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With businesses continually collecting and using data, having this data accessible and easily implemented is of the utmost importance.

Leading the way here are Data Management Platforms (DMPs), which serve as a way for marketers to gain a multidimensional view of their customers.

According to Gartner, four out of five marketing organisations now either have a DMP or are implementing one.

The role of data in DMPs

The popularity of DMPs is understandable. With customers’ behaviours continuing to evolve in both the online and offline worlds, DMPs offer a way to consolidate this data and build customer profiles that take into account a range of data.

While a regular database can store offline characteristics such as name, email, address and demographic information, a DMP can collect and store online data – effectively serving as a tool in connecting the online and offline worlds.

With the introduction of GDPR and increasing scrutiny around data security, marketers are shifting their focus towards combining online and offline data as a way to securely build audience segments and target the right customers with marketing campaigns.

Leading DMPs also make it possible for marketers to overlay first party data with third party data in order to create new segments of potential customers who might be interested in a particular product or service based on preexisting purchase behaviour, demographic information or attitudes, for example.

At their core, DMPs make it easier for businesses to do more with the data they already have. While data is of course the key ingredient in data-driven marketing, DMPs act as the tool which makes it possible for this data to actually deliver a tangible benefit.

DMPs facilitate data collection, data optimisation, data analysis and data segmentation – all of which help put data to use. This not only allows a business to target new customers, but also learn more about existing customers as the relationship develops over time. A company might start to see patterns in how certain customers interact and indicators of future decisions. A telco provider, for example, might use a DMP to identify that a customer has not updated their plan or device in a while. With this information, these customers can then be targeted with new deals and offers to keep them engaged.

Connecting with a DSP

In many ways, DMPs have become synonymous with Demand-Side Platforms (DSPs). DSPs serve as the backbone of programmatic advertising, purchasing ads (display, native, video, mobile and search) in an automated manner. 

DSPs are used by brands and agencies to target audiences with relevant ads based on data that is available to them. This buying process is powered by the insights that are made available through the DMP.

In terms of how DMPs and DSPs integrate data, DSPs play a significant role in ‘activating’ data. Once data has been stored in a DMP, it needs to be exported to a different system, such as a DSP, before it can be used for targeting at scale. Through this activation process, audience segments can be created and put in place to help power programmatic buys.

Given how important the transition from DMP to DSP is in the overall success of a data-driven marketing campaign, many businesses will choose to work with solutions from the same vendor to avoid the possibility of data ‘leakage’. Data leakage was particularly problematic in recent years, where cookie data was routinely lost between different platforms. The recent pivot away from cookies has alleviated some of these concerns. 

At smrtr, we work with our partners to enrich their first party data with access to our data universe, which covers the data of 16M Australians in an aggregated manner. Importantly, we also understand the importance of having this data available when and where you need it, so we can easily integrate this data with your DMP. This provides a seamless experience and means our data can be used for internal analytics and programmatic advertising.

By Boris Guennewig, Co Founder & CTO at smrtr