Customizing the customer experience with DMPs

Brands and media companies must adopt an iterative mindset to really benefit from owning well-integrated data about customers or readers.

Walt Disney company headquarters [Burbank, California]
Fred Prouser/Reuters

Thanks to today's data management platforms (DMPs), brands are becoming more sophisticated in how they collect, store and analyze data in order to improve their customer experience. From Adobe AudienceManager and Core Audience to Oracle-acquired BlueKai and X+1, a growing number of DMP software options with a range of specializations are now available.

Wal-Mart was one of the first companies to experiment with data warehousing of transactional data before the aforementioned tools existed. Since then, what companies are doing with the help of well-integrated data and data management platforms has become increasingly innovative.

For example, some Walt Disney World Resort guests now wear MagicBands instead of carrying room keys and entrance tickets. When guests book their trips, initial data is collected and stored in an encrypted database, and then the MagicBands use radio-frequency technology to connect guests with their trip necessities. Among the perks, this data allows Disney cast members at the resorts to greet guests personally at different touch points throughout the park.

American Express now recommends specific merchant offerings to card members based on their spending behaviors and location, all thanks to sophisticated data management.

And a data management platform in the health sector, Health Catalyst, helped North Memorial Health Care of Minneapolis-Saint Paul reduce its elective, early term deliveries by 75% through careful data analysis.

Even the media industry is using DMPs to take better advantage of reader data. Let's take a look at a few examples of how.

Making advertisers happier. Jon Suarez-Davis, chief marketing and strategy officer of DMP software, Krux, explains, "Media companies are receiving more requests for precise audience data from their advertiser partners. . . . We help them collect and retrieve data from multiple sources, and enable them to use this data to personalize content and advertising experiences through precise audience segmentation and targeting."

Creating a more personalized reader experience. Smart use of data and sophisticated data management platforms helps digital publishers to create more personalized experiences for readers that go far beyond allowing them to opt in to the newsletters of their choice. Today, media companies can tailor reader experience as intricately as Amazon tailors shoe shopping.

Recommending articles based on similar topics or mentions is a great place to start, but it doesn't stop there. Many media companies encourage readers to spend more time perusing articles or watching videos by using DMPs to ensure that the majority of the content fed to them is catered to their age, interests and recent behavior.

Developing a new revenue stream. Suarez-Davis adds, "We're also seeing many publishers and media companies using the Krux Link peer-to-peer data connections platform to create new revenue streams. By taking advantage of Link's secure, policy-managed environment, data owners can make their first-party audience assets available to pre-approved buyers." These deals, which are sometimes referred to as second-party data deals, allow data owners to establish terms and timing for all transactions, and the data owners have control over how their data will be used and by whom.

Better predicting what readers want. Analyzing reader behavior using a sophisticated data management platform also helps to inform publications' overall content. Consider on-site search data one part to a collective data whole that frequently helps media entities to better define what to pursue editorially and what to pass on, based on historical data and reader behavior.

There are so many interesting ways that brands have used DMPs to customize the customer experience, and the media industry is keeping pace with reader data. The key is for organizations to adopt an iterative mindset so they can benefit from owning well-integrated data about customers or readers. It's all about collecting, analyzing and drawing insights, taking action and measuring effectiveness.

Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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