What is a data management platform?

The data-driven world has greatly increased and changed the way information can be obtained. It can be a daunting task to leverage multiple data sources to stay ahead of the competition.

Technologies capable of automatically organizing, storing and managing customer information make it easier for companies to learn who their customers are and where they can find new prospects. A data management platform (DMPs) is a commonly used software that enables companies to identify target audience segments, improve customer service, increase sales and build brand awareness.

To understand the benefits of using DMPs, it is important to understand their data collection capabilities, how they work, and best practices for integrating them into a marketing strategy.

What is a DMP?

Data management platforms collect and organize real-time data from online sources, such as analytics tools or mobile and web apps. It can also collect information from offline sources such as POS systems where customers conduct transactions. DMPs then organize, manage and deliver the collected data to users for business purposes.

In addition, companies learn more about customer behavior and shopping patterns so they can provide a better level of service. In short, it takes raw data, cleanses and enriches it, and then segments it into different categories, such as demographic data, which can be used to find new customers or conduct targeted marketing campaigns.

Where does a DMP collect data from?

First-party data

This is data that comes directly from the company's audience and sources, including company social media engagement, customer subscription data, or a CRM (customer relationship management) system.

Second-party data When a company buys information from an outside organization, this data is called second-party data. Second-party data can be obtained from an external organization's social media sites, store purchase history, or survey responses.


from third parties is purchased from an external source that is not the original collector of that data. It can be purchased from big data aggregators that have pulled it from other platforms and websites. Aggregators collect the information and sell it to outside organizations as a set. Some third-party data providers include Adobe, Adsquare or Oracle.

How a DMP collects data

The way first, second or third-party data is sent to a DMP depends on the source it comes from. For websites, when a Javascript tracker (a small code snippet implemented to allow marketers to analyze visitor flow) is triggered by someone visiting the site or making a purchase, it collects, cleanses, and organizes it into a common format that improves the value and quality of the data. Data is segmented in the DMP by attributes such as demographics, device type or website from which it originated.

DMPs dig deep to collect disorganized and ambiguous audience data that may not seem useful on the surface, but can offer many benefits. Customer behavior can be gleaned from clicks, downloads, video upload choices, demographic information, socioeconomic data or more. DMPs go beyond simply collecting URL and keyword information; instead, it codifies everything that could convey who a person is and what their interests are. Companies use this comprehensive data generated by DMPs to create targeted ad campaigns.

Using a DMP

1. organizing

DMPs organize target group data from initial providers into hierarchies that depend on the business needs of the end user. For example, a large restaurant chain may have its hierarchy divided into categories by franchise. Or a political party that has different sites for different purposes may have their hierarchy divided by each site they manage. To properly organize the data, the end user must understand and define what they want to derive from the information they collect.

2. segmentation and targeting

Once the data is organized to meet a company's goals, it can be used to tailor marketing campaigns to an existing audience or to target different customers. For example, a restaurant might want to tailor an ad to dine-in diners in the 65+ category, but also create an ad for those who tend to order takeout online. DMPs can help companies generate powerful insights so they can market to the needs of each target audience.

3. insights and target audience

Once data is classified, it can be used to analyze trends in customer behavior, purchasing patterns or intentions. DMPs can provide a detailed overview of the characteristics of each target group that has been integrated into the platform.

4. put the data management platform into operation

The activation of the DMP is based on the ability to integrate it with other platforms such as content management systems or demand side platforms. The purpose is that audience profiles created in the DMP can be seamlessly transported to the target platform and then used to execute target campaigns. For example, a DMP can be connected to a CMS to customize the content of a website to a specific target audience.

How to build a target group

1.First-party data companies most likely know something about who their target audience is and know many of their characteristics. Several data points are available to first-party data companies, including age, gender, interests, browsing history, income, marital status, political status, income, or geography, to provide additional information that can help provide insight into additional customer behavior.

2. second-party data

Second-party data allows companies to gain additional insights that would not normally be available from their own data. New prospects can be found by purchasing a particular organization's first-party data that is relevant to a company's own target audience. For example, a young adult clothing store may purchase data from a young adult shoe store because it knows the shoe store has a similar customer base.

