Marketers have a few growing problems in today's multi-channel, real-time world: First, traditional data marts have difficulty handling big, unstructured data for marketing needs quickly, and second, understanding who consumers are across channels is getting increasingly complex and difficult. Enter the rapid rise and growing popularity of tag management solutions and data management platforms (DMPs).
DMPs collect, aggregate, and manage first and third party data to help marketers segment, optimize, and orchestrate marketing interactions across channels. DMPs typically live outside traditional data marts and are not around to compete against them, but to supplement/complement them in ways that enable marketers to make faster marketing decisions and to execute those decisions quickly.
It is not hard to see why DMPs are enjoying rapid growth and success and the market is starting to take notice.
DMPs allow marketers to easily access online behavioral and advertising metrics (i.e. conversions) and consolidate them with first and third party data from multiple channels including social, mobile, search, etc. When they combine them with tag management solutions, marketers can not only aggregate multiple data sources, but make the critically important connections between them. Once these connections are made, typically by syncing IDs across multiple platforms and sources for a given marketer, they can then look at the behaviors, actions, and responses tied to each individual.
Often, business logic, filters, and models are created with customer data to power orchestrated marketing programs ranging from look-a-like acquisition marketing efforts to highly targeted cross-channel or loyalty-focused up-sell programs. These programs are then deployed across multiple platforms such as leading demand-side platforms (DSPs), like AppNexus, by making the segment along with the corresponding IDs (cookies) available to the marketer so that these individuals can be targeted with a dynamic ad across the Web. Response data is then sent back to the platform and often the data mart to enrich the profile further.
The solution is powerful not only because it manages big data and connects sources, but because execution friction is removed. If you're a digital marketer or chief marketing officer (CMO) today, you are likely either deploying, testing, or exploring the possibility of adding a DMP to your marketing arsenal. But how do you help your head of digital or CMO embrace and/or find the right DMP? Here are six tips:
1. Find an Internal Sponsor: The market is changing quickly and selling the need for a DMP requires executive-level buy-in. Find an executive-level sponsor to support your cause and take care to highlight the benefits to help build your case for more attention to this need.
2. Set Goals: Document specific quantitative (i.e. revenue/ROI, incremental lift of 25 percent over traditional/siloed efforts) and qualitative goals (faster time to market, quicker ROI/analysis turn times) around the initiative.
3. Document Your Data Sources: The best DMPs include data from multiple channels and from both anonymous and known users. Document potential use cases and journeys for these key audiences and build the process and data flow to highlight how identity management, business logic, and more relevant, real-time execution capabilities can help drive better/faster marketing decisions that produce incremental revenue/ROI.
4. Conduct Some Tests: Look at building some tests to track the incremental lift of marketing across channels and according to customer preferences and behaviors.
5. Educate Key Stakeholders: Highlighting and providing better insights around how key segments interact with your brands across channels is powerful. Share this knowledge across departments that touch the consumer and educate them on how this effort has enabled your organization to build better customer experiences that can ultimately differentiate your brand.
6. Evaluate Potential Providers: Do your homework and explore a DMP partnership that not only provides best-of-breed product capabilities (interface, product functionality), but also has exceptional services (look-a-like models). Look particularly close at the partner's execution capabilities - how seamlessly integrated are key execution or deployment capabilities? Is it multi-channel and are segments available near real-time? The strategic partner should also possess a good understanding around known and anonymous users and have key third-party data relationships that can enrich your knowledge about existing individuals. Finally, explore each partner's integration flexibility with other tech solutions/platforms such as your data mart as well as their expertise on the privacy. Finally, as with any partnership, pricing should also be reviewed.
The marketing world continues to change in big ways. The emergence of social and mobile has redefined the way we interact with our customers and prospects. If you are a CMO today you need to partner with IT and think strategically about your ability to sense and respond quickly to customer needs across digital channels. That knowledge and capability will increasingly come from a best-of-breed DMP solution working in conjunction with your traditional data mart. Until next time.
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Michael Della Penna is senior vice president of emerging channels at Responsys. His responsibilities include spearheading the overall strategic direction, partnerships, and solution offering across emerging channels including social and mobile for the company. Michael is a seasoned marketing professional with a long, proven track record of launching successful marketing, branding, and sales strategies for leading public and private companies. Most recently, Michael founded SuiteDialog, a full-service email and social CRM agency that helps brands ignite conversations and cultivate relationships with customers across the social web. Prior to SuiteDialog, Michael founded Conversa Marketing, a social CRM company that was acquired by StrongMail Systems in 2010. Before branching out on his own, Michael served as chief marketing officer for Epsilon, a leading provider of multichannel, data-driven marketing services. Michael's other key marketing leadership roles include CMO at Bigfoot Interactive, VP of strategic development at CNET Networks, Inc., and VP of marketing at ZDNet. Michael received a B.B.A. and an M.B.A. from Hofstra University.
March 19, 2014