Building the Data-Driven Brand

Data is quickly becoming the lifeblood of marketing. The question for brands, however, is how they can refine insights from the crude oil of data. Brands, publishers and agencies gathered together in Laguna Beach, Calif., at Digiday’s Data Marketing Summit discussed data and sifting through it all. Here are some highlights:

George Haynes, social and digital media manager at Kia
Some of the things we use data for is interesting. Looking at data from things that happened is like driving in a car and looking in the rearview mirror. If you look in the rearview mirror too long, you’re going to crash and everyone will pass you. We look at the data for the road ahead and glance in the rearview mirror. We focus on how we keep our eyes focused on the road and use milestones of where we’ve been to make sure we’re staying on the right path.

Nate Luman, social marketing manager at Zappos
We are constantly looking for optimal keywords on Facebook, and we mine Facebook APIs for likes and interests and look for overlap. If you search for an interest, they are telling you what those fans are also fans of. We can find out what our fans also like. So we start talking about that on the fan page, and products that are relevant to that. We also use this tactic to target new fans and new customers.

Matthew Jacobs, svp, strategy and analysis, Digitas
Fifty percent of brands are overwhelmed with data and do nothing with it.

Sarah Lyman, associate media director, OMD
Data helps us expand budgets, letting us be more innovative and have better campaigns at the end of the day.

Chip Cutter, Today’s content editor at LinkedIn
What gets shared? You see a lot of lists and how-tos getting shared. Something that makes you feel glued into your industry, that is what gets shared. Stories that give insight into the industry that make you feel smarter about your industry. Stories that make you feel an emotion. So either passion or even frustration are the ones that get shared. There are a lot of opportunities for marketers to produce great content, as long as they aren’t blatantly inserting themselves into it. For brands who want to produce content, consistency is key — and the courage to not be bland.

Peter Horan, president of Answers Media Group
Business in the U.S. for the last 20 years is like a disaster movie: People going along with their everyday lives without realizing that they will be hit with a meteor any day. This is how brands in the U.S. have been operating, for the last few years and many have been hit. [For example: Sears, Circuit City, Motorola, Blockbuster, Kodak, Borders.] Mostly because they misunderstood their core value propositions, only worried about competitors like them, did not respect substitutes and over-estimated customer loyalty.

Penry Price, president of Media6Degrees
If you are looking at the data over time, that is a better signal of intent than segmentation. This is where targeting gets reengineered. Big data and robust technology will be able to find your customer faster than segmentation. Segmentation is great for back-end stuff and for offline marketing. But for targeting, you want to go straight to relevance.

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