Data Management Platforms Are Everywhere – And At ad:tech

Sloan Broderick set the tone for today’s “New Media Strategy: How to Use DMPs, DSPs, RTB & Beyond” session at ad:tech in New York City as a healthy crowd of about 150 attended. The theme: data filtered through the data management platform feeds inventory management. The “101” for the ad:tech crowd was decidedly NOT so “101” and featured case studies and discussion from Xaxis‘ Eugene Becker, Videology’s (and former MEC exec) Rich Astley and BlueKai‘s Hassan Babajane.

Echoing an industry trend, the “DMP” was the hot button topic, as “DSP” played second fiddle, maybe third, beginning with moderator Sloan Broderick of Mediacom Beyond Advertising and his presentation. He pointed to the attribution “Holy Grail” as the end game for the space with a Dell case study.

Next Xaxis’ Becker addressed his company’s DMP and the idea of unifying datasets: campaign (retargeting), audience (demos, psychos, et al.), first-party CRM (any company’s own CRM data), and brand data/brand research. “If you look at some of the DSP players offering DMP services, there can be the appearances of conflicts of interest.” He identified the DSP buying from the ad network, for example, and emphasized the agnostic position that he believes his company occupies from a media and data perspective.

Media strategy is over – it’s audience strategy says Becker. Today, Xaxis is building campaigns around audience starting (in order) with CRM, retargeting, searchers (e.g. search retargeting) who are looking for a brand or product. It’s all about leveraging the cookies.

Next, Becker teased with “5 ways to drive profit”. “Fill the gaps” was point #1: use the data that’s out there and available. #2: “Push Budget Down” – small budgets won’t work at the top of the funnel, push them down the funnel! #3: “Always On” – keeping the tactics always on works. #4: “Maximize Targeted Reach” – use networks, video, private marketplaces, all media to reach the high value audience/cookies. #5 “Capture Synergies” – make sure your audience strategy works with whatever else you’re doing.

Targeting = measurement opportunities, too, as Becker handed off to BlueKai’s Hassan Babbajane. Babbajane was quick to point out that BlueKai is not just a data exchange but, wait for it, an “agnostic” data platform.

BlueKai broke down the challenges as “big data,” the unified ID challenge (tracking the consumer wherever), and the data ecosystem is a mess.

The answer: a data activation system (that would be BlueKai’s pitch) – the unification of first and third party data according to Babbajane. Injest and then push out data across channels. Jack LaLanne would approve.

Media and data agnostic is the most important thing said Babbajane – separation of the data layer from the “execution platform.” Work cross-channel – it may not be here yet but it’s coming.

Next, Videology’s Rich Astley pulled from a Forrester report on the future of media buying as the “programmatic” buzzword filtered through the audience. Citing some eMarketer data, the explosive growth is about to occur over the next three years.

Astley said “tier 2” inventory (long-tail) is available in buckets with “premium” inventory on the way. He distilled RTB as coming out of direct response marketing. Video, Astley said, was about brand advertising and hence an adjustment was necessary by real-time bidding platforms.

Astley saw data availability, auction-based buying models (goodbye, CPM) and dynamic media buying tech (DSPs!) as the big changes going on in the space and provided his very own ecosystem map with functional groups arranged from agency trading desks to the RTB bidder to the publisher. And then reprised his version of the Kawaja map for video players in the biddable space.

Key takeaway here: video is for brand, not DR. But this is about using RTB for video so what’s the answer? He said custom audience segmentation, leveraging time sensitivity and cost efficient reach are the reasons to use video in real-time bidded marketplaces. 15-20% reduction of pricing compared to direct buys added Astley.

Astley said he doesn’t see all media going all real-time any time soon. But, mobile and TV are making steps in that direction in spite of technology (and cultural) challenges.

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