Why DMP-First Marketers Will Win Out

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David Jakubowski, SVP, marketing services, Neustar
David Jakubowski, SVP, marketing services, Neustar

Industry surveys and reports show that today's marketers are increasingly embracing data-driven approaches to marketing, whether it's for cross-channel measurement, audience discovery, or improved targeting.

Marketers aren't only leveraging large volumes of data to inform their online media spend decisions, but they're also becoming more sophisticated when it comes to the type of data they're using. By being able to onboard their offline data online, as well as integrate CRM systems with their data management platforms (DMPs), marketers are increasing their use of first-party data. Licensed third-party data is also being used, but more for augmenting, not replacing first-party data—for example, to enrich a first-party customer profile with additional attributes or to identify additional high-converting audiences.

The biggest challenge for marketers isn't a lack of data, but rather getting all of their siloed data in a single place from which they can analyze campaign performance, adjust their media spend on the fly, and target high-performing audiences to drive more reach and sales. Addressing the marketer's need for a holistic and single-viewed approach to media buying should be a major goal for DMP providers, especially considering that DMP usage is on the rise.

According to a recent Forrester Report, “DMPs Deliver Value to Early Adopters in a Nascent Market,” which surveyed interactive marketing professionals in 2013, audience management and buying through a DMP is expected to grow from 10% currently using a DMP to 21% who plan to implement the technology in the next 12 months.

If you're a marketing professional and don't have a DMP strategy in place, you're already behind. Here are three tips to consider when developing and implementing an effective DMP strategy:

1. Use a DMP for coordinating data collection and targeting, especially if you spend significantly on online advertising and use multiple data sources. A centralized marketing platform answers the marketer's growing demand for unified data collection, management, and analytics because it:

  • Collects and normalizes data from different sources, including online campaigns, client websites and CRM systems, partners, and third parties across multiple devices and formats.
  • Offers advanced analytics for uses such as attributing revenue by channel, running predictive scenarios, and enabling a personalized dialogue with your customer.

Consider this: As the future of advertising is shifting to one-to-one, customer-centered relationships, the need to address each customer individually across channels is becoming increasingly important. Marketers leveraging a DMP to put their customers first see not only increased efficiency in their media spend, but more important a personalized—and therefore more relevant—brand experience for their customers, resulting in increased sales and brand loyalty.

2. Evaluate your current DMP based on:

  • Ecosystem integrations. Does your DMP vendor have the data partnerships you need? Is your DMP integrated with the buying platforms (DSPs, ad servers, etc.) that you care about? Using a DMP that's fully integrated with key players across the ecosystem enables marketers to seamlessly gather insights and act on them, all in one place and in real time. No time is wasted assembling log files or getting insights after a campaign has fully run.
  • Conflicts of interest. Are there any potential conflicts of interest you should be aware of? Does your DMP buy or sell media, buy or sell data?  Does your DMP offer true cross-channel insights across inventory providers, media providers, and data providers?

Consider this: Hybrid DMPs and demand-side platforms (DSPs) allow for direct programmatic media buying by way of built-in media components. However, sitting in the middle of the revenue stream creates a situation where the data management and analytics are being driven within a platform compensated by media costs and arbitrage.  A pure-play DMP, on the other hand, remains neutral by maintaining rigorous standards and scorecarding all media and data agnostically.

3. Understand how your DMP addresses identity today and in the future. Tracking customers across formats, devices, and cookies remains a key challenge for marketers. As the cookie continues to crumble under pressure from cookie-blocking techniques, increasing rates of cookie deletion, and the possibility of “Do Not Track” legislation, the industry is demanding the adoption of a better and more stable identifier. Customers use multiple devices in their daily lives, so why should marketers continue to treat each device as a separate person?

Consider this: By leveraging authoritative and accurate offline data online, marketers have the ability to focus on “people” rather than cookies via a single identity across every channel and device. This ensures you a personalized dialogue with your customer.

In today's complicated digital landscape, the biggest marketing challenge is summed up thusly: Where are your highest-value customers and are you able to market to them with precision to increase revenue and loyalty? Using a solution with a people-driven approach enables marketers to create more effective, efficient, and tailored campaigns regardless of where they run.

David Jakubowski, SVP, marketing services, Neustar

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