A customer data management platform acts as the backbone for any company using data to understand customers and generate sales. Data management platforms are multi-functional entities, as they collect, manage, process, analyze, organize, and activate data. And, as data-driven marketing continues to drive revenue, data management platforms have become a common implementation for all types of businesses.
While there are a number of data management platforms available for businesses, not all data management platforms are created equal. Smart retailers should evaluate the following four components to determine which data management platform is most effective for their marketing campaign.
Integration of 1st and 3rd party data
Cross-referencing 1st and 3rd party data yields gratifying results for marketers. Examining both types of data creates opportunities to hyper-target and hyper-personalize marketing toward customers.
However, it is important to note that data management platforms integrate 1st and 3rd party data differently from one another. For example, consider the practices of the platforms Blue Kai and Knotice. In a Forrester Study, Blue Kai was recognized for its “established leadership position in the third-party audience data space.” This contrasted against Knotice, which placed “strong focus on first-party data” with “little third-party data integration.”
Integrating 1st and 3rd party data has become a priority for businesses. A 2012 Winterberry Group study of marketers, publishers, technology developers and solution providers explored the importance of assimilating data, finding that 85% of the respondents considered integration of 1st and 3rd party data a “core competency” in desirable data management platforms.
A respondent from the study expanded on this idea even further, saying that data management should “allow us to harness first-party data, overlay the right third-party sources and create rich profiles of our customers that extend beyond the data we may have on their specific interactions with us.”
The “Right” priorities
There are several uses for data management platforms. Customer insight development, targeted media buying, CRM program optimization, and site content optimization are just a few ways customer data can be used.
Because of this, businesses must make sure that its end goals coincide with what a specific DMP can offer. Since businesses have different reasons for managing data, they must make sure that their DMP organizes, analyzes and presents customer data in a way that best corresponds with their priorities.
For example, consider findings from the previously aforementioned Winterberry Group study regarding important priorities for Data management platforms. While almost all marketers (93%) agreed that customer insight development is an important priority for future DMP support, a mere 59% call advertising yield optimization an important priority.
These findings tell us that marketers have varying priorities and reasons for utilizing data. While most marketers are looking for a DMP that offers customer insight development, only a fraction of marketers are looking for a platform that presents advertising yield optimization.
Your ideal DMP should incorporate data from multiple sources. Data from multiple channels provides a better understanding of customers’ experiences. Omnichannel practices in data management platforms produce a complete profile of a company’s customers. This 360-degree view of a customer is guaranteed to enhance marketing personalization campaigns.
Bridget Bidlack of the DMP [x+1] is an advocate of this cross-channel implementation. In an interview, she said that ideal data management platforms should “close the loop by ingesting campaign data from all channels and vendors, as well as offline activities like in-store sales and call center interaction.”
Bidlack further explains that this helps marketers use data to its fullest extent.
Ease of use
Marketers, advertisers and data management platforms themselves have recognized the importance of data management. Data management platforms have been called the “brain,” the “backbone” and a “must-have” for companies.
In other words, data management platforms are a central component for a company’s success in the marketing world. Because these platforms carry so much influence over marketing success, understanding the data gathered and analyzed is imperative to a company’s success.
Getting stuck with a data management platform that is difficult to use can present unnecessary complications and create stress for companies. Choosing a straightforward DMP that is easy to use is critical for businesses that want to optimize data. Data-driven marketing is too reliant on data management platforms to incorporate a complicated, time-consuming platform into business practices.
71% of respondents in a Forbes Insights and Turn study believe that reliance on data-driven marketing will only increase this upcoming year. With high expectations for data-driven marketing in 2015, hopping on the data management platform bandwagon (if you haven’t already) is optimal. Just be sure to choose the right data management platform for a successful future!