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4 Steps to Publisher Success With DMP Implementation

February 4, 2019

Choosing a data management platform (DMP) is a monumental first step in the journey to becoming a more data-focused publisher. It’s crucial to remember, though, that it’s just the beginning. You need a robust DMP, but you also need to create an effective data strategy if you want to achieve success in leveraging data. Implementing that strategy and updating it as required will also be a continuous process.

Success in collecting, organizing, analyzing and activating audience data across your properties requires a top-down, business-wide approach. In this article, we’ll discuss a simple four-point plan that will help you effectively implement your DMP.

Why Publishers Need a DMP

Why Publishers Need a DMP

Why do publishers need a DMP in the first place? Data management platform use cases include the following.

  • Optimize campaign performance: A DMP gives you deep insights into your campaign data, enabling you to see what’s working with your campaign and what isn’t. With a DMP, you can see which audience segments are performing best, which kinds of data are leading to the most success and more.
  • Expand your audience: A DMP gives you access to data about your audience, such as their age, gender, location, interests, values and much more. Using this information, you can reach out to people with similar characteristics. Because they share a kinship with your audience, they’re likely to enjoy your content too.
  • Enrich content personalization: The data you collect through your DMP helps you learn more about your audience, even down to the individual level. This knowledge allows you to personalize the content and ads each user sees when they visit your digital properties, increasing the likelihood they’ll engage.
  • Increase subscribers: You can use your audience insights to help grow your subscriber list. Just analyze the characteristics of your subscribers, then target users who are similar. You can use the insights from your data to optimize upselling and cross-selling related to subscriptions.
  • Win more RFPs: The enhanced audience knowledge a DMP enables allows you to include a targeted audience component to your proposals. You can make these audience options more precise and creative using your DMP data. These improved audience options can help you win more requests for proposals, or RFPs.
  • Improve ROI: A DMP helps you attract more visitors to your sites, run more effective ad campaigns and monetize data, improving your ROI.

Challenges to DMP implementation

Challenges to DMP Implementation

Having a DMP, however, doesn’t automatically guarantee success. The way you approach using your DMP implementation has a significant impact on how much benefit you get from your data. Here are some common challenges that can cause problems for publishers when they’re implementing a DMP.

  • Not setting goals: If you don’t set clear goals for your DMP implementation, your team won’t have a well-defined direction. Different departments and team members can then begin pursuing competing goals, which will end up wasting resources and making your implementation less effective.
  • Lack of training: In a survey by Digiday, 29 percent of media sellers said a lack of skills and knowledge within their organization was preventing them from adopting a DMP. If your team doesn’t have proper training in managing data and using your DMP, you can run into problems. Every employee who deals with data should receive training in your data strategies and policies, so everyone is handling it in the same way. One employee who didn’t receive training, for example, may manage data differently than the rest of the team, causing inconsistencies in datasets or analysis.
  • Lack of communication: Establishing and maintaining communication between team members and departments is vital for success. You need to be able to keep the whole team on the same page regarding changes in data policies, the insights you gather and any data-related issues that arise. Poor communication can lead to a disjointed implementation effort.

Steps for Successful DMP Implementation

So, how can you maximize the benefits of a DMP, while overcoming its implementation challenges? Let’s discuss the four-point plan for DMP implementation success.

1. Set Objectives

Before you begin implementing a DMP, you should define what you want to accomplish with your implementation. These objectives will guide you through all aspects of creating your data strategies, rolling out your DMP and implementing your plans.

It’s vital that all relevant departments work together in creating these goals and the strategies for achieving them so every team’s needs and expertise can come into play, which will lead to more well-rounded targets and a better implementation plan.

When setting goals, use the SMART goals method to improve your chances of meeting them. SMART is an acronym whose letters stand for specific, measurable, attainable, realistic and time-bound.

It can be helpful to set long-range, overarching goals, but make sure you also establish objectives for the short term. These goals should be specific and include metrics you can use to measure your progress toward them.

Your goals should outline what you hope to accomplish with your DMP and how you want to use it. As a publisher, potential DMP use cases include winning more RFPs by offering better audience options, running more effective ad campaigns and growing your list of subscribers. Once you set your objectives, they will impact the kinds of data you collect and how you use your DMP to manage this data. You should also set goals related to the ROI of your DMP. That involves figuring out how much revenue your DMP will bring in and how long it will take to break even and start generating revenue.

With your objectives in place, you can begin establishing the strategies you’ll use to achieve them. Again, make sure all relevant departments have a say in creating these strategies. When you partner with the right DMP vendor, they can also provide insights for using your DMP to reach your goals.

