Key Points

  • A Data Management Platform (DMP) is a complex piece of technology that requires a ton of manual labor for it to function in a useful way.
  • Not every DMP functions in the same way or includes the same features or capabilities.
  • There are a variety of DMP features that you will want and need to know before you can make a decision about which DMP is right for you.

Without data, publishers are essentially left to guess what their users do and do not want to see on their website or app, which is not exactly a selling point when you're trying to entice premier brands to run ad campaigns and spend their advertising dollars on your site. For this simple reason, publishers absolutely need a DMP as part of their ad tech arsenal. But, as with everything in ad tech and the greater world of technology, not all DMPs are created equal.

Data is a major point of emphasis across the online space right now, which means when it comes to selecting "the right" DMP, there are more and more options popping up every day. 

Some Data Management Platforms are built into other ad tech tools while some are standalone products. Some have been in business for years, which could mean they haven't quite caught up to the speed at which data management is shifting, while others that are brand new solutions are promising the world but haven't quite been able to produce real results yet. 

Then there is the ultimate question of whether or not the DMP you are thinking about working with is fully prepared to handle all the shifts that are currently taking place regarding existing and future privacy legislation. You don't want to select a DMP today, just to have to make a switch a few months down the road.

There are a lot of factors to consider before selecting the right DMP for your business, and one of the best places to begin is by determining what features are most important to you. Below, we break down all the features you should look for in a DMP.

Playwire's RAMP Platform is a one-stop shop for all your ad tech needs. That includes a built-in DMP that takes the guesswork out of technical implementation and overall data management all while assuring that you remain in compliance with every twist and turn of the ad tech industry. Contact us to learn more!

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The Publisher's Guide to Data Management PlatformsThe Publisher's Guide to Data Management Platforms


Features to Look for in a DMP

There are a number of features that you should look for as you begin your DMP research. To get you started, here are some of the most important questions you should ask yourself and have answered, before making your final decision.

Technical Support 

Ask Yourself: What level of support do I get with access to my selected DMP?

While the technical expertise needed for different ad tech tools does vary, almost every single tool that you choose to add to your tool belt will require some technical uplift throughout the entirety of your ad monetization journey.

When specifically focusing on DMPs, data integration is only the beginning of the long-term technical support that you will require to maintain your DMP and optimize your audience data usage. As you begin your research, look for a DMP that offers extensive technical support to help you not only with your initial data integration but with every subsequent step that follows.

Customizable Scale

Ask Yourself: Can this DMP grow as my business grows?

The majority of DMPs only collect and store data from your website, leaving you to figure out how to manage and optimize that data on your own. Often, this is the result of working with a DMP that is not equipped to optimize and action data for businesses of all sizes. 

You want to look for a DMP whose capabilities allow your data to grow as your specific audience grows and will work with you to utilize that collected data, at every stage, and turn it into targeted ads and more advertising dollars.

Access to Multiple Data Sources

Ask Yourself: Can this DMP pool together and enrich my first-party data with additional sources of data?

With the impending death of the third-party cookie, first-party data has become more precious than ever before. With that, when speaking with various DMP providers, you want to have a clear understanding of how exactly their DMP collects data and furthermore enriches the small quantity of data that is available from your site or app alone.

However, working with a DMP that has access to a wide network of first-party partner data (e.g. first-party data from thousands of different websites) can be an even greater, albeit extremely unique asset. By extension, this allows for the enrichment of your data set without having to rely on second or third-party data collection, which can often be less accurate and/or difficult to fact-check for true accuracy. 

Keep in mind this unique ability to combine first-party data from one site with a vast network of first-party data is only offered by a select few DMPs, including Playwire's.

Automatic Tagging

Ask Yourself: Can this DMP deploy tags automatically on my site (or app)?

Unless your DMP can automatically scan your website content and meta-data to appropriately tag users with interest or behavior-based tags, you're in for a ton of manual, technical work. 

Taking a great deal of manual work off your plate, a quality DMP will have the ability to automatically tag users based on your site's content.

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Data Management Platform Resource Center

The Complete Data Management Platform Resource Center

Cross-Site and Cross-Device Tracking

Ask Yourself: Does this DMP have cross-site and cross-device tracking capabilities?

Successfully managing one site or app is difficult enough, but managing multiple is another undertaking altogether. An even greater task, what if you have both a mobile app and an online website? If you own and operate multiple sites and/or apps, cross-site and cross-device tracking capabilities are key features that you want through your selected DMP.

What do we mean by tracking? By this, we mean the ability of a DMP to track visitor data across all of your available sites or devices. Taking it one step further, some DMPs, including Playwire's, can even track insights about your audience's behavior across an entire network of sites, which both increases the total quantity and enriches the overall quality of your data.

This may not seem like a really important feature among some of the others, but without it, you'll have to manage each of your separate websites or apps under different DMP accounts, never being able to combine all your available data to get the most transparent image of your users' complete online experience.

Transparency with your Audience Analytics

Ask Yourself: How much access will I have and how often can I view my audience analytics?

If you don't have insight into your audience analytics, how can you know that the right data is being collected or that it's being properly managed? You want to make sure that you have full transparency into your DMP, especially regarding how your custom audiences are being built and performing as well as the RPMs they are driving.

Standardized Taxonomy

Ask Yourself: Does this DMP partner with third-party industry sources to implement standardized taxonomy? 

For any publisher wanting to build and/or run their own DMP, it is critical that you build out a taxonomy regarding how your data is being collected and organized in order to eliminate errors in data segmentation and improve comparability in cases when you are pulling data from multiple sources. This can be a tedious, technical, and time-consuming process.

For this reason, it's recommended that you work with a third-party DMP that partners with sources such as the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) to implement standardized content and audience taxonomy, which can assure that your data is being correctly segmented based on predefined industry standards.

Choose a Partner, Not Just a Platform

When it comes to building your ad tech stack, selecting a DMP is one of the most important but difficult decisions you will have to make. The online media and advertising spaces are becoming more crowded by the minute making data more paramount to publisher success than ever before.

Integrating with a quality DMP that includes most, if not all, of the above noted features is a great starting point but having a quality DMP and partner to aid you every step of the way on your data-driven journey is where you'll find real success.

RAMP Up Your Data Management with Playwire

Ad tech is constantly evolving and changing, often with little to no advanced warning. With more than 15 years of experience in the ad tech industry, Playwire has witnessed and adapted to every change, making adjustments to our products and solutions so our publishers don't have to. This ideal remains very much the same with our Data Management Platform.

Just one element of our all-in-one, simple, and scalable RAMP Platform, our built-in DMP includes every feature that a publisher could want and need, not to mention around-the-clock technical support for any issues that might arise. Our DMP was built to withstand growing privacy legislation to assure your data and revenue stream remain long after third-party cookies are gone. 

To learn more about how Playwire's DMP is RAMPing up data management for our publishers and advertisers alike, contact us today.

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