Steve Manatt

Acxiom Impact’s Executive Creative Director, Suzanne Darmory, and Director of Analytics, David Schey, were recent guests on B2B Nation. The series, which is hosted by TechnologyAdvice, is a podcast for B2B sales and marketers with expert opinions & advice on the most important topics in B2B sales and marketing today to help you evolve and push your strategy forward. In this episode, we discuss one-to-one marketing, the growth of multichannel analytics, the best way to test and learn from big data, MarketingSherpa Summit, and more!

Below are six key takeaways from the conversation, also found at

1. What were some of the biggest changes and improvements to data in 2015?

It really all starts with the internal culture. It’s all about making sure that you adopt a constant beta state where you’re constantly testing to drive better business decisions. You should follow a learning agenda or testing road map where you lay out all key hypothesis. Then you use the test to prove or disprove what those are over the next six months to a year or so.

2. How well can a science like data impact an artform like creative?

From a testing methodology perspective, start off simple. Start with some basic A/B testing, get all the key stakeholders comfortable with the process and then eventually evolve into multivariate testing. Some people call it experimental design. Within that you have techniques such as fractional factorial design that may allow you to be much more efficient and speed up your learnings.

3. What’s the best way to test and learn from big data?

Quantify the impact that each of the different factors that you’re testing contributes to performance. You can use that to prioritize the future testing based upon the elements that have the biggest impact. When you are testing things like subject line and call to action, you’ll be able to get the actual weight to determine call to action contributes 30% to performance, while subject line only contributes 10%. Therefore, focus on that call to action. It also allows you to test much more complex designs. You can test things like the impact of cross channel coordination for marketing efforts, the incremental impact or behavioral triggers, and all kinds of new and cool campaigns.

4. How have multichannel analytics changed in the past few years and what does that mean for marketers?

It’s really important to leverage the data you have available for automated platforms to get additional scales. There are lots of tools out there that enable you to set the parameters. For every test, you have a winner and a loser. Companies like Acxiom can help you figure out what version is the winner and what version contributes to the loser. Then you’ll be able to target who responds to what version and use that to continue to optimize campaign performance going forward. It is important to highlight that Acxiom builds its products and services around the company’s core competency of the Ethical Use of Data – which covers off on ensuring the uses of data are legal, appropriate and fair when it comes to data enablement and consumer reach.

5. How is big data changing the way we target audiences and serve creative?

We can now take an orchestrated approach to marketing. We have multi-channel analytics that have paved the way for customer engagement management. These customer engagement management analytics enable clients to optimize individual campaigns with a cross channel campaign mix in mind. This orchestrated approach actually supports marketers with campaign planning, both within calendar-based and episodic campaigns, and with behaviorally triggered events across key milestones.

On this push towards omnichannel marketing and the building for brands to orchestrate their marketing across channels, customer engagement management is more important than it has ever been. It improves customer engagement and business results. It improves what we are targeting and how we are targeting Without the analytics we wouldn’t be able to tell what was working, how to optimize, and how to push it further to create a stronger conversation with customers.

6. How is data changing the way we personalize campaigns to our audience?

Customers are expecting customization and relevance, so we’re at a place where one size fits all just doesn’t work in a lot of cases. When thinking -customization you must take into account all the different levers that marketers can use to influence customers. Marketers can affect the targeting, audience, messaging, offers, incentives, campaign timing and frequency, and the marketing channel which the campaign goes out on.

We can also leverage big data to identify both stated and derived preferences that can help achieve relevancy. For example, companies are gathering data from multiple sources such as social chatter, including what customers are talking about on Facebook and Twitter, paired with campaign response history of how they’re actually engaging with campaigns, website engagement, geo-tracking, even Internet settings. Aggregate all that together and you can get a -persona based upon their own actions and what people like to do.

This podcast was created and published by TechnologyAdvice, an Inc. 5000 company looking to help buyers find marketing automation software, CRM systems, and more. Interview conducted by Josh Bland.


Steve Manatt