Marketers aren’t switching off of their DMPs – yet. But they’re considering solutions that are less cost-heavy and more integrated with paid media.
DMPs from Oracle, Salesforce and Adobe have always been the most-used platforms in previous Advertiser Perceptions reports, and they still are in the research firm’s latest report, released Wednesday.
But their favor with marketers is either falling or remaining flat, Advertiser Perceptions found. The report surveyed 300 marketers and agency execs that spend more than $1 million annually on digital media and have worked with a DMP in the past year.
Forty-four percent of marketers said they’re somewhat likely to switch DMP providers, while 12% said they’re very likely to switch. One out of four marketers have already switched DMPs, citing a lack of differentiation among DMP leaders.
Of the marketers pondering a change, 20% said they’d most likely switch DMP providers because of cost, while 12% call out pricing transparency and hidden costs as a switching factor.
“There’s a lot of interest in switching,” said Kevin Mannion, chief strategy officer at Advertiser Perceptions. “The primary reason has to do with cost, which tells us the value associated with cost is not clear.”
Marketers, disillusioned by the large DMP providers, are realizing they don’t need to pay for stand-alone solutions when they can instead use DSPs, like The Trade Desk and MediaMath, which bake in DMP capabilities for free. More than half of marketers and agency executives are using such partners as their primary DMP, up from 41% a year ago.
“It makes advertisers wonder whether they’re paying for these capabilities,” Mannion said.
Advertiser Perceptions defines these DMPs as “hybrids,” which sell another solution, typically a DSP, bundled with a DMP. Pure-plays – marketing clouds like Oracle, Salesforce and Adobe – offer the DMP as an independent product.
“We’re seeing an advance of DSPs who have DMPs baked in,” Mannion said. “Hybrids are now in aggregate ahead of the pure DMPs.”
In the report, hybrids pulled in the similar or higher net promoter scores (NPS), which indicate whether a customer is likely to recommend a product, than pure-play DMPs. Adobe was the outlier with an NPS of 28, Oracle at 22, Lotame at 18, Salesforce at 17 and Neustar at negative four. Meanwhile, hybrid DMPs like Viant and Amobee pulled in scores between 23 and 29. (A great NPS is generally above 50, while a good NPS is anything above zero.)
The big three – Adobe, Oracle and Salesforce – all started the year with higher NPS than they ended it with.
Not so fast
At this stage marketers are simply exploring their options, and they haven’t fully moved away from the marketing clouds as DMP providers yet.
Oracle bounced back to the most used DMP after falling to third in a June 2019 study, with 39% of marketers surveyed using the platform as their primary DMP. Salesforce ranked a close second, with 38% of respondents using its DMP primarily, followed by Adobe at 25%, Neustar at 16% and Lotame at 12%.
And marketers are still spending on their DMPs over all, with just 6% saying they plan to spend less on DMPs in general than in previous years.
But Oracle’s rise from third to first place suggests volatility as marketers test multiple DMP platforms, including hybrid providers. More than half of marketers say they are testing out new DMP solutions throughout the year.
“Marketers are testing multiple DMPs because they want better functionality and integrations,” Mannion said. “They want to monetize their data assets with the best possible solution.”
Behind the data
Advertiser Perceptions’ report evaluates marketers who are currently using a DMP, which makes it hard to determine how many marketers are moving away from the tech overall.
Marketers might still be spending heavily on DMPs because they’re locked into a contract or they have other enterprise deals with DMP providers. But regulation, cookie deprecation and the need for identity-based solutions are guiding marketers to new technology like CDPs.
“People are still using the DMP, but there are [fewer] now than before,” Mannion said. “We hear that everywhere we go.”
But despite GDPR in Europe and CCPA around the corner, privacy is not yet a top-five criterion for switching DMP providers. Marketers ranked privacy below things like data discovery, cross-device ID management, data onboarding and implementation ease.
“The largest spenders are saying CDPs are going to be integral,” Mannion said. “But they don’t understand or agree on what it means.”