Pega, Merkle launch Unified Data Management Platform

The new offering lets Pega’s Decision Hub choose in real time the ads delivered to customers, based on recent purchases or other responses.

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Cambridge, Massachusetts-based Pegasystems and performance marketing agency Merkle announced this week the launch of their Unified Data Management Platform (DMP).

The companies said that this new offering keeps paid media in sync with customer engagement, confronting some of the problems marketers have in keeping their ads up to date with customer reactions.

Recently, Pega launched a Paid Media Manager that allows direct management of paid online ads, improving on its previous ability to deploy ads only in batch.

The Paid Media Manager is integrated with Pega’s key tool, its AI-powered Customer Decision Hub that helps brands take the next best step with their customers. And both components communicate with any DMP through interactions set up by Merkle.

The integration of the three components — Paid Media Manager, Customer Decision Hub and DMP — allows Pega’s brand clients to immediately update their advertising to known customers based on the customers’ responses.

“We’ve been good at orchestrating the interaction between channels,” Pega Director of Product Marketing Matt Nolan told me, “so your response in one channel reflects what the customer did in another.”

For instance, specialized content on a website might reflect almost immediately what the customer told the contact center.

But, he added, it’s not been the same in ads, since Pega largely issued ads via a slow-moving batch process. But now the Unified DMP changes that.

For example, let’s say Jane Smith is an established customer at Telco X. Many of Pega’s customers are in the financial, telecommunication and insurance industries.

Jane has seen online ads from Telco X about getting a discount if she upgrades to a new iPhone. She does so, making her purchase online. Nolan said that now, in close to real time, Jane can see next-best-action ads for her new iPhone.

These might mean, for instance, she immediately sees an ad for a new iPhone case, instead of continuing to see ads encouraging her to buy a new iPhone, which annoys her and wastes Telco X’s budget. Previously, Nolan said, Jane might have continued to see the “upgrade to a new iPhone ad” on Telco X’s website, and in Google search ads or Facebook, anywhere from a week to 90 days after she already bought it.

Additionally, Telco X can also send updated ads through Pega’s Paid Media Manager to an integrated DMP, so that Jane soon sees the updated ad for an iPhone case on sites she visits across the web that are serviced by the DMP. Nolan said it wouldn’t be a real-time update because of the lag time in various parts of the larger ad chain, but it might only be a day or so.

Telco X can also create lookalike audiences in the Pega Decision Hub based on its customers’ reactions to the various ads, and then target those anonymous users on the web.

Nolan said the key improvement here is that the Pega intelligent Decision Hub now keeps ads up-to-date with what the customer has been doing, in real time for some venues and within a day or two in others. One channel, in other words, knows what’s been going on in the others.

Opinions expressed in this article are those of the guest author and not necessarily MarTech. Staff authors are listed here.

About the author

Barry Levine
Barry Levine covers marketing technology for Third Door Media. Previously, he covered this space as a Senior Writer for VentureBeat, and he has written about these and other tech subjects for such publications as CMSWire and NewsFactor. He founded and led the web site/unit at PBS station Thirteen/WNET; worked as an online Senior Producer/writer for Viacom; created a successful interactive game, PLAY IT BY EAR: The First CD Game; founded and led an independent film showcase, CENTER SCREEN, based at Harvard and M.I.T.; and served over five years as a consultant to the M.I.T. Media Lab. You can find him at LinkedIn, and on Twitter at xBarryLevine.

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