What’s the flavour of your DMP? by Chloe Grutchfield

Blog posted by Chloe Grutchfield, Digital Products, Acxiom

As data plays an increasingly important role in the marketing landscape, there are a range of Data Management Platforms (DMPs) to choose from argues Chloe Grutchfield, Digital Products, Acxiom.
"What's the flavour of your DMP?" is the first question we were asked by Mediacom's then data and technology director when we met to discuss our solution. That was a fair question given the ever-increasing number of DMPs that are available in the market to help advertisers and publishers leverage data to optimise their buying and selling of media. So what flavours of DMPs exist?

There are almost as many flavours as there are business objectives. DMP features will vary greatly depending on the persona, whether on the media sell or buy side. Advertisers will want to use data to optimise their buying and maximise their ROI; publishers, meanwhile, are focused on accessing data to maximise their advertising revenue.

Most advertisers value their offline data asset (customer and prospect databases) highly: they invest in capturing their customers' preferences and behaviours and enhancing that data. For this DMP persona, the challenge is to leverage that valuable asset when running advertising campaigns. So they will need a DMP with the ability to ingest that offline data, unlock its potential by combining it with different sources of data (capturing their own online first party data and selecting from a range of alternate third party data providers) or expand its scope via lookalike modelling capabilities. Today, advertiser-side DMP flavours will vary in their ability to:

1. Ingest CRM data and link it to online browsers
2. Combine that data with other sources
3. Expand the reach of selected audiences.

A lot of the publishers we have spoken to rate their online first party web navigation data as the most valuable data asset to monetise their advertising inventory. That data is anonymous for the most part, it's very dynamic and unstructured. DMPs that capture the data and turn it into actionable segments need to have the ability to collect web behaviour and dynamically assign the users to the right audience segment.

Beyond the sell/buy use cases, DMPs will distinguish themselves in the scope of their distribution capabilities. Programmatic display is a key channel but it's not the only channel. Most flavours of DMPs will focus on display while other new entrants will pave the way to cross-channel targeting by integrating premium display, email, SMS and a range of other channels. The asset that is used to link data is also a key differentiator. Cookies have been the common currency up until now but new entrants are boasting the use of persistent IDs (built via different means: device fingerprints, offline data etc.), including the looming Google AdID waiting to make its entrance. These IDs are designed to work across a variety of channels, not just in browser display.

Finally, the most advanced DMPs will open the way to true attribution. DMPs ingest data at different degrees (online, offline, first and third party, transactional), link those sources at an individual level and distribute to a number of channels. The more sources/channels they are able to capture and match, the closer they are to solving marketers' attribution headache.

We have recently launched the Audience Operating System (AOS). It's multi-flavoured – with at least three scoops: multiple sources of data (on- and offline), the ability to link those data sources at an individual level through our persistent ID, and use that ID to also link those audiences, providing a single customer view across devices. The cherry on top is it gives marketers the power to expand audiences to lookalikes and deliver the right integrations, enabling the distribution of selected audiences across a range of channels, not just display.

First featured in: http://www.iabuk.net/blog/what-s-the-flavour-of-your-dmp#xtx30pLo0wSYHPMk.99 

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