The term data management platform, or DMP, is thrown around quite a bit these days, with dozens of companies (anyone from a data exchange to a DSP) claiming to have these capabilities. So how do you know what to really look for? Lotame has been using Crowd Control, our data management platform, since 2006, so we have a pretty good idea of what a data management platform actually is, and what benefits it should offer users. Here’s a brief definition of a data management platform.

A data management platform is the backbone of data-driven marketing, and serves as a unifying platform to collect, organize, and activate your first- and third-party audience data from any source, including online, offline, or mobile.

A true Data Management Platform should have the ability to collect unstructured audience data from any source, including mobile web and app, web analytic tools, CRM, point of sale, social, online video, and other available offline data sources.  

A data management platform should collect audience data deeper than just URL and keyword-level data. A data management platform should collect audience data based on specific behaviors (such as click, download, upload video, video completion), interests (examples include sports, football, parenting, museums, travel), or demographic information. These data points can be used to better understand your audience, create effective RFP responses, enrich your audience using third-party data and extend your audience reach to address campaign commitments.

Publishers and marketers should be able to identify and classify audience segments at a significantly deeper level and to gather an extra layer of data about their audience, regardless of the data source. Audience data collected from first- and third-party data sources are then used to build custom audience segments using first- and third-party data, learn valuable insights about each audience to inform campaign, content, and creative planning and development.

The 2011 Forrester report, “The DMP Is The Audience Intelligence Engine For Interactive Marketers” offered the following insight into what a DMP is.

“… a unified technology platform that intakes disparate first-, second-, and third-party data sets, provides normalization and segmentation on that data, and allows a user to push the resulting segmentation into live interactive channel environments.”

“The past three years have seen an explosion of third-party data providers enter the market selling everything from demographic to behavioral to social data. We expect that market to condense and prices to drop as marketers turn to it merely to fill in gaps in their audience segmentation — which is increasingly built upon first-party data as marketers seek to maintain competitive advantage through deep knowledge of their customers — not to form the core of their targeting strategies.”

If you’re looking for more resources on the definition of a data management platform, we recommend the following articles:

From AdOps Insider, “Data Management Part 1: What Are Data Management Platforms?”

Data Management Platforms and Why You Need One” by Josh Dreller in iMedia

Want more information about Crowd Control, Lotame's Unifying Data Management Platform? Contact us and we'll be happy to give you a demo.