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‘DMP’ the new data management buzzword: what is it and is it relevant for your business?

2 September, 2015


We’ve recently been putting a lot of time into developing our customer relationship management (CRM) system and our Account Manager Katy has been cleaning our existing data and ensuring all our transactions and communications are correctly recorded.

Good data is vital for effective marketing and email campaigns. Nobody likes an email that is addressed wrong, is from a company you’ve never heard of, or is completely irrelevant. Open and click through rates depend on good quality, up-to-date customer data. And more importantly, it reflects on your brand that you’ve taken time to get to know your clients’ and customer preferences.

Like many modern businesses, the team at often works remotely: from client offices, from home, from our Carrwood Park main office or our office base in Headingley. Everyone on the team needs to know how to access data quickly and record information about communications with our clients and suppliers – wherever they are based.

Another important element to consider now when planning email and direct marketing campaigns is the device that it will be viewed on. Mobile and multiple device optimisation is important for emails and other digital campaigns as well as just websites.

So when we heard that Marketing Week was running a webinar on Data Management Platforms, Katy signed up to find out more. While the focus was on helping larger businesses manage data from multiple sources, there were some important and useful points for businesses of any size.

She has shared her notes below and we’ve added some insights on the topic that we think will help small businesses decide if DMP is a resource investment worth making.

Data Management Platforms: Deciphered

The first section of the webinar was led by James Trudgian, Head of Strategy, Data and Insight at EMEA. He began by stating the basics: that the audience is key and that you should know your audience; and that the focus should be on people rather than devices.

What is DMP?

DMP are data management platforms that allow you to pull information together. There are four core components to DMP:

  1. Collect data
  2. Unify data into a profile
  3. Create audiences
  4. Push to marketing platforms

DMP can configure information from three different parties to create detailed user profiles:

  • 1st party data – this is data from your own analytics, built into traits, which then create segments. Not just analytics but any data collated from CRM or other offline data that you own.
  • 2nd party data – this is strategic data that has been shared with you from a strategic partner, for example a credit card company and airline company who share data. This would then allow the airline company to show flights and trips they knew their customer could afford because they would have access to the credit card companies data.
  • 3rd party data – this is about filling the rest of the gaps. It is the anonymised purchased data (which so often gets bad press when done unsympathetically or incorrectly).

By combining all of this data together, you are then able to create a 360-degree profile of customers by combining your 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data. This therefore allows you to stitch together the different platforms that you know the user uses. Eg mobile, tablet, desktop, etc., allowing you to target specific profiles rather than platforms.

While we (at don’t share our data or use third party data, it is useful to understand how combining different datasets can work in practice. The principles and process are important for any company or campaign.

What are the benefits?

  • Puts data at the heart of everything you do.
  • Allows you to create personalised landing pages based on the data you have been able to collect and analyse.
  • Allows you to spend much more time targeting known customers and cross targeting to them.
  • Increases click through rates, as your marketing or advertising is directly relevant to your audience.
  • Helps you to understanding and leverage instant wins.
  • Know who and what to advertise to and on what platform.

mobile phone

Data Management: Deciphered

The next section of the webinar was led by Aiden Carroll from Digital Doughnut. He took the discussion a step further.

Here are some of the key points from his talk:

  • It’s not about improving profit or saving money but about improving service and engagement.
  • Behaviours, preferences, needs of customers and potential customers should always be taken into account.
  • It’s important to track the user journey (although with more complex interactions, this is becoming more difficult!)
  • DMP is about ensuring you are in the right place, at the right time, with the right device, with the right message, delivered to the right person.
  • It is difficult to optimise across channels, and this is where DMP comes in, sharing one single hub of information across business. DMP provides one single hymn sheet for the whole business to sing from, collating 1st, 2nd, and 3rd party data.
  • It is about understanding what customers are doing and where they are doing it.

What is DATA?

When we talk about customer data, broadly speaking we mean:

  • Personal identity information (ie name, email, address etc)
  • Behaviour (purchase history, which email campaigns have been opened etc, even down to which political party a person supports – if your data is detailed enough)
  • Context (when and where a contact is when they open emails, buy a product etc)

DMP is about analysing these three segments and putting the information together. It is about moving the idea away from frequency of data and pushing it towards accuracy, thus reducing the cost spent.

  • DMP is so valuable because you are only measuring data that is valuable, rather than collecting all data, simplifying quality over quantity.
  • DMP gathers large data that is relevant, not efficiency but effectiveness.
  • ROI is important, DMP allows us to improve on ROI.

The key anchor points of what we want our customers to do are:

  • Acquisition (acquiring new customers)
  • Conversion (converting potential customers into customers)
  • Retention (retaining these customers in one way or another)
  • Activation (getting them to take another action)

Good DMP can help you identify where your customer is and move them along this process – eventually building long-term customer loyalty.


Is DMP relevant for your business?

Currently, DMP is used mainly by large corporations who have many offices spread globally to give them one platform to have all data to work from. There are some trailblazers, notably large global publishing companies.

However, it can work on a smaller scale for SMEs. As always, the decision about any investment in new platforms and processes should be made based on your business objectives and priorities. It is certainly something we will be talking with our larger retail and ecommerce clients about.

big data

If you’re interested in this topic, and the wider discussion around ‘big data’, we recommend you check out these other blogs:

At the moment, DMP is a bit of a buzzword and business’ understanding of it is limited. Working in digital marketing, all of us have a keen interest in any new digital technology (including platforms, processes and culture change) so we’ll be keeping an eye on DMP and how it could benefit our clients. In particular, we’ll be mentioning it to our larger retail and ecommerce clients, where there is potential for immediate benefits.

As always – we’ll keep you posted so do follow the blog!

If you’d like to discuss how digital technology or platforms could help improve your business marketing activities, please contact us.

Have you implemented DMP in your business? We’d love to hear from you! Do share your comments and insights below.

Blog post by Helen Robinson, Head of Marketing, and Katy Stuart, Account Manager at

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