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What is a Data Management Platform?

As digital media grows more complex and more user data is created and collected on a daily basis, marketers, agencies, and publishers need better ways to buy, sell, and manage audience data beyond the standard suite of analytics tools. How do you capture all of this valuable audience data, shape it into insights and then activate it to drive outcomes? This is the power of the DMP. So what is a data management platform?

What is a Data Management Platform (DMP)?

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 DMP not only collects and organizes your data, but makes it available to other platforms (such as DSPs, SSPs, and ad exchanges) to be used for targeted advertising, content customization, and beyond. Some people describe a data management platform as the “pipes” of ad tech – it connects many platforms in a neutral way so that marketers can use their powerful audience data when and where they want.

How Does a DMP Collect Data?

A Data Management Platform can collect unstructured audience data from any source, including desktop, mobile web, mobile app, web analytic tools, CRM, point of sale, social, online video, offline, and even TV.

A true data management platform should collect audience data on a level deeper than just URL and keyword data. This first-party data (this is YOUR data; the data that you own, not that you purchase from someone else), can be collected based on specific behaviors (such as clicks, downloads, video uploads, or video completions), interests (examples include sports, football, parenting, museums, and travel), or demographic information.

Lotame’s data management platform collects audience data from Sources of datathe following online and offline sources:

  • Web Analytics Tools
  • Mobile Web
  • Mobile Apps
  • Behavioral and Demographic Data
  • CRM Data
  • Point of Sale Data
  • Social
  • Online Video
  • TV Data

What Happens Once the Data is Collected?

Once the first-party data is collected, it is organized into a series of segments in a hierarchy, which can change based on the particular end user’s business models. A large publisher network may have their hierarchy divided up into different buckets based on each of the individual websites they own. An agency can have separate accounts for each of their advertiser clients.

All of this data, once categorized, can be used to better understand your audience, create effective RFP responses, enrich your audience to learn more about them, and extend your audience reach to address campaign commitments.

How Do I Build an Audience in a DMP?

Once the data has been collected and organized, it is ready to be used to build “audiences”. For any particular targeted campaign, a marketer can predefine the target audience for that campaign. So instead of choosing to spend your advertising dollars on on particular financial website to reach an audience of folks interested in finance, you can instead build a financial audience based on actual behaviors across the wider internet.

Audiences can be built inside the data management platform using any combination of first-, second- and third-party data sources, which are combined using Boolean Logic (and/or/not). You can build as niche an audience as you wish, and are only really limited by the scale you need. (Generally, the more niche the audience, the smaller the size.)

Who Uses a Data Management Platform?

Publishers use data management platforms to manage the audience data collected from all of their websites and the data-driven advertising campaigns run across those sites. A DMP enables publishers to capture first-party audience data and enrich it with additional audience insights, allowing the publisher to increase CPMs for both direct sold and programmatic inventory.

Marketers and agencies use data management platforms to identify and classify audiences at a significantly deeper level and to gather an extra layer of data about their audience, regardless of the data source. These insights into your most valuable customers allow marketers to identify and target prospects who look and act exactly like them so you can increase your audience base.

What Do You Do with a Data Management Platform?

The DMP offers users many ways to activate data on any channel, including:

  • Digital Display: Execute targeted display campaigns through publisher-direct media buys, as well as through programmatic activation
  • Video On-Demand: Execute targeted online video campaigns through publisher-direct media buys, as well as through programmatic activation
  • Paid Search: Use DMP-driven audiences to target, suppress, or dynamically update paid search campaigns
  • Paid Social: Execute DMP-driven audience buys within social environments using Facebook and Twitter’s respective custom audience solutions
  • Content/Product Recommendation: Integrate with your CMS and SEO platforms to increase site visitation and consumer engagement

Your company could be sitting on a mountain of valuable data. Using a DMP can help you turn that mountain into a gold mine! If you still don’t feel confident in answering the question, “What is a data management platform?” Lotame would love to help walk you through it. Contact us and we’ll be happy to give you a demo.