So What’s a Mobile DMP? We’re Glad You Asked


Mobile DMP

It’s Time to Think Mobile-First

The terms “mobile DMP” and “mobile-first DMP” are being used in digital with increasing frequency. This trend reflects the growing importance of mobile in many brands’ customer contact plans, as well as increasing marketer awareness of the need for capturing and leveraging mobile data. There are a range of definitions for these terms being used by various solutions providers in the industry, which can make it confusing to understand what these terms SHOULD mean.

At Apsalar, we use a strict definition that reflects:

  • Mobile time now represents some 60% of total connected time in the US (and more in other countries) and that apps now represent 52% of total connected time (both comScore.)
  • All of mobile behavior must be reflected in customer profiles, including both mobile app and mobile web activity.
  • Brands need an omni-channel approach to data management to capture the richest possible customer view.

In our view, a mobile DMP uses mobile behavior data as the foundation for omni-channel customer profiles. Mobile data is combined with data from other marketing channels in order to create a 360 customer view. The DMP then enables both the analysis of those profiles for insights and the grouping of profiles into high performing audiences that be exported to all of a brand’s digital marketing partners and platforms. Let’s organize all that into three core capability “buckets” and discuss each one.

Collect and Measure

Many companies have effective ways of collecting all major forms of first party data, EXCEPT mobile. That’s because collecting and measuring mobile actions is harder than gathering information from many other consumer touchpoints, given that cookies are problematic in mobile environments.

Years ago, omitting mobile from your data and modeling wasn’t a huge issue because only a small portion of consumer connected time took place on a phone. But now, mobile represents the majority of customer time. Yet for most brands, collection of mobile data is in its infancy. Some brands have a means of collecting at least some activity from the mobile web, but very few have visibility into all of their mobile web and in-app customer behavior.

A mobile DMP should have the capability of collecting and/or ingesting all forms of mobile customer behavior data. This includes both mobile web and mobile app data. Most mobile data collection is done via attribution platforms purpose built for that task, like Apsalar Attribution. Apsalar Attribution is part of the Apsalar Mobile DMP.

Unite and Manage

Since a DMP is to be the source of record for ALL forms of first party data, it must ingest and organize data from all channels, including mobile web, CRM, website visitation, estore and more. From that list, you can see that mobile data is a necessary component of a true DMP, but it is by no means sufficient.

Once all of the data is ingested, it must be cleaned and united into individual customer profiles that represent the total behaviors of one anonymized individual. Mobile data is actually an ideal foundation for multi-channel or omni-channel profiles because:

  • Mobile activity represents more than half of connected time, as we mentioned earlier
  • Mobile data is usually associated to a device ID, which is a far more permanent anchor than transitory third party cookies
  • Mobile devices tend to stay with their users throughout the day, which makes it easier to reliably link all of someone’s devices to their anonymized profile

A mobile DMP should also enable you to easily enhance your profiles with third party data. Then it must enable analysis of customer behavior, as well as the creation of audiences for future marketing.

Export and Optimize

Insights and audiences from a DMP are only valuable if they can be actioned. A mobile DMP should make it easier to export audiences and data to your choice of platforms and partners. Exported information helps optimize and focus marketing efforts on key tasks that have been shown to be of value in the DMP. In addition, the DMP should offer two-way sharing with all of your marketing platforms so you can drive ongoing improvement in your marketing effectiveness.


Ultimately a mobile DMP must perform the same functions as any DMP. Thus a mobile DMP is by no means for mobile data only. Instead it ensures complete mobile information is the foundation of an omni-channel customer and business view. If you’d like more information on why mobile matters so much for brands today, click here to download our whitepaper.

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