WTF does GDPR look like in a DMP and CDP centric world? IDK. BBL. TTFN.

Translation: What the f**k does the General Data Protection Regulation look like in a Data Management Platform and Customer Data Platform centric world? I don’t know. Be back later. Ta ta for now.


Acronyms and initialisms. I loathe them. Designed by the few to confuse the many, is my view of them. I am certainly finding that in the world of data you are never far from a DSP, DMP, CDP, SSP or diaries full of meetings about WIP’s and SOW’s and NDA’s. In fact, I work for one: SBDS.


But maybe the one acronym that should incur my displeasure the most, is the GDPR. Perhaps because of the turmoil its rollout caused the media, the term has come to be one that fills me with immediate frustration. Yet, the advertising and data industries in recent months have actually witnessed the opposite effect.

OMG it’s GDPR!

Translation: Oh my goodness, it’s the General Data Protection Regulation.

Now, lets be clear this is not a musing about GDPR; that is a well-trodden path. This is instead, a piece on the positive impact I have seen GDPR having on the industry now that the dust has settled.

My experience is, that data now has a permanent seat at the top table of organisations, which is long overdue. Not just because of the financial implications poor data handling can have on a business, but because the term ‘data’ now means so much more than just numbers; the real breadth of data within organisations has been surfaced to the decision makers – now positioned as the vital point of difference between survival, and success.

So, with all eyes on data (and the frequent proclamations it’s our new “oil”), what does it mean for today’s businesses? And why should it matter to those who sit at the top table?

IMO data is king.

Translation: In my opinion, data is king.

In its simplest form, data creates a better understanding of your customer. Data provides the substance to retain loyalty, understand repeat consumers interest and acquire new eyeballs. Without it, we simply don’t know who or how to communicate.

To gain a ‘complete’ view of your customer, you need a unique view of them, one which is as unique as they are. Consumers interact and engage in a variety of ways, so must be treated differently. The old-school ways of marketing to audiences no longer stand up in today’s society. Because of the surge of data.

The amount of data we produce, over 2.5 QB (quintillion bytes) every single day to be exact, all adds to the detail of us as consumers; from how we engage and when, to what device we prefer and what format we enjoy. But, if businesses can’t see this data - can’t manage or understand this data - then it’s one big mess of insights and fragmentation. And fragmented data, means fragmented experiences.

Conversely, connected data - managed and holistically segmented to ensure the maximum management and output capabilities - leads to connected experiences which will help reduce churn and will lead to longer term sales opportunities.

DDMS and how to win with data.

Translates: Data-driven marketing strategies, and how to win with data.

Despite huge advances in data-driven marketing, and the importance of data and tech within the workforce, we are still quite a way from everyone having the holy grail of a complete ‘customer view’.

In 2018, an Experian research piece found that 45% of marketers stated that their data was incomplete and thus ineffective. In the same year, here at SBDS, we surveyed 100 CMO’s and 67% felt they had had a data disaster and the cost was upwards of £1m to their business. Why?

Well, in the same survey, half of CMO’s attributed loss of opportunity to lack of skill. Despite 91% of global marketers adopting the smart technology platforms to help them manage their data, a small few, if not none, have the right talent in-house to run the tech. And this is causing significant challenges.

So, the question remains; what must companies do now that their data is under the spotlight?

1. Data assessment and planning: My advice would be for businesses to engage in a proper audit and cleanse of the data available to them. To carry this out well, most require an expert intervention for agnostic and holistic advice. By assessing what data is at hand, and what data can be pulled together, segmented, managed and housed, businesses are effectively building their core foundation. Like all things, if the base input is weak and flawed the output will follow suit. Do not underestimate this task and consider specialised experts who have industry-wide and vertically niche understandings. These experts can help advise, plan and train your teams to better comprehend the opportunities available to them, across the multiple data sources within the organisation.

2. Understanding the nuances of the tech: Managing your data to help comply with the GDPR as a vital part of a marketing strategy. Yet, this can be a minefield in its own right and deciphering the right data and technology solution for your business can be full of complexities. With headlines proclaiming the CDP has killed the DMP– it’s fair to say it is no easy feat. Individual vendors will promote their solution well, but with so many vendors to now choose from, it’s worth exploring who will work better for your KPIs (key performance indicator). Having an agnostic team of experts to help run vendor advisories or arm you with the required RFI (request for information) questions will help you determine the best solution for your business needs.

3. Unlock your data to its fullest potential: Turning this data into knowledge and insight requires deep analytical and technical skills, as well as commercial acumen to interpret what the data is telling us. Not as easy as it sounds when there is no common language for performance. KPIs differ between divisions, channels, managers, and countries. And attribution remains elusive and often goals such as wanting brand awareness conflicts with an equally valid goal of driving sales. This is where it’s vital to design and plan your data strategy output to its fullest, considering a blend of innovative technologies and opportunities to activate your audiences beyond phase one. From data sharing to expand your customer knowledge, to data scientists creating new-and-improved solutions to activate audiences programmatically. It’s worth taking both time and advise to understand what opportunities are available to you so you can truly unlock your data’s potential.

PANS this data business.

Translates to: Pretty awesome new stuff this data business.

It sounds a lot. And in truth, it is. Like the beautiful city of Rome, building a robust data strategy can’t be achieved in a day. But it’s hugely exciting when you understand the opportunities available with trusted, consented and correctly managed data.

It’s the fuel that drives businesses to success, it just needs a bit of TLC (tender loving care) and carefully crafted management. Data is only as good as the hands it falls in, so make sure you invest in specialised, expert support to guide your way to the top.

Funnily enough, that’s exactly what we do here at SBDS (SilverBullet Data Services). A team of truly agnostic specialists, who are proficient across all the major marketing clouds and advertising clouds and are able to serve clients with élite expertise on the what, when, how, why and who.

We’re a team who GSD (Get sh*t done). And we’d love to hear from you.

Contact me today to find out more.



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