By Cort Irish, SVP, Marketing & Communications at Claritas
The world of marketing is radically different from the days when television, print ads and direct mail ruled the world. But one thing has not changed: The quest to maximize return on investment (ROI).
When I began my career in 1999 as a media planner/director at MediaVest (now Spark Foundry), I spent much of my time analyzing campaign results, trying to uncover any insight that would help me build a cohesive marketing campaign that would improve results for my clients.
It was a painstaking process that sometimes-yielded results – but just as often didn’t. Later, after moving to the brand side, I struggled just as hard to decipher campaign data in an often-futile attempt to improve response and profitability. And I know I wasn’t the only one scratching my head trying to figure out exactly what was working and why.
Of course, back then, developing a solid marketing plan only required evaluating responses across a few major channels. As the years have passed, the number of channels has exploded, meaning the job of creating and adjusting marketing campaigns to maximize ROI is now much more complex. Today, marketers have to evaluate and monitor placement on multiple and highly diverse channels – from direct mail and television to digital display, email and social media.
That’s why I was so excited when I joined the visionary team at Claritas around five years ago. At Claritas, I’ve personally witnessed what a difference the right technology and data can make in improving marketing ROI. And how it can improve the lives of all the hard-working marketers trying to improve campaign results at brands, agencies and publishers.
That’s because in the last five years, Claritas has pioneered a new way of thinking in marketing. Through a combination of acquisitions and new product development, the Claritas team has created a unique, full-service product suite that allows marketers to engage the right prospects and customers and measure response throughout the entire purchasing journey. It provides a cohesive, effective way to compare the response and the ROI delivered by different messages to diverse consumers across multiple channels, both online and off.
Our closed-loop solution lets marketers identify their best customers; deliver messages across multiple channels; and measure and optimize campaign ROI measurement. It’s an integrated approach to marketing that was a relatively new concept back when Claritas began its transformation journey five years ago.
I’m proud that we’ve helped so many marketers dramatically simplify their lives and boost ROI in the last several years. And today, I’m excited to share our latest leap forward – and what it’s going to mean for marketers in the future.
How do we Build the Next Marketing Frontier? Two Words: Artificial Intelligence
Today, I can tell you with confidence that we’re about to enter the next frontier of marketing. As you may already know, Claritas recently acquired ArtsAI, the fastest-growing AI company in the Ad Technology sector. That acquisition is more than just an investment in a company. It exemplifies our continued commitment to delivering groundbreaking solutions by bringing the transformative power of AI to the world of marketing.
This acquisition will be transformative for the industry, for Claritas clients and for Claritas itself. In the last few years, it’s no secret that Claritas made customer identification, message delivery and campaign measurement more accurate for marketers thanks to better methodologies and higher quality data. But that’s only the beginning of the journey.
Good News: Campaign Planning and Execution is About to Get a Whole Lot Easier
As we integrate ArtsAI’s cutting-edge AI technology into Claritas’ proprietary identity graph and advanced methodologies, we combine Claritas’ profound understanding of the American consumer with the predictive power of machine learning. And that means that leveraging data to determine what your best customers look like – and how best to engage them – is about to become easier, faster and a whole lot more accurate.
But there’s more. Soon Claritas clients will be able to leverage the power of artificial intelligence across the entire multichannel marketing lifecycle. Identifying the right audience(s) by leveraging AI-generated personas drawn from Claritas segments or through custom audiences created by analyzing a marketer’s sales and profit data. Campaign delivery will become more automated, making it easier to support more effective and targeted multichannel marketing campaigns. Artificial intelligence will take measurement and ROI to a whole new level by giving marketers the ability to automate the process of campaign planning, execution and optimization.
AI allows different campaign messages and ad formats – from email to CTV/OTT – to be tested and dynamically modified faster than ever before, enabling more effective and profitable deployment of strategies. It will help more precisely identify exactly which channels and specific messages are contributing to the actual engagement. And AI can improve sales by better identifying consumers who are “in market” and thus more likely to buy, or even those consumers who overall are more influenced by advertising.
AI Helps You Maximize Your Return on Every Dollar You Spend
Claritas is helping shape a world where predictability in marketing is a given rather than a luxury. The rapid feedback loop enabled by AI will enable marketers to make sure every marketing dollar spent is not just an expenditure but instead an investment that’s directly driving customer engagement and thus improving ROI. It will fundamentally transform how marketers understand and engage with consumers.
With the integration of AI, we’re redefining the boundaries of what’s possible in the world of data-driven marketing and effective customer engagement. Our goal? To turn marketing into a precise discipline where marketers use intelligent, data-driven insights to dynamically develop and execute a strategy that achieves consistent, measurable results – one that supports the kind of personalized campaigns that marketers can only dream about today.
I’m personally very excited to work with the visionary group of analysts, marketers, data scientists, sales leaders and a dedicated leadership team who make up the combined team of both Claritas and ArtsAI. And I’m delighted that so many industry experts – including Boston Consulting Group, Horizon Media, iHeart Media and SXM Media – have publicly recognized how transformative this merger could be for the marketing industry.
It’s been a wild ride these last five years. Our team here at Claritas has worked tirelessly to achieve our mission to become a closed-loop service provider – one that has transformed the marketing strategy of thousands of agencies, brands and publishing companies. Our recent investment in ArtsAI proves our commitment to stay ahead of the curve and continue our drive to revolutionize the world of marketing.
That’s why I’m not unbuckling my seat belt anytime soon – and I hope you won’t either. Because together, we can accomplish a lot as we conquer the next marketing frontier.