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Kraft's Julie Fleischer at Ad Age's Digital Conference: Not All Data Is Crap

Data Literacy and Clarity Will Drive Marketing, Improve Ad Impressions

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Kraft's Bob Rupczynski and Julie Fleischer examine data at the Ad Age Digital Conference.
Kraft's Bob Rupczynski and Julie Fleischer examine data at the Ad Age Digital Conference. Credit: Patrick Butler

Kraft's Julie Fleischer took a bold stance at Ad Age's data conference last October that marketers did not take lightly: ninety percent of data is crap.

"It's become my calling card," Ms. Fleischer said today at Ad Age's Digital Conference in New York. "I've sort of become the 'data is crap' lady." Ms. Fleischer, Kraft's senior director of data, content and media, and Bob Rupczynski, Kraft's VP-media and consumer engagement, took the stage to clarify their position on cloudy data.

The problem wasn't that all data was crap; the problem was that most of the data Kraft had access to was crap. Now, Kraft is building its own data system to collect information about its consumers.

"I want to understand our consumers through different lenses," Ms. Fleischer said. "First-party data is not crap."

Ms. Fleischer found that Kraft's marketers were unequipped to analyze and use data. Most of its marketers didn't have experience with data beyond what they handled in Microsoft Excel.

"It just hasn't been a skill they teach in school," Ms. Fleischer said. She spoke to Kraft's marketers about focusing on addressability and the importance of knowing and reaching consumers on a granular basis, an idea that was well received.

As Ad Age reported last October, Kraft used third-party data to help target consumers, but found that most of the people they wanted to reach weren't really seeing their ads. Their concerns over ad fraud, viewability and overall inventory murkiness caused Kraft to reject up to 85% of all impressions offered via real-time ad marketplaces.

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