In Part I of my “Ecosys­tem Envy” blog series, I chal­lenged cus­tomers and ven­dors alike to look beyond the quan­tity of tech­nol­ogy part­ner­ships a DMP pro­vides and, instead, begin to assess the qual­ity of those part­ner­ships. We talked about the qual­i­ties of a high-value, third-party data rela­tion­ship and how savvy mar­ket­ing should score these relationships.

We now turn our atten­tion to the other side of the coin, audi­ence syn­di­ca­tion partners—the grow­ing list of sys­tems in which a DMP can inject a marketer’s data to opti­mize cam­paigns. We all need to answer this ques­tion: what makes a syn­di­ca­tion inte­gra­tion valu­able to a DMP cus­tomer? Here are some cri­te­ria to add to the list:

3.    Let’s take fore­cast­ing as the first exam­ple. The DMP and its audi­ence syn­di­ca­tion part­ner should help the mar­keter fore­cast the expected impact, and cost, of using the inte­gra­tion on a per-campaign basis. Specif­i­cally, the mar­keter should be able to under­stand the de-duplicated reach of their audi­ence seg­ments that are avail­able for tar­get­ing, per inte­gra­tion. For exam­ple, you might ask, “if the cus­tomer uses DMP inte­gra­tion A, will there be a mate­r­ial dif­fer­ence in cam­paign reach and per­for­mance ver­sus DMP inte­gra­tion B?” Typ­i­cally, the matu­rity level and over­all reach of each audi­ence syn­di­ca­tion part­ner varies widely and can lead to sig­nif­i­cant disparities.

4.    Then what hap­pens after the cam­paign has run? An audi­ence syn­di­ca­tion inte­gra­tion should pro­vide con­tin­u­ous feed­back on the cam­paign per­for­mance met­rics and inject these met­rics back into the DMP. This would allow the mar­keter to gen­er­ate informed audi­ence dis­cov­ery insights and make cam­paign opti­miza­tion decisions.

5.    None of the above is even pos­si­ble with­out best-of-breed data trans­fer inte­gra­tion between a DMP and the syn­di­ca­tion part­ner. The data trans­fer method­ol­ogy used between sys­tems can impact the per­for­mance of a cam­paign dra­mat­i­cally. It’s not unusual for basic inte­gra­tions to be plagued by data latency (i.e., wait­ing up to 30 days before launch­ing a cam­paign) or data syn­chro­niza­tion loss (i.e., trans­fer­ring an audi­ence seg­ment of 5 mil­lion unique users and “los­ing” 15% of them on the data transfer).

Value-added part­ner­ships take a lot more than tech­ni­cal inte­gra­tion and marketing.

6.    The true test of a good part­ner­ship is the extent to which both sides are aligned at the cus­tomer, busi­ness plan, and address­able mar­ket lev­els. The DMP sec­tor is loaded with data and media bro­kers, sell­ers, and resellers. Chan­nel con­flicts often lead to pas­sive, or com­pet­i­tive, part­ner­ships between DMPs and other sys­tems, dri­ving sub­op­ti­mal results for the cus­tomer. Here are a few easy barom­e­ters to gauge a well-aligned part­ner­ship in the DMP space:

    • Does your DMP encour­age and facil­i­tate direct engage­ment between its cus­tomers and its partners?
    • Does your DMP cosell and col­lab­o­rate with its data and syn­di­ca­tion partners?
    • Is there any com­mit­ment or exclu­siv­ity between the DMP and its tech­nol­ogy partners?

The data man­age­ment plat­form offers an unprece­dented oppor­tu­nity to har­ness the value of large quan­ti­ties of untapped mar­ket­ing data assets. The data source and audi­ence syn­di­ca­tion part­ner­ship invest­ments a DMP makes are crit­i­cal to any marketer/publisher that is con­sid­er­ing adopt­ing this tech­nol­ogy. It is more impor­tant than ever that we look beyond one-dimensional lists of DMP part­ner­ships and drive the entire ecosys­tem toward a more reli­able, fluid, and com­mer­cially suc­cess­ful state of data interconnectivity.