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It's Time to Humanize, Not Just Analyze, Data


Marketing Horizons: It's Time to Humanize, Not Just Analyze, Data

Are your models annoying or delighting your consumers? Marketers have been using machine learning for years to help create advanced models, but that is not going to cut it in the future. Too many personalization efforts today rely on algorithms that are turning people off. And our attempts at automated personalization engines are forcing consumer audiences to simply tune brands out.

In this episode, we explore the connection between models, analytics, and even Eric Clapton with our guest, Stephen Yu. As a songwriter, musician, and master modeler, Stephen brings a unique perspective to data science and a cautionary message as well: Those who rely solely on automated analytic solutions will be the first to be replaced by the machine!

Three Takeaways

  • The models are only part of the truth about a consumer and they're certainly not the hard truth. They're speculation.
  • It is important for marketers to be empathetic and to look at the world and be curious. We have to be broad thinkers. Models and analytics can help us solve problems, but we must bring a broader understanding of the world to solving that problem.
  • Marketers have to be humble. We have to go into the market with an understanding that we don't know the truth. We can’t assume that consumers are behaving the way the models have predicted so our messaging needs to be softer or at least less conclusive.

About our Guest

Stephen Yu Stephen H. Yu is a world-class database marketer with a proven track record in comprehensive strategic planning and complete tactical execution, from data collection and database design to model-based targeting and delivery, effectively bridging the gap between the marketing and technology world with a balanced view obtained from over 30 years of experience in best practices of database marketing.

Currently he is President & Chief Consultant at Willow Data Strategy. Previously, he served as Practice Head, Advanced Analytics & Insights for eClerx, and as Vice President, Data Strategy & Analytics at Data Axle (formerly Infogroup), leading the analytical services and product development teams for both. He was also a co-founder, visionary and the principal technology architect of I-Behavior, a premiere co-op database company that was the first to fully incorporate SKU-level data into the targeting process, forever raising the price of entry for the entire list industry.

His extensive database and consulting assignments have included major financial institutions, service providers, telecommunication and utility companies, publishers, multi-channel retailers and non-profit organizations, for both B-to-C and B-to-B applications. He is an active speaker in conference circuits and a regular contributor of articles in industry publications.

Meet the Hosts

Cyndi Greenglass

Cyndi W. Greenglass is a founding partner and president at Livingston Strategies, a data-informed, strategic consulting firm that helps clients develop, execute, and measure their customer communications with a close focus on results. Cyndi has razor-sharp strategic skills matched by impeccable on-the-ground savvy and tactical abilities. She is an Adjunct Instructor in the Data Marketing Communications online master's degree program from West Virginia University.

Greenglass has twice been named into the Top 100 Influential BTB Marketers by Crain’s BtoB Magazine and was the 2012 CADM Chicago Direct Marketer of the Year. She is a member of the Board of Advisors for BRAND United and has taught, trained and presented at over 50 conferences throughout the world.

Ruth Stevens

Ruth P. Stevens consults on customer acquisition and retention, for business-to-business clients. Ruth serves on the boards of directors of the HIMMS Media Group, and the Business Information Industry Association. She is a trustee of Princeton-In-Asia, past chair of the Business-to-Business Council of the DMA, and past president of the Direct Marketing Club of New York.

Ruth was named one of the 100 Most Influential People in Business Marketing by Crain’s BtoB magazine, and one of 20 Women to Watch by the Sales Lead Management Association. She serves as a mentor to fledgling companies at the ERA business accelerator in New York City.

WVU Marketing Communications Today: Horizons is presented by the West Virginia University Reed College of Media, which offers renowned online master’s degree programs in Marketing Communications. Interested in growing your career with a master's degree in Data, Digital or Integrated Marketing Communications? Request more information today!