5 Things You Need to Know About Data Management Platforms

Every time a consumer logs into Facebook, there are some 1,500 posts waiting for them. As brands, trying to break into these over-subscribed social feeds is very difficult, and even more so when our social organic reach is between 2 and 4 percent. These two factors are leading to a massive increase in paid social promotion. A case in point: Facebook’s revenue increased by more than 60 percent from Q1 of 2014 to Q2. For brands to be able to keep their edge on social advertising, it is going to take more than amassing followers and fans – it is going to take a large amount of paid social promotion.

Paid social promotion runs off of data, and whoever has the best data has the best target. These targets are critical when you want to do target marketing via social. Segmentation is key, just as it is in email marketing. The better your target, the better your offer can be, and the better your engagement rates.

So how do you segment for social data? A data management platform (DMP) is how. This is why you need to know about them, and how to use them.

1. It’s About Data

This is truly the first time I agree big data will change the way you market. The more data you have, and the better context you can derive from it, will be the difference in all social marketing campaigns in the future. There are many different targeting metrics available on each social network, but to a B2B brand these are only half of the story. Most B2B brands now have lead scoring, and marketing automation tools, so they can take targeting to a level no social network can with their data alone. So how do you combine social data, data from your marketing automation tool, and other data sets together? Your DMP, that’s how.

2. Self-Serve vs. Full-Service

Odds are you are using a DMP without even knowing it. If you use a tool like Demandbase, AdRoll, Terminus, or any other ad serving platform, those ads are being targeted by using their DMP. There are other options as well. If you are placing your ads for yourself, then you’ll need to get your own DMP to keep up with data and make your custom data segments, which can be used by ad networks. There are self-serve DMPs, including eXelate, BlueKai, and Cloudera, to name a few.

3. The Trend Is Growing

This isn’t a pipe dream that you should expect to have in place in 10 years. Mark Zagorski, chief executive (CEO) of eXelate, says currently 8 to 10 percent of Fortune 100 companies use a DMP, and he expects the majority of companies will be using a DMP in some capacity within 24 to 36 months. I agree with him that the trend is moving fast, and it’s all due to the new ad networks, and their ability to hyper-target off datasets.

4. First- and Third-Party Data

The DMP allows you to combine your data with data from other data sources – your data (first party) can be melded with, or cross-referenced with, other data (third party) to give you more information than ever before. So, imagine having a list of all of your leads in stage one, and overlaying a dataset giving you all of their social handles. This would allow you to now do a hyper-targeted social ad buy on any network and only have the ad go to the people in lead stage one. You could then also overlay a dataset to get all of their colleagues to then do hyper-targeted account-based marketing via social in-feed advertising.

5. Cross-Device Connecting

The IAB is working on a new type of tracking, which will allow you to track a single user across devices. With that, you could track a single person from each device they are on, and their engagements can be tied back to a central location. That location would be your DMP. So, connecting lots of different data from different places is the key of the DMP.

If you’re an advanced marketer, have marketing automation, and are already using paid social promotion, then the next step is to look into a DMP. This will be a required piece of equipment in the future, but for now, it’s still limited to only a select few due to price, scale, and other aspects. The limitation of the DMP is the scale of your data. If you have a very small dataset, it may be harder to connect the dots, so the first companies to adopt the self-serve DMP are going to be those companies with very large data sets. As time goes on and as matching data and more data is available, we should expect it to move down marketing and into smaller companies.

Good luck, and remember the future of marketing is all going to be grounded in the data you have. The DMP is going to be a key tool in helping you to manage this data and get the most out of it.

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