Friday, October 23, 2015

Teradata Adds a Data Management Platform To Its Marketing Cloud...Who Will Be Next?

Teradata on Tuesday announced it is adding a data management platform (DMP) to its marketing cloud through the acquisition of Netherlands-based FLXone.  This is interesting on several levels, including:

- It makes Teradata the third of the big marketing cloud vendors to add a DMP, joining Oracle DMP (BlueKai) and Adobe Audience Manager. I already expected the other cloud vendors to do this eventually; now I expect that will happen even sooner. I’m looking at you,

- Unlike Oracle and Adobe, Teradata has stated (in a briefing about the announcement) that it intends to use the DMP as the primary data store for all components of its suite. I see this as a huge difference from the other vendors, who maintain separate databases for each of their suite components and integrate them largely by swapping audience files with a few data elements on specified customers. (In fact, Adobe just last week briefed analysts on a new batch integration that pushes Campaign data into Audience Manager to build display advertising lookalike audiences. The process takes 24 hours.)

Of course, we’ll see what Teradata actually delivers in this regard.  It's also important to recognize that performance needs will almost surely require intermediate layers between the DMP's primary data store and the actual execution systems. This means the distinction between a single database and multiple databases isn’t as clear as I may be seeming to suggest. But I still think it’s an important difference in mindset.  In case it isn’t obvious, I think real integration does ultimately require running all systems on the same primary database.

- It is still more evidence of the merger between ad tech and martech. I know I wrote last week that this is old news, but there’s still plenty of work to be done to make it a reality. One consequence of "madtech" is complete solutions are even larger than before, making them even harder for non-giant firms to produce. That’s the primary lesson I took away from last week’s news that StrongView had been merged into Selligent: although StrongView’s vision of omni-channel “contextual marketing” made tons of sense, they didn’t have the resources to make it happen. (See J-P De Clerck's excellent piece for in-depth analysis of the StrongView/Selligent deal.)  I’m not sure the combined Selligent/StrongView is big enough either, or that Sellingent owner HGGC will make the other investments needed to fill all the gaps.

To be clear: I'm not saying small martech/adtech/madtech firms can't do well.  I think they can plug into a larger architecture that sits on top of a customer data platform and perhaps a shared decision platform. But I very much doubt that a mid-size software firm can build or buy a complete solution of its own.  If you're wondering just who I have in mind...well, Mom always told me that if I couldn’t say something nice, I shouldn’t say anything at all.  So I won’t name names.

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