DM Days panelists: Lack of data measurement standards vexes marketing industry

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New York—The inconsistency of data standards is among the biggest challenges vexing marketers and online advertisers, according to several panelists who participated in the opening session at the 2006 DM Days New York Conference & Expo.

“The data are truly appalling, especially online,” said Marta Wohrle, VP-director of digital media at Hachette Filipacchi Media. She said the data provided by three analytics companies she works with vary significantly. “The paucity of good, reliable, consistent data is the biggest challenge,” she said.

Other panelists agreed.

“I feel that every day right now,” said Elizabeth Talerman, co-founder of Campfire, a branded entertainment company. “ The biggest challenge is the fact that none of my analytics providers collaborate. WebTrends doesn’t match up with Dart, which doesn’t match up with Performix. If I could have one thing, it would be for all people providing analytics to agree. It’s intensely frustrating.”

Michael Levine, director of strategic alliances for Yahoo! Search Marketing, said he believes that the lack of standardization will improve over time, but “It’s a far way off from a universal standard.”

Wohrle said that in the meantime, “in the absence of good data, we’re looking at ways to interact more directly with customers.” One way Hachette does that is with an online panel it engages regularly to garner feedback.

—Carol Krol

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