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What is the new trendy acronym, DCR, and how can it help you?

In the Marketing technology (Martech) space, we love our acronyms. We create new ones every few years, and the new ones promise to solve the shortcomings of the ones that came before them. In the Martech space, thousands of vendors and many acronyms exist across six technology categories. One foundational category is Data, sometimes called Data Management. 

Over the last few decades, platforms have been evolving in the Data Management category. One such evolution has been from the Data Management Platform (DMP) to the Customer Data Platform (CDP), and now the latest evolution is from the CDP to the Data Clean Room (DCR). I am not saying CDPs are dead; they are not. I am just observing that a new evolution is happening before us, and that’s the DCR. 

 DMPs emerged in the late 2000s and early 2010s. CDPs emerged in the mid-2010s and have reached the height of their popularity in the last few years. DCRs emerged in the latter half of the 2010s but have recently surpassed their predecessors’ popularity primarily due to all the emerging privacy regulations.

The core goal of a Data Clean Room is to provide a secure environment where data from different companies can be analyzed together without sharing the raw underlying customer data. Upon this core goal, four fundamental groups of use cases have emerged. These groupings are: 

  1. Data Enrichment
  2. Insights
  3. Activation
  4. Measurement

Data Enrichment

DCRs have emerged to offer capabilities for two parties, such as a Brand and a Data Broker, to craft a data environment that facilitates data enrichment without physically moving data and without the Brand exposing the identities of their customers to the data broker. This has huge benefits for a Brand, as they no longer need to send their sensitive customer data to the data broker to be enriched.


When two companies have a mechanism to share their data securely, they can analyze one another’s data without exposing the underlying raw data. This was the original use case of the DCRs and provided a mechanism for Brand to do varying types of customer analysis that was not possible when they were only looking at their own customer data


Finding insights in your data is great, but Marketers want to leverage those insights and activate marketing campaigns. Recently, DCRs have started adding capabilities that allow marketers to create audiences and push those audiences to paid marketing channels.


Finally, If you activate via a DCR, you will need to measure the effectiveness of your campaign. DCR’s are currently building out their measurement capabilities to allow marketers to understand the effectiveness of their marketing efforts.

Other benefits

In addition to these four fundamental groups of use cases, there are other benefits of DCRs.

A)   Common UI

Some DCRs provide a standard UI across the Walled Gardens Clean Rooms; as such, the Brand Marketers or Analytics team only needs to learn one UI versus knowing how to operate each of the Walled Gardens Clean Rooms.

B)   Managed Services

Some DCR vendors provide teams of people (managed services) to operate the DCR on behalf of the brand to achieve the core Use Cases outlined above. These services can be very advantageous to Brands that need more expertise or resources to achieve their goals.


Technologies such as Snowflake, Samooha, and HABU are examples of platforms that offer these capabilities to varying degrees without moving your data. Other platforms like LiveRamp’s SafeHaven and Epsilon’s Prospect/Discover offer similar capabilities, but you need to move your data into these platforms. 

All these vendors will continue to expand their capabilities, making it hard for Brands to determine which ones meet their needs for today and tomorrow. At Transparent, our goals are to stay ahead of these evolutions so that we can help you navigate these waters. We pride ourselves on being independent of any vendor solution to ensure that we help guide you with the advice and solutions that meet your specific needs.

If you need help deciphering what is the best solution for your needs, please reach out to us today.

Darren Rankine, Partner, Technology