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What is a DMP?

May 10, 2021
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“If you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling that love actually is all around.” Okay, let’s take that quote from the rom-com we all love to hate (Love Actually) and give it a bit of a marketing makeover—if you look for it, I’ve got a sneaky feeling that data actually is all around. 

One hundred percent true and slightly less nauseating than the former, right?

Today, online users consume and produce data at virtually all hours of the day and night. This can include collecting data from the user’s personal data, merchants, a survey, or a payment gateway. Measuring all of that information, storing it, and figuring out how best to use it is not a task for the faint of heart. Some would just opt to look for companies that offer digital marketing services to do it for them. 

Cue the data management platform, or DMP for short. But what is a DMP? And how does it function? There’s a lot to unpack here, so let’s dive right in. 

DMP Defined

A data management platform (DMP), simply put, is a giant repository in which to store data gathered from first, second party data, and third party data channels. But this storage space is capable of far more than collecting dust. 

From a marketing perspective, this software tool is key to ensuring that marketing dollars are being spent efficiently on first party data collection and that ad campaigns are falling into the hands of the most appropriately matched consumers. 

Some may consider DMPs to be the byproduct of the shift to an omnichannel marketing approach in which one size does not fit all. Forbes reminds us that omnichannel marketing is a multichannel sales approach in which, “the advertising strategy is based on customer behavior and interaction, not a universal brand experience. This means a customer’s behavior dictates the next thing they see.”1

DMP is an omnipotent tool for an omnichannel world, data management platforms sort through diverse datasets. Then, it compartmentalizes the information to be unpacked and used in the channels of your choosing. It is making sure that all that data collection effort does not go to waste.

What Kinds of Data Can Be Stored in a DMP?

Both online and offline data can be processed and stored in a data management platform. A consumer could discover a product via an Instagram ad on their mobile device and research it more thoroughly from their laptop before, ultimately making a purchase at an in-person retail location. When the avenues through which to reach a potential consumer are diverse, so too is the data they produce. 

Because of the diversity of this information, we’re going to break it down into four different market segments, each of which offers its own unique sets of data: demographic, geographic, behavioral, and psychographic. 2

Demographic Data: 

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Employment 
  • Income 
  • Marital status
  • Education level 

A company selling luxury beach towels knows that their one hundred dollar price tag might not be within everyone’s budget. A DMP can help them sort through individuals or potential buyers and target those with higher incomes, for example. 

Geographic Data :

  • City
  • Language
  • Country
  • ZIP code
  • Radius around a certain location
  • Urban or rural

Let’s say you’re managing a small jewelry store in Spain that does not provide international shipping. These data specifics can be stored in your DMP and used to target buyers whose language and location, for example, match with what you’re looking for. 

Behavioral Data: 

  • Purchasing habits
  • Past purchases
  • Benefits sought
  • Spending habits
  • User status and intent
  • Brand interactions

You’d like to run an Instagram ad remarketing campaign for your clothing line, but you’re not sure which pieces are going to be the top sellers. Your data management platform can help you decide by providing you with insights on which products have been viewed by the most users on your site. 

Psychographic Data: 

  • Customer values and attitudes
  • General interests
  • Lifestyle preferences
  • User motivations and priorities

You’re launching a new line of plastic-free toiletry items. A DMP can tap into potential buyers for whom sustainability and a low-waste lifestyle is a top priority. 

D2C agency

The Beauty of a DMP

While it is important to understand the types of valuable information that can be garnered from first data collection, second party data, and third-party sources, it is not your job to organize it all. Or, at least, it doesn’t have to be. 

Work smarter not harder, right? 

If DMPs were your friend, they’d be the one who makes spreadsheets for everything, keeping track of qualitative data, categorizing the raw data, and every detail you need to for valuable insights. 

What benefits Can a DMP Bring to Your Digital Marketing Strategy?

Do you want to connect with new consumers who fit the profile of your current buyer persona? Are you trying to reach a new audience that might particularly benefit from the new product you’re launching?  

Data management platforms can be used to successfully do both—and more. 

To that end, here are a few ways that DMPs can spice up your current digital marketing strategy and why you might want to consider bringing one on board:

  • Audience Analysis – Closely linked to market segmentation, audience analysis can be one of the most attractive benefits for some companies. Data management platforms can help businesses expand and retain their audience by sorting through behavior, demographics, and more. 

