By Association: Brands, Data and Marketing Finally Have Come Together

Call it marketing data’s destiny. On July 1, if membership approves, the Data and Marketing Association (DMA) will be owned and operated by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA). Perhaps a merger more than 100 years in the making.

Call it “marketing data’s destiny.”

On July 1, if membership approves, the Data and Marketing Association (DMA) will be owned and operated by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA).

The former first began in 1917 — the latter in 1910. Perhaps this moment is destiny 100-plus years in the making.

In 1915, William Wrigley sent chewing gum to every household listed in every phone book in America — more than 1 million at the time. That was “direct marketing.”

What David Ogilvy Knew, We All Must Know Now

One of the greatest advertising practitioners of all time – David Ogilvy – knew that “direct response” advertisers — no matter what the medium — knew which ads worked, and which didn’t, because of their discipline to measure. Direct marketing was Ogilvy’s “secret weapon.”

Google did not invent analytics — direct marketers were always data-driven, and have been testing and analyzing and measuring every piece of advertising real estate under the sun. Google helped to introduce analytics to digital-first marketers.

Early on, direct marketers recognized Amazon as what it truly is — front end to back end: “direct marketing on steroids.”

DMA knows data. Its conferences, content, professional development — and advocacy and representation — have always advanced the discipline of data-driven marketing, in quality and quantity. Accountability, efficiency, return on investment, testing and audience measurement — these attributes, for perhaps decades too long — were relegated “second-class” citizenship by Madison Avenue, general advertising and the worship of creativity.

Oh, how times have changed.

Data Streams — What Direct Response Started, Digital Exploded

Even before the Internet was invented, smart brands — leading brands — started to recognize the power of data in their advertising and marketing. While some had dabbled in direct mail, most pursued sales promotion techniques that mimic but do not fully commit to direct marketing measurement. It was the advent of database marketing — fueled by loyalty programs, 800 numbers and credit cards — that gave many “big” advertisers their first taste of audience engagement.

Brand champions were curious, and many were hooked. Nothing helps a brand more than customer interaction. Data sets the stage for such interaction through relevance — and interactions enable behavioral and contextual insights for future messaging and content.

Digital marketing — and mobile since — have exploded the availability of data.  So all-told, brands must be data-centric today, because that’s how customers are found, sustained, served and replicated. In fact, data-centricity and customer-centricity are nearly indistinguishable.

ANA and DMA coming together — it’s as if brands understand (or know they need to understand) that data champions the consumer and serves the brand promise. Data serves to prove the effectiveness of all the advertising, marketing and engagement brought forth.

ANA has been acquiring organizations — Word of Mouth Marketing Association, Brand Activation Association, Business Marketing Association and now the Data and Marketing Association. There certainly may be more to this most recent transaction than my humble point of view here today.

But I’d rather believe that data-driven marketing, finally, has received an accolade from brands 100 years due. Congratulations are in order.

 

How Are Your Direct Mail Response Rates?

There are so many marketing channel options now it can be hard to decide where you should invest to get the most bang for your buck. According to the DMA’s 2017 “Response Rate Report,” direct mail continues to provide the best response rate. The cost per acquisition rate is higher than other channels, but it is worth it.

direct mail
Creative Commons license. | Credit: Pixabay by Alexas_Fotos

There are so many marketing channel options now it can be hard to decide where you should invest to get the most bang for your buck. According to the DMA’s 2017 “Response Rate Report,” direct mail continues to provide the best response rate. The cost per acquisition rate is higher than other channels, but it is worth it.

Keep in mind that the best marketing is done through multiple channels, so make sure you are able to track each channel’s results. Use the ones that work best for you.

Almost all business types currently use direct mail and benefit from it. So, let’s get into the details the DMA found in its report of what they are doing that is working.

