The research, published at The Forrester Wave™: Data Management Platforms, Q2 2019, shows how each measure up – and points to those with omnichannel marketing integrations and advanced analytics functionality as leading the field.
The seven DMP vendors: how they were evaluated and how they ranked
The DMP vendors assessed in the study were: The ADEX, Adobe, Lotame, Neustar, Nielsen, Oracle, and Salesforce. They were evaluated across 34 criteria in three categories:
- Current offering: including how the platforms manage and protect data, how data is onboarded, how it is analysed, and how flexible the product is.
- Strategy: covering product strategy and the surrounding ecosystem of supporting products and services on offer.
- Market presence: size of the customer base and global footprint.
For vendors to have been included, their DMPs need to be offered as a standalone product, they need to have more than 175 active clients around the globe, they must have a client base that has 35% or more enterprise- and medium-sized businesses, they need to be growing (acquiring more than 25 new customers in 2018), and they need to serve both marketer and publishing clients.
Forrester’s analysis found that Adobe and Salesforce were leading the DMP market. Adobe’s Audience Manager is pushing the envelope further in the strategy stakes, while Salesforce’s Audience Studio boasts the strongest current offering.
Strong performers – where platforms show strength in their offering but perhaps don’t boast the level of strategy of the leaders – included Neustar, Nielsen and Oracle.
Lotame and The ADEX were both deemed to be contenders.
The market is anything but slow and predictable.
What sets Adobe and Salesforce apart as leaders?
According to the report, Adobe’s Audience Manager is succeeding at supporting advertisers that want to push DMP boundaries. The platform is omnichannel, bridging the DMP and customer data platform (CDP) gap.
It has shown an impressive 93% customer growth rate between 2016 and 2018. And the analysis finds the offering is well-suited for marketers ‘eager to plug DMP insights directly into omnichannel marketing plans with a single vendor.’
Salesforce’s Audience Studio sets itself apart by operating a consent management framework. These consumer consent controls may well impact its reach, according to Forrester, but clients appreciate the renewed focus on data privacy, quality, and accuracy.
The platform is also making strides in moving towards omnichannel. It is appealing to marketers looking to manage a high number of data sources and ‘who want a guided approach to data management and syndication.’
What should advertisers be looking for in their DMP?
The report also offers some good advice to advertisers who are in the process of choosing a DMP. Briefly, this is:
- Take a quality, not quantity, approach to building customer data assets. DMPs should extend first-party data to more efficiently reach relevant audiences. Many marketers want DMPs to consolidate intelligence from across the organization, but the report suggests they must have a formalized data quality audit process across all data providers for this to be a success.
- Prioritize consumer consent management as the backbone of data usage. Consumer consent is increasingly important for customers themselves and to ensure organisations are adhering to a growing number of data protection laws.
- Focus on robust integrations beyond the advertising technology (adtech) ecosystem. Advanced analytics across omnichannel touchpoints depends on reaching beyond ads to strategies such as CRM data enrichment, website personalization, and email campaigns – as well as using other offline partners.
Omnichannel, advanced analytics, consumer-led security
Omnichannel and advanced analytics are helping certain vendors beat the competition, but consumer-led security is increasingly the sign of a good DMP
Both Adobe and Salesforce are noted by Forrester for their suitability in an omnichannel world.
This is reflected in their high scores across device and user identification criteria and in other areas. But the supporting products offered by both respective vendors into which their platforms can integrate are also ensuring their analytics capabilities are more advanced than the competition.
The report also highlights the importance of protection and security in today’s DMP market.
Salesforce clearly ranks well due to its proactive consumer-led consent management framework. Marketers clearly want to see a renewed focus on data privacy and they want the consumer to have the control over how much of their information they consent to be used.