Data is quickly becoming a crucial tool in the marketer’s toolbox and figuring out how to best use it has become just as important. While there are many automated media-buying tools, Lotame’s Ian Curd suggests unlocking it with a dedicated data management platform is the best course of action.
Advertising technology is transforming the way brands and agencies reach consumers, and data is at the heart of this evolution. Yet with innovation sometimes comes confusion, particularly as it relates to the best strategies for actually using all that data.
DMPs have emerged as one of the go-to platforms for advertisers seeking visibility into different audience segments, as well as into how these audiences engage with various campaigns. They’re a powerful tool, one that the IAB called “the embodiment of a ‘Big Data’ solution for multichannel advertising, marketing, media and audience activation.”
But there are other “big data” solutions – from customer relationship management (CRM) and sales enablement platforms, to programmatic media-buying tools like demand side platforms (DSPs) — that also offer glimpses into customer behaviour online, as well as options for using that data to reach them.
As all of these tools fight for mindshare, a debate has risen about the benefits of using a pure-play DMP vs. a hybrid solution that works with data — particularly DSPs with integrated data management capabilities. While my goal isn’t to present this as an either-or-proposition, I do think it’s important for marketers to understand the benefits of a standalone DMP.
Keep Your Data Close
When it comes to data, one trend is clear: Marketers want more control over their assets.
This was readily apparent at AdExchanger’s Programmatic I/O in September, where more than 600 execs from brands, agencies and ad technology companies around the world convened to discuss programmatic advertising. One resounding message was that of marketers holding their first-party data more closely to the vest.
Using a dedicated DMP puts any concerns about who owns and may use the data within the platform to rest. It’s the marketer’s data, period — which may not be the case with other solutions. The usage agreement with a hybrid DSP, for example, might allow the platform to take a given marketers’ data to improve campaign performance and drive revenue across the entire system.
Take Your Data with You
Another advantage of using a dedicated DMP is that of first-party data portability. The right data management solution will offer integrations with multiple third-parties, from the aforementioned DSPs and trading desks, to email marketing platforms and even content management solutions. This gives marketers the flexibility to use their data in a variety of ways.
Locking data management capabilities within a specific media-buying system can make it very difficult to take first-party data and use it with new platforms as they emerge. A display-centric DSP, for example, may not support integration with a new mobile CRM tool. A video platform may not have the capabilities to retarget users with new creative on a laptop after they’ve watched a video on their mobile.
Marketers who want to deploy their data in a way that’s platform-agnostic have been paying closer attention to pure-play DMPs because these technologies let them integrate their data with different solutions — including multiple DSPs — if they choose. The principle here is simple: Your data should go wherever you go.
Use Your Data as You Best See Fit
And data portability is only the beginning. A DMP exists specifically to analyse, consolidate and leverage large data sets from multiple sources. So in addition to giving marketers access to their data across platforms, dedicated DMPs (and the teams behind them) excel at providing actionable insights about that data.
This could mean finding a new audience segment and figuring out how to best target them for lower user acquisition costs. It could also lead to new strategies, like using data for content personalisation on a marketer’s own site or blog, for better one-on-one customer relationships. In this way, DMPs essentially act as the brain that regulates all these intellectual assets.
The Bottom Line
Every marketer has different needs that will shape the data solution they choose. But it’s clear that portability, intelligence that can drive action — and most importantly ownership — of the data are important factors in choosing the right platform.
DSPs and other media-centric platforms were built to focus on execution and campaign delivery — not managing data in the way that DMPs do. Combining the two is akin to building the foundation and roof of a home at the same time — each one is a necessary component to a specific end result, but also has a distinct function.
Ultimately, there is real value in having a dedicated system of data measurement and management that is separate from the system of campaign buying and media execution.
Ian Curd is commercial director ANZ at data platform Lotame