  • Postcards — A house file had a 5.7 percent response rate with an ROI of 29 percent and prospect file had a 3.4 percent response rate with an ROI of 23 percent.
  • Letter Sized Envelopes — A house file had a 4.37 percent response rate with an ROI of 29 percent and prospect file had a 2.5 percent response rate with an ROI of 23 percent.
  • Flat Sized Envelopes — A house file had a 6.6 percent response rate with an ROI of 37 percent and prospect file had a 4.9 percent response rate with an ROI of 30 percent.

They do not track rates for self-mailers or booklets, I am not sure why. The two most common uses for direct mail are direct sale and lead generation, and no matter the use, a flat size envelope wins. So how are companies tracking their direct mail results?

  1. Online 61 percent of companies are tracking online with the use of PURLs, landing pages and more.
  2. Phone  53 percent of companies track phone calls to either a call center or designated location.
  3. Code or Coupon  42 percent of companies use coupons or codes to track.

They also use, at much smaller rates, matchback, linked sales transactions, list coding and others. There is no right or wrong way to track, do what works best for you. The most important thing is that you are tracking your results.

Now, are you curious about volumes of mail? Based on monthly volume, companies are doing the following:

  • 50,000 or less = 39 percent for a house list and 36 percent for a prospect list
  • 50,001- 150,000 = 21 percent for a house list and 15 percent for a prospect list
  • 150,001 – 250,000 = 16 percent for a house list and 12 percent for a prospect list

Finally, let’s look at cost per format:

  • Letter: $22.55 for a house list and $39.75 for a prospect list
  • Postcard: $14.60 for a house list and $29.70 for a prospect list
  • Flat: $29.30 for a house list and $31.90 for a prospect list

As you can see from these numbers, direct mail can really be a benefit to your marketing. If you have done direct mail before but not recently or if you have not used direct mail before, you need to make sure that your final designs meet postal regulations. There is no reason to pay extra postage when you don’t have to. Your mail service provider can help you navigate the regulations and facilitate your direct mail campaigns. Are you ready to get started? Your prospects and customers are waiting to hear from you.

The Next 100 Years of Marketing (Happy Birthday, DMA)

This is really a momentous anniversary year in marketing. The Data & Marketing Association turns 100 this year — as does the 4A’s. DMA seems to be scarcely acknowledging a century of service, as an anticipated 4,000 folks head to &Then17 in New Orleans in two weeks. Quite unlike the big bash the 4A’s has slated for this week’s Advertising Week in New York — noting 100 persons securing the present and future of advertising.

This is really a momentous anniversary year in marketing.

The Data & Marketing Association turns 100 this year — as does the 4A’s.

DMA seems to be scarcely acknowledging a century of service, as an anticipated 4,000 folks head to &Then17 in New Orleans in two weeks. Quite unlike the big bash the 4A’s has slated for this week’s Advertising Week in New York — noting 100 persons securing the present and future of advertising.

DMA is instead focused on “Where Data Transforms Marketing.”

I think that’s OK. Let’s face it … personalities also dominate data-driven marketing, but its “data” — and insight that flows from data — that’s the true star in this business, and it’s data that is the fuel of what’s next.

But we sure have had some innovative players. Consider this historical gem, approximately 100 years ago: “In one spectacular stunt, which possibly marked the birth of direct marketing, Wrigley mailed a complimentary four-stick package of gum to every household in the United States that owned a telephone. People with telephones, he reasoned, could afford gum. These activities helped to sustain Wrigley’s gum as established national brands. They also made Wrigley very rich, particularly after he took his company public in 1919.” [Encyclopedia.com | Wm Wrigley, Jr. Company]

That’s strategy, audience selection and results all in one … kind of like each year’s winning batch of ECHOs (the next group of ECHO winners, being announced October 8).

Time forward to 2017: Has the science of accountable communication truly changed? Other than a plethora of channels, maybe not so much! As AdExchanger reported last week: “Demographic targeting and behavioral targeting have both been around since internet advertising’s early days, but big CPG [consumer packaged goods] brands now say behavioral targeting drives the biggest results online. Instead of trying to hit in-target demos, they’re looking for more creative ways to connect with consumers based on purchase history or interests.”

