Whew! We’re off and running at the 2012 DMA Conference. While pre-conference intensive sessions were in full swing prior to today’s events, the official kickoff began this morning at 8:45 a.m. when Chris Anderson, Editor-in-Chief of Wired Magazine, delivered the well-attended (but not quite standing room only) keynote presentation on “Big Data” and its role in shaping direct marketing. Here’s a short summary of what was covered during the first of four keynotes at DMA 2012:
First thing’s first: What is “Big Data?” The short answer is really, really big data sets. Linda Woolley, the DMA’s Acting President and CEO, provided the opening remarks and called the phrase “almost an understatement.” Chris Anderson described it as “a beautiful mess.”
After Woolley’s introduction, the DMA issued an announcement on the launch of its Data-Driven Marketing Institute (DDMI). The focus of the DDMI is to “engage the entire marketing industry in a coordinated campaign to set the record straight about the countless ways that data-driven marketing benefits consumers—and fuels the data-driven economy.” Based on the three key principles of Advocacy, Consumer Engagement and Education and Research, the DDMI hopes to educate legislators and consumers about the value of data-driven marketing and head-off unnecessary legislation against the collection and use of data.
So how will “Big Data” affect direct marketers and their customers in the future?
The quest for knowledge used to begin with grand theories. Now it begins with massive amounts of data. The long-tail curve of the 21st Century has replaced the bell curve of the 20th Century in determining what consumers want. Marketers used to focus on what most people want. Today, marketers are using statistical correlation to determine unique wants. Chris suggested that everyone needs to get the religion of A/B testing – start with a hunch or idea, then test it with big data. He made a compelling case for needing vision and creativity validated by A/B testing. There is no right – only righter.
All in all, it was a great keynote presentation and a great way to get DMA 2012 underway. Make sure to stop back for our daily updates. If you made the trip to Las Vegas, I hope you will attend the presentation given by our VP of Marketing, Debora Haskel, along with Bill Garvin of Healthways on Wednesday. They’re presenting “How Healthways Got Its Multichannel Marketing in Shape” at 10 a.m. on Oct. 17!
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