Happy Spring!

After what felt like a long winter, a change of season brings new life, growth, and exploration. To support the growth of our DataHub Member community in unprecedented times, Alliant has invested in research with the Winterberry Group, diving deep into collaborative data solutions and how they will help shape next frontier of data-driven marketing.

If you have not already signed up, please join us, this Thursday, April 1st for an exclusive Member Webinar featuring Winterberry’s Managing Partner, Bruce Biegel. Bruce will be joined by Kurt Kendall, Chief Data Officer from longtime DataHub Member, Publishers Clearing House, and Alliant experts Donna Hamilton and Matt Frattaroli. Together their conversation will illuminate how your DataHub Membership places you a step ahead of many brands, and introduce ideas on how you can develop more collaborative data strategies within your existing partnerships.

This is a not to be missed event, and Alliant is buying lunch. Register now to secure attendance and your lunch delivery code. 

We hope to see you all there on Thursday and I personally look forward to checking in again in Q2 when we expect even more collaborative innovation to have sprung up.

As always, please contact me directly if there is anything I/we can do to support your business initiatives.

JoAnne Monfradi Dunn
President & CEO

ABOUT JOANNE

President & Chief Executive Officer

JoAnne is the founder of Alliant – and the architect of our vision to deliver innovative consumer targeting solutions powered by the aggregated purchase transactions of multiple direct-to-consumer marketers.

A lifetime marketer, JoAnne’s career includes positions at Time Life, The Norman Rockwell Museum, and Mal Dunn Associates. She is a committed advocate for development of comprehensive data governance and security standards, and has a long history of industry service. She is also an expert baker.

Brands Need to Use the Pandemic to Clean Up their Data

Brands Need to Use the Pandemic to Clean Up their Data

Originally published by ClickZ, this commentary from Alliant’s CEO encourages brands to see the rapid shifts in consumer behavior as the best reason to focus on data hygiene and relevancy.  As DataHub Members, we know you already see the value in organized and hygiene data, but with a never-ending stream, there is constant room for improvement to make sure your data and solutions are best serving an ever-changing customer.  

The pandemic has profoundly changed how consumers behave, at least for now. Extended work from home, fewer shopping trips, less travel and increased online buying are the norms, resulting in dramatically different behaviors than we saw at the start of the year.

 Brands and agencies have needed to shift their audience strategies, in some cases building new models to ensure that their targeting capabilities are up to date with the latest behavioral trends.

An unexpected wave of unemployment, following years of job creation, can wreak havoc on audiences. A consumer who had been gainfully employed may now be under- or unemployed, having a difficult time making their mortgage, and altering their normal purchasing patterns and other behaviors, such as savings.

Making first-party data more accessible is the first step in responding to behavioral shifts during the pandemic

Change needs to occur, in both the audience solutions, as well as marketers’ perceptions of “audiences.”

While building new models or expanding a data strategy isn’t hard, assembling the foundational components can be complicated and/or time consuming. Many brands’ CRM data is still not as clean and accessible as possible, which creates challenges and slows down the targeting process. In an era where things change by the day, lost time equals lost customers.

Mandatory evolution caused by the pandemic

For years, audience-based ad planning was rooted in what worked in past campaigns and what didn’t, and then optimizing toward the most successful outcomes.

Given the massive upheaval in consumer life, it would be insane for marketers to expect the same results from the audience products they’ve used over the past several years, as well as the same behaviors from the consumers within the audiences.

The current situation requires advertisers to actively participate in keeping their CRM data clean and accessible – laying the critical foundation to rebuild their audience models and solutions.

Whether it’s layering second- or third-party data, harnessing machine-learning or a hand-crafted model, they need to collaborate to find a combination of behaviors that reflect what is happening right now with their target consumers.

Providing the right kind of data, easily

The need to understand audiences much faster has made brands’ own first-party data more important than it has perhaps ever been.

While accruing data is easy for most brands, passing that data along to an agency or audience partner can prove to be a challenge. These organizations are the ones that need to rebuild models and deliver audiences that more accurately reflect the current, ever-changing buying cycles. The best way to do this is through the fast, clean sharing of data.

Getting the data from the advertiser can be the bottleneck that prevents quick, accurate audience models from getting built. This has sped up considerably on the digital side, but it still lags behind in traditional media.

The complicating factor is often the many feeds of data that brands supply. Arriving from different sources and in different formats, they don’t all necessarily combine easily, creating more work for the agency or vendor who is modeling the data. For some, it’s a seamless process, but for others, it can be a discordant mess.

The major advances in audience-based advertising should have enticed brands to make their data as clean as possible.

But for many, they viewed this more as a long-term project or a “nice to have.” That’s no longer the case – brands that want to stay vital and survive this pandemic and beyond are living on borrowed time if their data isn’t cleaned up and maintained.

Brands that want to serve existing customers better and grow their businesses during the pandemic should focus on cleaning up their first-party data, ensuring they can pass it along easily and maintain a customer informed edge. It will speed insight, change and let them get their messages to the right people faster.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

JoAnne Monfradi Dunn, President & Chief Executive Officer

JoAnne is the founder of Alliant – and the architect of our vision to deliver innovative consumer targeting solutions powered by the aggregated purchase transactions of multiple direct-to-consumer marketers.
A lifetime marketer, JoAnne’s career includes positions at Time Life, The Norman Rockwell Museum, and Mal Dunn Associates. She is a committed advocate for development of comprehensive data governance and security standards, and has a long history of industry service. She is also an expert baker.

