Big Data was a term that got thrown around a lot a few years ago and up until fairly recently, it was the ultimate buzzword for the digital marketer. Essentially it was the holy grail to deepening our understanding of customers – their behaviour, their interests, their interaction and equally their lack of interaction. After all, first party data is a brand’s biggest weapon in their marketing arsenal, so quite rightly interrogating their Big Data to understand who their customers are and what their needs are is powerful stuff. Today, the lingo has moved on, and harnessing data is made possible through a DMP (Data management platform).
Just as programmatic is to reach the right consumer, at the right time and in the right place, the purpose of a DMP is to determine who to target, when to target them, and with what to target them with. Programmatic and DMP's go hand in hand as a DMP informs an advertiser’s programmatic buying through providing more accurate and granular audience segmentation. With the emphasis brands are placing on creating more value and relevancy for their customers, it’s no surprise that more brands are adopting and activating DMP's. According to an ExchangeWire and Weborama study, more than two-thirds of European brands, agencies and publishers now use a DMP to look after their data, and this is set to increase to 92% in 2018.
In today’s world of internet of things, consumers interact with brands in many different ways, a consumer might browse and do research on their phone, end up clicking on the brand’s PPC (pay-per click) ad to the site, then when they are out shopping go into the same store, leave with nothing but continue browsing online, sign up to the brand’s newsletter, get targeted by ads on items they had shown an interest in etc. You get the picture. The consumer journey is by no means linear, it’s fragmented and affected by all manner of things from behaviour, interests, state of mind and surroundings.
It is up to the brand to create moments with consumers at the most relevant time for them. How is this done? Through data, and by channelling it through a DMP. After all, DMP's identify audiences which are essentially stitched together user ids that form a set of attributes to make up an audience that can inform your entire digital marketing strategy, not just your programmatic. Although it does a fantastic job of improving the efficiency of your programmatic media spend and generating increased ROI. You’re able to create audience segments to improve your marketing accuracy across all interactions consumers have with your brand. This enables you to create and deliver personalised consumer experiences depending on the stages of the customer journey and furthermore, your DMP can even determine what messages should be shown to what audiences.
DMP's ingest multiple data sources to gain a holistic view of the customer; everything from your first party data to second and third party data. A DMP has the ability to decipher data such as consumers’ interests and affinities across digital outputs like CRM, cookies, mobile IDs and email and marry with other data points to create a single consumer view, offline and online.
The DMP is an important piece in the data-driven marketing ecosystem. Consumers expect brands to know who they are and what they are interested in (without being creepy and intrusive) because that is the world we now live in. For brands to effectively extend their reach and market to consumers efficiently, being able to harness the data should be top of the list.