Commentary

Revisiting The Ultimate DMP Debate With AK's Rob Gatto

In the first RTBlog exploring the ultimate DMP debate, I spoke with champions of both the hybrid data management platform (DMP) and standalone DMP approaches.

This time, I asked Rob Gatto, president of Neustar's Aggregate Knowledge, to do something harder than simply explain why he think his offering is better: I asked him to spell out the pros and cons of both sides of the ultimate DMP debate.

The ultimate DMP debate is answering the question of whether or not marketers should choose standalone DMPs or hybrid platforms. A standalone DMP simply acts as a place where marketers can store and analyze their audience data. They can connect to a variety of exchanges using a standalone DMP.

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A hybrid DMP does much of the same -- it allows marketers to store and analyze audience data -- but it also allows them to buy media straight from that DMP by way of a built-in media component.

In debating the pros of a hybrid DMP, Gatto noted that the ability to execute buys on the spot is its biggest draw. "The value a hybrid DMP brings is in the ability to quickly execute on media or audience buys once a high performing segment has been identified," he noted.

He also said hybrid DMPs bring "tight integration" between audience and media cost data for programmatic traders.

On the standalone DMP side -- which is also sometimes referred to as a pure-play DMP -- Gatto said one of the biggest pros in the pro/con debate is that a standalone offers marketers the opportunity to see across multiple demand-side platforms (DSPs), or inventory sources.

In a similar vein, Gatto noted that standalones let you "try before you buy." He said, "You are able to assess what would or could happen without making an actual buy."

Yet Gatto pointed out that integrating with outside sources to actually carry out a media-buy is harder with a standalone DMP. "The level of integrations required to truly be connected and enable execution across all outlets is a larger challenge than hybrid DMP's," he said. As a result, "the programmatic portion of the buy is not as clean as it is with a hybrid DMP."

But Gatto maintained that standalone DMPs offer a "broader view of the entire marketing efforts," and that a con of hybrid DMPs is limited reach. "A single DSP/DMP approach will constrain reach within audience segments," he argued.

Another pitfall of a hybrid DMP, according to Gatto, is that it is not a neutral offering, which is oftentimes what marketers are looking for when it comes to buying media. "Being in the middle of being compensated for the media creates a situation where the data management and analytics are being driven within a platform compensated by media costs and arbitrage," Gatto said.

To sum up Gatto's points, a hybrid DMP seems to offer a cleaner/easier approach to programmatic media-buying but can be limited in scope. A standalone DMP, according to Gatto, offers marketers more flexibility with their data but adds another step when it comes to programmatic buying.

1 comment about "Revisiting The Ultimate DMP Debate With AK's Rob Gatto".
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  1. Eric Simon from XPlusone, November 25, 2013 at 5:32 p.m.

    Good article Rob, I would only like to add that a hybrid DMP or "integrated" DMP as we like to call it here at [x+1] should not only be integrated with their own DSP but also be integrated with other DSPs as well. This might seem counter-intuitive to some but the truly integrated DMPs do not care if they run the media through their own DSP, despite the many operational and performance advantages of doing so.

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