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The Rise of the Experience DMP: Adobe Releases New Survey Findings.

While big data is seemingly the buzz word of the decade in the tech world, the technology that seems to be capturing enterprise marketers’ attention to organize and activate large data sets is the data management platform, or DMP. While there is much debate over how to leverage data and technology, it’s clear that it’s a competitive differentiator when used in the right way.

DMPs are relatively new to the tech scene, rising in popularity less than a decade ago. Not surprisingly, the first teams to understand the value that DMPs bring to a brand were marketing organizations and publishers. While marketers realized how DMPs could help them accomplish their goal of understanding their audiences more clearly, publishers understood they could maximize the value being derived from their audience. Ultimately, both marketers and publishers have (and had) the same end goal: driving business value through improved customer intelligence.

Fast forward to 2018. Here at Adobe, we’re seeing brands continue to turn to Adobe Experience Cloud to deliver amazing, and personalized, customer experiences. A best-in-class DMP has transitioned from a nice-to-have, to a must-have in this increasingly competitive and complex consumer environment – where customers expect an experience that’s seamless, connected and unique. With all the data being collected across an organization, many groups (beyond the marketer and publisher) are seeing the impact and influence that one can have with a highly personalized customer experience at every step of the journey powered by the DMP.

Today, Adobe is announcing the results of a survey we commissioned of more than 500 U.S. marketing and IT professionals to gain more insight into what the intersection of DMPs and experience means to organizations across the country. Key findings include the following:

• Experience-based DMPs are the future. More than two-thirds of survey respondents note that DMPs that lead with experiences are most valuable, vs. one focused solely on media. Additionally, 77 percent believe that an experience-based DMP is important to their organization’s success.

• Providing a best-of-class DMP experience is crucial, and many may be rethinking their strategy — likely due to first-generation DMP shortcomings. More than half (51 percent) of those surveyed who currently leverage a DMP note they are likely to switch DMPs in the next two years; employees who work in the IT field are most likely (61 percent) to make the change. Additionally, 71 percent of organizations expect their audience management budget to increase.

• Managing a DMP in-house is still standard, and CDPs are following suit. While there’s been much debate over the role of agencies in adding value to data management given their media expertise, 50 percent of those surveyed note they manage a DMP in-house, while 25 percent leverage an agency. Customer data platforms, gaining traction and media notoriety in recent months, seem to be taking on a similar pattern, as 39 percent of respondents claim to manage their CDP in-house, with 22 percent saying an agency owns CDP management.

• IT teams are taking ownership over DMPs. Nearly half (47 percent) of survey respondents note that the IT team owns and manages (or will own or manage) the DMP for their brand. Those at organizations with an annual revenue on the high-end (over $250 million) skew more towards IT managing their DMP — 56 percent vs. 39 percent. However, successful DMP practices require cross-functional collaboration. Not surprisingly, the teams most involved with DMP strategy include IT, analytics, media and CRM.

• Data management is the new data science. The need for DMP skills will be in demand over the next five years as 79 percent of respondents note that DMP skills will be essential for any digital marketing in the future, and that DMP skills will rise in the next half decade.

It’s clear that brands have realized that experience is what creates loyalty and drives the competitive edge, and the right DMP is one of the most useful tools that organizations can leverage. Adobe Audience Manager is focused on the experience by empowering brands to collect and connect disparate assets to drive customer intelligence, to create robust and complex audience segmentation that result in actionable insights — all with more than 150 integrations across various channels to deliver the right experience to the right customer at the right time. Adobe Audience Manager proudly partners with leading brands, such as Princess Cruises, Condé Nast, and Samsung, to make experience their business.