Marketer integration is among the grand challenges facing the Data Management Platform space, according to a new white paper produced by Winterberry Group in partnership with the Interactive Advertising Bureau (download).
Consider the top three "major hurdles" identified by the report's 160 or so respondents: (1) "Internal Process & Marketing Ops Challenges," (2) "No Clear Internal Owner for DMP Solution," and (3) "No Clarity Into Role of DMPs in the C-Suite." Among the lesser concerns are privacy worries, an absence of performance metrics, and a lack of addressable data.
DMPs should take note. It's a bad sign for any product category when the customer doesn't feel he or she has a clear "way in," as appears to be the case in the data category -- and yet these issues aren't a total drag on adoption. Sixty-two percent said their company has already implemented a DMP, or plans to do so within 12 months. That's considerably less than the 92% who said internal interest in DMPs is higher than it was one year ago, so there's plenty of potential upside.
Heightened interest is driven by a range of factors, chief among them a need for better ad targeting effectiveness, a macro shift to audience buying, and aggregated insights.
-Consolidation inevitable. Winterberry determines consolidation is likely in the next 6 to 12 months, driven in part by enterprise marketing requirements. An unnamed SVP, data solutions at a digital publisher put it this way: "I would be surprised if there are more than two or three freestanding DMPs left [within a year or two]. They will get gobbled up by larger companies to provide more end-to-end solutions. There will be more consolidation in the space and more whole solutions offered in the marketplace."
-Headaches persist. A significant operational hurdle remains for DMP customers, including tweaking the HR equation around data management. One agency VP says, "It’s one thing to build this machine; it’s another to tell a media planner ‘this is how your job changes.’ The goal right now is communicating this around the company and to personnel."
-Buyers must assign data value. Going forward third party DMPs will have to be agnostic to data, and especially media. "DMPs will have to be agnostic to all data providers and allow the marketer to select the technology partners integrated with the DMP, allowing for the ultimate level of control," a marketing manager in the insurance category told Winterberry." This is something some DMPs realized long ago. Lotame for example lost significant revenue when it shut down its ad network in 2011, but recently told AdExchanger it has erased those losses through its pure DMP.
The white paper is based on phone, online and in-person surveys conducted between July and September with marketers, publishers, vendors and others. It should be noted a number of ad tech companies paid to sponsor the report, among them [x+1], Krux, and nPario.