Remember the Discman? Finally, a way to play your CDs in the comfort of any space. With some advanced versions, you could even strap one to your arm and take a jog without skipping a beat.

And then tech evolved.

Remember the iPod? That smooth wheel that let you scroll through eight gigs of nostalgic playlists and pop hits? Those were cool for a while, too.

And then tech evolved again.

Similarly, marketers are constantly jostled around on the wild (and crowded) roller coaster of martech. Whether it's using automated email campaigns or tapping into the true power of programmatic marketing, it seems marketers are always playing catch-up. They're always scrambling to explore and implement new platforms covering advertising, content, social media, commerce, management, and, of course, data.

With the increasing focus on the importance of customer data in marketing, data management platforms (DMPs) are having a heyday. As marketers continue to make customer journeys more relevant and personal across every channel - and with every digital ad - DMPs are influencing some key digital advertising trends:

  1. A Focus on First-Person Data
    So much data, so little time. Where do you begin?
    Third-party data - in other words, data about certain segments of consumers, such as "active soccer moms," gathered from many sources on the web - used to be the standard in marketing. While these huge sets of third-party data give marketers insights into groups of like-minded consumers, they don't lead to the level of personalization most marketers now strive to achieve.

    first-party data, a company's cache of its own customer data based on things like website visits, purchase history (online and in-store), subscription information, app activity, social media interactions, and more. It's important to note that first-party data, since it's from only one company's limited data set, may not have the expansive reach that advertisers look for in their digital advertising efforts.

    DMPs can alleviate this problem by leveraging this first-party data to grow reach opportunities. One example of extending reach through a DMP is implementing algorithmic lookalike modeling. Marketers can use the power of a DMP to analyze an existing audience built with first-party data. Here, they match it with similar audience segments built with third-party data or even
    second-party data, which is data made available to a company based on a relationship with another, usually non-competitive, business or entity.

    In essence, existing and highly valuable first-party data can be combined with other data sources to maximize the reach of digital advertising campaigns.

  1. The Use of Data to Combat Ad Blocking
    Depending on the source, you're bound to encounter different findings about how many internet users employ ad blockers. Still, the sources agree on at least one thing: Ad blocking is on the rise. (Google is even making a foray into the field.)

    One digital advertising trend - which, in many ways, is a reaction to the onset of ad blocking - is to use DMPs to
    understand users better. If publishers, for example, can figure out exactly who is blocking ads, they can segment these ad blockers within a DMP to find out which audiences they should target with ads and which audiences to avoid. This information is also useful for creating organic content strategies specifically targeting people using ad blockers.

  2. Optimizing Programmatic Advertising (Header Bidding)
    Programmatic buying is still making waves in the world of digital advertising. In fact, "
    eMarketer estimates nearly four of every five US digital display dollars will transact programmatically in 2017, totaling $32.56 billion." With that kind of money on the table, publishers and advertisers alike are looking for any way to make the most of their efforts.

    Header bidding is one key digital advertising trend to watch in programmatic marketing, especially as DMPs come to the forefront of the field. Header bidding, through the power of supply-side platforms, enables a publisher to offer ad inventory to multiple ad exchanges at once, in turn giving many digital advertisers the opportunity to bid on the publisher's ad inventory across these different ad exchanges (not just one exchange) in real time. Supply-side platforms (SSPs) place a tag in the header of web pages that communicates with an ad exchange.

    DMPs, though, can add an interesting element to the mix by
    optimizing header bidding. Some DMPs, just like supply-side platforms (SSPs), have tag management capabilities that place a tag in the header of web pages to communicate directly with an ad exchange. This capability can reduce latency while still providing real-time bidding for ads, a win-win for publishers, advertisers and audiences who demand better personalization.

As marketers get used to seeing and using DMPs as a vital part of their marketing stack, we'll certainly begin to see more advancements in digital advertising trends and in other digital marketing arenas.

Learn more about the future of digital advertising.