5 charts: How brands and publishers are using DMPs globally

A much-discussed topic in digital advertising is how data management platforms (DMPs) can benefit marketers’ and media owners’ businesses.

Given it’s still a relatively fledgling area, there hasn’t been much cross-industry understanding of what advertisers have done with them, beyond simply investing in them, or how they are performing. But, as with many things, merely having one isn’t enough — it’s what you do with it that counts.

Digiday has pulled out some of the most interesting charts and figures from ExchangeWire Research and Oracle’s first-ever joint study into how both the media buyers and media sellers are using DMPs, why they have invested in them, and what they want them to do next.

Around 180 senior marketers at agencies and brands and execs at publishers were polled worldwide for the study, and although the results were aggregated and anonymous, in the U.K. contributing companies included BT, Spotify, The Guardian, Coca-Cola, Telegraph Media Group, Zoopla, TSB, Marks and Spencer, and TUI, Maxus, iProspect and VivaKi.

The takeaways: Just over half (53 percent) of media sellers reported having a DMP in place — slightly more than media buyers at 43 percent — with the bulk of them having installed them at varying stages over the last 12 months. Some, such as property site Zoopla, which trades 1 billion monthly impressions programmatically across all devices, implemented its as recently as the summer.

A quarter of media buyer respondents who have a DMP said their main reason was to “improve ROI for marketing and advertising activities.” Being able to make sense of huge data sets to inform marketing and ad targeting was cited as another major incentive, while reducing media wastage was another.

Below are their top five reasons:



Media seller respondents were asked the same question. Over half (55 percent) said they did so to integrate first-party (customer) data, and almost the same number (52 percent) said they did it to gain control over their data, and in doing so set their own prices for their inventory and maintain yields. They also listed gaining access to third-party data marketplaces as an incentive.

Still, a full three-quarters (76 percent) of media buyers prefer using a third-party rather building their own tech in-house, while 63 percent of media sellers also opted for a third-party DMP, albeit with different motivations on each side.

buyersinH  Sellersinohouse

Speed to market, and the cost of having to build in-house tech were cited as the main reasons why most buyers didn’t go for an in-house approach. Whereas the 37 percent of media sellers who went for the in-house option did so to integrate local data or link to other in-house products.

Across Europe, the Middle East and Africa, the majority (81 percent) of respondents said their company had gone for a third-party DMP rather than build their own, and that was mirrored across Asia-Pacific and Latin America.



Almost half of media buyer respondents (46 percent) cited “lack of skills, having disparate data sets and siloed teams” as the biggest barriers when their DMPs were being introduced into the organisations. Almost 40 percent said company culture was a barrier with 37 percent saying a lack of understanding from executive leaders was a problem. Only 22 percent said legal issues were a barrier.

Of the media buyers who haven’t yet got a DMP, 46 percent said the cost was the main barrier, though only 24 percent of media sellers listed cost — a slightly larger 29 percent said it was the lack of skills which was most prohibitive. A third said that there isn’t enough evidence of the return on investment to entice them yet. A quarter of both groups said a lack of support from the top of their businesses was a barrier.


Three-quarters of media buyers (76 percent) said they activate display retargeting via their DMPs, while 71 percent also use it for display prospecting.

Less than half of all respondents reported activating video (48 percent), mobile (38 percent) and email (38 percent) and only one third reported activating paid search and paid social. The below chart breaks down what buyers and sellers want to see next from their DMPs.


The report was conducted in association with Oracle Marketing Cloud.


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