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At DMA2012: Big Data to drive audience and content optimization in 2013

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Las Vegas—The marketing forecast for next year will include a maturing of audience optimization and customer insight, along with better targeted media buying and content optimization, said Bruce Biegel, senior managing director at the Winterberry Group, in a presentation today at the Direct Marketing Association's annual conference and expo here. And all this, and more, will be driven by the better management of Big Data, he said. “Historically, you have geographic and demographic data, to which we're now adding psychographic and behavioral data,” Biegel said. “Now, we're including transactional data, e-commerce data, mobile commerce data and social data. Then there's all the browser analytics data. And TV set-top data will have to be watched. “With thousands of attributes, the challenge is trying to figure out which ones matter,” he said. To achieve better audience, channel and content optimization in 2013, marketers will increasingly rely on data management platforms, Biegel said. But deployment of such platforms is lagging “mainly because there's often no clear internal owner and champion. There's a lack of clarity about the role of data management platforms within the executive C-suite, along with concerns about customer privacy and data governance.” Nevertheless, Biegel sees a solution in increasing cooperation between marketing and IT departments, driven by the overwhelming pace of change. “We're starting to see organizational silos collapse because there's not enough analytical talent to go around,” he said. But he added that “CMOs won't wait for IT to create solutions; they'll outsource more technology and analytics in 2013.” Biegel emphasized the continuing importance of email marketing, because “it's a link between online and offline behavior. The other key is mobile phone numbers, but that continues to be fraught with privacy implications. At least with email we know what we can and can't do.” Other Biegel projections for 2013 include “the rise of the machines,” as marketers begin to understand the tools at their disposal, and a better optimization and triggering of creative and content across various channels. “So much content is being created, but the challenge is figuring out which content matters to whom,” he said. “We'll begin to see more content analytics, applying math to the content side. It's early yet, but we're already seeing this happening in social data mining.”
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