5 Best Practices to Get the Most from Your Data Management Platform

by Charlie Barnes

posted on 06-12-2018

Less than a decade since they arrived on the scene, data management platforms (DMPs), such as Adobe Audience Manager, have become an essential component of a best-of-breed martech and adtech stack. As great customer experiences have become the expectation, marketers rely on the audience data stored in this platform to power personalized interactions to acquire and engage consumers.

Here are five best practices that enable brands to effectively leverage omnichannel data assets to identify, create, target, and engage the right audiences with impactful campaigns and personalized customer experiences.

1. Make data governance a priority

According to Kiki Burton, director of product management for Adobe Audience Manager, data governance isn’t sexy but it should be a priority. She shared that a best practice is to “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.”

Marketers cannot manage data securely without a set of operational, technical, and personnel controls in place. In addition, they should perform a data governance assessment and identify what customer data they have today, where it is located, and who is (or isn’t) responsible for it. This assessment will help them understand the availability of data assets for priority use-cases and identify gaps that should be filled to deliver personalized experiences.

2. Build a more complete view of the consumer with third-party data

The audience segments stored in the DMP can be enhanced with third-party consumer data that provides insights about demographic, lifestyle, and behavioral propensities.

By joining first-party and third-party anonymous data together, marketers can form a more complete view of a consumer and build audience personas that match their most desirable customers. For example, cookie data about website visitors can be enhanced with demographic data such as age, gender, or household income. Armed with these audience segments, brands can activate and power exceptional customer experiences with their DMP.

3. Continually review data a DMP ingests to optimize performance

Data quality is the foundation of delivering personalized customer experiences. Nina Caruso, product marketing manager (and former senior consultant) for Adobe Audience Manager, strongly recommends quarterly data reviews for DMPs. She argued, “The DMP is only as good as the data it ingests; make sure you aren’t missing any impressions served or analytic data points.” Marketers need to audit both existing and new data sources to ensure the accuracy, completeness, and quality of their data. These reviews will ensure they don’t fall into the trap of “garbage in, garbage out.”

4. Break down any organizational silos and share DMP audience data

Within many organizations, the media buying or acquisition marketing team owns the DMP. However, the audience data stored in the DMP can be valuable to other groups. For example, the website optimization team may wish to personalize experiences for anonymous visitors that match a specific audience segment. In addition, the data science team may want to leverage audience data to feed artificial intelligence or machine-learning algorithms.

A DMP can be most effective when multiple teams are engaged to provide input data (e.g., website, mobile app, social, search) and the data is shared across the whole organization. To make this happen, marketers need to establish processes for unifying and orchestrating data assets across marketing, customer experience, and data science functions.

5. Use data ethically to foster trust

Most DMPs manage anonymous data that does not contain any personally identifiable information (PII) that could be linked to a particular person. However, brands should still ensure that customers understand how anonymous data is collected and used. Consequently, the combined action of defining ethical data use and reinforcing the importance of privacy guidelines around user consent and transparency is particularly urgent today.

A couple of ways to do this includes conducting a data protection impact assessment for personalization use cases that leverage the DMP, and selecting partners with reputable data governance expertise. Remember, data misuse impacts customers, and customers are more likely to share information with brands they trust.

Maximize the value of the DMP and accelerate digital transformation

DMPs are key to delivering an exceptional customer experience at every step of the journey, but marketers still need support to simplify and enhance the day-to-day use of this powerful technology.

A recent Adobe survey found managing a DMP in-house is still standard, with 50 percent of respondents employing this approach. However, managing a DMP is typically not an independent endeavor. “While DMPs are most often directly owned and managed by the marketing organization, running the DMP for day-to-day activities involves a significant amount of support from external partners,” Forrester says.

Learn how Acxiom’s Digital Transformation Services can help maximize the value of an investment in Adobe Experience Cloud and ensure successful management of data-centric solutions, including Adobe Audience Manager.

Topics: Digital Transformation, Personalization

Products: Analytics, Audience Manager