Programmatic Video #WotW: What Is A Data Management Platform (DMP)?

Programmatic video is the fastest-growing category of programmatic buying, but a lot of marketers are still struggling to get to grips with the basics.

A recent study by the Association of National Advertisers and Forrester found that only 23% of marketers said they understood programmatic and were using it to execute their campaigns. This is despite the fact that more than half of US publishers reported selling their premium video ad inventory programmatically in August 2014 (Adap.tv), while mega-brands like American Express and P&G vowed to shift the majority of their ad spend to programmatic by the end of 2014.

There’s clearly a knowledge gap between the programmatic front lines and everyday marketers, making 2015 a key year for programmatic education. As with any burgeoning new trend, one of the main causes of confusion is vocabulary.

Any discussion of the topic produces a web of jargon and acronyms that’s enough to send anyone running to Google. But fear not, this is easily solved.

Each week we’ll be serving up handy guides to the most important programmatic video terms, courtesy of Unruly co-founder and CTO, Matthew Cooke. Last week looked at what a DSP is. This week, Matthew explains Data Management Platforms (DMPs).

Stick around and see how quickly you can master the art of programmatic.

Data Management Platforms store data about internet users and provide access to that data so it’s possible to both understand and target online audiences. They are like a big online database that can be plugged into many different types of platforms, such as SSPs, DSPs, publisher ad servers or directly into sites.

Thy can hold any type of data about users that is available, but it’s common for them to collect, demographic, behavioural and location data from a variety of data providers. DMPs can also store first party data.

For example, imagine you visit a product page, let’s say a “toddler proof door knob cover”. The company may record that you were interested in this product in their DMP. That DMP may then be used by the company through a number of platforms (particularly DSPs) to target “toddler proof door knob cover” ads at you for a couple of weeks in the hope you might change your mind and buy a set.

Some platforms (especially DSPs) have built their own mini DMPs as part of their platform. Independent DMPs include Krux, Lotame and BlueKai.