The following article by Pierre Naggar was published on top UK marketing site M&M Global on March 22, 2013
In the past 12 months, ‘Big Data’ has been referred to as the “next big thing” by some, while others have described it as “the new snake oil” that marketers have to contend with.
Wading through this ‘data soup’, and doing it successfully, can set your marketing apart, but it is also likely to require a robust data management platform (DMP) to enable it. Stripped down, data management platforms enable marketers to address three main purposes:
- To integrate audience, contextual and geographic data across multiple touch points
- To segment audience data and to make immediate – and crucially – different, tailored actions on these segments
- To discover new insights about audiences
So, here is what you could (and should) be doing to make the most of your DMP investment:
One of the golden rules of choosing a DMP in the first instance is that the platform should have the ability to integrate all sources of audience data. Your chosen DMP needs to be able to integrate audience data from all possible sources, including advertising and search data, CRM data, e-commerce data, and even third party data, to ensure you’re getting the most benefit. A fail-safe method of importing data from real-time pixels (also known as tag management) and batch files needs to be installed.
Segmentation and action
To achieve successful segmentation of data, a DMP with an easy-to-use interface is necessary to allow for the manual definition of specific audience segments. The system needs to be able to easily handle combining third-party demographic information with first-party registration, activity and customer value information, for example. These data segments should be expandable through lookalike modeling to find similar audiences that are likely to behave in a similar manner to the “seed” audience segment. Many DMPs stop here. Before generating that ‘lookalike audience’ it’s important to get real-time feedback from the DMP on how much it would cost to reach this audience at different frequencies of exposure.
The third purpose of a DMP is to uncover new insights about a marketer’s audience segments to gain an understanding of the demographic and behavioural profile of users that have received impressions, clicked on creatives, visited a site and converted on the site. These insights can then be used to optimise current advertising campaigns, as well as inform future marketing decisions, by profiling users who deliver the best return-on-investment (ROI), and determining your target audience prior to ever serving an ad.
Armed with a robust DMP, marketers are better able to locate, target and understand their desired audiences, ultimately increasing the effectiveness of their campaigns and improving ROI. The star marketers of tomorrow will be people with the firmest grasp of how to gain actionable insights from data that work for businesses.
Pierre Naggar, managing director, Turn Europe