Perhaps it isn’t surprising to see Amazon, Google and Facebook build global businesses on the currency of data, or the plethora of AdTech in Silicon Valley and venture capital everywhere chasing valuations based wholly on the monetization of data.

Other than sustainability, I can’t think of a far stronger bulwark on which to build a global economic engine in the 21st Century than the responsible use of data. We’ve got to protect that!

History teaches us that the Russian revolution in 1917 was the most profound revolution in 20th Century political history. Hey, in business history, the Data Revolution also began in 1917 — except this one is still going, and going strong — likely for another 100 years. Happy Birthday, DMA.

Summer Blockbusters: They Don’t Always Disappoint

Been to the movies lately? Neither have I, but I do have a few summertime musts on my list:

Credit: Pixabay

Been to the movies lately? Neither have I, but I do have a few summertime musts on my list:

10. Disaster movie: It’s not current events in Washington, it’s what’s going on in the database — get it cleaned up. Here’s a perspective from Radius.

9. In work and life: Skip complaining about Millennials and Plurals, and consider today’s realities. One perspective from Canada.

8. Speaking of Plurals, they’re entering the market now, so get to know them (what, they skip advertising?!): https://socialmediaweek.org/blog/2016/02/forget-millennials-meet-plurals/

7. Transition the ads: There’s a wholly updated portfolio of digital ad specs and standards to take command of from Interactive Advertising Bureau: https://www.iab.com/newadportfolio/

6. Study up on GDPR and data-driven marketing — because we have to — via Evidon, TrustArc and even Aberdeen. Note the sequel: ePrivacy Regulation.

5. Wow, congratulations! What a lineup of Direct Marketing Club of New York Silver Apples 2017 honorees — from IAB, American Express, PCH, Bottom Line and more — I must get a ticket for November 16.

4. August in New York City? Oh, I’ll be judging ECHOs, while others in B2B solve the sales and marketing gap with data and content at LeadsCon Summit: Connect to Convert.

3. Yes, I do believe in “Wonder Women” — a summer highlight after all: http://www.dmnews.com/2017-marketing-hall-of-femme/topic/51589/

2. Get on it …You have exactly five days to get your blockbuster breakthrough entered in this year’s Innovation Awards.

1. Set you travel plans for October 8-10, NOLA. It’s not for Bourbon Street, but maybe some late-night jazz and all my data and marketing questions answered at Data & Marketing Association’s &Then.

Looks like I’ve got a busy month ahead, and not in a theater near you!

Signs of Summer: Judging What Is Real in Marketing

ECHOs are the global contest where data, insights and intelligence create disruption and surpass business objectives. I want to judge a contest where recognition puts a smile on both the faces of the CMO and the CFO. I want to uncover the validation that clients — and prospective clients — look for in their agency partners.

Last week, I filled out my judging application for this year’s International ECHO Awards. I hope I get picked. (Sorry, the deadline for applying to be an ECHO Award judge was May 5. But, hey, while the judging application deadline has passed, there’s still up to a month to enter that brilliant campaign of yours.)

I have to confess … I’ve never been to Cannes for the ad festival, but I’ve always felt like the focus of winning a Cannes Lion is blow-my-mind creative – and results, well – they’re second fiddle. In recent years, it’s left me wondering if the most buzzed-about entries – how many were ever real campaigns at all? So Cannes is wonderful for showing off creative chops on a glamorous, global stage — call it, right-brain creativity unleashed! Come someday, I’ll splurge and go.

But what if there was a peer-judged contest of “wow” factor creative, but also where strategy and results in the field are equally “wow.” Oh, that’s the Data & Marketing Association’s International ECHO Awards. Cannes Lion entries — with substance — should ECHO apply! Fake ads and concepts shouldn’t.

