Introduction to Data Management Platforms

In some of our recent blogs we’ve looked at a variety of industry terms and dreaded acronyms and tried to offer simple, no-nonsense definitions of what can sometimes be confusing to someone who’s not a ‘data-driven-thinker’, ‘programmatic-ninja’ or ‘real-time bidding rockstar’.

I’d like to continue that theme by taking a moment to dig a bit deeper into another increasingly common term, the Data Management Platform (DMP).

The Winterberry Group have, in conjunction with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB), put together an insightful white paper on this topic, so rather than reinvent the wheel I’ll pull out some of the key information and leave you to dig deeper into their extensive research should you see fit.


First things first then… It’s a vague term by necessity, there’s a hell of a lot of data out there, which is exactly where a broad tool such as a DMP comes into play:

“Publishers and marketers are aggregating more data, from more sources, than ever before. And in order to realize the full value of that information, they require a technology-driven solution—a central hub—to seamlessly (and rapidly) collect, integrate, manage and activate those large volumes of data.”

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There’s a lot of noise about ‘Big Data’ - the opportunity enabled by technology to improve user and customer experiences on an individual level, based on enormous datasets from myriad channels. DMPs are intended to be the realization of that opportunity, the platform that pulls all of this data together so we can see what it it represents and act on it. Big Data is like a pile of 100,000 mixed up jigsaw pieces. A DMP is what puts all those pieces together. Correctly. In real-time.


So, what applications are there for DMPs, particularly for publishers and advertisers trying to make sense of the vast array of data available to them?

“Some see them as representing an advanced, automated approach to integrating data for use in ad targeting. To others, a DMP is a tool for managing custom insights in support of customer experience management. And yet others see the technology as an enabler of media efficiencies, complementing demand-side platforms (DSPs), supply-side platforms (SSPs) and trading desks.”

Efficiency-improvements are a common demand from respondents to the white paper’s survey. Both publishers and advertisers are looking for ways to make smarter decisions quicker, while for advertisers specifically there’s great appeal in being able to measure and act upon cross-channel customer insights.

Really though the opportunities presented by DMPs are limitless. Constantly increasing volumes and varieties of data mean constantly increasing ways of dicing and slicing it all up and packaging it in a way that enables things to be done easier, quicker and more intelligently.

If you’d like a more in-depth analysis of DMP, take a look at the IAB white paper we’ve referred to throughout this post.


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