Key Points

  • Without the proper experience and knowledge of how to utilize your data once it's been collected, a Data Management Platform is nothing more than a data warehouse.
  • When managed correctly, a Data Management Platform can serve a critical role in increasing revenue.
  • A piece of ad tech that publishers can not afford to skip out on, selecting a Data Management Platform is as equally about the technology as it is about the data management support that comes with it.

Based on the name itself, you can probably guess what a Data Management Platform (DMP) does. Yes, it manages your data, but it does so much more than that. If set up and managed properly, a DMP can collect, store, manage, optimize, enrich, and use insight from your data to ultimately earn you the most revenue possible. Sounds pretty good, right? The tricky part is that not every DMP is built the same.

Most DMPs only have the ability to pull in audience data about your site, but the with existence of third-party cookies crumbling bit by bit each day, that limits your ability to access crucial data sets. This makes the choice to work with a DMP that can pool together audience or customer data from a vast network of partner sites rather than just yours much more valuable to you and to the advertisers who are looking to buy your inventory. Most DMPs also do not have the ability to automatically scan your website content and meta-data to appropriately tag users with interest or behavior-based tags, meaning you're in for A LOT of manual work. 

This, of course, leads to the question of what kind of support you'll require to integrate your site or app with a third-party DMP and what level of support will be provided well after the initial integration because the work certainly doesn't end there.

Don't fret, we're here to break it all down for you so you know exactly what to expect as you begin your journey into Data Management Platforms. In today's post, we provide a thorough overview of what exactly a Data ManagementPlatform is and why its existence is such an important piece of a publisher's ad tech stack.

Not interested in dealing with all the intricacies of data management? Then, it's probably time to consider working with a revenue amplification partner like Playwire who will not only manage and optimize your data with our built-in DMP but will manage every single element of your ad tech stack. Leave the ad management to the experts while you focus on continuing to create top-tier content. Contact us to learn more.

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


Data Management Platform Definition

What is a Data Management Platform?

A Data Management Platform, in its simplest form, is a data warehouse that collects, stores, and manages your data. For publishers, it gathers various types of audience data based on a user's online, website or in-app, behavior. This collected data allows publishers to make more informed decisions about the content or digital advertising their users see.

How Data Management Platforms Work

Before learning more about how a Data Management Platform works, you need to have a baseline understanding of what types of data are ingested by a DMP. The two main types of data are first-party and third-party data. 

Each type collects data from unique locations based on the specific actions and behaviors of online users, and with the impending end of the third-party cookie, understanding the differences between these two data sets and how you can better utilize first-party data is more crucial than ever before. Trust us, your future self will thank you.

First-Party Data vs. Third-Party Data

First-party data is collected based on a user's behavior and actions on a single website or app. On the contrary, third-party data includes data from users' overall online behavior and actions rather than just one website or app. 

Essentially, third-party cookies track pretty much everything a user is doing online, which is gold for those in the online advertising community but has raised concerns over the years regarding user privacy. This has ultimately caused digital media powerhouses, such as Apple and Google, to take steps towards eliminating third-party cookies altogether, which you can learn more about by reading our in-depth article on the subject.

So what exactly are your options if third-party data collection is being eliminated? Lean into first-party data like never before.

The good news is that there is so much that first-party data can tell you. The bad news is that first-party data at its core is the collection of a very small amount of information. Think about it, what a user does only on your website or app tells you very little about who that person is and what they're interested in seeing overall.

Thus, when we say lean into first-party like never before, we mean working with a centralized DMP that does not rely on third-party data but rather pools together your first-party data with first-party data from their entire network of websites in order to create scalable audience segments. This gives you a much larger and clearer picture of overall audience behavior, 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. 

This in turn leads to more interest from advertisers wishing to reach a very specific target audience, and that means more revenue in your pocket.

Keep in mind the ability of a DMP provider to bundle together first-party data from one site with a vast network of first-party data is an extremely unique feature offered by few DMPs.

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Data Management Platform Resource Center

The Complete Data Management Platform Resource Center

How a DMP Uses Your Data

Keeping in mind that there are different types of data and that each serves a unique purpose, the next part of the data management equation is understanding more specifically how a DMP collects and makes use of these data sets to earn your site or app more revenue.

