DMP Adoption in Agencies: Making a Real Impact

Is Your Greatest Asset Gathering Dust?

In an increasingly complex world with a host of different functions, from audience strategy, to media execution, programmatic buying, and analytics, all participating in the delivery of a single marketing campaign, it’s easy to understand how new additions to this complex ecosystem can become lost in the noise, resulting in a lack of value being extracted. Whether it be a lack of resource, skill-set, or a simply lack of communication, DMPs are rarely being utilised to their full potential in a coherent and consistent way.

The DMP offers the potential to unify not only many aspects of campaign planning and audience activation, but also media delivery, tracking and optimisation. However, from a workflow perspective, the DMP is simply another technology platform and another UI battling it out for the agencies time and attention, and as a result many of the key features and functionalities of the DMP end up sitting on the shelf, with agencies left debating whether or not they are making the most of their investment.

Measuring Value in Terms of Real Impact

In my role I’ve been helping to support clients in their overall adoption of the DMP, and their use of the DMP in activating cross-team media campaigns. Creating a process for ensuring the DMP is adding value can be difficult with so many moving parts, but I’ve found that a few simple pre, mid, and post-campaign checks can help ensure the role of the DMP is being maximised.

These checks can be boiled down to a single consideration:

“What impact has the DMP had on this campaign”

Impact is a difficult parameter to measure, but generally there are several points at which the DMP can and should be being utilised within the media planning and activation framework — for simplicity we will call these the Impact Opportunities.

Impact Opportunities

Impact Opportunities can be seen as the key deliverables that a DMP should bring to any given campaign, throughout that campaign lifecycle. Impact Opportunities provide a simple yet robust form of measuring the adoption of a DMP, and subsequently the value extracted from the DMP on a campaign by campaign basis. There are four main Impact Opportunities for a typical campaign:

Audience Planning & Insights

The DMP is a powerful planning tool, allowing you to profile and analyse target audiences (whether they be 1st, 2nd or 3rd party audiences) prior to targeting. The DMP provides compositional analysis demonstrating key demographic skews, as well as interests, behaviours and actions the audience is taking online. This is a 360° view on an audience, allowing you to answer the who, where, why and how of the audiences you decide to activate, exclude or decision off.

Audience Targeting & Activation

Audience activation typically falls under three categories:

  1. Pro-active targeting — seeking to identify a group of users based on attributes and behaviours they have demonstrated in order to target those users with advertising
  2. Suppression targeting — seeking to identify a group of users based on attributes and behaviours they have demonstrated in order to actively exclude those users from targeting
  3. Dynamic decisioning — seeking to identify a group of users based on attributes and behaviours they have demonstrated in order dynamically alter creative message or content shown to these users

Campaign Tracking & Optimisation

Understanding and tracking the performance of a campaign is vital in improving the overall probability of successfully driving the campaign objective effectively and efficiently. Audiences can be generated, excluded and amended in mid-flight, to enhance overall performance.

The DMP is able to provide directional insight as to audiences/behaviours which should be more aggressively targeted, and the audiences/behaviours which should be set as exclusion audiences within the activation channel. Over time, given trends you may choose to add or remove data vendors from 3rd party data selection based on this information.

Post-Campaign Analysis

Using the DMP, you are able to understand how a campaign has performed, and which audiences were particularly strong/weak in driving a pre-defined set of KPI’s is integral to improving future efforts. Post campaign reports are vital business intelligence tools to drive greater insight and understanding of media performance.

The DMP is able to generate insight into campaign delivery metrics (across devices and platforms) and will provide audience profile data based on those users which were exposed to the campaign and those that took action and completed the KPI. These reports are valuable in understanding overall performance, identifying audience skews, and reflecting on the campaign.

Using the DMP you are also able to produce holistic profile analysis on users based on their engagement. Complete this process by creating a single behaviour audience built from the tracked campaign interaction.

Are we Utilising the DMP?

The key consideration for DMP adoption within the context of a media campaign activation relates directly to these four Impact Opportunities, and anyone looking to understand whether or not the DMP is being utilised fully should review their media campaigns on this basis. In other words, asking how has the DMP been utilised in correspondence with the above four Impact Opportunities:

  • Did we profile audiences using the DMP, what did we learn?
  • Which audiences did we target, which did we suppress, how were we tailoring content based on audience logic?
  • How did we use the DMP to optimise campaign performance or audience targeting, what changes were made mid-flight as a result of the DMP?
  • What campaign learning have we extracted from the DMP, do we know which audiences performed best, were there any demographic skews in high performing/low performing groups, what was my cross-device and cross-platform reach?

For the DMP to provide maximum value it must be institutionalised into the campaign planning, activation and reporting processes, and the above provides a robust and simple methodology through which to do just that.

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