Ramping up marketing data know-how

By Catherine Oddenino, Valassis Digital
Published Monday, Mar 14, 2016

Ramping up marketing data know-how

The annual LiveRamp conference, RampUp, was bigger than ever in 2016. Perched atop Nob Hill in San Francisco, over 1,200 industry leaders in data driven marketing gathered to learn, network, and sometimes argue about the best ways to use data to influence action.

Valassis Digital’s SVP of product and engineering Jay Webster was part of a panel discussion focusing on how consumers are increasingly using digital platforms in their everyday lives and the challenges involved in reaching them throughout their path to purchase. The panel was moderated by Arianne Walker of JD Power and included representatives from Adobe, Gigya, and MasterCard Advisors. Some of the key takeaways of the panel included: Connecting the dots between devices provides both the biggest challenge and biggest opportunity for marketers. The consumer that takes the time to come to the store is worth more on a lifetime basis than any online only customer. At the end of the day you have to provide an amazing experience for the consumer, and marketers that do that are going to find success.

A few themes surfaced from this influential network of industry leaders throughout the conference:

The importance of using quality data to inform decisions. Determining the right data source is largely dependent on what problem you are trying to solve. If you base your marketing efforts on flawed data you are going to get flawed results. But data alone isn’t enough for a successful campaign. As access to data increases, it’s sometimes easy to forget that ad creative is still a crucial element in successful marketing campaigns.

Effective data usage isn’t limited to targeting. Data can also be used to help inform creative development. Matt Marolda, chief analytics officer at Legendary Entertainment, opened the conference discussing how Legendary uses social data to inform the creative process. Previously movie-marketing efforts were more of a spray and pray variety, they “sprayed the audience with TV ads and prayed they would go to the movie.” Now they are using data to gauge audience demand and tastes, and to change marketing messaging and creative elements.

Transparency and education are key to maintaining a positive perception of your brand. As marketers look to collect data from their customers, response rates will increase if they communicate how that data will be used. Gigya saw opt-in registration increase by 20% when consumers were told explicitly why the data was being collected.

Keynote speaker Stephen Dubner of Freakonomics fame explained how often people respond to the symptoms of a problem rather than the root cause underlying the issue. He also pointed out that predicting the future is actually really difficult! So determining the incentives that will work for consumers will be an ongoing challenge for all marketers. Finding the right data, marketing and advertising technology and media partners is just the beginning.

It’s always exciting to be part of a conference that brings together such an impressive group of people and stimulates great conversation around marketing tools and best practices. For more coverage of the conference in social media – search #RampUp16.