Six Questions to Ask Before Data-Management Platform (DMP) Implementation
by Krista Vezain
posted on 10-10-2016
Some marketing organizations are realizing the value of data-management platforms (DMPs) to improve targeting throughout the customer journey. But, many haven’t adopted a DMP yet, so let’s take a look at how you could benefit from one as well as some key questions you should ask prior to its implementation.
What Do Brands Use DMPs for?
A data-management platform is there to drive targeted engagement and reengagement with your audience. To see where they come from, to see what they engage with, to ask deeper questions, and to push out the most relevant marketing content — those are the mandates for a DMP.
Look at the data that’s available nowadays: first-, second-, and third-party data. Data can provide insights we can use to shape personalized experiences with our brands. But, it must be aggregated, distributed, and deployed from silos far and wide.
The goal for deploying a DMP is to send the right message to the right people. This will make your ad spend more effective and help gather a community of passionate brand advocates!
How Do You Track the Customer Journey?
To gain a better understanding of how to track the customer journey using a DMP, let’s look at an example. At an Adobe Summit session this year, we talked about Zoey, an anonymized customer who visits our website, sees relevant content, receives an email offer, is served a cool video, then sees an offer on Google, and after all that, she makes a purchase and tweets about her experience.
Without a DMP, her journey might be riddled with holes, as we may have incomplete views of our consumers. But, by deploying a data-management platform, we gain a more complete, 360º view of our customers; we can then serve panoramic messaging — whenever they want it, wherever they are, and on whichever devices they are using at that moment.
If they have already made purchases, we want to avoid knocking them over the heads with ads that promote the very items they just bought. A DMP establishes a connected journey, so marketers have sharper insights and can create loyalty experiences instead of irritating ones.
We can examine Zoey’s journey and use that data to explore other prospects that look like high-value customers. The DMP enables us to understand how their online activities mimic those of our current customers.
What Questions Should You Ask?
With a DMP, we have a much sharper customer view, and we can serve more relevant ads. If you’re still unsure about why investing in a data-management platform is essential to effective programmatic advertising, check out this post; but, if you’re ready to explore further, I have several questions (not in any particular order) you and your team should ask yourselves before bringing in a DMP:
- Q: Why are we investing in data in the first place? A: To gain a 360º view of our customers — we want to capture and combine as much information as possible from first-, second-, and third-party sources.
- Q: What is our data-governance policy, and how will our data-management platform fit into that governance? A: This is an incredibly important question! We must establish clear rules prior to implementation.
- Q: How do we target consumers when we’ve brought in data? A: Through their behaviors, preferences, values, and other personal criteria (which can and should be captured from online and offline channels).
- Q: How do we prioritize a target as a high-value customer? A: This one is often business specific, but we could assign weighting by activity such as a certain number of mobile app engagements.
- Q: Can our DMP expand our audience targeting? A: Absolutely! Through lookalike modeling, we’re able to identify additional prospects who should be treated like high-value customers.
- Q: How will we start implementing a DMP? A: Again, that may be business-specific, but one Adobe customer took the approach of looking at its top three to five customer journeys that it couldn’t execute without a DMP and began its implementation by mapping those journeys.
The main point when deciding whether to build in a data-management platform is to explore all the questions you can think of before you test and deploy.
If you want to understand the basics of a DMP — as well as its incredible power — check out one of my Adobe Summit sessions from earlier this year by browsing the Summit Session Catalog for Session S208.