3. third party data

Third party data is any data acquired from a variety of sources by a company without a direct connection to the customer whose data is being collected. Third-party data can be acquired through social networks, subscriptions, surveys, or websites. Some examples of third-party data include first and last names, email addresses, phone numbers, social media handles, or purchase history. This information is then used for marketing campaigns to find new prospects in a less targeted way. The

Generating insights from first-party data can help companies determine the characteristics of their target audience, but some newer startups don't have as much data to analyze as their established counterparts. For these companies, using third-party data can help them find more customers online and gain insights into who their target audience might be.

Who benefits from DMP technology?

Although many different industries can use DMPs to gain insights into customer behavior and optimize advertising campaigns, publishers, marketers are the most common-

Website owners (publishers)

A publisher is anyone who owns or manages a website. They use DMP to manage the audience data collected from their website and the advertising campaigns that are run on their websites. By collecting first-hand audience data and faster analytics via DMPs, they can learn more about their customers and turn their findings into new content. Some publishers also sell their data to third parties they want for their own marketing purposes.


These industries use DMP to gain deeper insights into the behavior of their target customers. This increases their customer base and helps them find new prospects who have similar attributes to existing customers. Marketers can extract data from first, second or third-party sources and then use their existing knowledge of their target audience's attributes to create data-driven market campaigns that are executed on websites their target audience might visit.

How companies use a DMP in marketing strategies

Once DMPs collect data, companies can know who their target audience is and what their behavioral patterns are. DMPs can act as the core of advertising strategies by identifying what forms of marketing attract a particular audience, what content inspires them to buy a service/product, and why.

To illustrate, a retailer could use a data management platform to collect data from first-party sources. Based on the information collected, they could define four different key target audience segments- Women 18-35, Men 18-35, Young Adult Women 12-17, and Young Adult Men 12-17. Then, the retailer could determine which key advertising channels would capture the interest of these groups and run advertising campaigns for them.

DMP Possibilities

There are endless ways to maximize the benefits of the data collected by DMP. Some suggestions are-
  • Sell Data - Sell information for additional revenue.
  • Build Brand Loyalty Find new customers by using second and third party data sources to increase the customer base
  • Paid Search & Social Campaigns Use target audiences driven by DMPs to update paid search and social media campaigns
  • Match audiences across channels, such as digital and television, so the same consumers can be reached regardless of where they are
  • Tailor Content for Mobile Provide personalized experiences for web and mobile users by offering content and products that are only available on those mediums
  • Be Creative Use customized videos, visuals, and content to appeal to a target audience segment
Best Practices

1. Set goals and reasonable expectations.

A clear set of goals can help organizations get the most value from their DMP. Some typical goals include increasing sales, unifying data from multiple sources, understanding a target audience, finding new prospects and optimizing marketing campaigns. Establishing key performance indicators for each target audience will help with DMP selection.

Waiting to implement a marketing campaign can be a wise decision because the more data there is, the more information there is about the target audience. For this reason, it is also helpful for newer companies to consider obtaining secondary and third-party data, as they have not yet developed an understanding of who their consumer is.

2. using data from any source The

Pulling in data from first, second and third-party sources helps build a complete picture of the targeted industry and consumers. While it may be tempting for digital marketers to stick to data from websites, there are many other methods of gathering information, including point of sale systems (POS), customer relationship management systems, television, social media or mobile devices. Analyzing existing data can help reveal future financial and industry trends so campaigns can be created ahead of the competition.

3. Remember, create, test, adjust.

Once data-driven marketing campaigns have been executed, it is important to monitor performance and make necessary adjustments. Creating audience data is a continuous process.

4. keep data governance prioritized ,

Keeping the platform clean and organized should be a priority. Operational, technical and personnel controls should be in place to ensure marketers can manage data safely. Keeping track of current customer data, where it is and who is responsible for it will help marketers run their campaigns more effectively.