It’s a question that should have already arouse your interest as a marketer. Why ? These last few months have been fueled by discussions, talks and market moves around that technology stacks called Data Management Platform. There is a shift in the data-driven approach to collect, activate, and analyse data. Have you felt it coming ?
Indeed, lately at the Boston MarTech Conference (2-4th October), the question about « Finding success and efficiency from a centralized customer data center » so in other terms, the « rising of the Customer Data Plateform », has been one of the main focus. It directly relates to the DMP tool which has been mostly used until recently to maximise media audience activation by tracking user navigation. The today’s need is to get an holistic view of the customer in order to drive loyalty and enhance customer lifetime value at a larger scale. The AdTech and MarTech industry’s aim is to gather as qualitative PII and non PII data (Personal Identifiable Data or not) as possible and make a greater use of the DMP. So what about Customer Data Plateform, is it really new ? What has been done so far on the market ?And why as a marketer should I bother reading this whole article ? Well, there is no promises just facts to provide you with a close-up of the major challenges around data management which is impacting the entire digital ecosystem, including you !
A Data-driven perspective…
Let’s get a clear understanding of what a DMP is, its evolutionary applications and the avent of a « Data Customer Plateform » vision.
According to Forrester Research, DMP is a « unified technology plateform that intakes disparate first-, second and third party datasets, provides normalization and segmentation on that data and allows a user to push the resulting segmentation into live interactive channels environment». This technology stack has been used for the past eight years to mine the data originating from Big Data. The flow streams stored is a combination of first party data, the most valuable assets including brand’s audience, media, browsing and mobile data (options, visited pages, clicked on banners,etc.). Second party data concerns partnering agreements and third party data are data collected and sold to other companies for audience targeting.The particularity of the DMP tool is that it gathers mostly non PII information and therefore differs from a data lake technology which is reserved for internal use (example of the Hadoop ecosystem).
In what extend are marketers concerned ?
As a marketer you certainly realize that data is a key financial asset that is at the center of your marketing strategy to get a competitive advance on the market.
Using data management technology has became a standard tool to score in real time users across every channels and touchpoints. In order to leverage your DMP you have to build actionable and valuables segments by collecting behavioral data. Your segment strategies will then serve different purposes : activation of new leads, use of look alike modelling for finding new customers, consolidation of data by user-matching, qualification of cookies and the performing of analytics.
Moreover, accepting to perform peer to peer data sharing with publishers can also contribute to maximise your media strategy targeting more high-end audiences. It will contributes to lower your CPA (marketing sales and costs for acquiring a new customer) which is a key indicator of a successfull marketing campaign.
Issues and challenges around Data Management
According to the study entitled « DMP Europe 2016 » led by Exchange Wire, Weborama and Stratégies, 37% of the companies equipped with a DMP technology complained about the few concrete marketing activation possibilities (sending emails, custom contents). The DMP tool is rather under-used because at its origins it was created to monetize data through programmatic display buying. Thus, people are undervaluing its scope of application. Moreover, the Converteo study highlights the fact that in France, the use of DMP is not totally common among companies.
Another issue about DMP concerns its scaling limits : if the plateform does not drives enough media buying volume, the DMP is not a « good value for money ».
The avent of the Customer Data Plateform vision
That is why there is a shift today on the market because agencies and brands want to fully embrace a data-driven strategy and converged toward a single plateform that integrate solutions : DMP behavior data with CRM data. They are building what we call « Consumer data Plateform » which is a unique solution relying on a single identifier for each customer to operate on a larger scale. The marketing Analyst David Raab introduced this trending acronym «Customer Data Plateform » back in 2013 to explain the need of global companies to link big data and data insights. The Customer Data Plateform is similar to marketing hubs and designed to centralize and store all type of customer’s data contrary to DMP solutions whose Data stored (First, second and third party data) is anonymous. According to Cyril Fekete, consulting director at a french specialist called Artefact, CDP corresponds to the following formula : « CDP = DMP + CRM + data lake ».
A broad application scope and a promising future
As Emily Macdonald, the head of programmatic at DigitasLBi said, there is a « march of martech » where big players in Saas are moving and acquiring DMP, CRM and automated marketing solutions : Salesforces with Krux DMP, Oracle with the Eloqua Marketing Solution or Adobe with the Neolane CRM tool (look here at the Gartner’s 2017 Magic Quadrant For Digital Marketing Hubs).
On the French market, different companies such as the Eularian or Makazi startups have already broaden the applications scope of the DMP with the activation of browsing information through emailing.
Another reason for using such technology stacks is that marketers and data owners want to better deep dive into data to get greater return on assets. They want to trigger purchases and increasing retention among their targeted audience by enhancing their customer knowledge.
However, it also means that data owners want to have a better control of their own data to optimize their marketing ROI and manage price setting with publishers and other ad tech players partners. In fact, their is a need for transparency around the use of data (what is shared) and its business model (fixed price, CPM,…) as in the past there were no clear rules (cf. AdExchanger article) and there is always a privacy risks around hijacked cookies.
But what about the impact of the GDPR’S Directive ?
All theses changes and need of transparency are linked to the General Data Protection Directive and Eprivacy Regulation that are coming into play in May 2018. They are going to sweep off the opaque layer of privacy and impose rules to protect users from data misuses coming from the entities responsible of personal data collection. The EU Commission wants to end cookies’ headbands displayed each time a user visits a website and replace them by a unique consent given directly through the browser settings. It means that a user can reject all cookies at once. That is why the draft regulation can have a huge negative impact on the advertising industry and might slightly change the game’s rules.
So what’s next ?
Hence, there is a lot going on around Data Management ! The future of marketing stacks includes for sure the Customer Data plateform which is a reflexion encompassing a unified omnichannel vision with on and offline data. DMP technologies are not finished yet as its applications have not be fully exploited on the market. Furthermore, advanced artificial intelligence, machine learning and cloud computing will play a great role in data provisioning, storing and analytics. So, whatever the name chosen to call your single data platform management, opt for a solution that merges all cross-device and cross-channel customer data and favour the individual’s customer journey. As Paul Graham said, your goal as a marketer is to « make something people want ». Let’s enrich and leverage your data in order to better engage your audience, increase conversion and maximize your customer lifetime value metric.
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