Nada Stirratt, Chief Revenue Officer at Acxiom Corporation, is no stranger to DMA. In fact, she’s spoken many a times at our Annual Conference & Exhibition, offering outstanding advice and insights for today’s modern marketer. Here, she talks about  Acxiom’s journey with United Airlines to build a more accurate member database — and why marketers must “get innovative” if it’s results they’re after.

“Big data” is in vogue for brands, but I think the term is only a matter of perspective. Marketers have dealt with the data deluge for at least 10 years and have searched feverishly for an innovative way to handle it.

When United Airlines merged with Continental Airlines, the airline partnered with Acxiom Corporation to build more accurate and richer data on its members. Just as critically, the airline created a non-member database for the first time – a unique step in the airline industry. Acxiom overlaid its demographic and lifestyle data on customer records, rounding out the profile of each passenger and grouping them into certain customer types. Then, Acxiom ran models to identify segments that fit certain desired criteria, enabling the airline to find—among 90 million records—those passengers traveling each day who are reaching loyalty program milestones. Knowing more about members and non-member customers, United is able to develop more personalized relevant communications to both groups.

A campaign cannot be successful if a marketer has to wrestle masses of data that are simply too big to store and analyze through traditional relational database management tools. It’s more meaningful to drop that data in a proverbial colander and extract only the most valuable insights from it—in a privacy-compliant way. Simply adding more data to the data you already have will never solve your business challenge. But, developing habits to build “better data” will help you find innovative ways to understand your buyers, their shopping habits and what they desire from your brand.

Nada Stirratt serves as Chief Revenue Officer and Executive Vice President for Acxiom. In this role, Nada leads all of the client-facing areas of the business including field, account management and consulting across the globe. Prior to Acxiom, Stirratt served as chief revenue officer at MySpace,where she led global sales, strategy and advertising operations. Previously, Nada served as executive vice president of digital advertising at MTV Networks, where she successfully led the company’s aggressive expansion into the digital advertising arena across all properties, overseeing advertising sales, strategy and operations.Stirratt holds a bachelor’s degree in advertising from the University of Illinois. She is based in New York City.

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