Why publishers need to manage their data to drive reader conversion rates

04 May 2017 | By Tobias Arns

DMP for dummies

Publishers are getting up close and personal with their website visitors. Over the past decade, online news brands have lagged behind the tech and social media giants in the race to create the most agile and in-depth data archives.

Google, Amazon and Facebook have led the way in using data about their visitors to offer them rich, personalized experiences.

Now publishers are turning to personalization to build closer relationships with their users. Employing the digital era’s most powerful and versatile tool, the data management platform (DMP), they are learning to beat the GAFAs (Google, Apple, Facebook, Amazon) at their own game.

Manage your data in real-time to drive recommendations

The DMP allows publishers to store a huge range of data about their users. This powerful tool can keep records of the pages they visit, how long they spend there, the actions they take online such as clicking on links and ads and the videos they watch.

The DMP can blend this with other information, such as details from the publisher’s customer relationship management (CRM) database. And it can use particulars from their interactions with other organizations.

All of this data offers publishers great insights into the interests and desires of visitors to their websites. This allows them to offer visitors the news, articles, videos and other content that matches their particular interests.

Link the data management platform to a personalization engine

A DMP needs to be connected to other software to activate the data. In order to recommend content, the DMP can be linked to a personalization engine or a recommendation engine. These take the DMP’s information about website visitors and matches it with the content that's likely to appeal to them.

If the DMP recognizes a visitor is female and interested in golf, this information feeds through to the personalization engine which can recommend news stories about the game in a box next to the article she's reading.

And the really cool thing is that this works in real-time. Going online is all about the here and now. The DMP collects data about visitors in the moment they visit a website. It can store information about the pages they have visited immediately before landing on the publisher’s page and data on how they behaved on those pages.

And it can contain information such as the device the visitor is using – whether mobile, tablet, laptop or connected TV – the time of day, whether they are using Wi-Fi or data, their location, their altitude and lots more.

Users are likely to click through to recommended stories if they are of specific interest to them. They will stay longer on the site and get more involved with the content. A visitor who happened to click into one of your web pages from a social media link can be drawn more deeply into your site through the personalization enabled by a DMP. This turns a one-off visitor into a regular user and is a great way to encourage them to become a paying customer.

A DMP can drive personalized offers to increase conversion rates

Another use of the DMP is in making marketing offers. For example, the DMP may tell the publisher that a user is a registered visitor – so the website can encourage them to sign up for a full subscription. Or they could be shown an offer that's tailored to their particular interests, like money off a golfing holiday.

DMPs are used by news and magazine websites, by TV and radio broadcasters as they go online and by brands and eCommerce sellers.

Many players are still learning how to get the most out of this technology. Those who can master this tool early stand to move ahead of the pack and lead their competitors.

Without personalization, the digital world would be a blur of irrelevant pages. The driving force of the net is relevance. Publishers need data about their users to create relevant experiences for them.

By plugging a DMP into their system, publishers can match the biggest tech giants in offering users relevant, individualized experiences. Finding content that's of particular interest encourages visitors to spend more time on publishers’ sites and turns them into loyal customers who keep coming back for more.


  • The ultimate way for publishers to retake control of audience data and make it meaningful is to harness it in a data management platform (DMP).
  • Data is black gold for publishers, but they require both technology and know-how to refine it.
  • The DMP is the technology that enables publishers to get to know their audiences so they can offer them personalized content and highly targeted advertising, promotions, coupons, subscriptions and offers.
  • A successful DMP turns data into targetable audiences so publishers can attract, retain, and nurture both new and existing readers.