MDMC17 Executive Roundtable Recap

By: Andrew Strotheide

This year’s Midwest Digital Marketing Conference (MDMC17) offered its attendees plenty of opportunities for networking. Those who are on the executive level had a chance to attend the Executive Roundtable moderated by Forrester. Among the panelists were Rich Spiekermann from Nestle Purina, Steve Bauer from FleishmanHillard, James Whittaker from Microsoft, Maya Mikati from IBM, Jessica Liu from Forester, Yahoo, Dennis Dayman from Return Path, Matt Cotter from Oracle, Michael Becker from mCordis, Inc., and Alberto Brea from OgilvyOne Worldwide.
At the start of the session the panelists gave an insight into the challenges big businesses face today on a daily basis as they continue to persuade consumers to purchase more of their products. The discussion was focused on “big data”, which is made up of tons of information about consumer online behavior. Everyone who uses the Internet today has a profile, so what these companies are focusing on is just setting up the infrastructure to be able to access the data available and use it to influence consumers’ purchase decisions and make them buy more. In the past few months, a lot has been discussed in terms of access to the personal browsing data by big businesses and whether companies should be allowed to sell it or use it for their own purposes.
There are certain benefits offered to those marketers who have access to Big Data. Since it allows to track consumer online behavior, targeting becomes more precise, which helps to reduce advertising costs and increase ROI. Nevertheless, there are certain downsides present, with one of them being the complex character of the data on hand, which requires complex algorithms that would need to be put into place to take the full advantage of the data available. Companies like IBM have dedicated whole teams to collecting, organizing, processing, and utilizing big data for years, and they still are not even close enough to completing the programming. Speaking of programming, bots will slowly but surely help us make up our minds, and aid in the decision-making process, which once again ties into the “big data schema”.
Right now, with the way technology is being developed, society is on the fringe of expanding digital marketing to a completely different level which will allow us to deliver the right message to the right customer, and result in a sale even more frequently.