Commentary

Data Beyond Programmatic: Fuel For Martech/Ad Tech Convergence

The data-management platform (DMP) has proven to be an effective technology for advertisers and marketers. DMP vendors demonstrate the mantra that data is king. But it is equally well known that data alone is not enough. Being able to serve actionable insights is the real crown jewel. So why should these insights be limited to paid media?

As these platforms mature, marketers should take advantage of a new opportunity. Many advertisers are already comfortable using a DMP to create segments for their programmatic trading.  Now, marketers should incorporate data platforms that coordinate multiple channels to extend beyond paid media.

Look what has already happened with device graph vendors. Initially, their appeal came from identifying users across all devices. But reaching users on multiple devices (or the same user on multiple channels) was just the beginning.

The opportunity goes way beyond the frequency of a campaign. Now sophisticated tech stacks incorporate device data to provide deeper insight, like omnichannel attribution and cross-channel lift analysis that tie back to CRM databases. In short, use of cross-device data is not longer isolated. It has matured to connect and truly inform what streams work together.

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Similarly, data platforms are growing beyond the standard DMP/DSP configuration. Are the analytics created for your paid media also able to report against offline media and coordinate with other CRM and marcomm data?

Is it nimble enough to connect myriad systems? DMPs already connect numerous data sources like demographic and behavioral vendor data, environmental and contextual data, and verification or compliance sources. They can also include real-time trading data as well as marketer first-party data. But often these capabilities are limited in focus, driving only DSP decisioning.  What if your tech stack also connected to Oracle or Salesforce systems? It’s key to be nimble, because internal company databases are notoriously customized, and an out-of-the-box vendor integration is insufficient to combine complex data sources.

Can analytics provide insight for all marketing channels? Data platforms shine in their reporting and analytics, but are they customizable? Do they operate in a paid-media silo, or can you get a true cross-channel, cross-tactic view of all your marketing? Lift analysis, audience insight and customer journey reporting should incorporate your paid media alongside call center data, in-store POS, email, print as well as search and online.

Is the tech capable of data dissemination as well as ingestion? Marketers rarely ask for more data. They really need more insight – and better ways to take action on that insight. A great tech stack creates a two-way street. It shouldn’t just ingest more sources or impose limits on sharing segments and analytics. It disseminates data and insight to other systems. Media marketers need integrations and triggers for offline and non-programmatic marketing.

Is the approach marketer-focused? It’s easy to imagine only large IT solutions can handle multiple systems, customized insight and focused data integrations. Beware. Systems integrators can be too generic, or too technical, to fulfill the promise of today’s marketer. Data may be king, but you shouldn’t have to kneel down to get answers. Make sure you — not just engineers — can use your tech.

With the maturing DMP market, it is important for marketers to look beyond paid media capabilities and demand the same level of integration, data dissemination, and actionable insight across all their marketing channels.

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