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Podcast: Data Management Without Failure


AdExchanger Talks is a podcast focused on data-driven marketing. Subscribe here.

“Data management is a well-established discipline everywhere except marketing.”

Today in the podcast studio, one of the inventors of the DMP discusses why companies struggle mightily to get their data strategy right.

Ana Milicevic was VP of product at Demdex, a first-wave DMP that Adobe acquired in 2011. Today, she runs a data management consultancy called Sparrow Advisers along with her sister Maja. The business was inspired by her first-hand experience watching marketers grapple with data when she worked at Adobe, SAS and Signal.

“The biggest challenge for companies tackling data is, who owns data organizationally at the C-level? And who can make it a mandate across the organization?” she says.

Brands should undertake these questions before initiating a vendor selection process. Unfortunately, according to Milicevic, “That doesn’t seem to happen as often as one would hope. We’ve been at this 10 years now. Data is starting to mature as a space. [But] in many conversations it almost feels like day one.”

The difficulties are many: dueling incentives, legacy marketing stacks and lack of oversight. Luckily the solutions are not terribly complicated, though implementing them can be hard.

“Start with a data strategy and I don’t mean that in an agency media planning way, but really understand what data assets you have, what you are trying to do with them, what other data assets you might want,” Milicevic says. “And then the operational aspects: How are you storing them? Where are they being stored? What happens if somebody breaches them? Is there a protocol?”

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