'The Time Is Now' For DMPs: Adobe, [x+1], BlueKai, Aggregate Knowledge Pegged As 'Leaders'
Forrester released a Wave report on data management platforms (DMPs) yesterday, which gives in-depth analysis on "the seven most significant providers" -- Adobe, Aggregate Knowledge, BlueKai, CoreAudience, Knotice, nPario, and [x+1]. RTM Daily caught up with Joanna O'Connell, Forrester's principal analyst and author of the report, to find out why DMPs deserve the spotlight.
"I've been thinking about the DMP space for about two and a half years," she says, reminiscing about "late 2010 to February 2011," when she first remembers people in the industry talk about the platforms. "I thought it was such a cool idea. It sounded game-changing."
Building off of that buzz, O'Connell and Forrester released a report in July 2011 which essentially outlined the importance of DMPs and what they offered. It also gave a vision as to all of the channels marketers could utilize DMPs in, even though it was mostly only paid media and display advertising at the time. Looking back, O'Connell says of that first report: "The reality is that it was still a bit theoretical."
Now, more than two years later, O'Connell believes "the time is now to put a stake in the ground." She says that the number of questions she's received from marketers in the last year on the idea of DMPs have "exploded," and that marketers are adopting the concept of a centralized platform to manage disparate data much faster today than they were two years ago.
O'Connell described the process of screening and evaluating the DMPs for the report to RTM Daily. It included a screening process of more than 40-plus companies that could be considered a DMP. After those 40-plus were narrowed down to nine*, the providers were asked over 70 questions each. Additionally, product demos, customer reference calls, and customer surveys were done to accurately score the DMPs.
The report pegs Adobe, [x+1], BlueKai, and Aggregate Knowledge as "Leaders" in the space. CoreAudience, Knotice, and nPario all fall under the "Strong Performers" category.
"The big takeaway," O'Connell concludes, "Is that I think DMPs are filling a role that's never been filled. It's allowing marketers to be real-time with data collection and use. It's complementary to campaign management systems, and it's still early days. There's still a lot of work to do with respect to how we handle the cookie and how it will work in mobile."
*The report was initially going to include Acxiom and Turn as well, but both opted not to participate because their DMP offerings were still being finalized, per the Wave report.