ECHOs are the global contest where data, insights and intelligence create disruption and surpass business objectives. I want to judge a contest where recognition puts a smile on both the faces of the Chief Marketing Officer and the Chief Financial Officer. I want to uncover the validation that clients – and prospective clients – look for in their agency partners.

How to impress me:

  • A campaign that can beat the control – and establish a new one.
  • To apply new MarTech, platforms and channels in ways that measure – and delight the customer.
  • Where élan lives in breakthrough creative – and data-inspired strategy, too. Intelligence, unleashed.
  • And where marketers, who answer to return on investment … this is where they get to show off their chops.

Yes, that’s a tall order for an ECHO-winning entry … but it’s the reward I’ve enjoyed just being a judge. I get to witness in one competition courageous clients and campaigns from around the world — and here at home — that seek to redefine today’s marketing and set tomorrow’s benchmarks with actual work. There’s some duds in the mix. But those that earned their ECHO trophy surely teach the rest of us.

That’s why I enjoy the judging experience best. It’s a direct window on marketing undergoing transformation. One more thing to love about summer, when the ECHOs are judged each year. Mark your calendar, the ECHOs will be presented on October 8 in New Orleans, during DMA’s &Then17 experience. I’m hopeful Target Marketing readers can show me then how they’re transforming marketing, too.

Top 3 Questions I Hear About Direct Marketing

Clients and friends who are traditional marketers often seek my advice on direct response. Here are the answers to the three questions I hear most frequently:

Unknown peopleTraditional marketer clients and friends often seek my advice on direct response. Here are the answers to the three questions I hear most frequently:

Question No. 1: What Kind of Response Rate Should I Expect?

There are response rate benchmark studies published by the DMA and others, usually organized by industry and type of offer (lead generation, free information, cash with order, etc.). These reports can provide you with some guidance in setting your expectations, but they can just as easily lead you astray. How? If you’ve seen one campaign, you’ve seen just that: one. But some marketers fall into the trap of applying previous results to various campaigns.

Your response rate is driven by three factors, listed here in order or importance:

  • Media: If you don’t get your message in front of the right people, your response will suffer. It is the single most important driver of response, so choose wisely.
  • Offer: What’s your value proposition to the prospect? Simply stated, your offer says, “Here’s what I want you to do, and here’s what you’re going to get when you do it.” If your offer is not appealing or relevant to the prospect, the response — or lack thereof — will reflect that. Also, keep in mind that soft offers, which require little commitment on the part of the prospect (e.g., get free information, download a whitepaper, etc.), will generate a higher response than hard offers, which require a greater commitment (request a demo, make an appointment with a sales rep, payment with order, etc.).
  • Creative: It’s hard for traditional advertisers to believe that this element is lower in importance than the first two, but it is. And the biggest driver of response from a creative standpoint is a clearly stated prominent call to action.

Question No. 2: We Have a Strong Campaign Coming Out of Market Research. My Client/Management Wants to Get This Out As Quickly As Possible. Why Do I Have to Test?

Three reasons:

  • You may have a well-researched creative position but it can be executed in a variety of different ways (see the third bullet under Question No. 1, above). Furthermore, your market research couldn’t predict the response rates from different media. But knowing whether email lists, websites or social media fare best for your audience and offer will be crucial to generating the highest response rate.
  • You want to be able to optimize the three factors above to determine which combination gives you the most qualified leads at the lowest cost per lead.
  • Most importantly, you want to avoid a potentially catastrophic result if you’ve gotten one of the three key elements wrong. It’s better to do that with a small quantity rather than a full-scale effort. It’s always disconcerting to hear people say, “We tried direct. It didn’t work.” Keep in mind that if you’ve seen one, you’ve seen one. Previous successes and shortcomings won’t apply when you tweak the context.

Question No. 3. How Big Should My Test Be?

Your test should be large enough to produce statistically significant results. There are two parts to this: the confidence level of your results and the variation you’re willing to accept.

