Saturday, September 21, 2013

Top 7 Takeaways from the DAA Chicago Symposium

The Digital Analytics Association Chicago Association Symposium on September 17th attracted over 200 attendees for a stellar agenda on Omnichannel Marketing.  It was a pleasure to serve on the planning committee.  The topic was "Connecting the Dots: Optimizing the Customer Experience in an Omnichannel World."

We had a student/newcomer session in the morning which attracted 30-40 folks. It was a lively and attentive audience.I have put my talk on at the forum on Multichannel/Omnichannel Marketing on slideshare.  The talk contains introductory information on the topic and a transition into the following discussion on analytics attribution.

I enjoyed the entire day but some of the key takeaways for me from the symposium were as follows:

  1. Attribution as hockey:  +Braden Carlson and Kris Young from Digitas used hockey to describe how we need to give credit to channels that enable the final purchase, focusing on ROI and not just 'last click.' It's really not a customer funnel but more of a 'ping pong' effect, as my slides show.
  2. In-house trend:  +Andrew Swinand  comment that 52% of companies surveyed  want to bring digital in house so they can respond more quickly and inexpensively to market needs, driven by data, meant to me that there will be a growing market for the type of generalist marketers we are educating in our Digital Marketing programs.
  3. More data, less usage:  Andrew also quoted an IBM-released CMO survey, saying that only 30 pct of CMOs use data to make decision, down 17 points from prior years.  If fact, 70 percent say they are unprepared to utilize data, so there is a lot of opportunity for the education in this area.  I wonder if there is in some sense a fear of using data or just not enough knowledge, or both.
  4. Data quality: +Casey Carey  from Adometry reiterated the need for quality data in the organization, which is the focus of some of my recently-published academic research.  You can find this information summarized on my slideshare presentation from the last eMetrics forum.
  5. Focus on outcomes:  I also enjoyed Casey's approach, "Begin with the End in Mind."  We focus on outcomes in education and it was interesting to hear this approach for marketing.  It is the second time I have heard this approach in a week and it really makes sense.  Focusing on the customer experience helps us understand which data to collect and then analyzing that data helps us understand how best to meet customer needs.  Are we focused on attraction, acquisition or retention?  The strategic outcome should determine our tactical approach.
  6. Shortened buying cycle:  Shelby Saville and Kristin Haarlow from Spark Communications highlighted the 'ping pong effect in customer decision making and that the buying cycle is radically condensed.  In the auto industry, the purchase cycle is down to 28 days.  This condensed cycle puts more pressure than ever on marketers to deliver.
  7. The basics are constant:  As +tony bombacino noted, it is still, "Right customer, Right message, Right time."  That simple phrase should be the goal of any analytics program.

Please look into joining the DAA if you want more of this type of information and a great  group of colleagues. Kudos to +Amit Kadam, +Kristin Schwallie+Jared Vestal, Don Drews and others for your work on this great event.  Hope to see you all at the next one!

By Debra Zahay-Blatz.
You can find Debra on  and Twitter as well as LinkedIn.

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