ExactTarget's Lacy: Embrace The Data

If headlines were accurate, lots of channels (Twitter), job functions (CMOs) and even whole disciplines like advertising would no longer exist. They’d all be “dead.” Of course they aren’t, but declaring something dead makes a great headline declared ExactTarget’s Kyle Lacy in a presentation at the MediaPost Social Media Summit on Tuesday.

And just as headlines can be misleading or just plain wrong, marketers sometimes develop strategies that are inappropriate and based on opinion rather than fact. In today’s data-rich world, Lacy said, there’s no excuse for it. In data lies truth about what consumers do and what they want. Marketers should “look at data more closely,” Lacy asserted. The odds are they’ll make better decisions as a result (assuming they analyze it accurately).  “Data equals understanding,” he said.

Lacy advised marketers to take advantage of “moments” and capitalize on them. One outstanding example, he said, was Papa John’s pizza give-away spot in the 2012 Super Bowl. Customers had to give up some personal information to get it and the company used that data to re-market to consumers throughout the year.

A social trend that marketers should embrace, said Lacy, is “co-creation,” meaning enabling consumers to help create content. Marketing efforts that utilize bad content are bound to fail, he said. “Let consumers help and you’ll have great content.”

And for brands, Facebook isn’t just a friending device but increasingly an effective customer service vehicle, said Lacy, noting that the social network is being used increasingly by consumers to ask questions about products.

And marketers shouldn’t be lackadaisical in responding. He cited research that showed the typical response time by a retailer to a consumer reaching out via Facebook or Twitter is 27 hours over the weekend.  That’s way too slow, he said, given that consumers tend to do a lot of their shopping on the weekends.  

Marketers should also develop strategies to connect email and social media accounts to reach highly engaged customers, Lacy said.

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1 comment about "ExactTarget's Lacy: Embrace The Data".
  1. Ian Gilyeat from I.R. Gilyeat & Company , February 14, 2013 at 7:11 p.m.
    This shouldn't surprise anyone - we all know that digging into the data has its merits. However, early, early in my career as a circulation director I was taught the best circulation directors are part computer scientist and part river boat gambler. You have to know when to throw out the rules and follow your gut. I would say the same holds true today's digital marketing world. Use the numbers but use your gut too.
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