So, where's all of this going? In my article last year, I spoke with one of the recognized thought leaders in this space, Omar Tawakol, CEO and founder of BlueKai. Last year, he outlined the core feature set that made up the basics of a DMP, which at that time was mainly focused on audience segment management. A year later, as the desire for data, biddable ad buying, and DMPs has grown, the scope of how this technology will evolve has become clearer.
"Previously, and still in most cases, the retargeting DMP has been the core business use of these platforms," Tawakol said. "Marketers track and leverage their pixels to buy impressions based on previous behavior of online users. The next step -- and the savviest of marketers have already begun adopting this use case -- is the digital DMP. The digital DMP plugs into many other aspects of the tech stack so that advertisers can drive other things such as dynamic messaging and personalized content. Another example is that they can bring offline data to help guide their measurement methodologies. The DMP begins to become a layer that lets marketers enhance everything they're doing with data."
"What we think the final stage of the evolution will be the Enterprise DMP. This is when companies are able to best leverage data for more than just marketing. Connected intelligence where the answers don't just come from one silo but rather by connecting of all of data you touch -- true business intelligence for large corporations who are competing in a data heavy marketplace. And, to make best use of the data, you need to separate the signal from the noise. To do this, not only are we focused on improving our data modeling algorithms, but we're going to create an open platform to allow our clients to bring in outside, smart algorithms to be loaded in to our system," Tawakol said.
I think most of us thought we were data-driven marketers. But for the most part, what we've really been doing is simply using data as an input for making better marketing decisions. I think a good indicator of that is fact that the 2012 buzzword of the year is "big data." You read it everywhere now. -- everyone's thinking on how best to use big data. Ironically though, the data has always been big. But for marketers, we just haven't had a chance to apply it other than in spreadsheets or individual vendors offering silo'd data-driven solutions.
I'm in agreement with Mason, from AudienceScience, who says this channel is starting to snowball. The business case for the DMP is growing so the product development for the DMP is growing. Data vendors are coming out of the woodwork and a new buying platform seems to spring up every week. The DMP is an important step for the so called data-driven marketers (myself included) to finally put their money where their mouth is and step up to the plate.
Don't be swayed by folks who are telling you this is just a fad. For large advertisers, if you aren't already using a DMP or serious about bringing one in-house, you are simply going to fail at marketing within five years. Your competitors are going to leapfrog you as their media buying and marketing strategies are going to become more integrated, more efficient, and certainly more effective by leveraging data via their DMPs.
Josh Dreller is VP of media technology and analytics at Fuor Digital.
On Twitter? Follow Josh Dreller at @mediatechguy.
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