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2016 has well and truly begun! and as is customary of this time of year, many are asking for the future…for predictions on the next 12 months, for product roadmaps, and for clarity on the direction of the industry.
Let me start by saying that I don’t particularly like or trust predictions. Most predictions either never come to fruition, evolve into something so different that they’re barely recognisable, or are formed after the matter in a meeting one day when someone puffs out their chest and states boldly “I predicted that would happen back in 2015!”
In my experience thats doubly true of predictions involving data management and adtech, which is so rapidly evolving its difficult to stay abreast of the day-to-day activities let alone look 6-12 months into the future.
I wanted to look to the future, whilst trying to keep my feet firmly in the now, and so I want to write about trends, not predictions, but trends. Below I reflect on the movements happening right now in the DMP landscape, where I am seeing momentum build and where I am seeing the market shift.
1. Times Are Changing
Over the past 18-months there has been a dominant trend in the type of client adopting DMP technology. We have seen exponential growth in the number of buy-side clients (agencies and advertisers) seeking to implement a DMP in order integrate systems, take control of 1st party data, generate more holistic analytics and insights, and drive the next generation of marketing and communications.
This shift in market demand, which has been driven for so long by the sell-side of the market, has resulted in new requirements, iteration and innovation of DMP technology, and many of the use case trends we are now seeing in the market result from this.
2. Moving Beyond the Cookie
Over the past 18 months we have seen a significant rise in collection and management of non-cookie data-sets, this includes but is not limited to:
The “on boarding” of offline data sets has increased significantly both in scale and in the variety of offline data sources used. The on boarding of CRM data has become relatively commonplace, with greater focus now on on boarding other sources of offline information, for instance proximity and location-derived audience information, EPOS data and transactional data.
The collection, management and activation of TV set-top box data, TV return path data and smart TV device ID data through the use of DMP technologies to facilitate more effective TV audience planning and buying, dynamic creative insertion, as well as cross channel and cross device marketing efforts.
3. Private Data Marketplaces
The creation of private data marketplaces, also known as data co-ops, 2nd party data or syndicated data arrangements are becoming more mainstream in connecting the demand and supply side, allowing publishers to commercialise their audience data uncoupled from their inventory, and allowing advertisers to build and activate against unique and rich audience data sets by combining publisher data with other sources of 1st party, 2nd party and 3rd party data
4. Systems Integration & Single Customer View
The role of the DMP as a systems integrator is becoming more and more important as the market explores the ability of the DMP to integrate with multiple systems across an advertiser’s technology stack. The DMP has the capability to simultaneously cleanse, normalise and facilitate consistent portability of data sets from one platform to the next in order to break down data silos across an organisation.
As an extension to systems integration, there is a growing requirement for the DMP to facilitate the creation of a single customer view across multiple platforms, devices and datasets though the implementation of user ID and profile management methodologies. This allows clients to match user records within and outside of their data universe to create unified user profiles, holistic understanding, and a single version of a user persona.
5. Standalone Data Solutions
As data management solutions become adopted by advertisers and agencies, the need to break down the DMP into its constituent elements and create end-to-end solutions based on campaign requirements and not on long-term DMP partnerships has become more apparent.
Creating stand-alone products which focus on core use cases and functionality, and allow clients to access DMP technology on a campaign by campaign basis with limited commitment or resource requirements has become a major trend in the DMP market.
6. Modelling as a Service (MaaS)
Modelling as a Service has become an increasing trend within the data management ecosystem. MaaS is the concept of providing data modelling solutions to external technology partners, advertisers, agencies and publishers to allow them to action manipulated data sets within their own self-service frameworks. For instance, supplying cross-device modelled audiences, or optimised look-alike audiences as raw data sets which can be inputted and actioned within a self-service environment such as an Agency Trading Desk.
Now I won’t have got them all. I’m sure I only scratched the surface of what is going to be achieved this year in the DMP space. But you have to start somewhere…
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