Retailers can be forgiven for being a little confused. Just a few years ago DMPs generated a flurry of excitement in the marketing community. Acquisitions by companies like Oracle (Blue Kai) and Salesforce (Krux) didn’t so much spur the market forward as reflect the popularity of the solution at the time.

But despite the early excitement, the rush seemed to end almost as soon as it began. It’s worth understanding why this happened, especially if you have made or are planning to make an investment in DMP technology.

The best DMPs do the basic things well such as ingesting various types of data and then being able to push that data to the widest array of destinations. Integrations are also key if the DMP is to be the source of truth for activation and analysis purposes.

Silos, again

To really make the most of a DMP (and in fact most data-driven platforms) a business really needs to have its data story in order.

However, in too many cases, the ‘single view of the customer’ remains more of an aspiration than an outcome. Think of it as being like the pursuit of happiness – a worthy goal that you never stop chasing.

Most businesses that were born pre-internet are still deep in this journey. Their existing departments create data silos, which make it difficult to activate the entirety of the customer data set and get maximum value from their DMP.

Then there is the issue of capabilities. Specialist software like a DMP requires the right in-house expertise – and a lot of businesses either haven’t employed this role or can’t find the right expertise.

At a time when the way consumers experience your brand is becoming as important as the product or service they ultimately consume, solving these problems is essential to creating an easy path or purchase.

Sadly, making life easier for a customer seems to be a very secondary goal for a lot of retailers. But it is slowly gaining ground amongst digital and mobile first retailers that have were born in a totally different space to traditional and legacy retailers.

Bad web and mobile experiences, slow delivery, uninformative ads and clunky paths to purchase have typified the customer experience of the past few years. The retailers that are doing really well have the exact opposite customer experience.

Brands like the Iconic and Amazon make it super simple to buy from them and have made ease of interaction their bedrock with quick deliveries, free returns, one-click purchasing, and relevant ads.

Join the dots on that little black dress

DMP’s are a hub of information and data. DMP’s are collecting and processing all the information you can get about your customers to help marketers make informed and intelligent decisions. Without a DMP to connect millions of little dots, marketers are almost stabbing in the dark and alienating a customer base that could be maintained far easier if the brand just showed the customer they know them and know what they want.

They are also critical for activating customer data and personalising the customer experience across online channels, which is a huge gap for most offline retailers at the moment. If a retailer knows who their customer is across multiple touchpoints and they can stitch together behavioral information about that customer, they will be able to improve the overall experience. For instance this means they can reward customer loyalty and cross-sell to high-value customers in a way that the offline retail experience has never been able to achieve.

A bigger picture

Remember also that DMPs are not the core product for most businesses that sell them so it’s important to look at the rest of their product suite to understand what their DMP is good at.

For example, Amobee’s DMP is natively integrated with our DSP so it’s more efficient for media activation than others.

Tight integrations between a DMP and DSP has a number of advantages;

  • More efficient media activations – speak to more of your known audience and address them with the right message,
  • Kill the spam – when you get clear signs that they’re no longer interested or have already bought your product, stop messaging them!
  • Better understand the impact of your advertising across all online channels with more accurate and robust analytics.

Stop thinking of DMPs in isolation. Instead think of them as one more tool into the arsenal to help you build a more personalised experience that actually makes it easier for the customer to do business with you.

About the author

Liam Walsh is the managing director – ANZ at Amobee which is a member of the Which-50 Digital Intelligence Unit. Members contribute their expertise and insights for the benefit of our readers. Membership fees apply. 

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