2020 has been many things, but top among them it has been a year of innovation and emerging diamonds.
It has been roughly four years since the industry started to take customer data and privacy seriously as a combined concept. For a long time though the fruits of that labour have been hard to see. Now, new technologies are ready and, spurred on by the radical changes we are witnessing in the market, are quickly blossoming before our eyes. Some of the hottest companies on the market right now (Snowflake, InfoSum and others) were hardly known until very recently and there are a slew of other companies already quietly doing great work who are ready to take the industry by storm.
One of the things I love about my job is the ability to discover some of these companies and see how they can benefit my clients and the industry as a whole.
New players in the market
One of the most impressive companies I have been introduced to is Mediarithmics. Founded by Stephane Dugelay and a team of engineers in Paris (Stephane, who is leading the charge, is perhaps the most technical chief executive officer I have met), their mission from the start has been to solve how to employ customer data in marketing powerfully and safely. They have powered some of the most impressive customer and data marketing programs in France, as well as working with the likes of Channel 4 in the UK. As with most of the new emerging players, they are a company with technology and technical expertise at their core and it has been both a pleasure and highly informative chatting with not only Stephane, but also Gregoire Fremiot, Phil Raby and others.
CDP or DMP?
Before these terms existed, Mediarithmics didn’t classify itself as either, it was and is a company trying to solve a problem. However, as an industry we love putting companies into buckets (see the Lumascape) and the company would argue it fits in both camps, taking the best traits of each.
There are numerous takes on the differences (and similarities) between DMPs and CDPs. My take is that a CDP focuses on using data at an individual customer record level. A DMP focuses on allowing a company to target segmented audiences. The first DMPs allowed audience targeting at a cookie (not user/account) level and deliberately stayed clear of real users for what was believed to be privacy reasons. However, thinking and technology has moved on and now the best platforms, (like mediarithmics) control audiences at a defined user level across both customer data and indeed prospecting for a single detailed view of the customer/prospect.
What is clear is how Mediarithmics is able to enable its clients, either advertisers or publishers, to manage its customers and audiences compliantly and beyond the third party cookie. This is at the heart of my reasoning as to why I expect them to have such a bright future. Few, if any, of the other companies are directly able to influence media across both the demand and supply side in a cookie-less fashion. InfoSum and Snowflake (not that they are competitors) come at it from an infrastructure play and other vendors focus predominantly on either the supply or demand side. Mediarithmics is able to assist both the supply and demand side, either in its own ecosystem or in the open market, introducing additional opportunities for customers and partners. Something that I, for one, like about the new emerging world is its interoperability and while there are scale plays, it's not (at least yet) a case of winner takes all.
Innovation through technology
Not content with being a leader in a new space (the post-cookie data platform), Mediarithmics is ripe with innovation. For advertisers, Mediarithmics is able to facilitate the real time delivery of marketing and customer data to secure cloud instances (owned by the advertiser). This is an open and integrated setup that allows advertiser data science teams to run their own machine learning or AI processes against the data and then instantly be able to push the results back to actionable (media or otherwise) decisions.
In the publisher space, with the coming end of third-party cookies, Edge computing has been getting a lot of press in recent times, and rightly so for its ability to deploy needed optimisations at speed. This has the capability to replace the power of cookie-based audiences with Edge turbocharged contextual and other data optimisation. Mediarithmics believes its solution goes one step further as it allows for the AI to use A/B or multivariate testing to improve the decision making at the equivalent speed. Today contextual and location data is vital to operate successfully on Safari (and other environments). In the near future this will apply to all media that can be accessed programmatically/via platforms. Combining the customer delivery platform with this functionality being an area I really enjoy exploring with clients.
On top of its local-storage Edge computing capability, Mediarithmics works with its clients on a dozen of other alternatives (advanced audience modeling, predictive scoring, privacy sandbox, Universal IDs initiatives, etc). The final and perhaps most important project in the long term is creating a new kind of AI-based first-party ecosystem (for advertisers and publishers) that combines privacy by design with powerful data-driven marketing.
In such a fast-paced world it is sometimes difficult to work out which new solutions to consider. Some of the best technical solutions don’t necessarily have the biggest marketing footprint, an irony I am sure with which you will agree. Progressive marketers looking at solving the time’s biggest challenges around data-driven marketing should contact Mediarithmics and ask them how they can help.
Robert Webster, Canton Marketing Solutions