Cardinal Path’s response to COVID-19 Cardinal Path is sharing all we know to help marketers during COVID-19.  Learn more.
Data Management Platform

Data Management PlatformData Management Platforms (DMPs) unify online and offline data from any source to help you understand customer behavior across every touchpoint – including owned and paid channels.  A recent Cardinal Path webinar featuring Corey Koberg, Cardinal Path’s Co-Founder and Senior Partner, and Jonathan Flander, Cardinal Path’s CRM and Marketing Technology Lead, provided tips for navigating the DMP technology landscape and outlined how DMPs can generate a significant lift in revenues.

We received so many great questions at the webinar that we ran out of time to answer them all! We had the presenters take the time to respond after the webinar and thought it would be worth sharing the Q&A, below.

Q: So is DMP simply remarketing taken to another level?

A: In some ways, yes. In an ideal world a marketer would have a way to identify a single user across channels, they would be watching their activity stream, they would understand where they are in the buying lifecycle, and they would be pushing creative via retargeting that speaks to it.  In some ways, they are a human DMP, but in reality very few orgs do this successfully.  They know it too, but it speaks to why the need for this technology is so useful and why an operational model is so critical.

Q: How do Tag Management Tools make DMPs more comprehensive?

A: Tag Management vendors do an extremely good job of trafficking and ingesting data in real-time.  That is at the heart of what they do. In addition they are also a part of many large organizations’ eco-systems already.  For organizations that have a strong focus on 1st party data leveraging their Tag Management vendor might be a first step to test out some use cases that don’t require additional 3rd party data.

Q: We have a Consumer database including 3rd party data. How do we integrate our database with a DMP?

A: That’s great news if you have already made the investment into a consumer database. That will certainly make your onboarding process simpler as you likely only need to use that single source.  Whether or not you can use the 3rd party data really depends on your particular licensing arrangement.  But most likely the data provider you are using now has an offering that would work with your DMP of choice.

Q: How do we de-dupe cross-device users when we don’t ourselves own the device information across various channels? Who are the right data partners?

A: There are data vendors such as TapAd and Drawbridge that bring probabilistic methods to help solve that issue.  Of course no probabilistic method is able to provide complete accuracy.  But when combined with deterministic matching, the combined solution goes a long way to identifying those cross-device users.  Each DMP vendor has their own take on how to manage this.  Some, such as Oracle, have actually partnered with some of these data vendors and make that available within their platform.  Expect all major vendors to provide their approach to solving this problem and see if that’s a fit for your organization.

Q: How does a business evolve its DMP when so much of its data sits within a walled garden (ie Facebook, Amazon, etc.)? 

Fish where the fish areA: While you certainly need to “fish where the fish are”, the reality is that your customers are engaging across multiple channels, and multiple walled gardens. It’s important to have the ability to leverage some of the unique benefits those channels provide while at the same time not being tied into any one provider.  DMPs provide the opportunity to activate your audiences across networks and exchanges.  Most walled gardens need you to stay completely within their environment.  It might be tempting but you know your customers don’t have the limitation.  

Q: What skills are needed to implement and manage a DMP? Is managing a DMP for an enterprise a full-time job?

A: There are a number of roles that we find organizations typically need to fill in order to operate a DMP platform.  First of all, they need people who understand data and can ensure that data is being integrated at the technical level.  Ideally they would also understand how to use that data to build audience segments, but that may be another person’s role.  An analytics person is an absolute requirement so that you can derive insight from all of the data.  They also need people who can help translate the technical details into a format that business folks can understand.  

The fact is these solutions are fairly technical and need specialized skill-sets.  Organizations often look for extra capacity through partners when they are not able to find those people themselves.

Q: How big does an organization have to be, how many marketing channels should it be tracking for a DMP to make sense?

A: It’s not so much about size of an organization although enterprises have led the adoption of these platforms due to the number of channels they engage with. Typically we find that most adopters have a fairly evolved Paid Media discipline that is already doing programmatic buying.  While there are absolutely great use cases for Owned Channel personalization, companies that are looking to utilize this technology along with Paid will find ROI more quickly.

Q: How can it be data from all channels if it doesn’t have PII?  So how are you connecting 1st party digital and CRM data?

A: A DMP is not constrained by whether or not PII is part of a data source.  In order to comply with privacy regulations, for data sources that do contain PII, it must stripped out or anonymized.  Matching across IDs still needs to happen and that’s where we can leverage a matching partner such as LiveRamp that is able to take your now-anonymized data and match that across across large sets of Digital and Device IDs.  

If the channel that you want to ingest contains PII, in order for it persist in the DMP that data must be stripped out.  Having said that, for attributes that are important to building out your audience segments such as Lifetime Value or Loyalty Program Tier, those can and should be included as part of your customer profile

Q: Relative to the analytics maturity model, where should a client ideally be on that model (in what stage) before they decide to implement a DMP?

A: When an organization is at the stage where they have already tied together their different data platforms such as site analytics, social media, paid media, and is thinking about integrating their own customer data from their CRM.

Q: In fundraising we rely on Direct Mail as a final way to get the donation after having the reinforcement. Is there a way to take that person, if you don’t know him before the search, and get their PII to mail them?

A: Short answer: no.  The best way is to leverage the DMP and the data available from it in order to personalize the prospect’s experience when they come to your website. Organizations should have a strategy that allows for progressive profiling, and that provides content valuable enough for visitors/prospects to give them data such as their mailing address.

View the webinar on demand: Achieving True Omni-channel Marketing with Data Management Platforms.

Learn how Cardinal Path can deliver a Data Management Platform solution framework tailored to your organization’s unique needs.


State of Digital Marketing Analytics

The 2020 State of Digital Marketing Analytics examines the marketing technology that supports the world's most successful enterprises and highlights the challenges and strategies for navigating the new normal..