WPP's Xaxis Builds New DMP, Uses 'Second-Party' Data As Secret Ingredient

Xaxis, WPP’s largest trading desk, on Thursday announced the launch of a new data management platform (DMP), dubbed Turbine. The company invested $25 million to build the platform.

The company pitches Turbine as a new breed of DMP because it takes audience segmentation from a two-step process -- first storing then analyzing the data -- to an "always-on" system. It claims Turbine will allow audience segments to be built in real-time based on fresh data.

“In this game, speed certainly matters,” Brian Gleason, managing director, North America at Xaxis, said to Real-Time Daily

Turbine will not replace Xaxis’ existing DMP, which Gleason said will still be used for “analytical” reasons (to see where audiences go, what they’ve done, etc.) However, Gleason called Turbine “much more real-time” than the existing DMP, and said it gives Xaxis that same type of information on the fly.

“What we are trying to do with Turbine is make things more predictive,” he said. Instead of relying on data that tells where audiences went and what they did to build segments, Xaxis wants to know where audiences will go and what they will do.

To do so, Xaxis will make use of Big Data’s full spectrum. In addition to using its first-party data and existing pools of third-party data, the new Turbine DMP will employ “second-party data,” which comes straight from publishers.

“We are able to work with large publishers to access anonymous data on their sites,” Gleason said. “That component is a new ingredient.”

While Xaxis disclosed that it spent $25 million to create the DMP, Gleason remarked that the figure is just “one number that falls into our overall investment” in technology.

“It’s a number to say we are investing in tech and will continue to do so,” he said.

Gleason said Xaxis spends about $750 million a year, which makes a $25 million investment to build a new DMP seem rather small (under 4%) by comparison.

The other question is: How quickly will that $25 million pay itself off? Gleason declined to reveal specific figures, but claimed results were “very positive” during the DMP’s testing period. He asserted that both advertisers and publishers saw benefits.

At launch, the new DMP will be available worldwide exclusively through Xaxis.

Editor's note: The story has been updated to reflect that Turbine will be available worldwide, not just in the U.S.

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