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.