2. Put the Right Team in Place

Having the right team in place, along with clear definitions of responsibilities, is crucial to successful DMP implementation. It’s essential your team is trained correctly, understands the DMP and appreciates the various ways in which you’ll use your data.

Organizations often operate DMPs using a combination of internal and external resources. Each organization can determine how much responsibility they want to take for the output of their DMP. Many businesses don’t have someone with DMP expertise on their payroll, so it can be helpful to use a combination of knowledge from employees, vendors and partners. Some DMP vendors offer more support than others. As an independent DMP, Lotame offers our clients enhanced service and support.

Internally, each DMP user should designate a “DMP owner” who will be in charge of the DMP. This person’s responsibilities will include championing the solution, bringing together different teams and departments and working cross-functionally to ensure all teams across the business can adopt the DMP successfully, from ad ops to sales. This person should be tech-savvy, client-facing and not bogged down with other major responsibilities. As the DMP owner, they will be in charge of building and packaging audiences, building pre-sales materials based on audience insights, managing first-party data collection, testing new DMP tools and optimizing campaigns.

The best DMP implementation teams also include members from numerous departments. Each part of a business will use the DMP slightly differently, so it’s helpful to have representatives from every team that will use the DMP. Each relevant department can designate a leader who will be in charge of their data efforts, and the DMP owner will work with these leaders to implement the DMP. Data users within a publishing organization include an executive sponsor — likely a senior ad ops member — as well as the sales, content management, account management, IT and marketing teams.

3. Outline Your Sales and Marketing Strategy

The data owner and data users should sit down and outline their strategies as they relate to using the DMP. After all, the departments using the platform will drive how it operates. The sales, marketing and content teams will likely be the primary users of the DMP at a publisher. These departments will be essential for the successful implementation of the DMP, and their strategies should inform the entire DMP implementation process. Often, salespeople are the heaviest users of the DMP, but which department takes priority might depend on the company’s data goals.

Have strategies in place for any department that will be using the DMP, including the following.

  • Sales: The sales team can use the DMP to provide valuable information such as frequently requested audiences and what new “outside-the-box” audiences to target. They can also share insight on which RFPs you’re losing out on, your ideal price structure and different routes to market. Finally, be sure to ask your salespeople for input on what the new response to the briefing process should look like and what training they require.
  • Marketing: While the sales team is responsible for selling campaigns to advertisers, the marketing team might be responsible for running the ads. They might also handle the marketing of your publication to potential subscribers. They can use the DMP to analyze what kinds of ads perform best with your audiences and determine where to place ads for the best results.
  • Content: Similarly, the content team can use the DMP to offer insight about how different kinds of content perform with your audience, what the process of creating such content entails and how best to personalize users’ content experiences.

Gathering information from the teams that will be using the DMP before you begin working with the data is crucial. If you don’t do this, you might, for example, create audiences and then find out from the sales team that they aren’t relevant, meaning you would have wasted time and resources creating them.

4. Review Progress Regularly

Once you implement your DMP, you’ll likely feel accomplished — as you should. While the initial implementation period is critical, remember it’s only the beginning. The job has only just begun, and you are 60 days into what may be a three- to five-year plan to implement a data solution for your business. The initial implementation may be the most intensive part of your DMP strategy, but meeting your data goals will require continuous effort. You’ll have to continuously monitor and review the progress of the DMP to ensure it is hitting the objectives and goals assigned to it. Not doing so could result in all the hard work you’ve done to get to this point falling by the wayside.

So, what should you do to keep up with your data strategy and DMP goals? All of the following can help:

  • Hold weekly and monthly reviews
  • Speak regularly to the DMP owner
  • Call regular business reviews with the DMP vendor
  • Stay on top of new product releases
  • Seek out case study opportunities
  • Observe usage reports to discover “power users” within your organization

It is a widely acknowledged truth within the software-as-a-service industry that the more you put in, the more you get out. Keeping up with your DMP through continuous progress monitoring will help you ensure you get the value you expect from your DMP.

Leveraging Data with the Lotame DMP

Leveraging Data With the Lotame DMP

Data is one of the most valuable resources today’s publishers have. To leverage that data to win more RFPs, optimize campaigns and expand audiences, you need a DMP that enables you to collect, organize and activate your data. Following the four steps listed above will ensure a successful DMP implementation and will help you maximize the value of your data and your DMP. To learn more about Lotame’s DMP and how we can assist you in leveraging your data, contact us or request a demo today.