• We’re back from Philadelphia, thus ending our week-long tour of two of the most humid cities in the United States. Here’s what we gleaned from RampUp on the Road, Swampadelphia:

    Insight 1: less than 10% of marketers describe themselves as data-centric.

    Moderator Neil O’Keefe, senior vice president of the data marketing and analytics division of the ANA, shared this statistic from The Data Centric Organization 2018, a DMA research report written with the Winterberry Group and the IAB. This may come as a shock, yet his panelists on “Unlock Your Data – Connect With Your Customer” agreed that there’s a lot more that marketers can be doing in order to earn the title of being data centric.

    “Our culture is data centric, but we still have data gaps,” said Tony Chivari, SVP, Enterprise Marketing & Consumer Insights, of 1-800-Flowers.com.

    His copanelist, Keira Krausz, EVP and chief marketing officer of Nutrisystem, put a different spin on the data problem marketers face, saying, “It’s rare that you don’t have the data. It’s usually just a big mess.” Job one is organizing your data, job two is understanding what part of the picture you’re missing, and job three is sharing your data across your organization so everyone understands where it is and what it can be used for.

    Insight 2: define your use cases.

    Seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it? In fact, a lack of definition around use cases is why marketers give up on initiatives that appear to take too long, such as getting approval on a technology investment or entering into a second-party data relationship. By approaching higher ups or legal departments with the use case at hand and why it benefits the business, there’s at least some fundamental level of understanding of why the ask is being made and what makes it time sensitive.

    Insight 3: “Science is the enabler. Art is everything that you do with it.”

    Aparna Menon, VP of digital marketing, Barclay’s, said this during the panel, “How to Attract the New Connected Customer Wherever They Are.” Although this session was one of the earlier ones, her statement really stayed with me. At events like RampUp on the Road, it can be easy to overdose on marketing technology, data, AI, and other trends, losing sight of the fact that marketing at its core is an art. It’s about creating emotional connections and being memorable, as Carmen Simon, our keynote speaker for RampUp on the Road in Chicago, said.

    Bonus insight: Philadelphia is a city of firsts.

    When our emcee, Daniella Harkins, Chief Evangelist, Agencies, at LiveRamp, opened the event with some Philly trivia, we learned that the City of Brotherly Love was the first city to be the capital of the United States and the first to have family court (according to one attendee), a post office, fire department, medical school, hospital—the list goes on. Unverifiable firsts include the first cheesesteak and the first case of heartburn. Good thing one out of six doctors in the U.S. had some medical training in Philly!

    We’re taking a short break from our road shows but will be back in full force in New York later this month. To learn more about RampUp on the Road New York, which takes place on October 31 and November 1, read this blog or view the agenda.

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