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Understanding Known and Unknown Customers

With the rise of Data Management Platforms (DMP) within a marketer’s arsenal, there has been a lot of talk about the ‘known and unknown universe’. In turn a lot of questions have come my way about what this actually means. To help answer these questions, allow me to explain the concept of the DMP.

The purpose of a DMP’s is to empower marketers to send targeted communications such as display or customised onsite experiences, via joining various data sources that are categorised as 1st, 2nd and 3rd party in a three step process. Data in, unification and data out:

*1st party data – is data that you directly own, e.g. a customer’s purchase history, contact details, engagement history, etc.
*2nd party data – is data that has been shared between you and a partner by mutual agreement. This can be either brands cross-sharing data under the same parent company, or via finding` a partner and trading data on the Oracle Audience Data Marketplace.
*3rd party data – is data that can be bought and sold on the Oracle Audience Data Marketplace. This data is all anonymised and ready to be purchased from key data providers.

Great! Now we understand what a DMP is and the data types, but that doesn’t explain what the universe is. Seriously, what is all this talk about the universe!

Simply put:

The Known Universe – is people that we know, they might be customers or they might have signed up to an email list without ever purchasing. The key underlying theme is we know who they are by some form of unique identifier.

The Unknown Universe – conversely, are the people we don’t know anything about. They visit our website like a phantom and then leave, only to be retargeted via a trail of cookies. 

So now we know, phew. 

This information is great, but what use is a DMP in dealing with data within my known and unknown universe? 

Let me give you three examples of the power a DMP can give your marketing:

*Customer Acquisition – Using 3rd party data we can search through third party data sources and find prospects that are in market (unknown universe), interested in a product or even at a certain stage in their life. Want to sell golf clubs? You can find golfing enthusiasts. Selling car insurance, you can find people in market for insurance or just about to buy a car. Want to make sure these people are not current customers (within your known universe), sure thing, exclude them from your audience.
*Customer Acquisition – Sales down for the quarter? Let the DMP extend your audience through the Audience Discovery tool. Using your 1st party data and the common features amongst them, the DMP will do the data crunching to show you what 3rd party data audiences should be targeted to extend your reach. It helps identify customers with a high propensity to buy in your 1st party data and find 3rd party segments that look similar. The Mobile Data Management Platform
*Engage and retain – Do you have a new product being launched? Maybe it’s not a product, but you’re an airline and you are flying to a new destination. Why not use the DMP to segment your audience (1st party data) and target customers with similar features. There is also a rather fancy feature (Funnel Analysis) that will help you identify which customers you should target based off past purchase behavior.

So now we understand that a DMP uses three types of data, via a process of data in, unification and data out to allow marketers to send hyper-targeted communications to customers and prospects within the known and unknown universe.

Download the Mobile Data Management Platform to see how a mobile DMP can help with the seemingly endless amount of data being generated via mobile devices. 

Author's Bio: Ben Fettes is a strategist with 10 years agency experience, Ben has worked on some of Australia’s largest brands and is currently the lead strategist across APAC financial and airline industries with experience in both B2B and B2C marketing automation strategies. Ben prides himself on finding actionable insights that drive revenue for clients cross-channel marketing efforts.


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