TMW #167 | Data collaboration and the liberation of identity

Mar 24, 2024

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Data collaboration and the liberation of identity

DMPs tried and failed to power advertising. CDPs and DCRs solve some things. But if we’re to move forward from third-party cookies, new ideas are needed.

Seven years ago, I applied for a new job at a prominent insurance firm. The company was boring, but the tech was really interesting. The job was to manage the Salesforce Data Management Platform, Krux – one of the breakout Data Management Platforms (DMP).

I spent weeks researching what it could do, figuring out the potential use cases, and getting my mind blown with things like “wow, you can really suppress audiences from ads if they have an active customer service complaint?” At the time, the DMP was hot stuff, and I was hooked. 

DMPs don’t look so hot today though: 

Yes, this is a Google Trends overview of search interest for the categories of DMP and CDP. And it tells a story of what happens to a category that gets pushed out of the industry because of factors totally outside its control. It was once very popular, but today, ask around and you’ll find that many brands are no longer using the technology. 

Digiday calls the DMP a “busted flush” (you can make from that what you will), which struggled to keep pace with the industry because DMPs were “built on third-party data that was often collected and shared without a person’s permission that was often opaque and — ultimately — visualized poorly.” Indeed, the major platforms promoting DMPs in the late 2010s have all abandoned ship: Salesforce pulled the plug a couple of years ago, and Adobe and Oracle have just about done the same. 

Martech is an industry in constant flux. New tech supplants the old as the internet infrastructure continues to evolve. The CDP category had a good run over the past five or so years, but yet again, the internet infrastructure is changing, and so must the platforms marketers use to leverage that infrastructure. 

This brings me to a new category emerging out of the changing infrastructure: Data Collaboration Platforms (DCPs). Adtech and Martech are more aligned than ever, bonded 

by regulatory change, the historic destruction of third-party trackers, and new incentives. The DCP is more than just rearranging a bunch of letters and calling it a new category; it’s a response to the changing needs of marketers. 

So of course I had to ask the question: Will history repeat itself for the CDP? DMPs were the big thing, now CDPs are not hot, but the DCP are another direction all together. What are they all about? Let’s take a look under the hood.

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