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dmp personalization

Personalization and Data Management Platforms (DMPs): Adopting the right strategy for success

December 3, 2020
Reading time: 
5 min
Chris Measures
Chris Measures
Chris is responsible for creating Kameleoon content across the areas of personalization, experimentation and digital marketing. He covers a wide range of topics, with the aim of better informing marketers and brands and helping them increase conversions and revenues.

Many brands are already seeing the benefits of providing their visitors with a personalized experience in terms of greater engagement, higher conversion rates and increased revenues. Personalization requires you to understand your visitors more deeply, collecting and analyzing data in order to tailor the experience. When it comes to customer information Data Management Platforms (DMPs) are a key part of many organizations’ digital strategies - so how do they fit with personalization and what are the benefits of combining them both?

1 What is a Data Management Platform (DMP)?

A DMP enables you to collect, centralize, manage and use data related to prospects and customers, all in a single place. Given the huge (and growing) volumes of data that is now available on prospects and their behavior, the DMP provides a solution to manage, co-ordinate and share all of this information, which can be spread across multiple systems within a business. Leading examples of DMPs include Kameleoon partners Salesforce Audience Studio (formerly Krux DMP) and Oracle DMP (Bluekai).

The difference between a Data Management Platform and a Customer Data Platform

As well as DMPs, marketers can also deploy Customer Data Platforms (CDPs). While both of these handle data, there are some key differences between them that make them complementary, rather than requiring brands to choose one over the other.
As defined by our partner Tealium, a CDP is a service to capture, correlate, and activate customer data across multiple channels, devices, and technologies. It provides a single view of the customer and allows this data to be used across multiple teams, tools, skill sets, and features.
By contrast a DMP aggregates anonymous website behavioral data (from your own and other sites), enabling you to segment audiences and share this data with other systems, such as for digital advertising.

2 Can you personalize without a Data Management Platform (DMP)?

Yes - many brands deliver an optimized, personalized experience without requiring a DMP or the data it contains. 

For example, a personalization solution like Kameleoon is based on a data layer that collects, stores and analyzes all visitor data created “on site”, in real-time: 

The solution is “persistent”, meaning that it keeps track of the entire browsing history, allowing a complete picture of visitor behavior to be created. It also matches cross-channel and cross-device customer data (as long as the customer is logged in). Equipped with this solution for acquiring and storing data, our clients can target or segment their visitors using all kinds of criteria. Additionally, through our AI personalization engine we can accurately predict future conversion probabilities from just 15 seconds of website visitor data.

The first stage in a structured personalization approach consists in figuring out your target (to find out more, read our complete guide to personalization ebook, and what appeals to them.

Underpinning your strategy you need a strong personalization solution that gives you free rein to devise and deploy the full range of personalized experiences. Your technology should have the power to identify your chosen target in real-time, allowing you to focus your imagination on creating compelling, tailored experiences.

3 Why use a Data Management Platform (DMP)?

There are two good reasons for adopting a DMP:


By combining your personalization solution with a DMP, you can deepen your targeting abilities:

  • by adding online visitor data from other sources than your site, for example from third-party cookies. This dates back to the goal of the first DMPs, which was to optimize media buying and deliver targeted advertising to visitors. So, for example DMPs are capable of identifying a visitor on a website and showing them a targeted advertising message on another website. Some of our clients have coupled their DMP with Kameleoon to personalize the on-site experience of visitors already identified and segmented from their behavior on other websites.
  • by combining with your offline customer data. The ability to track the customer journey across multiple channels, such as in a physical store or on a website, is a must for big retail players, and those brands where conversion still takes places offline. A small number of DMPs are able to match on-site and off-site customer data to provide this multi-channel capability. They can create a unique and usable picture of the customer’s buying behavior across channels.

This strategy has been adopted by major retailer Auchan, which uses a DMP to match its customers’ data and journeys. By combining data from its DMP with Kameleoon, Auchan is able to push out messages that are even more tailored to the particular needs of members of its audience. The result is that it delivered more personalized campaigns and discounts that led to a 2.5% increase in sales. 


With the growth of e-commerce and increased competition, retailers need to implement a wide range of optimization solutions across their projects, deploying software for tag management, A/B testing, personalization, product recommendation and email for example. Each of these solutions collects customer information. Sometimes, the same information is collected, stored and analyzed in 3, 4 or even 5 different solutions.

While this situation is not problematic in itself, it is logical to want to correctly organize your data in a single place to guarantee its integrity. Moreover, online retailers can face the challenge of data silos created by multiple legacy data-storage sources, such as CRM databases or business information (BI) systems. By rationalizing and improving the processing of data, the DMP then serves as a shared and logical infrastructure for all activation solutions like Kameleoon.

4 Taking a strategic approach to personalization and Data Management Platforms (DMPs)

All of this means that there is no simple answer to the question “Should I get a DMP to run website personalization?”


Your choice depends on how your data is organized internally and on the audience segments you want to target. While it is not essential for personalization, a DMP will undeniably enable you to take it further and gain a comprehensive view of visitor DNA. 

If you have not begun a structured personalization approach, there are two strategies to choose from:

  • Bottom-up: roll out a personalization solution first, enabling you to quickly get up and running, using an iterative mode to obtain results, identify areas for improvement and uncover potential challenges. The priority is taking action, since the data is exploited immediately.
  • Top-down: roll out a DMP first, allowing you to start by structuring your customer data, before launching a concrete personalization project that will yield benefits. The priority in this case is data organization.

An often-asked question is what volume of data you need to use a DMP. However, it is less about data volume, and more about factors such as its organization and complexity that should influence your choice.

Thanks to this blog you should now have a better understanding of where DMPs fit into your user experience optimization strategy. Learn more by reading our complete guide to personalization and how it can benefit your brand. 


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Chris Measures
Chris Measures
Chris is responsible for creating Kameleoon content across the areas of personalization, experimentation and digital marketing. He covers a wide range of topics, with the aim of better informing marketers and brands and helping them increase conversions and revenues.