Data has become such a popular topic in digital marketing circles that we’re running out of metaphors. But whether you think of data as the oil of marketing, a firehose of numbers or the next goldrush, chances are that your organization is still coming to grips with the possibilties and realities of “Big Data.”

One side effect of being inundated is the tendency to take a short view of performance data, optimizing quickly on metrics such as clicks and “actions” but ignoring more powerful metrics, including lifetime value and customer loyalty. So, in today’s world of immediate digital feedback and push-button analytics, how do you know which metrics to focus on, and how do you become a successful data-driven marketer? It begins with understanding the types of data available, their applicability in marketing, and your company’s ability to leverage that data in a sustainable way to produce repeatable outcomes.

The good news is that there are several hundred companies that exist to make data-driven audience targeting possible, but that’s also the bad news. It’s very hard to determine which technologies you need to be successful. Data Management Platforms (DMPs) and Audience Management Platforms (AMPs) are all the rage, but getting the most out of data for audience segmentation, insights, and targeting takes more than just a relationship with a vendor.

This guide aims to equip marketers, publishers and agencies with the cutting-edge data techniques for supercharging advertising used by global corporation for marketing. Best Practices in Data Management is also designed for marketers on both the branding and direct response sides of the fence.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • What “big data” is and how you should be thinking about it from an organizational perspective.
  • Current perspectives on data management best practices from more than thirty-five leading data practitioners.
  • How demand-side operators are leveraging data management technology to segment, target, expand, and analyze audiences digitally.
  • How to choose the right data management vendors.
  • Insights on some of the new thinking on social data and its applications for targeting and analytics.
  • How publishers are utilizing data-derived audience insights to optimize advertising yield.
  • Techniques for getting unique, actionable audience insights.

About the author

Chris O’Hara is the chief revenue officer of Looksmart, the largest pay-per-click (PPC) search advertising network, and a recognized a domain expert on platform technology, with an emphasis on digital advertising workflow, data management, and real-time bidding. He has led successful sales efforts at TRAFFIQ,, Nielsen, and Chris has contributed to industry publications including Business Insider, eMarketing & Commerce, Econsultancy, AdMonsters, MediaPost, The Agency Post, Adotas, ClickZ, iMediaConnection, Digiday, and AdWeek.

Chris is also the author of Econsultancy’s Best Practices in Digital Display Advertising, published in March 2012.

Contributors to the report

  • Joe Apprendi, CEO, Collective
  • Pascal Bensoussan, Chief Strategy Officer, Aggregate Knowledge
  • Bridget Bidlack, VP of Product Management, [x+1]
  • Tom Chavez, Chair, CEO, & Co-Founder, Krux Digital
  • Ran Cohen, CEO, Legolas Media
  • Pamela Erlichman, VP of Marketing, Datalogix
  • Russell Glass, CEO, Bizo
  • Matt Grietzer, Co-Founder and COO, Accordant Media
  • Darren Herman, Chief Digital Media Officer, The Media Kitchen
  • Auren Hoffman, CEO, LiveRamp
  • David Jakubowski, CEO, Aggregate Knowledge
  • Eshwar Belani, VP Product & Business Development, Rocket Fuel
  • Andy Monfried, CEO, Lotame
  • Phil Mui, PhD, Chief Product and Engineering Officer, Acxiom
  • Art Muldoon, Co-Founder and CEO, Accordant Media
  • Sree Naragaran, CEO, Colligent
  • John Nardone, CEO, [x+1]
  • Andrew Newman, Global Senior Director Insights, Exponential
  • Mike Nolet, CTO, AppNexus
  • Bassel Ojjeh, CEO, nPario
  • Steve Palombo, Account Executive, Triggit
  • Eric Picard, CEO, RareCrowds
  • Scott Portugal, VP of Business Development, PulsePoint
  • Jeff Pullen, CEO, AudienceScience
  • Lewis Rothkopf, GM, Collective’s AMP Division
  • Chris Scoggins, SVP & GM, DLX Platform, Datalogix
  • David Spitz, EVP, Strategy & Corporate Development, WPP Digital
  • Vikram Somaya, VP of Global Operations & Audience, Thomson Reuters
  • Tim Suther, Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer, Acxiom
  • Srini V. Srinivasan, VP of Engineering & Operations of Aerospike
  • Omar Tawakol, CEO, BlueKai
  • Ryan Tecco, CTO, Triggit
  • Ankur Teredesai, Data Scientist, nPario
  • Matthew Westover, General Manager, Turn Audience Suite
  • Mark Zagorski, CEO, eXelate