[podcast] Combining Data and Technology to Deliver Marketing Outcomes
Anders Ekman, President of V12, sits down with Sima Vasa of Infinity Squared in this podcast series on data quality. Hear perspectives on market research, the analytics industry and more.
V12 is a company that combines data and technology to deliver marketing outcomes for clients.
V12 originally started life as a data quality software company and have grown as data has grown and customer engagement has become more complex, into what they are today: a company that uses much more data and many more technologies that, in part, solve the complex interactions that consumers have with businesses.
V12 provides a whole range of products and services that help clients manage their own client or customer relationships. One place that happens is in V12’s Velocity Customer Data Platform (“CDP”) where clients have an omnichannel customer-view around their customers and how they can best monetize the relationship while serving them well.
And, since prospecting is as important as managing customer relationships, the CDP is evolving towards a more “Prospect Data Platform”.
Not only does this enable V12’s clients to get that omnichannel view of their own customers as previously mentioned, but it provides them with a view of who their next best prospects are.
All of this is topped off by the V12 Signals, which is a data product that telegraphs consumer intent. V12 harnesses behavioral data from mobile location and online browsing and connects that to actual people with names and addresses.
All of this puts a fine point on data quality.
THE CHANGING MARKETPLACE
Having started out as a data quality software company that sold mostly to technology professionals, V12 has experienced growth organically and via acquisition over the last 5 or 6 year period.
What is seen now is marketers continuing to take over the technology stack that is related to marketing. They are much more focused on data, the quality of that data, and how data and technology mesh to deliver the outcome. Not only have the sets of data changed and the technology has changed, but the clients have started to change, as well.
Anders points out that although IT is most definitely still involved, marketers have really stepped up and become much more technology-literate and keyed in to the issues of data quality and addressability over the last few years.
In the behavioral data business, there are billions of interactions coming at you all at once. In order to keep up with this, platforms have had to evolve into a much more automated “read and react” kind of mode.
Read and react is “if we see a behavior like this, then the customer journey needs to be like that”.
This has replaced the “batch and blast”, which identified a target audience and communicated with them en masse through direct channels.
Audiences are now getting down to the atomic level. It’s that one person you have to manage that experience for.
HOW CLIENTS MEASURE DATA QUALITY
Less than ten years ago, the unit of measure was basic name and address and simple attribute-matching. Those kinds of measures were the indicators of initial quality and then you put it out on the market via mail. If you received a lot of return mail, then you knew you had a problem.
Now, with omnichannel and digital data, it’s really easy to lose the thread on quality. If you’re merging together digital datasets that are billions of records, especially given the opaque nature of the digital advertising eco-system and fraud, it’s often very hard to understand.
V12’s safe haven, as well as their clients’ safe haven, is marketing effectiveness and return on marketing investment, as well as the operational metrics (such as whether datasets matched, did emails bounce, did mail get returned, etc.).
There’s a whole host of much more complex metrics that, of necessity, need to be more about effectiveness than exact quality because that’s an increasingly difficult thing to measure in the digitally-dominated ecosystem that we live in.
INVESTMENT FOR DATA QUALITY AND WHAT THE FUTURE HOLDS
The technologies, themselves, seem to escalate in levels every few years, as observed by V12.
Their investments are in speed, processing power, and storage to deliver good quality data in a real-time manner.
As to the future, we have to look at the recent past.
There’s been a digital proliferation where the quantity of marketing data has increased, but the quality has decreased.
V12 anticipates an increased focus on quality, and sees clients asking more non-technical questions, such as 1) Where is this data coming from? 2) What sort of fidelity does this data have? 3) How can you assure us that we’re not buying junk?
Ultimately we will evolve to some metrics around these new kinds of datasets that provide some sort of standard measure of quality. V12 believes that this will happen in the not-so-far future.