Thinking Big Data At Boston Ad Club Event

At the Boston Ad Club's "The Lures of Retail" event Tuesday, the Data Explosion & Its Impact on Retail Marketing panel has stressed the importance of cross-channel optimization for ads. Michele Morelli, SVP display acquisitions, lead generation & marketing, Citibank, said, "When I think of big data, I think of having an enormous amount of offline data and online data." She said that the key is to connect the two.

Jake Dubuque, market research associate, MaPS, said that marketers need to "intelligently" tailor their messages across all channels.

The panel moderator, David Laird, director of research, B2B insights, Yahoo!, asked, "How do you balance creativity with data driven solutions for your brands?"

Dubuque answered by saying, "I think there's a surface level understanding of data, but it takes the creativity and conceptualization to see how the data interacts" with users. Marketers ultimately want to "translate it back to tangible behaviors and real world examples."

Testing certain types of ads using big data has also been stressed by the panel. But Marc Grabowski, VP North American sales, Yahoo, reminded the other panelists that not every company has the luxury to test everything as thoroughly as they'd like before implementation.

Before leaving the stage, Jane Roy, director of agency sales & partnerships, Experian Marketing Services, left the audience with this advice: "Ask for help." Diving into big data analytics and trying to implement it all yourself can be challenging. Roy says that the big data companies are willing to help, and that you should ask for it.

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