Scroll to top of page

Combining your DMP and Search strategies: how (not) to get lost along the way

You may think “too much data kills data,” but when it comes to data, quality is more of an issue than quantity. How can data be intelligently organised and used, and easily activated across the media mix to address business needs? This is where the DMPDMPDMPs (Data Management Platforms) are platforms that centralise and aggregate all data related to a brand's campaigns and customers.Learn more, or Data Management Platform, comes in. Its role is crucial. Use of a DMP for media campaigns will vary according to the media being engaged, particularly for search campaigns, and especially for RLSA (Remarketing List for Search Ads). The objective here is to explain how activating a DMP for AdwordsAdwordsAdwords is Google's SEA service, linked to the web search engine and to its extensions (its partners and Google Display Network). The tool enables to buy sponsored links that are displayed among the search results, or on advertising spaces available through Google's partner network. Learn more campaigns is particularly specific and complex, and to share fifty-five’s tips for better campaign monitoring and a more precise measure of performance.

Why use a DMPDMPDMPs (Data Management Platforms) are platforms that centralise and aggregate all data related to a brand's campaigns and customers.Learn more?

Before getting to the heart of the matter, let’s revisit how to exploit the richness of available data, depending on its source:

  • First of all, there is first-party datafirst-party dataFirst-party data refers to data gathered and owned by a company. Each company manages its own first-party data and uses it to improve customer knowledge. Learn more: this is data about visitor behaviour that advertisers collect from their own sites. This data is collected most frequently via a web analytics tool (site-centric).
  • Next, third-party datathird-party dataUnlike first and second-party data, third-party data is gathered by third-party specialists (retargeters, DMPs...). They provide this type of data to advertisers and publishers, to help them sharpen their targeting and increase their audience base. Learn more: data collected by a third party about user behaviour on a network of sites beyond the advertiser’s site. This data is treated, packaged, and made available to advertisers for advertising. For example, this can include socio-demographic or intentional data (based on types of pages previously visited). Providers of this type of data are generally tech publishers. Access to this data is sometimes free. For example, Google Display Network makes these types of “ready to target” segments available.
  • Finally, advertisers are more and more interested in second-party datasecond-party dataSecond-party data is defined as first-party data owned by an advertiser or a publisher that is willingly shared with another advertiser or publisher. They stem from direct partnerships between advertisers, between publishers, or between an advertiser and a publisher.Learn more. This data is collected and shared under an agreement between two advertisers, via a shared trackingtrackingTracking refers to the tools and methodologies that measure the activity and behaviour of visitors on a website (or a mobile app), including their journey, the source of their visit, or exposure to ads... Learn more system (see the article on this subject on Tea House).

A DMP centralises all these types of data on a single platform, from which marketers can then combine different criteria to easily and intuitively create customised audience segments.

These segments can be injected across different marketing platforms for advertising purposes, which allows for specific messages to be sent and a bidding strategy to be adopted which will be more or less aggressive based on the audience. It should also be noted that certain marketing platforms like Google or Facebook are able to create audiences with similar behaviour to your own DMP audiences (called “similar audiences” or “lookalikes”).

How specific, or even complex, is leveraging a DMP for AdwordsAdwordsAdwords is Google's SEA service, linked to the web search engine and to its extensions (its partners and Google Display Network). The tool enables to buy sponsored links that are displayed among the search results, or on advertising spaces available through Google's partner network. Learn more campaigns?

We have given an overview of different types of audience data to which publishers have access. Unfortunately, not all data sources (and thus not all resulting audience segments) can be exploited through RLSA campaigns, unlike display campaigns, which are less constraining.

  • Audiences based on third-party data or combinations that use third-party data may not be exploited for Search campaigns
  • The use of second-party data is vague as yet, and so we strongly recommend publishers to discuss with their agency or Google account manager
  • For first-party CRMCRMCRM (Customer Relationship Management) refers to the methods, services and tools implemented to maintain and improve the quality of a brand's relationship with its customers.Learn more data, the email-cookiecookieA cookie is a text file that is stored in the memory of a web browser by a web server when a user visits a website (it can also be stored by a third-party server allowed to do so: ad network, web analytics service...). It particularly allows to gather and store data about users’ browsing behaviour, in order to reuse it during their next visits (user' log ins, for instance).Learn more matching rate for the DMP is often lower than that of Adwords’ Customer Match function, which loads the CRM database directly in the Adwords interface and matches data natively.

Also, reporting data might be incomplete in several specific cases:

  • For publishers who do not want to track conversions into the Adwords interface, reading performances for each audience is very complicated or even impossible if campaign structure is not suitable.
  • For advertisers using a third-party bidding tool (such as Marin or Kenshoo), it is not possible to read RLSA campaign performance if the campaigns target both the queries of DMP audiences and those of users who are not included in DMP segments. Currently, the only way to read DMP performances with a third-party bidding tool is to create campaigns that target DMP audiences only. This means duplicating a non-DMP campaign, and, within the new DMP campaign, duplicating the same ad group as many times as the number of DMP audience segments targeted by the campaign. It also would mean that DMP audiences must be mutually exclusive, and excluded from the standard non-DMP campaign. In other words, it means yet another labyrinth!