There are statistical formulas for calculating sample size, but a good rule of thumb to follow is that with 250 responses, you can be 90 percent confident that your results will vary no more than plus or minus 10 percent.

For example, if you test 25,000 emails and get a 1 percent response rate, that’s 250 responses. That means you can be 90 percent confident that (all things held equal) you will get between 0.9 percent and 1.1 percent in a rollout.

A smaller number of responses will result in a reduced confidence level or increased variance. For example, with a test size of 10,000 emails and a 1 percent response rate at a 90 percent confidence level, your variance would be 16 percent rather than 10 percent. That means you can be 90 percent confident that you’ll get between 0.84 percent and 1.16 percent response rate, with all things being held equal.

Nightmares, Ghosts and Terror in Data Land

When you come fresh from a large industry conference — such as DMA’s &Then16 — where you have lots of conversations and learn about lots of pain points, you’re highly motivated to put those winning ideas to work on solutions. Most of these solutions require access to data and handling it responsibly to make smarter marketing decisions — for the ultimate service to customers.

marketing Data graphicWhen you come fresh from a large industry conference — such as DMA’s &Then16 — where you have lots of conversations and learn about lots of pain points, you’re highly motivated to put those winning ideas to work on solutions. Most of these solutions require access to data and handling it responsibly to make smarter marketing decisions – for the ultimate service to customers.

Today, it’s Halloween, so here’s my own nightmare.

I wake up one morning and the entire world collectively lost its mind and governments have mandated a marketplace that’s totally (and only) opt-in for all types of marketing uses that are only helpful to consumers. There’s no more algorithms and no more “discovery.” All commerce must wait and wait and wait until a consumer asks for it. Particularly egregious online.

Marketing collectively goes dumb. Oh, I love pure branding, pure creative — but take data out of the equation, we’re truly back before the dawn of direct marketing. Not 20 years back. Not 50 years back. But 100 years back.

Entrepreneurship is destroyed. There’s no way to tap a niche market. Data is off limits. Everything is opt-in. Opt-in request here, opt-in request there. Think Europe and cookies — ask, ask, ask. Before long, we’re numb. And, except for big business, there’s no budget for blanketing the world with awareness advertising. (And why would even a big brand want to waste so much of its money?)

Websites get clunkier. You can’t even get past the home page without having to click on a permission (again, read Europe). All because some nanny-types who control policy decided consumers are stupid and have to be protected from being tempted to make purchases that generate sales, jobs, tax revenue — and, by the way, happy customers.

Everything becomes more expensive and, without the commercial availability of data, there’s a lot less of “everything.” Why? Because advertising and smart advertising (read, data), finances content, services and conveniences — gone, gone and gone. Nobody in regulatory land bothered to ask who was paying for the Internet. No one ever bothered to understand the economics of the Information Economy. No one ever understood that AdTech, MarTech and data-driven marketing had become one of the greatest of U.S. assets and exports, and Silicon Valley’s (Silicon Beach, Silicon Prairie, Silicon Alley, etc.) highest rewards.

The range and diversity of consumer marketplace choices disappear. Constantly asking for permission becomes deafening. Thus, data eventually wanes and is off limits. There’s no way to derive insights to build better products, no way to devise better services and no way to compete in a healthy, competitive marketplace with a better idea.

The Information Economy is maimed — only a concentrated few, behind huge walled gardens, get to “own” and use the data. We just inflicted upon ourselves the greatest harm. We gave up the golden chalice, handled with care, for a tin cup. Beggars all of us.

Less choice. Less informed. More expensive. And, the consumer is left poorest of all.

It’s Halloween morning. Somebody woke me up.

Business IS Personal, and Other Leadership Rules

“Business is one of the most human things in the world,” Simon Sinek said early on in his presentation during &THEN. He shared that when he hears someone say, “It’s not personal, it’s business” he just laughs to himself. No, no it’s not … business is personal. It’s human.

