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The Plain Facts: Bringing the Data Conversation Down to Size


Post Date: April 10, 2014
By: Susan Taplinger

Welcome back to the DMA Advance blog series, The Plain Facts. This Q&A series aims to highlight the value of data-driven marketing to consumers and brands. If you have an idea for a question, or would like to be featured, please contact the editor.

Q:  How do marketers address consumer concerns that there is “just too much data floating around out there”?

A:  Bring it down to size. Put the practices of data-driven marketers into perspective.

Some points to focus on:

The issue for data-driven marketers is not the amount of data “elements” in the vast worldwide data universe, but rather, how they use just one aspect of that universe – consumer marketing data – to responsibly address consumer preferences.

 The goal, and the focus, of every data-driven marketer, is simply to use data to present consumers with the products or services they most want, when they want them. It’s pretty simple: marketing communications must stay relevant for today’s demanding customers.

Let’s demystify the process a bit more:

  • Marketing data, generally informed by self-reported information (like when a traveler signs up for a hotel loyalty program) or publicly available information (such as Census data), helps marketers deliver the relevant ads consumers expect to see.
  • A large portion of marketing information is inferred based on aggregate behavior data. Marketers are not watching a consumer’s every move, every day.
  • These inferences are made to help connect consumers with the goods and services they are most likely to want. 
  • Sometimes, more individual data elements, such as a consumer’s stated hobbies or interests, enable marketers to provide even more relevant communications and offers. This, again, is public information already provided by the consumer.

 …And that’s as far as it goes. Marketing data is public data – not sensitive personal data.

 Don’t forget to tell consumers you are a DMA member!

DMA member marketers are trustworthy data stewards who hold themselves to DMA’s high standards of protecting consumer data. After all, it’s in their best interests – and yours — to do so.

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