That 24-year-old sports enthusiast watching Major League Soccer on Univision and that 65-year-old news junky listening to NPR may not actually be in your target audience. Not everyone in a demographic will be, and that’s OK. There are other types of data that can effectively help you home in on the consumers who could turn out to be your next high-value customer.

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“Marketing is nothing if not a me-too industry. Once one big company asks for a new deal, everyone else will, too.”

LiveRamp chief executive officer Scott Howe made that assertion during an intimate press breakfast at the identity resolution vendor’s customer conference, RampUp 2019. Howe also made several predictions, based on where technology and the largest advertisers are headed:

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Woman peering into a box

Let me start by saying: I’m all about the data.

I’m an advocate of one-to-one marketing. I think behavior-based targeting is an essential part of the marketing mix. And, I’m certain that machine learning and other forms of AI will become so core to marketing as to be a virtually invisible element of areas such as personalization.

But, please, marketers, I implore you: Don’t get so caught up in all that contextual personalization has to offer that you overlook the art of discovery.

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The Unintended Consequences of Siloed Metrics

Measuring the return on marketing spend by channel is essential, but done in a vacuum it can lead to misinterpretation and unintended consequences.

During a recent conversation on the topic with Steve Bonnell, director of digital analytics at, he explained how marketing performance falls short of its potential when marketers are too focused on what he calls middle metrics: diagnostic metrics used in isolation for one part of the customer journey, such as click-through rates and landing page conversion rates. If, for example, marketers focus too much on email open rates, they may not pay the needed attention to click-through rates and landing page conversions.

Fortunately, Bonnell also explained how marketers can refocus, viewing channels and campaigns more holistically to optimize marketing efforts across the customer journey.

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