If you’re in-market for a Data Management Platform (DMP) or considering if now is the right time to invest in such a platform for your business, then you’ve come to the right place! In this article I share my top five tips in evaluating a DMP for your business:
1. Formulate An Internal Checklist
Formulate an internal checklist to get to the heart of the challenges that your business faces today. In this process you will get to understand what factors are impacting your ability to achieve true business growth! Although the following list is not a definitive one, it will serve as a good starting-point to get you thinking about the current scenario of your business:
- What digital Marketing channels do you use today to engage audiences?
- How do these channels rank by Return-On-Investment (ROI) achieved against each?
- Which Advertising and Marketing technology vendors are currently powering each channel?
- What are the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) used to measure business growth?
- How do these KPI’s differ by each team managing each Marketing channel?
- Is the business on target to achieve growth objectives over the next 12, 24, and 36 months?
- If not, where can improvements in performance efficiency potentially be made to get it back on track?
The checklist should be used to help you assess things such as marketing maturity, resourcing (internal vs. external), data-related challenges, and any opportunities this may present that you can look to capitalise on with your selected DMP partner. It is therefore a vital first-step to helping to not only understand if a DMP may be of value, but also to stay focused on identifying the partner that best meets your specific business needs.
2. Establish An Internal DMP Committee
If after having carried out due diligence on your existing business set-up, you are ready to advocate for a DMP within your organisation, the next step is to establish an internal DMP committee. Together you can define the business case in greater detail. The greatest chance for successful roll-out is to have the team involved sooner than later. This should consist of senior stakeholders from across the business. There will be additional input from the committee that should be worked-into the internal checklist, which will now start to be taking shape nicely.
To implement a DMP, is in effect to undergo a Digital Transformation for your business. Depending on the size and nature of your business, stakeholder participation is likely to span:
- Customer Services
Each stakeholder will have a different role to play. For a successful roll-out, they will need to be educated on:
- The need for change
- The role the platform will play for the business
- How the platform will effect change within their respective departments
- How their teams can facilitate a seamless workflow under the new structure
Often external stakeholders are involved, which may span both Media Agencies and Systems Integrators (SI) in the mix.
Since Digital Transformation projects have top-down support from Executive Leadership, you should secure approval from an Executive Sponsor, unless of course that person happens to be you!
3. Be Aware That Not All DMP’s Are Created Equal!
Each vendor you speak to will have a different level of service, support, capabilities, functionality, expertise, experience, vision, strategy and approach. A good next step here would be to formalise a set of questions using the insights from your internal checklist.
These questions can directly address the business challenges, pain points and opportunities identified from the internal checklist, thus working as a benchmark to measure initial vendor responses against.
Most of all, by following this process you will remain impartial. Thereby giving each vendor an equal opportunity to present their case in-line with your requirements. In addition it will be a good exercise to see the differing approaches from one vendor to the next. Furthermore you will get a feel for those vendors that share a vision that resonates in-line with your business needs.
4. Assess The Resourcing Capabilities Of Your Business To Support The DMP
To ensure the long-term success of your DMP implementation, think about your current resourcing capabilities to support not just the initial implementation, but also the on-going management of the platform. Here are some questions to get you on the right trail of thought:
- Where are the current skills and/or resourcing gaps that may limit your ability to successfully manage a DMP in-house?
- What are the cost implications for filling these gaps by hiring into your business, versus the costs of utilising the services of an external partner?
- Who will serve as your in-house Product Champion? In other words, who will be the conduit to interface across internal teams, as well as any external partners involved? Regardless of if you choose to have your DMP managed in-house or externally through a trusted SI or Agency partner, it is important to have an in-house Product Champion to manage day-2-day communications with all stakeholders in the mix.
5. Don’t Underestimate The Value Of A Trusted Agency Or SI Partner
Depending on the level of Marketing maturity that your business is at, the scale of transformation that is required to see successful change, and available resources at your disposal, you may decide that your business can manage the process entirely in-house.
If on the other hand, you find that you will require the services of a trusted external partner, you should know there are some very smart SI’s/Agencies to choose from who recognise the importance of enabling data-centric services to support their clients. When working with the right partner, you can secure the necessary skills and experience to help fill any voids identified during your evaluation.
As a Data Evangelist for Oracle Marketing Cloud, I help educate audiences on the role of data management and activation. This includes thought leadership through training initiatives, events and webinars. If you like my tips and would like to explore any specific aspect in greater detail, feel free to get in touch.