Successfully Rolling Out A DMP Starts At The Top – And The Bottom

kikiData-Driven Thinking” is written by members of the media community and contains fresh ideas on the digital revolution in media.

Today’s column is written by Kiki Burton, senior manager of product strategy at Adobe.

Individual departmental buy-in and adoption often pose the greatest challenges to the process of integrating a data-management platform (DMP).

These central repositories for rich real-time data are great, but it is important to remember that DMPs fundamentally change the way a company does business. That can take some serious getting used to from all sides.

To prep an organization for a DMP and gain meaningful buy-in during those first few weeks requires a dual, top-down/bottom-up approach, paired with a variety of hands-on, benefit-driven techniques that highlight the perks, the seamless transitions and, above all, the possibilities.

The more organizations can make it personal and make it matter — the hallmarks of data-driven personalization, really — the more hand-raisers and DMP trailblazers will be unearthed, even from among the toughest opponents.

Top Down, Bottom Up

All too often, marketers start with a top-down approach, which makes sense. They want organizational buy-in, so they start with high-level stakeholders who likely funded the DMP and can champion it from their C-level perch.

While that is essential, it is also important to gain bottom-up buy-in from the people in the trenches who will actually be using the platform. These are the marketers and analysts who will be digging in daily and giving the most visible thumbs-up or thumbs-down on the integration.

Furthermore, gaining advocates at this level will maximize efforts at the top by bubbling the message and the perks upward. And as a bonus, this benefit-rich message will start spreading down, left, right and sideways into every corner of the organization.

Yes, getting the bosses and buyers onboard is critical, but more often than not, it’s the peer-to-peer influence that renders a new initiative a true success.

Articulate Different Use Cases

Marketers have specific reasons for leveraging a DMP. But before they start shouting it from the rooftops, they need to be sure they’ve got a handful of diverse use cases on tap to best articulate the benefits to a broad audience.

Every group in the organization will have different end goals, such as upselling, retention, acquisition or something entirely unique. They must be spoken to with their language and hear the benefits they’ll gain by adopting this DMP.

Sharing an incredible case study with the wrong audience will only fall on deaf ears. They may appreciate the perks but will never see integration as anything but being a good corporate citizen and participating to help other departments excel.

While they may get on board, there will be much more integration, advocacy and positivity if they see the dots connected for their piece of the business.

The Power Of A Representation Group

To help articulate use cases and help secure overall buy-in, many organizations turn to representative groups that tap a member from each department. They designate one would-be advocate from every corner and bring the entire group together to exchange ideas and shape what will ultimately be the company’s DMP.

One person will, undoubtedly, need to be designated the official “owner,” but having this board gives every group – marketing, sales, direct mail, analytics – a voice and a lot more skin in the game. When people are invested, they are naturally more focused on achieving success. By pushing everyone to invest a bit more time and awareness into the DMP integration, there will be many more people driving it to succeed.

While integrating a DMP is an essential business move, it also comes with a host of organizational shifts and new best practices. Gaining organizational buy-in across all levels will ensure not only a smooth integration and adoption, but also greater potential for success across all corners of the company. That includes touting the benefits from the top down and bottom up through meaningful advocacy and a benefits-first rollout.

Once the advocates needed from every business interest are secured, marketers will be that much closer to immediate, measurable success.

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