Agencies Talk DMP Value: Has The Promise Been Realized?

The Data Management Platform is a widely used and often misunderstood product category — adopted in varying measures by publishers, agencies, and third party data brokers. To get more depth on what a DMP should be and whether marketers are realizing the category’s potential, we asked three agency execs this question:

“Where is the real marketer value being created in the Data Management Platform space? In what ways is the DMP opportunity still not a reality?”

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Mark Miller, SVP CRM Practice Lead, Digitas

“The heart of any DMP solution is the ability to link data in ways that provide insights you didn’t have before, especially with the linkage of online behavioral data with personal information. These insights should enable you to engage with customers in new and unique ways. The best DMP providers can help marketers better understand their customers’ evolving brand preferences, purchase intents, and interests. Their solutions support better segmentation, better content, relevant messaging, and offers behind acquisition and cross-sell/up-sell efforts. They don’t just focus on media targeting.

That said, while there are many DMPs with DSPs and MSPs aggressively entering or already in the DMP space, the market has become confusing and many of the solutions are not mature. The DMP space is all about unique data insight, requiring the right data sources, data linkage and matching algorithms, data quality, and data management/governance — but they’re not always there. It also requires unique models that allow you to target better, predict future intent, and segment based on past and future behaviors. The modeling is what brings the data to life.

In sum: there’s real opportunity for DMPs, but they need to roll up their sleeves and focus on improving some of their data quality, matching, and more. They must demonstrate what you can do for clients and how, and do it simply.”

Jeff Dow, SVP Global Digital Strategy & Analytics, Starcom MediaVest Group

“The promise of the DMP is that it transforms the practice previously known as ‘Customer Relationship Management’ into ‘Consumer Relationship Management.’ Consumer centric data management platforms create an opportunity for businesses to communicate individually and personally with consumers through traditionally mass media tactics (digital advertising, social media experiences, mobile engagements, etc.) in the same way that they would have used CRM to influence inbound and outbound call management, email marketing, direct mail marketing and other traditionally 1:1 customer touch points. The value in the DMP is in harmonizing the most important data descriptors of each individual consumer in a way that provides the same level of understanding of each consumer’s characteristics, product needs and decision making triggers.
To increase marketers willingness to invest in this area, as an industry we need to better communicate the tangible, quantifiable, value that a successful DMP platform will create. There’s a lot of talk about the data that can be integrated, the technological specifics of the platform, how cookie matching works, etc. It’s critical that these conversations include articulating the higher-order purpose of investing in a DMP. Not until we turn this conversation on its head and focus on the business value that a DMP will create, will we truly address the opportunity.”

Marcus Pratt, Director Insights & Technology, Mediasmith

“Value is certainly being created for marketers that are finding success in applying third party data to media efforts and using a DMP to discover new audience segments. Marketers with large, complex websites are also finding value in centralizing management of their first-party data.

Many marketers, however, struggle to deliver ROI when using third party data for targeting. Furthermore, serious concerns around the accuracy and quality of many data segments raise the obvious question for some:

Why should I invest in a platform to manage audience data, when I do not find value in the data itself?

A frequent DMP pitch talks of combining first and third party data, allowing marketers to create lookalike audiences, or precisely retarget a group based on site activities and third party demographics. This sounds good, but:

  • Many DSPs offer similar functionality
  • For retargeting, most advertisers will serve an ad to everyone who puts a product in a cart, regardless of 3rd-party profile data

Use of a DMP alongside other media technology can help deliver insights and create value by improving analytics and targeting capabilities, but I am not convinced that every marketer will have a standalone DMP in their technology stable three years from now.”


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