I have a new marketing crush. It’s Simon Sinek.

Simon SinekHe was the Monday morning inspirational keynote speaker during DMA’s &THEN event last week and I’m still running over in my head all the things he discussed in under an hour, a week later, because he gave us that much to chew on.

His wonderfully dynamic speaking skills aside, Simon was able to be upfront and frank with a hall full of marketers.

“Business is one of the most human things in the world,” he said early on in his presentation. Then he commented on that when he hears someone say, “It’s not personal, it’s business” he just laughs to himself. No, no it’s not … business is personal. It’s human.

business_personalAnd human is something we could all stand to do a little better, and a bit more often. Especially in leadership roles.

Simon spoke about how in this ever-connected world, technology shouldn’t replace human contact. Instead, it should bring humans together. And leaders need to take the charge.

Certificates Don’t Make a Leader

“[There’s an] incredible lack of leadership across the world today in every industry,” Simon said. It may seem harsh, but hang on before you brush off his point.

As humans, we like intensity because its easy to measure, and this is how leadership is often taught:

  1. Attend a leadership seminar
  2. Earn a certificate
  3. ”I’m a leader now!”

It’s the intensity we crave, but that’s not how it works. Consistency matters more than intensity. Good leaders are built over time, energy and actions.

Another point of his I really liked was that good leaders create an environment of vulnerability, which allows people to speak up and honestly ask for help and feel safe. If you know you can ask for help with a project and not fear a layoff or something else, employees will do so. This builds trust and stronger teams (trust me, THIS WORKS).

Put the Phone Down

We’re all saying this, but Simon both reinforced points and made some new ones.

When someone’s smartphone is out — whether in their hand, on a table or anywhere else visible — it makes the other person in the conversation feel less important. Why? Because at any moment it’s understood that a notification can go off, and attention gets transferred directly to the phone.

During a meeting, a smartphone on the table announces to all “you’re not important.” And yes, Simon let us all know that flipping the phone over in an attempt to be polite is still just as bad. And it’s true! How many meetings have you sat through with all the buzzing from phones being set to vibrate … or the phone with the ringer still on?

It’s distracting, but we all do it … and probably because a fair number of the people in leaderships roles are doing it. Not to be jerks, but because of this need to constantly be connected. Here, the tech gets in the way of the relationships.

Toward the end of his presentation, Simon said, “Whoever understands people the best wins.” “People” are our prospects, customers and even our fellow employees. Make it personal … because that’s just what good business is.

There will probably be a couple more blog posts in the future that will reference Simon’s presentation at &THEN 2016 … he gave me a lot to think about.

Listen to Tyler Oakley: Dare to Be You

During this year’s &THEN event in LA I got to see Tyler Oakley — one of my video inspirations — speak and explain the intimate connection viewers and vloggers can have, especially when the video maker makes regular lasting connections with their audience. But you don’t have to be a YouTube star to do this!

This past week I was in LA with some of the Target Marketing team for DMA’s &THEN conference and wow … it was a whirlwind 3 days.

Not-so-fresh off my red eye flight, I have several blog posts started and even more notes to shape up, but what I want to share with you this week is a realization I had during the Tuesday morning inspirational keynote featuring Beau Avril of Google Preferred, Dan Weinstein of Collective Digital Studio, and Tyler Oakley, Youtube personality, author, and activist.

When introducing Tyler, they showed this quick clip about #DaretoBeYou, which he launched in late 2015:

And that’s when it hit me:

Tyler Oakley Dare to be YouDuring the keynote, titled “The New Face of Creativity,” Tyler made an interesting point about YouTube videos and vloggers in general. He explained that the level of intimacy between viewers and the YouTubers/vloggers is heightened because it’s them watching on a screen, usually closer to the body than a TV or movie screen.

Tyler likened it to Facetiming, and explained how many viewers consider YouTube personalities to be like friends — they share personal stories and make connections.

