The constant evolution of digital devices, content, and channels is adding unprecedented complexity to the customer journey for marketers. Getting the right content to individual consumers on their laptops and smart devices at the right time has never been more critical to engage them in meaningful and lasting ways. This is why data management platforms have become key for marketing success. DMPs help marketers control and harness the increasing influx of data to keep pace with the non-stop digital customer and ensure messages stay relevant to consumers’ daily lives.
Here’s How DMPs Should Work
DMPs collect, analyze and identify value points in customer data – both current and potential – enabling actionable opportunities in a way that inspires marketing campaigns through analytical findings. The data is taken from both internal and external sources and across multiple platforms, including email, smartphones, tablets, watches, and the web.
For instance, a leading national advertising company was looking to become a top online player within a three-year period. However, the company’s digital advertising operations were not meeting the demands of the real-time advertising marketplace – suffering from issues with manual entry process errors to inaccurate forecasting. To meet revenue and profitability goals, it was advised to overhaul its ad operations, end to end. The company achieved this through a DMP-led data consolidation and audience modeling. Ultimately, these efforts helped drive $100 million in incremental five-year advertising revenue, an 11 to 1 return on investment.
Where We are Today with DMPs
This example notwithstanding, DMPs in many cases are not as efficient as marketers had hoped. So why are we still not experiencing the ultimate value DMPs offer?
Some marketing organizations continue to use DMPs simply as a plug-and-play approach – meaning they are only integrating the data they receive without knowing how to fully analyze and translate the data into meaningful results. Additionally, some marketers operate in environments yet to be digital-exclusive, and therefore do not have the right foundations to fully incorporate and leverage on a DMP.
To be fair, DMPs are still quite young, with the most senior DMP to date developed in 2010, according to Forrester Research. Therefore, we will continue to see DMPs evolve with increasingly advanced capabilities in analytics, data storage, and data processing – along with a growing savviness to use the technology to its full advantage in marketing.
Where DMPs are Headed
In the near future, marketers will see DMP being applied in practical use through even more organizations and customer-facing entities, ultimately increasing the amount of platforms with accessible data. Although this expands the flexibility of such platforms where DMPs are applied, it may also raise vulnerability to data breaches and increased data fraud risks without proper precautionary measures. While marketers will be empowered with more data insight, and thus more possibilities, they will also need to have the right auditing processes and systems in place to avoid potential fraud.
Other challenges that brands deal with on a daily basis when using DMPs are related to data privacy and analytical expertise and capabilities.
Data privacy continues to be a major concern for customers across multiple industries, and when it comes to DMPs, this concern is amplified. Marketers need to address potential data privacy breaches and put in place the right security to block certain data, especially when the data is coming from multiple sources.
Realizing the full potential of DMPs can only be done with the right analytical experts and capabilities. Only if they invest in the analytics platforms they need, to build large-scale data integrations and create multiple customer segments, can marketers be sure their DMPs are working at optimal levels and aggregated data leveraged for desired results.
With access to what seems to be unlimited customer data from DMPs, the real key to success when utilizing these platforms will be knowing how to transform the data gathered into lasting customer experiences. The customer journey may seem long, but having the option to make data-driven decisions will allow brands to be present throughout all of its stages.
Morgan Vawter is the data management and programmatic marketing lead, and Jeriad Zoghby is managing director and global lead of personalization and media optimization, at Accenture Interactive
Edited by Maurice Nagle