BMA's Marketing Innovators Seminar focuses on data

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Chicago—Neal Campbell, senior VP-CMO of CDW, emphasized the importance of embracing measurement and mining data while speaking here at the Business Marketing Association's Marketing Innovators Luncheon Seminar Thursday. “Don't be afraid of data,” Campbell said. “I think the data has always been there, but now we're getting to the means of collecting the data, understanding it and making decisions on it.” Instead of feeling overwhelmed by “big data,” marketers need to identify patterns, Campbell said. “You really have to look for insights and directional vectors that are leading you in a direction to make better decisions,” he said. Campbell discussed how CDW used data analysis to optimize digital advertising and search marketing. After data showed a large disparity in returns, CDW last year cut the number of websites it advertises on in half. The company shifted ad spending to the best-performing sites, resulting in a 20% increase in impressions and a 300% increase in click-through rates, he said. Campbell also said that the marketing department worked with CDW's e-commerce team to narrow its laptop-related keywords, eliminating almost 400,000 unrelated to purchasing a laptop. The winnowing improved search effectiveness and saved the company hundreds of thousands of dollars, he said. Contrary to what many marketers think, Campbell said, data actually enhances creativity. “If you use data to drive your decisions, a lot of the things that we anguish over today will really just become second thoughts, and it will really release us to look at more creative things with respect to marketing,” he said.
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