While every DMP has different features, here is a simple overview of how a basic DMP functions:

Raw Data Collection

Once integrated with your web property, a DMP will help you collect raw data about the interests and behaviors of your audience. How this is done is highly dependent on the DMP you select to integrate with.

Combine with Third-Party Data

Most DMPs, but not all, will also complement your first-party data with existing third-party data other sources know about your users. At least while this remains an option.

Process and Store Data

The combined data is then stored in the DMP for easy audience segmentation and centralized advertiser access.

Make Data Valuable to Advertisers

The more available data you are able to collect and combine about your individual users, the more attractive it will be for advertisers. The more available data you are able to collect and combine about your individual users, the more attractive it will be for advertisers. There are two different ways that DMPs can go about this step.

The first is what most DMPs offer, which is selling your first-party data on various marketplaces in order to enrich and make it more valuable for advertisers. This process involves a ton of moving parts including setting up the proper signals between platforms, which can be quite time-consuming, and doesn't necessarily guarantee the most desirable results as you may still need to do a ton of legwork after segmentation to get the data in front of advertisers.

The second option is one that very few DMPs do, which is pooling multiple sources of data from a wide variety of publishers across a DMP's internal network in order to create scalable audience segments worthy of more advertising dollars. Again, it's important to keep in mind that this unique option is only offered by a select few DMPs, including Playwire.

Audience Segmentation

Network-wide data is then segmented into audience cohorts based on interests and behaviors for campaign targeting by advertisers.


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Why Publishers Need a DMP

For most publishers, the answer to why you need a DMP is pretty clear: having data that can inform the decisions you make about your website or app can lead to significantly more revenue than if you were simply creating content and running ads without knowing anything about your audience. 

The worlds of online media and advertising are constantly shifting, but one thing will always remain and that is that data collection is the only way to know if a publisher's efforts are successful or unsuccessful.

Below are a few key reasons why publishers need a DMP in regard to their advertising efforts:

Campaign Targeting

Collecting and analyzing data about where your users come from, what their interests are, how they behave and interact with the content and ads on your site, etc. can only lead to better campaign targeting. 

In other words, you're able to serve targeted ad campaigns to users that will actually want to see them. The result is higher user engagement and viewability, a better overall user experience, and more revenue generation.

Advertisers Love Custom Audiences

Advertising on a website or app that properly manages and segments its audience data is about as appetizing as it gets for advertisers. If you can provide quality, granular data sets to advertisers allowing them to get their ads placed in front of exactly who they wish, you have all the ammo you need to increase ad placement pricing and CPM rates. 

Thus, a quality DMP has the power to boost your revenue-per-mille (RPM) rates, and even more so with the addition of a quality global Direct Sales team that can help sell those audiences for top dollar.

Learn more about how Playwire's global Direct Sales team can do just that.

Maintain Compliance with Data Protection Laws

Just like anything else across the digital landscape, there are a multitude of data protection laws in place to protect users' online privacy. 

With privacy policies such as GDPR and CCPA in place, in addition to a variety of other country and state-based policies, access to a quality DMP, which has consent management tools in place to assure your data collection and usage doesn't break any laws, is imperative.

Playwire: Data Management and Much, Much More

Two things are clear: 

  1. Publishers need a Data Management Platform as part of their ad monetization strategy.
  2. Data Management Platforms can require a ton of technical uplift and overall management if you don't choose the right partner.

Don't make the mistake of choosing a DMP that's missing the features you need or can't provide the connection to larger audience segments. Simply partner with Playwire and gain access to our centralized DMP, and the power of our entire RAMP Platform, all without breaking the bank.

Driven by first-party data, Playwire's built-in DMP leverages your unique audience while assuring you remain compliant with all data privacy laws. With our DMP, you gain access to premium demand through custom audience insights and segmentation and a vast network of audience cohorts. 

Receive all the benefits of an enterprise-level DMP without having to deal with the integration and functionality headaches, and assure you are prepared for what's still to come with our team of experts by your side.

To learn more, contact us today.

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