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What My Job as a DMP Analyst Taught Me about Online Dating

For me, 2015 is the year of the DMP (Data Management Platform) and ... online dating. Yes, I started last year with these two new adventures that made both my professional and personal life fascinating. To my amusement, I later realized DMP and online dating share a lot in common, and what I learned from working on six DMP client implementations has made me even smarter in the world of online dating. Here are a few secrets from both worlds:

Scale, Scale, and Scale

First, both DMP and dating sites can help you find a lot of what you want. With a few clicks, thousands of eligible bachelors/bachelorettes that fit your exhausting list of criteria — e.g., looks, background, and personality will pop up on your screen. DMP is a real-time targeting tool providing access to critical mass targets, empowering you to find whomever you want — a customer who bought from your store six years ago, an inquirer who chatted with your customer service online two months ago, or millions of prospects who meet your exact demographic and behavioral requirements. You can even filter people by personality types, which I highly suspect are collected from dating sites!

But I am not sure what I am looking for ...

I hear you! The overwhelming complication of today’s customer base has rendered the old-fashioned demographic criteria inadequate. It's the same, if not worse, in dating. Job and housing security was good enough for my parents’ generation; I am looking for things like connection and compatibility that are hard to define.

That's why I love DMPs and online dating, both of which are big helps when you don’t exactly know what you want. One essential offering of the DMP is to profile your current customers with thousands of third-party data attributes, such as purchase history, travel destinations, and all kinds of online activities. And then you can find millions more who share the same attributes and are also more likely to buy!

Online dating has a similar solution. OKCupid scores users on personality attributes such as “friendly” or “dominant” based on an user’s answers to a variety of questions. It also calculates a match score between two profiles. Witnessing DMP’s success, I learned to trust the power of algorithm and often to use the match score as a reference for compatibility.

They are worth the money!

Some marketers are hesitant to leverage DMPs because they don't want to pay for the data cost. What they fail to see is that the money they spend on data is a good investment because now they only bid for targets who are most likely to buy instead of throwing media budget all over the place. Some real examples of my clients: the sales of DMP segments of a luxury retail brand is 150% more than non-DMP segments. The DMP-defined target segments of a financial institution, our first DMP client, drove $1,008,061 in total value in less than a year, just for a set of limited tactics.

DMPs have taught me that investing in data to inform decision-making is well worth it. Some people think spending $15 per month on online dating is wasting money while they throw away $30 in one night in a bar secretly hoping to be noticed by one single person!

One last tip I learned from working on DMP management that I want to share with online daters out there — keep your profile active! Just as DMP prioritizes the most recent cookies to ensure the relevance of marketing messaging, dating sites also promote the most active profiles to their users. Uploading a new picture from time to time will boost visibility and increase messages received. (Just make sure your pictures are not all selfies taken in front of the bathroom mirror!)

OK ... I know what you are looking for — a fairytale ending about how I used my DMP skills to find Mr. Right in the world of online dating. Sorry to disappoint you, it hasn't happened yet. But I am not worried. Just as I have confidence in DMPs' substantial value for businesses, I have confidence in finding true love. But before he comes along, the world of DMP will continue to be the one that has all my passion and devotion!