This week’s guest blog post is contributed by John Lanigan, Principal Consultant, DMP Strategy, Oracle Data Cloud.
On the surface, Data Management Platforms (DMPs) have a similar value proposition:
If you dive a bit deeper, however, significant differentiation can be found in what is often assumed to be table stakes for a DMP—data scale and data speed. In this post, we’ll focus on data speed.
Marketers must dig into the engine and assets powering a DMP; after all, it’s a large investment. You don’t want to be stuck with nothing but an overpriced analytics tool.
Marketers with DMPs that can’t execute a centralized strategy at scale revert to decentralized audience planning in point solutions, defeating their core business objective of a coordinated strategy.
Speed to market is important for any audience, but it’s absolutely vital for time-sensitive data such as in-market signals, leads, or recent purchasers.
If your competitor reaches an in-market audience before you, they have a head start in influencing prospects away from your brand. If recent purchase suppressions take a month to go into effect, you’re wasting money and annoying your new customer.
The truth is that speed really matters. It sounds simple and is easily disguised in pitches. Some DMPs might tell you they can ingest and deliver data in real time, but they are likely referring to site retargeting specifically.
No doubt retargeting is an important tactic, but it’s just one tool in your audience strategy toolbox along with 1st Party offline data, 2nd Party data, and 3rd Party data.
In addition, there are other operational speed considerations not to overlook. Let’s break it down.
Your DMP should quickly ingest any dataset—1st Party, 2nd Party, and 3rd Party data—offline or online. Ingestion should happen in real time for online datasets and within 24 hours for offline files.
If your DMP is not the primary distributor of 3rd Party data, ingestion will lag. Having fresh data, no matter the source, is important for developing a holistic strategy from a single platform.
Your DMP should deliver data immediately after it’s ingested. Many DMPs claim to do this, and they may be technically right, but there’s a catch. They can only do this on the premise their ID is synced with the activation platform’s ID—and that is far from a given.
If the IDs aren’t synced, you have to wait until an ID sync pixel fires on that user, which may take hours, days, weeks, or never occur for some DMPs. Marketers must understand what assets the DMP has to fire proactive ID syncs so that data is delivered immediately.
DMP operational nuances might not stop your business completely, but it can slow you down and drain resources. For instance, when developing audiences, counts should be immediately available for quick decisions and adjustments.
Unfortunately, some DMPs have a processing period where you could wait hours or days. This long feedback loop leads to unnecessary work and frustration.
There also is the consideration of audience mapping—your DMP should have multiple automated mapping methods supporting all major partners. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck in never-ending emails further delaying data flow.
Marketers and publishers need to be agile and quickly bring ideas to life. Don’t let your competitors beat you to your customers. Look under the hood and make sure the engine is as fast as advertised.
About John Lanigan
As a principal consultant, he works with clients to develop their platform strategy and deliver a coordinated approach to data activation.