In yesterday’s post we provided some topics and questions to help you consider DMP alternatives as regards their ability to collect and organize first party data. In today’s post, we’ll provide some questions and ideas on how to evaluate alternatives based upon their abilities to analyze and action data, customer profiles and audiences.
- Does the platform allow for data to be transformed and exported to external platforms, including as audiences?
Data is as data does, meaning that your objective in having a DMP isn’t just collecting and organizing information but actually putting it to good use. The DMP you choose should make it easy to analyze your data, create cohorts and audiences, and make them available to your other platforms and partners for use in improving your marketing effectiveness. Most DMPs do fine on this score, but make sure and ask. Audiences are also valuable inputs for lookalike modeling, a tactic that media companies use to find more people “like” your best responders.
- What kinds of packaged/out-of-the box analytics does the platform offer? Will technical experts be able to explain how they chose the methods of analysis, and why they’re appropriate? Does the platform enable custom analytics so that additional types of analysis beyond the out-of-the-box methods can be quickly and efficiently conducted?
The power of a DMP is in doing more than creating audiences, although that is a very important task. If you think about a DMP as a living organism for a moment, imagine that audience export is like a reflex action. Absolutely critical to survive and thrive. It is analogous to the question – what happens when I do X. But strategic marketing leaders are at least as interested in the whys as they are in the “whats.” For what reasons do these sorts of customers act in these ways? What are the drivers of my business? Are there ways to innovate to power even more rapid growth? Many DMPs have built-in reports and analyses, which can be useful in getting value from your platform quickly, but it’s important to understand the basis of these analyses – is the methodology sound?
- Can the platform automate the process of connecting audiences and profiles to my marketing platforms and partners of choice, or does it require manual integrations?
Most marketers have (or have heard) tales of platform integration challenges. A recent survey of leading retailers showed that they were working with an average of 27 platforms and media partners, which perhaps explains why integration is both important and challenging. Your DMP should simplify this process, with pre-developed integrations that your brand can literally plug into.
- Can the platform ingest actions and export data in real-time to drive individualized marketing experiences?
The best DMPs combine an ability to deliver data to other platforms periodically (in batches) or in real-time. Real-time data sharing is increasingly valued by marketers because it enables a brand to capitalize on perfect moments of opportunity. Brands can take action immediately when consumers take “trigger” actions. Perhaps the easiest to understand example here is the cart abandon. If a customer uses your app or estore and places items in a cart, and then fails to make a purchase, real-time data sharing would enable you to use marketing automation to send a push notification or email to incent the customer to finish their transaction. Studies show that the sooner after an abandon that you can reach the customer, the more likely they are to take the desired action.
TOMORROW – GETTING THE CUSTOMER SERVICE LEVEL YOU NEED, AND SOME CLOSING THOUGHTS