By: Helena Schwenk, Principal Analyst, MWD Advisors
Published: 6th March 2014
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License
Last week Oracle acquired Data Management Platform (DMP) vendor BlueKai for an undisclosed amount. The company’s offering provides a centralised repository of customer and audience data in the cloud that can be used to help organisations personalise their marketing communications. Founded in 2007, BlueKai is headquartered in Cupertino, CA, USA, with approximately 300 customers across multiple industries.
If, like me, you come from a data warehousing or analytics background you might be excused for thinking that Oracle is well established in this field given its origins as a database company. Whilst indeed it’s fair to say that BlueKai does store and manage information, its focus is more concentrated. In essence, DMPs like BlueKai generate audience segments using information based on online activity typically by managing cookie IDs (although other ways of capturing information such as IP address can also be used); the information is then subsequently used to target and personalise online communications.
One of the benefits of a DMP is that it can help organise all the data that’s generated by online activity and movements across your and other web sites. DMPs can help piece all that activity together—alongside the resulting campaign and audience data—in one central location and use it to target, personalise and optimise marketing communications, by targeting ads and offers to the right users for example.
One of the issues a DMP aims to solve is the ability to get a more unified view of online audiences across not only first-party data sources (i.e. information collected through a direct relationship with a consumer), but across third-party data sources too. BlueKai, for example, manages first-party data (e.g. capturing data items across a site such as email addresses and purchasing behaviour) and can also augment this with third-party marketplace data. This is where the company acquires and aggregates data from other providers such as Experian, Forbes, and ComScore, as well as other demographic, lifestyle, geographic and industry data providers. BlueKai claims to have more than 30,000 data attributes and 700 million global profiles within its data marketplace that can be harnessed for marketing purposes. Equally, BlueKai facilitates second-party transactions that enable two or more parties on its DMP to share permissioned data.
Together all of this information can be used by digital marketers to segment their audience and serve more targeted and relevant messages to prospects and customers across multiple channels. It can be used, for instance, to target display advertising and re-target site visitors by sending them ads on other sites, or equally it can extend to website personalisation or social media advertising through Facebook.
Oracle plans to leverage BlueKai as the data management layer underpinning its Marketing Cloud offering as well as integrating it with its marketing automation systems—Responsys for B2C and Eloqua for B2B. It remains to be seen, however, how BlueKai will eventually integrate with other parts of the company’s Customer Experience Cloud (such as its sales and service cloud) which arguably would equally benefit from using data on target audiences and customers. Likewise Oracle has yet to reveal any plans as to how BlueKai’s DMP will sit alongside or integrate with its other data management components such as its MDM and data integration tools and data warehousing platforms. My colleague Craig Wentworth and I will be looking into this further and we’ll update you in due course with a clearer picture.
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Published by: electronicdawn Ltd.