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5 Steps to a Successful DMP Implementation

Data Management Platforms (DMPs) have proven to be one of the most important tools for marketers managing data-driven campaigns, as making sense of the data at hand is often the first step in a successful data strategy. But that success doesn’t happen overnight. One of the keys to success with your DMP is a very hands on, motivated implementation process.

So how can you be sure your DMP implementation is smooth and complete, and will enable you to make smart data-driven marketing decisions with all the data you have gathered? Here are 5 important steps to ensure you will have a successful DMP implementation, to get off the ground running! 

Set Objectives for Your DMP

DMPs can help your company to identify and gather information about your ideal audiences, as well as accurately target those audiences in the most cost-effective way, by only sending your message to the audience who is most likely to interact with it. DMPs can also power robust audience analytics and aggregate never-ending streams of data from any source, including first-party, second-party, and third-party data.

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Before anything, you need to make sure that your company has a list of key objectives and goals for your DMP. Whether your focus is maximum data collection, unifying your data silos into one cohesive view, or activating your data across screens via a device graph, you need to have a goal to work towards.  (For some ideas about specific goals you could set as a company, please check out this “Business Benefits of Utilizing a DMP” piece.)

Do you want to increase the CPMs as a publisher on your own inventory? Or, as a marketer, are you on the other side of the boat, wishing to pay less to do more? Whatever you want, discuss internally and come to a consensus. And then share that information with your DMP partner, so they can help you achieve those goals.

And with all goals you set, make sure they are specific, measurable, attainable, realistic, and time bound (SMART). 

Assign a DMP Owner

You can’t simply “turn on” a DMP, and then sit back and relax. It’s not a slow cooker. DMPs do not run themselves, and they most definitely won’t be successful if they do not have a team that is invested in running them.

So step number 2 to a successful DMP implementation is choosing a DMP Owner. This can be one or 2 people, but there definitely needs to be a team of resources that are dedicated to the ongoing success of the DMP. Our most successful DMP clients are those that assigned an owner early on, who was responsible for learning the ins and outs of the DMP and all the amazing things it can do. 

Outline Strategies for your DMP Team

Now that you have set your objectives and goals, the role that the DMP will play in achieving this goals should be clear. Your sales, marketing, and product teams will be instrumental in a successful DMP execution, and any strategy you put forth should lead the DMP implementation process. So once you have identified the overall company goals, the key is to be very transparent with your team, and always make sure your goals are carefully and efficiently stated. Everyone needs to be on board before you start the roll out, so that everyone understand what you are working towards.

When you embark on a data-driven strategy, some of the questions below may guide your team’s discussion about how to be successful. You may want to see if you already know: 

  • Which audiences are requested most often
  • Which RFPs you are losing out on due to audiences
  • What your audiences should be
  • How you should price them
  • What the different routes to market them are
  • What the marketing materials should include
  • What training is required  

There is nothing worse than implementing the DMP and creating hundreds of audiences only to sit down with the each team to learn that all are irrelevant to your sales/marketing strategy. So make sure your team is aligned before moving forward. 

Get it right the FIRST time

The implementation process is probably the most intense and resource-heavy part of any DMP execution. In most cases, it will take approximately 60 days, during which many important things occur: tagging, behavior categorization, rule creations, and basic audience building. This period should involve a close relationship with your DMP partner, including frequent calls, weekly meetings, hot-desking sessions, and technical and strategic workshops.

Implementation is extremely important because it sets the overall pace for your DMP outcome and the wider data strategy. Once the implementation phases have been completed, it could be months before you revisit this type of platform calibration again, so it is extremely important to get it right the FIRST time, and ensure that the entire business is feeding into this overarching process.

Using your company’s goals that you outlined in #2 above, your DMP  partner should help guide your data strategy at this point. So as long as you have done your homework and shared your objectives and defined the DMP owner, getting it right the first time shouldn’t be a problem. 

Review your progress against your goals 

Once you have moved through implementation (like a boss), you, along with your team, will probably breathe a sigh of relief, and want to sit back while the magic happens. In reality, you may only 60 days into what could be a 3-5 year plan to implement a data solution for your business and make sure it is successful. Do not let all of your hard work of goal setting, building a team, and learning this product fall by the wayside by making the mistake of thinking that your job just stops there. Relentlessly monitor and review the progress you and your DMP are making, and ensure it is hitting the objectives and goals that were initially assigned to it.

Hold weekly and monthly reviews with you and your DMP teams. Speak regularly with the DMP owner to find out about any concerns or successes. Attend any or all trainings possible so you and your team can become DMP Ninjas. Observe usage reports to discover power users within the organization. Data management platforms are powerful tools that can lead you to data-driven marketing success. But you must be willing to put in a good amount of time and focus at the beginning in order to reap the rewards. 

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