Setting up dynamic ads is also still a complex task. Here, too, campaigns have to be duplicated to address specific messages, which can heavily impact campaign structure, and even more so day-to-day operational management.

The good news is that at the end of 2016 Google announced a new feature called Ad Customizer, based on audiences. Ad Customizer is not a new product, but now it allows marketers to send a specific message using a data feed or dynamic parameters based on a remarketing audience. It can thus be used (among other things) to set up advanced dynamic messages, without having to duplicate campaigns.

Useful tips from the teams at 55 about using your DMP with Adwords and measuring performance

For Tracking and Measurement: we recommend using the Adwords conversion tag, or importing certain goals from Google Analytics into the Adwords interface to precisely measure each audience’s performance.

If you have an Adwords remarketing tag, or if you have Google Analytics audiences shared with Adwords in addition to audiences injected through your DMP, it is important to compare reachable volumes across the different tools. A choice must be made regarding which lists should be migrated to Adwords to avoid juggling among several audience sources. Otherwise, managing mutual exclusion can become complicated.

For the operational side of things:

  • Find a balance between your media tactics’ business impact and its operational impact. Displaying a specific message for all keywords and all audiences systematically must be avoided at all costs. For example, for a brand request or a generic request, the request’s intention is relatively less explicit, and we can thus test several messages of varying specificity. On the other hand, for a request that is already very specific, it is not necessary to systematically create a message dedicated to DMP audiences because they are not necessarily fundamentally different from non-DMP audiences.
  • Assign audiences to campaigns (this is possible since December 2016), as this will simplify the structure of your account
  • Use Ad Customizer to send specific messages when necessary, which avoids multiplying the number of campaigns
  • Adopt a bidding strategy in function of audience performances, and combine this with Adwords’ Smart Bidding feature which enriches the strategy in real time, query by query, while taking multiple signals into account (including historic performance indicators like click-through and conversion rates, but also geolocation, query as typed by the user, browser, language, advertisement type, and OS).

At fifty-five, we think it is essential for brands to make data the focus of their advertising strategy. Capitalising on a DMP while respecting operational best practices will help to refine campaign monitoring and lead to better performance. Yet, as you can imagine, combining an Adwords strategy with a DMP can be quite complicated. We recommend that advertisers work with professionals with experience in this realm.



Translated from the original French by Niamh Cloughley.

Want to learn more? Get in touch!


close legal

À propos

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Donec a venenatis dolor, non ornare ligula. Nam ultricies elementum tellus, sed pulvinar libero egestas nec. Fusce facilisis nulla vestibulum, commodo neque eget, dapibus lacus. Aliquam neque felis, sagittis nec consequat sed, commodo ac ipsum. Sed neque tortor, semper quis viverra et, malesuada et eros. Donec at dui ut ligula pharetra aliquet. Etiam dapibus semper orci. Integer efficitur dolor tortor, nec mattis elit placerat vel. Ut nulla enim, lacinia in pharetra id, convallis vitae massa. Donec neque est, tincidunt non ullamcorper commodo, tincidunt non turpis. Pellentesque viverra enim a sapien placerat, ut volutpat mauris condimentum. Proin tincidunt sollicitudin dui, sit amet condimentum ante commodo a. Aenean posuere aliquam purus, sed aliquam magna sagittis finibus. Morbi molestie feugiat feugiat. Phasellus tempus in dolor vel maximus. Cras efficitur sagittis lorem porta iaculis. Maecenas sed hendrerit urna. In mattis posuere purus, sit amet placerat arcu posuere quis. Etiam nec arcu nec magna interdum maximus. Integer sit amet lacus neque. Curabitur interdum molestie magna, in scelerisque tellus iaculis sed. Sed nec metus ut purus efficitur laoreet a quis eros. Proin dui dui, dignissim eget risus sit amet, bibendum condimentum velit. Maecenas in justo eu elit eleifend consectetur. Aenean scelerisque fringilla sollicitudin. Nam sem nibh, pharetra nec lacus non, mollis interdum odio. Aliquam sollicitudin posuere nibh sed eleifend.


55 SAS, 5 — 7 rue d'Athènes

75009 Paris

+33 1 76 21 91 37



2, rue Kellermann

59100 Roubaix

+33 8 20 69 87 65


Lan Anh Vu Hong

Crédits photo

Mats Carduner, Adobe Stock & Unsplash

Vous avez aimé nos nouvelles fraîches sur l'état du marché brandtech ? Inscrivez vous à notre newsletter