In a world where online ad opportunities are growing at lightning speeds, data management platforms have become increasingly important.

Not only can data provide the common link between disparate campaigns and platforms, but it can also power better strategies and provide key insights that help optimize ad buys and improve overall ROI.

The only problem? Tracking, storing and analyzing this disparate data gets more and more difficult the more campaigns you run.

Enter the data management platform, or DMP for short.

What are Data Management Platforms?

Powerful, centralized data storehouses, DMPs help advertisers gather information from across all advertising campaigns and platforms, so they can better see the bigger picture.

DMPs are particularly good for gathering and storing customer data – cookie IDs, mobile identifiers, demographic information and online buying behavior – which advertisers can then, in turn, use to segment their campaigns and optimize future ad buys.

DMPs can even integrate with demand-side platforms (DSPs) – the tools that actually purchase programmatic media placements – to make digital advertising even more seamless and effective.

Segmenting with DMPs

The true power in a data management platform lies in its ability to segment audiences into highly specific, targetable groups.

With a DMP, advertisers can build audience targets based on demographics, income level, past browsing or buying behavior, geographic location, type of device and more, and then can analyze exactly how ads/campaigns performed within those very segments.

This allows advertisers to continually optimize and improve campaigns for better performance.

Here are just a few of the segments retailers might consider targeting:

    • VIPs, customers who have purchased at least three times or more in a year


    • Refill buyers, customers who bought products that need routine replacement/replenishment


    • High AOV buyers, customers who typically spend a lot in a single purchase


    • Category-specific buyers, customers who buy only in one certain product niche


    • Dynamic segments based on activity dates, customers who bought during sales, holidays, etc.


As you can see, DMPs allow for incredibly specific segmenting.

Advertisers can create hundreds, even thousands, of unique target groups, including things as precise as “male customers who have purchased swim trunks and regularly buy during sales.”

This allows for extremely tailored messaging to reach those buyers in the right place, at the right time.

DMP Strategy

For online advertisers, DMPs have become a vital part of the media planning and buying. Using a DMP, marketing / advertising efforts can be highly targeted, specific and custom-fit to reach qualified, ready-to-buy consumers more often and in higher volumes.

DMPs can give allow retailers to:

  • Increase visibility into big-picture insights across platforms and campaigns – The biggest benefit of a DMP is that retailers can merge disparate data and get big-picture insights across all channels, platforms and campaigns.
  • Determine targetable data points within their audience – A DMP can give advertisers the insights they need to spot big-picture trends within their audience, so they can determine targetable segments that will ultimately result in more conversions.
  • Analyze large quantities of data – DMPs can process millions and billions of data points automatically and seamlessly, giving advertisers access to both high-level and highly detailed insights.
  • Create retargeting campaigns – Retargeting customer groups based on past behavior or activities is infinitely easier with a DMP – especially if it is integrated with a DSP.
  • Better optimize site functions – Advertisers can also use DMP insights to customize site messaging, creative and even functionality to specific user groups, increasing conversions even more.
  • Enjoy a higher ROI – In the end, advertisers can use DMP insights to determine which segments are worth targeting and which are not, focusing their resources on the most high-value, high-ROI audiences possible.


Ultimately, a data management platform enables smarter media buying and campaign planning decisions.

Advertisers can create segments based on any number of data points and behaviors, as well as targets specific to certain ad platforms, like display, search, video and even social media. DMPs also allow advertisers to constantly and in real-time analyze the results of their campaigns, so they can edit, change and optimize to improve results faster and more effectively.

Data Management Platform Companies

In the end, a DMP should be yet another tool in an online marketer’s arsenal. Making data easier to understand and more actionable, it can allow retailers to better target ad buys and creative, as well as improve overall advertising ROI.

Popular DMPs include:

A number of data management companies also offer DMPs that integrate with DSPs, which makes the entire execution of an online campaign easier and more seamless.

Remember though, not every option on this data management platform list is a good fit for everyone.

According to Forrester, retailers’ best bets are likely Adobe’s DMP, which is great if “you want a DMP that operates across mar tech channels,” or MediaMath, which Forrester says is ideal if “you want to sharpen your media buying.”

For more on Data Management Platforms, email [email protected]

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