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DMA Conference Keynotes: Terry Jones and Nate Silver Talk Big Data

Debora Haskel

Monday has traditionally been the biggest day of the DMA Conference. Yesterday was no exception with two marquee keynote speakers, both of whom were circled on our calendars as soon as the DMA 13 schedule was released. So without further ado, let’s jump into their presentations.

Terry Jones – Listen to the Data

Terry Jones, Founder of Travelocity.com and Founding Chairman of Kayak.com, delivered an amazing presentation. He was a great speaker, self-effacing and inspiring, not to mention very funny. One of the biggest laughs came when he said, “The best way to review what I’ve talked about today is to buy my book.” Attendance was great and audience engagement was outstanding.

Jones called innovation a product of data and the ability to listen to it. This concept is crucial in our industry as customers have and always will communicate in their own unique ways. They care about solutions, not “channels.” Customers expect sales and service in every channel.

It is imperative for organizations to build a culture in which innovation can thrive. This has always been a top priority at IWCO Direct. And it was driven home by Jones, who quoted Dick Clark of Merck who said, “Culture eats strategy for lunch.” The foundation of a strong culture is built around the belief that one person can make a difference – and that the best ideas often come from “the bottom.”

Jones provided two examples of an innovative culture in action. Travelocity’s flight paging came from a customer service representative who was tired of answering calls about flight statuses. Jones’ strategy at Kayak was to “give the pain to the people who caused the pain” by having programmers listen to customer service calls and complaints.

Nate Silver – BIG DATA – Powerful Predictions through Data Analytics

Nate Silver has received a lot of attention in the media and in popular culture for his mastery of prediction science in our recent presidential elections. He’s a brilliant guy. And his keynote presentation, which was well attended for a session that started at 5 p.m., didn’t disappoint. He examined the practical use of data and prediction science in transforming your business. One of his key messages was, “Information needs context to become valuable.” Other practical pointers included:

  • Think probabilistically (great word!) – know your limitations
  • Know where you’re coming from – consider your assumptions
  • Try and err – refine your process

Silver reminded us that prediction science is exactly that: “It’s not magic, it’s science.” This message resonated with our new Marketing Sciences initiative at IWCO Direct. Our full-service, performance driven direct marketing solutions allow clients to achieve the next level of performance and profitability with their direct mail campaigns by effectively combining direct marketing intelligence and efficient execution.

That’s all from a big day of presentations at DMA 13. It’s no surprise that Big Data is once again a central theme. Make sure to stick around for all our daily update from the show floor – or feel free to subscribe if you’d like our latest posts delivered straight to your inbox.

link https://www.iwco.com/blog/2013/10/15/dma-conference-2013-keynotes/
Debora Haskel


Debora Haskel

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