectives. Here are some examples:

  1. Data consolidation: This can lead to reduction of wasted media spend and higher conversions.
  2. Cross channel activation: This can also result in higher conversions as marketers focus on driving the right audiences across channels and make that user experience seamless across content messaging and advertising.
  3. For advertisers — Efficient media buying: Spend money in the right places
  4. For publishers — Increased revenue: By offering better inventory you can justify premium CPMs.
  5. Time to market: By removing silos on data and audience access, marketing teams can achieve faster time to market. They no longer have to struggle with finding and organizing the best data from multiple platforms, and can focus on their campaigns.

And what are your signature Audience Manager tips or trick?

  1. When you onboard CRM data your very first segment should be existing customer vs. prospects. It sounds basic, but it will be incredibly powerful (think of all the suppression and resulting budget you would have by not targeting your existing customers). I can’t reiterate it enough — crawl, walk then run.
  2. Second party data — This is a major trend right now and we’ve seen customers have incredible success by using alternative data sets to build upon their first party audiences. Talk to other parts of your organization to see if there are existing partnerships in other parts of the organization that could benefit you.
  3. Feed your AAM data back to your data warehouse so other parts of the organization can benefit from audience management and segmentation in the DMP. You will immediately have new best friends in analytics!

And there you go. You can tell the Kiki’s point of view is very strategic and comes with experience leading Audience Manager implementations for a variety of customers across the globe. I would especially note that depending on your company, you will have different metrics as an advertiser vs. a publisher.

Join us next week when we will be profiling James Trudgian, Data Strategy guru who will provide perspective on the EMEA market for DMPs.