What is a data management platform (DMP)? Well, it could be the foundation of your entire customer outreach program, including marketing, sales, support, and more.
A data management platform takes data generated by (among others) your CRM, your purchase platform, your socials, your website, and so on. It will then organize that data into something more manageable, as well as analyze it and give you valuable insights.
Here, we’ll tell you about all the great reasons why you should invest in a DMP. Let’s first start by taking a look at how it all works.
How a Data Management Platform works
You’re probably using a variety of tools and platforms for your business. Maybe, for example, you compile content on Google Drive, run your customer interactions through a CRM, and have a range of platform-based ad analytics (Adwords, FB Ads Manager, etc.)
Your DMP can be integrated with your CRM, your Google Drive, your social media, and more. It will take data from all of these sources and store it in a structured way.
You can then access and manage it from one, centralized place, rather than having to continuously dip in and out of different platforms. With this centralized place or destination, you can use a wide range of tools from a spreadsheet app, like Google Sheets or Excel, to specialized software like Salesforce, Oracle, etc.
To set up data flow between your data source and centralized destination, you can make use of different integrations provided by such tools as Coupler.io or Integromat.
Once your DMP has the data from all of your disparate sources, it transforms it in the ways that are most useful for you. For example, it may take customer data from various sources and arrange it according to whatever data points are most relevant for you – for example, location, or demographic, or product preferences.
Data transformation makes it easier to cross-reference data points and draw relevant insights. For example, it could transform your data to show age-related buying patterns or product-specific complaints.
Data aggregation and arrangement are all great, but a good DMP will go even further. Rather than making you trawl through all that (beautifully gathered and arranged!) data yourself, your DMP will pluck out relevant insights for you.
For example, by flagging up if you’ve been getting a lot of complaints from a certain location recently, or you’ve had a lot of sales from a certain demographic, it allows you to quickly solve problems, take advantage of buying trends, and more.
Data Allocation could equally be called “Data Access.” Relevant data and insights must be accessible to the right people. A good DMP will give access to whoever needs it from a centralized platform. It will also make that data accessible – so you needn’t be a data scientist to understand it.
Sounds good? Let’s now dive into all the ways investing in a DMP could benefit your business.
Why you should invest in DMP: 7 reasons to consider
DMPs are great for marketing
A decade ago, marketers used to talk about how to gather data. That’s no longer such an issue. The nature of the digital world means that – with permission from your customers (more on that later) – you can easily be raking in gigabytes and even terabytes of customer data each month.
For marketing purposes, a data management platform takes all that data and makes it logical. For instance, it could organize a jumble of IP location data from your cookies and tell you where your customers are located.
You could then use that information to target customers geographically, with content relevant to their locations.
Basically, a good DMP helps you to personalize your campaigns – and personalization is crucial for conversion.
DMPs improve customer satisfaction
While engaging all these great new audiences, we should not forget our old ones! Existing customers are often more valuable than any new lead.
Your DMP can give you a deeper understanding of your existing customers. Just as with new customers, a better understanding leads to better satisfaction. Which ultimately leads to more conversions.
DMPs help you increase ROI
The more useful your data, the better able you are to serve your customers. And the happier your customers are, the higher your profits as a result.
What’s more, giving teams access to the data they need when they need it (via your DMP) makes your workers a lot more efficient. For example, linking your DMP to your small business phone system can help you to spot communication patterns and optimize internal comms.
All in all, a good DMP will bring down your costs, boost your efficiency, and send your ROI through the roof.
DMPs streamline your data
Streamlining data streamlines everything. A DMP with automated data processing capabilities will save you an awful lot of work.
For example, licensing .au domains involves a different set of rules than licensing (say) .co.uk domains. This can result in differences in the ways data is received by your platform.
Unifying the formats is not difficult, but it can be laborious. A good DMP will do all of this mundane work for you, giving you neatly arranged, actionable data with none of the slogs.
DMPs help with campaign management
By giving everyone who needs it real-time access to cross-platform data, your DMP makes campaign management very easy.
For example, it can give your help desk and project management teams all the information they need to do their jobs, without the need to be constantly consulting managers, other teams, and so on.
DMPs bring in new customers and audiences
Better data management always brings better leads.
Everything we’ve spoken about so far boils down to a couple of essentials: good data management gives you insights into your customers and your company. For example, if you own an online store, DMP can help you manage your inventory, ensuring that no customer is disappointed by a lack of stock.
These insights will help you to put the right content in front of the right people and to bring in new customers.
DMPs are useful across a huge range of industries
Pretty much every industry can benefit from a DMP. Here are a few key examples:
DMPs in digital marketing
Marketing thrives on data, so having more available, accessible data is excellent news for your campaigns.
Your DMP will give you some fantastic customer insights. You can use these to personalize your content and intensively target it to the perfect audience. You’ll quickly find that this gives a serious boost to the ROI of content marketing for your company.
DMPs in publishing
A DMP will help publishers to put their campaigns in front of the right eyes, present their inventory to conversion-ready customers, and generally grow the ecommerce branch of their business.
A DMP also allows publishers to be agile, which is vital as your reputation can change in a single tweet. You need a DMP gathering data in real-time so that you can be quickly alerted when you need to take action.
DMPs in advertising
Anything that gets you closer to customers, including who they are and what they want, is dynamite for a good advertiser.
This goes deeper than ad campaigns, however. You can use a DMP to bring your teams closer and pull in data from other teams in your company.
For example, you can link your marketing team with your sales team via your DMP and patch your business VoIP solutions using that vital ad data. This means that you can be sure that everyone you’re calling is being offered something relevant to their needs and interests.
DMPs for media-agencies
Media agencies are typically gathering data from a variety of sources at once. A DMP can help them to organize that data in logical and easily accessible ways. A DMP is easily integrated and can help media agencies to keep on top of the information they’re pulling in.
For example, when running a media audit, a DMP will help you to keep on top of things like the origin of each source, its intended audience, clicks, impact, digital footprint, and so on.
Whether you’re tracking data from your content or someone else’s, a good DMP can make a huge difference for your media agency.
DMPs and privacy
One thing that does need mentioning when talking about DMP is data privacy. To use either customer or employee data, you must have explicit permission from the party in question.
This isn’t just a matter of trust. If you use data without permission, you could fall foul of rules and regulations, like the CCPA in California, PIPEDA in Canada, and the GDPR in Europe.
So, just as you would with confidential or privileged communication, assume that all data is completely private unless the relevant party explicitly tells you otherwise.
Don’t worry – getting that permission doesn’t need to be difficult. A simple permissions dialogue, like this, is often all you need:
Can your business afford not to invest in DMP?
Data is nothing new. “Data” is just a newfangled word for “information” – and we’ve been trading off information forever.
However, the way we gather and process that information has changed a lot in the digital age.
A good DMP can help you to parse the huge and complicated realms of data we’re working within this day and age.
It gives you the scope, tools, and capacity you need to get the absolute best out of your data. You can use these insights to create winning content, great campaigns, fantastic teams, and more.
So, what are you waiting for? Invest in a DMP today!
John Allen (Director, SEO, 8×8) is a driven marketing professional with over 14 years of experience, an extensive background in building and optimizing digital marketing programs across SEM, SEO, paid media, mobile, social, and email, with an eye to new customer acquisition and increasing revenueBack to Blog