While maximizing your reach and boosting your page clicks is always a priority, they don’t really add much value to a campaign when your targeted users are not even remotely interested in what you’re trying to sell. 

  • User Experience – Have your web developer optimize your site based on the information gleaned from your DMP. What pages are being visited the most, and how can they be made more accessible to the user? Where in the purchase funnel are your leads getting stuck? DMPs can help you identify website optimizations that will spur more conversions. 
  • Retargeting Campaigns – Remember that your DMP can analyze consumer behavior online and offline. What products does your audience tend to be most drawn to? With data management, companies can customize a retargeting campaign specifically designed to reach buyers who need a nudge back in the right direction. 
  • Customize Your Content Marketing – A great tool for your blog, DMPs can peruse the psychographic data it stores to help you shape content that your readers will find useful and interesting. Personalized content keeps buyers engaged and eager to come back for more. 
  • Increased ROI – The one everyone is talking about it. Your time and marketing dollars are precious, so it makes sense to invest them in ways that will bring you the highest return. DMPs can help you establish meaningful connections with customers who have a higher intent to make a purchase.  

What DMPs Are Best Suited for Your Business? 

When it comes to choosing the best DMP for your business, remember that not all data management platforms are created equal. Before committing to one, you’ll want to consider the needs and priorities of your company. 

They should be used to enhance your strategy, not replace it. 

While there are several DMPs out on the market to choose from, here are a few of the biggest names and how they can best suit your needs. 

  • OnAudience – With access to more than 12 billion profiles, OnAudience is a data management platform that provides valuable insights into client feedback and ensures businesses have access to specific segmentation features. Its user-friendly platform makes growing your audience virtually painless. 
  • Oracle BlueKai DMP – While an older favorite amongst marketing experts, this DMP is still popular and worth considering. Precise audience targeting and user device insights tend to be some of the top takeaways here. Again, customization is key. 
  • Lotame – If your business focuses a large part of its marketing strategy on social media and email campaigns, this DMP could be one that most benefits you. What it may lack in live reporting, it makes up for in ad personalization. 

Power Digital, A Holistic Approach Fueled By Data 

According to Columbia Business School and the New York American Marketing Association, 91% of United State marketers believe successful brands use data to drive marketing decisions.3 At the end of the day, data is what sets apart digital from traditional marketing. 

It’s the primary vehicle we’ve used to be successful. 

For that, a DMP can be an integral component to your marketing strategy. By organizing, detailing, and categorizing your data, you can extrapolate insights to inform your marketing strategy. 

At the end of the day, we want to know what our customers need. What do they relate to? How are they engaged? What resonates? While driving sales and converting is always our goal, we often achieve these benchmarks by better understanding our consumers. 

In which case, if you’re looking to deploy a digital marketing strategy that uses data to drive results, you’re in the right place. At Power Digital, we can customize a holistic strategy to realize your goals and expand your reach. Oh, and don’t worry about the DMP. 

We’ll manage that for you. 


  1. Datamation. Top Data Management Platforms & Software 2021. https://www.datamation.com/big-data/data-management-platforms/
  2. ExchangeWire. 12 Things to Look for When Choosing a DMP. https://www.exchangewire.com/blog/2017/02/01/12-things-to-look-for-when-choosing-a-dmp/
  3. eMarketer. eMarketer Webinar: Data Management Platforms—Using Big Data to Power Marketing Performance. https://www.slideshare.net/eMarketerInc/e-marketer-webinardatamanagementplatformsusingbigdatapowermarketingperformance
  4. Forbes. The Importance Of Omnichannel Marketing. https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbesagencycouncil/2020/05/04/the-importance-of-omnichannel-marketing/?sh=7d7f749061d7
  5. Lineup. An In-Depth Guide to Data Management Platforms (DMPs) https://www.lineup.com/newsroom/industry-analysis/data-management-platform-guide
  6. Lotame. Benefits of a DMP for Publishers, Media Companies, Agencies and Marketers. https://www.lotame.com/benefits-of-a-dmp/
  7. Trapica. Top 10 Data Management Platforms. https://medium.com/trapica/top-10-data-management-platforms-2ace5b3df345
  8. Qualtrics. Market segmentation: Types, benefits and best practices. https://www.qualtrics.com/experience-management/brand/what-is-market-segmentation/


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