DMA2013

Posted by Kristin Hambelton, Head of Marketing, Adobe Campaign

Last week, many members of the Adobe team headed to DMA 2013 in Chicago, IL. For those who aren’t familiar, DMA (Direct Marketing Association) is the premier trade association for marketing leaders who want to advance and protect responsible data-driven marketing.

During the show, we met a ton of great people at our booth, several of our team members spoke on panels or held individual guru sessions, and we were even able to catch some of the other presentations.

While there was a lot of information to take in, here are a few takeaways that we thought were important enough to share:
Big Data + Small Data = Better Results

Big data has been a big theme for a couple years now, but this year it was discussed more than ever before. The consensus among marketing leaders is that to effectively understand big data and to effectively reach customers, marketers have to use both big data AND small data.

What does this mean for marketers? During Nate Silver’s keynote, he addressed the fact that having more data gives us more possibilities for bias. While having large amounts of customer data can be beneficial for marketers, it’s also important that we understand what that data really means. By using big data combined with smaller data like web analytics, we get a clearer picture of our customers and make better marketing decisions.

Go Beyond Last-Click Attribution

One of the biggest challenges marketers are facing in today’s digital world is understanding how to attribute sales to specific channels. With customers requiring 7-13+ touches to deliver a qualified lead, how do you know exactly which touch to attribute the sale to?

There is no simple answer but according to the four people who sat on the panel “Attribution: Who Gets Credit for Online Purchases,” the toughest part is actually getting your organization to move from last-click attribution to multi-channel attribution.

According to panelist Mark Hughes, the key is to spend six months educating the executive team on the value of multi-channel attribution, showing last-click and multi-channel numbers side by side in reporting. It’ll get the team used to the new type of reporting and help them understand why multi-channel attribution is important in this new digital world.

What were some of the other panelists takeaways when it comes to last-click attribution? John Bates of Adobe noted that companies shouldn’t discount social media simply because it’s not always an acquisition channel, while Paul Pellman of Adometry noted that for companies to even think about multi-attribution they have to have a big enough presence and stream of media or content.

Multi-channel attribution is difficult. However, last-click attribution is becoming a thing of the past as marketing automation platforms continue to evolve and marketers are able to better track and understand the customer path.

Break Down Channel-Based Silos

For companies to create successful marketing strategies, marketing and IT must work together to create cohesive cross-channel strategies. This includes how companies make hiring decisions. According to Gartner, Inc., the role of the “hybrid” marketer/technologist is on the rise with 80% of companies in a recent survey stating that they have a Chief Marketing Technologist.

According to Lisa Arthur during the keynote “The Glass is Broken,” breaking down silos starts with managerial initiative.  Start becoming a change agent for your organization.

DMA 2013 was a successful event and we are already looking forward to next year!

Did you attend? What were your top takeaways?