At one point, data management platforms or DMPs were seen as the holy grail for all your marketing wants and needs. They collected data, harmonized it into segmentation, and syndication. Since then, many marketers have found themselves cooling their heads on this technology. Most have concluded that it can be too disjointed to function as it was promised it would.
Marketers have struggled to achieve the ROI needed, and have found themselves hiring consultants or talent to manage all their DMPs. Some have come to find out that their DMP providers have had reduced match rates, horrible integration, ever-weakening connections into a paid media platform. Marketers of leading brands have started the process of ditching their DMPs, and many agencies have confirmed that their current clients are turning away from DMPs in large numbers.
While DMPs have had a great sales pitch and run in the marketing world, they haven’t offered much else. Most DMPs were purchased by executives or IT teams for more substantial corporations who then gave them to their marketing and media teams for use. Unfortunately, the majority of these teams didn’t have the talent or data necessary to make them work.
Many brands have seconded these issues stating that their functionality was lacking. Many media teams put their hopes on DMPs and managed services for help to find this help inaccessible or unreliable. Marketers have described a lack of vertical expertise with their DMP vendors and a high turnover with long waits to get any sort of answer they may have needed.
There is an expectation of service that comes along with delivery, and many companies have struggled with all the significant DMPs. A lot of times, the DMPs were called out on their aggressive sales pitches to only never deliver fully on their promises. While some did offer some support, marketers found themselves hiring outside talent to manage these DMPs as a full-time job. A lot of consultants ended up doing cost-heavy integrations along with constant repairs on DMPs.
When first implemented, marketers didn’t have any data to use them correctly. Though some said they came stocked with third-party segments or even access to marketplaces, many have found they weren’t allowed to use this data due to contractual agreements not being met.
If a vertical didn’t have an agreement with a consumer, they would struggle to generate any data to use in the DMP and found themselves partnering with third-party providers and paying more money to invest in capturing the first-party data to make their DMP investment worth it. Some couldn’t even get around the company’s silos to obtain the needed data to use their DMP.
When marketers used the data that came with the DMP their company invested in, many found out it was low-quality and outdated. As cookie profiles turn in data 30-90 days, this left many marketers having to sync this data from their audiences on a regular basis to keep the integrations relevant.
This has proved to be a DMPs lack of having a connection to paid media. Brands needed to upload their data so they could retarget their consumers, manage their reach and frequency when it came to all their channels, and then tie it all back to first-party data.
Many were particularly frustrated with this lack of integration. Even with this, the disconnect didn’t always come from the vendors. Many publishers blocked DMPs to protect their audiences. They didn’t want anyone tagged for anything. Marketers also struggled to upload basic types of data into their DMPs. They were unable to load mobile device IDs and lost considerable amounts of data when trying to export their audiences into a DSP. Some marketers have simply bypassed their DMPs by finding and working with onboarders.
If the current problems weren’t enough, marketers found themselves having to work under new regulations that made many DMPs invalid. With GDPR in place, DMPs use has become more of a liability than an asset. This has also brought more technical changes as browsers like Chrome and Firefox have limited tracking. As cookies depreciate faster, the value of a DMP is becoming less.
Marketing is finding that it’s essential to identify their consumers at a PII level which DMPs are unable to do. They have come to the conclusion that DMPs have failed to innovate as new tech like marketing clouds are launching customer data platforms that leverage first-party cookies. Many have even launched consent management features in many of their platforms.
While the evolution away from cookies is far from becoming complete, DMPs have stalled in place as newer and better technologies that focus on first-party data have disrupted the digital marketing world. With the marketing world moving away from DMPs, they have taken their past experiences with them to these new technologies. Many have adopted CDPs to work alongside their DMPs to help manage the first-party data.
Ditching the DMP isn’t as simple as many thinks. Marketers have invested too much in both the technology and talent just to let it go. Many have upsold into enterprise stacks or have stuck with marketing clouds with hopes they’ll deliver on their promises.
What was once seen as the holy grail for marketers had become a costly venture for many. As DMPs failed to do what they promised, new investments into CDPs, cloud marketing, and enterprise stacks to work alongside these DMPs have become the new normal.
What was once a struggle to reach ROI and the need to hire more talent and consultants to manage a failing DMP has become a further investment into newer technologies. While many haven’t entirely given up on their DMPs, they have had to use new and more innovative tech to integrate their data in ways the DMPs were promised to do. Some, however, have skipped the DMP and gone straight into the new tech as it does do what is needed for their marketing needs.