But you don’t have to be a YouTube personality to do this.

Since launching Sass Marketing a little over a year ago and “What Were They Thinking?” less than five months ago, you’ve tuned in, watched and hopefully laughed at my antics. Or maybe shook your fist at your screen when I said something you didn’t agree with.

My favorite reaction, though, is when you take the time to leave a comment, write me an email or share a tweet telling me exactly what you think of this series.

Or in the case of this past week, came up to me during &THEN and simply said, “I love your videos.”

This reminds me that I made the right decision to be myself — loud, sassy with eyerolls to spare — or as Tyler says, “dare to be you.” Sass Marketing/What Were They Thinking isn’t just an act I put on … it’s me, and it’s more myself than some of the work I’ve done in the past, but that’s partly because I was still finding who I am in all of this.

I’m fortunate that I have this space in the marketing world to do this, the support from my colleagues and mostly importantly, you.

Tyler Oakley You Dare to Be YouI’ll continue to dare to be me in order to delight you and make you laugh, but I need you to dare to be you. A world of people being their genuine, true selves is a world of beauty and limitless possibility.

 

Amid ‘Data Marketers’ in L.A.

Will I be counting the stars on the Hollywood Boulevard or all the data geeks and data lovers inside the Los Angeles Convention Center this week? The latter, of course. Everything about &Then16 in Los Angeles this week is seemingly about what’s next … and I mean that.

insight into content marketingWill I be counting the stars on the Hollywood Boulevard – or all the data geeks and data lovers inside the Los Angeles Convention Center this week? The latter, of course.

Everything about &Then16 (that’s #andTHEN16 to Tweeters) in Los Angeles this week is seemingly about what’s next … and I mean that. I went to my first DMA show – well, let’s just say a while ago — and even from a few years ago, I can hardly believe the transformation.

I don’t mean only the name of the conference, or its rich, on-the-cusp programming. I mean literally everything about the profession, as if we have accepted the full heritage of what direct marketing teaches us, but we are immersed fully in a new data-enriched ecosystem. The variety, velocity and variability of Big Data – handled with care — is available and in service to make small data (contact information) more important than ever, in how we unify the data points to create more relevant content and messages.

It’s hard to (still) call this “direct marketing.” In so many ways, we’ve taken those invaluable DM practices and principles, and have re-interpreted them for a new age. We have become data marketers and we need to be accountable communicators as data proliferates. DMN is saying as much. DMA is well on its way.

In its latest white paper in partnership with the DMA and Interactive Advertising Bureau, The Data-Centric Organization: Transforming for the Next Generation of Audience Marketing (September 2016), the Winterberry Group reports these six takeaways:

  • “Though strategies to promote data-centricity are in full force – and will continue to represent a dominant priority among marketing and media organizations over the coming year – few organizations have yet to achieve meaningful results from their efforts at data-centered business transformation.”
  • “Though marketing and media organizations are looking to engage audience data to support a wide array of use cases, the hierarchy of those applications is shifting.”
  • “Data users and their supply chain partners agree: few organizations have either the depth or breadth of talent they need to derive full value from their data-driven initiatives, particularly when it comes to leveraging analytics as a driver of audience insights.”
  • “Standing in the way of business transformation: organizational silos and other internal process issues that hinder data access and sharing.”
  • “As they look to significantly ramp up their investments in technology, data and service-driven solutions over the next several years, data users are looking for their third-party partners to elevate their support for the strategic functions underlying such investments — calling for a renewed focus on business case development, technology assessment and holistic system alignment as elements of a comprehensive approach to ‘data-centricity.'”
  • “Going forward, data users are also likely to look to their supply chain partners to play a more active role in supporting their day-to-day marketing and media objectives – in particular, by helping leverage analytics to deliver strategic and campaign-level insights.”

Is this a business rationale for the next year or the next couple of decades? Seems to me that we now know why thousands of marketing practitioners are gathering in Los Angeles this week.