Welcome to the Season of Big Ideas

The Holiday season is a natural time to count blessings, give thanks and plan for the future. With the unbelievable challenges in 2020, many of us are probably more focused on looking ahead rather than looking back. Yet, as a marketer contemplating the lengthening shadows of 2020, it makes sense to revisit the lessons learned over the year — and consider how they might form the foundation for 2021.

We can all agree, consumer behavior has changed — and many of those changes are likely to be with us for some time. You know the trends: more time at home; more time to consume media in every channel; and more time and money being spent on creature comforts.

Our careful assessment of new-to-file additions to the DataHub confirms these trends and helps steer the ship for 2021. Destination: multichannel mastery.

An important DataHub observation was an increase in orders and new customer acquisition across email, internet, TV and even direct mail (when it was sent), in some cases up 117% from 2019. Our takeaway? Establishing a diverse, integrated and nimble channel mix is more valuable than ever.  As a DataHub Member, you have unique access to enrich your hard-earned data and audiences to reach consumers in any channel, improving ROI on Membership. If you are only focusing on one channel, you are missing out.  

Plan now to integrate your multichannel strategy, aligning multi-use creative, messaging and targeted audiences. Consider your Alliant AE or Sales Executive as a partner on this journey. They can help you survey your data, scope the opportunity, structure a test and put measurement mechanisms in place. Once you start seeing new customers from that channel, we will integrate that feed into the DataHub, helping to monitor and optimize this new channel.

The Alliant team has been truly humbled and honored to partner with you this year. We are full of creative ideas to help you grow your business in 2021 and look forward to the innovative solutions we will develop together.

It is the beginning of a beautiful New Year.

Wishing you Prosperity and Health for 2021,

JoAnne Monfradi Dunn
President & CEO

ABOUT JOANNE

President & Chief Executive Officer

JoAnne is the founder of Alliant – and the architect of our vision to deliver innovative consumer targeting solutions powered by the aggregated purchase transactions of multiple direct-to-consumer marketers.

A lifetime marketer, JoAnne’s career includes positions at Time Life, The Norman Rockwell Museum, and Mal Dunn Associates. She is a committed advocate for development of comprehensive data governance and security standards, and has a long history of industry service. She is also an expert baker.

Adapting to the New Normal

One interesting observation I’ve heard about COVID-19’s impact on our lives and businesses is the accelerated adoption of new “norms” that otherwise might take five to ten years to come about naturally.

The rapid shift to remote work and tele-learning are two obvious examples. The surge in food delivery and media subscriptions — as we’ve observed in our own DataHub — is another powerful signal.

No doubt you have other examples from your own experience. Love it or hate it, we have no choice but to incorporate rapid change into our lives and our businesses. And while change is nothing new in the marketing industry, it is coming at us faster than ever.

If you look at it through the right lens, that spells opportunity.

The content of this newsletter illustrates some of the ways our organization embraces change so that we can better serve yours. Thought-leadership in data governance and our rapid adoption of machine learning (“with caveats”), are two examples of racing toward the future. Other initiatives include expanding Alliant’s identity map, and innovating new ways to reach audiences traditional targeting may miss.

Alliant is constantly asking how we can be ahead of where our clients need to be. In that conversation, DataHub Members are our most valuable resource. By the time you read this, you should have received a new Member Survey from us. We hope you will make time to provide us with your insights on how Alliant can continue to support your success.

Wishing you Continued Good Health,

JoAnne Monfradi Dunn
President & CEO

ABOUT JOANNE

President & Chief Executive Officer

JoAnne is the founder of Alliant – and the architect of our vision to deliver innovative consumer targeting solutions powered by the aggregated purchase transactions of multiple direct-to-consumer marketers.

A lifetime marketer, JoAnne’s career includes positions at Time Life, The Norman Rockwell Museum, and Mal Dunn Associates. She is a committed advocate for development of comprehensive data governance and security standards, and has a long history of industry service. She is also an expert baker.

What Comes Next?

On behalf of everyone at Alliant, we hope this message finds you, your family and your teams faring well and looking ahead to brighter days. Like us, you are probably beginning to grapple seriously with the question of “What’s Next?”

Is it time to reopen offices? What do customers need from us? Is our marketing striking the right tone with prospects? What has changed forever — and what will remain the same?

Rest assured, you are not alone. At Alliant, our focus is squarely on meeting the marketing needs of DataHub Members. We now have transactional data from well over 500 consumer brands. And while we are proud of our solutions, we recognize — especially in this new world — that a responsive and timely audience strategy is more important for our Members than ever before.

To that end, Alliant will soon deploy a survey to help asses our impact on cooperative Members — and how we can continue to deliver more value across channels.

I hope this issue of InsightHub will give you broader view of the scope of Alliant’s services to your organization. We continue to make strategic investments in our people, data, technology and data governance — please see the announcement our IAB certification for transparent data practices — and challenge ourselves to better put these assets to work for you.

The COVID “pause” has put enormous stress on our society and our businesses. Just as surely it offers an opportunity for marketing leaders to assess new ways to accelerate their organization’s progress.

For our part, we look forward to evolving our role as an innovative data partner to responsible marketers — and earning an opportunity to continue adding value to our relationship with you.

Be well and stay well,

JoAnne Monfradi Dunn
President & CEO

ABOUT JOANNE

President & Chief Executive Officer

JoAnne is the founder of Alliant – and the architect of our vision to deliver innovative consumer targeting solutions powered by the aggregated purchase transactions of multiple direct-to-consumer marketers.

A lifetime marketer, JoAnne’s career includes positions at Time Life, The Norman Rockwell Museum, and Mal Dunn Associates. She is a committed advocate for development of comprehensive data governance and security standards, and has a long history of industry service. She is also an expert baker.