Sunday, January 21, 2018

Data Management Platform Use Cases

Marketers hope to get the best return for each campaign they run but is getting that return really that simple? Unfortunately, it’s not as there are a lot of factors that come into play for planning and executing these campaigns such as identifying/finding the target audience, communication channel, budget, technology platform and expected outcome to name a few. Luckily, there are tools out there to support marketers activate towards an outcome, measure performance and optimize continuously. One such tool that helps them is a Data Management Platform.
In my last post, I gave an overview of a Data Management Platform. In this article, I’ll go through some typical marketing scenarios that are realized using a DMP.
  1. Frequency Capping: Marketers use this feature to set a cap on how many impressions should users be exposed to for a particular campaign. The idea behind this is to not show the same campaign to users if they’ve seen it multiple times. As an example, the screenshot below taken from Adobe's DMP that shows a report where conversions start to drop once users see the same ad more than 2 times. The advantage of this feature is to save marketing dollars and not pay extra for potentially wasted impressions as users tend to convert in the first 2 interactions as per this report.
  2. Prospecting or Lookalike Audiences: Prospecting allows marketers to reach out to new audiences who wouldn’t have visited their site. This is where a DMP's connection to the 3rd party marketplace allows marketers to evaluate new audiences and overlap them with their 1st party data. This feature is called lookalike modeling where marketers pick a baseline 1st party attribute (such as users who bought something) and run that against 3 party audiences to see which new 3rd party audiences exhibit the same behavior. Once these audiences are identified, marketers can purchase these audiences at a premium and factor this cost as part of their marketing budget and look to further increase their overall CTR and conversion rate.
  3. Media Suppression: Media suppression or exclusion in the marketing world allow marketers to not display an ad to certain group of people who need to be excluded. Simple examples of exclusions can be at a geographic level or channel level that can be executed directly in the Demand Side Platform (DSP). A DMP however, is able to fulfill other use cases where a marketer would want to exclude users who already purchased something on their site or might have submitted a lead. In this case, marketers can build an exclusion audience in the DMP comprising of 1st party onsite behavioral data and share it out with a DSP for execution.
  4. Content Personalization: Personalization in simplest terms means serving up content tailor-made for customers based on their browsing patterns. A few examples of personalization, which are accomplished using a DMP are as follows:
    • Combine 1st party CRM data to gather demographic and past purchase information about a user and serve them discount offers to buy something again.
    • Personalize content based on product pages that users have visited in the past and deliver similar content to encourage them to go deeper into the purchase funnel. An integration between site analytics and an A/B Testing tool is required but a DMP can be used to find additional prospects that can be combined with 1st party site data.
    • Other simpler examples are serving personalized content based on city, weather, time of day so the opportunities are endless depending on your site.
  5. Visitor Retargeting: Retargeting (if done right) is a form of advertising in which you  follow visitors across the web who've visited your site but haven't converted. A retail site (shall remain unnamed) continued to retarget me even though I had bought from them. This tells me that the retailer doesn't share 1st party purchase data with their retargeting platform and should probably invest in a DMP. In terms of the technology, a client website has pixels that set a cookie on the user's browser -> that is shared with a retargeting partner who -> is able to show them ads across the web -> to bring them back to the original website. There are many retargeting use cases that marketers can execute on but I'm going to cover the most common ones which can be executed using a DMP:
    • Retarget users who added an item to their cart but didn't purchase. In this, first party data around cart add is shared with the retargeting platform via a DMP.
    • Retarget users who opened an email but did not convert. In this, data from the email captured in the DMP integrated with other data sources is sent over to the retargeting partner.
  6. Test multiple creatives and DSPs: DMPs also have the capability to test out multiple creatives or DSPs. The way it works (in Adobe Audience Manager as an example) is that a single segment is broken into mutually exclusive groups and then split into multiple subsets depending on the number of creatives or DSPs a marketer wants to test. The result of this is that the DMP will tell you which creative or DSP performed the best localized to its baseline segment picked as part of the test. As a next step, marketers can swap out underperforming ads and DSPs, pick the one that works and then repeat this process moving forward.
  7. Cross device targeting: It's common knowledge that consumers browse the web using multiple devices but how do we tie them together? DMPs can connect users browsing the web across multiple devices by using their authenticated profile. Once a user has visited a web property in an authenticated manner, the DMP is still able to identify that person even if the user visits the property as unauthenticated. A common scenario where this feature is leveraged is where a user may not have purchased something on desktop and sees an ad for the same product on their mobile app. The DMP in this case, collects 1st party data both from the desktop site and mobile app and shares that with the DSP for targeting. Here's a visual from Adobe's cross device tool called Profile Merge Rules.

We covered many aspects of digital marketing as individual use cases but in reality, they need to execute in tandem to get the most value from a DMP. Retargeting users and personalizing the website to show similar ad copy content is a great example of these done in tandem. Successful execution of these use cases will allow companies to reap the benefits of what a DMP has to offer as the possibilities are endless. Are you leveraging your DMP to act on these use cases? 

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