Deep Into Data

Is the web a place best suited to brand building or to direct marketing?
It’s a popular debate inside agencies and client boardrooms.
According to The New York Times, Alaska Airlines is on the DM side of this equation.

Alaska Airlines is introducing a system on the Internet to create unique advertisements for people as they surf the Web. The company is combining data from several sources to paint a picture of the consumer sitting on the other side of the screen, clicking past the airline’s ads. Then, as each Web page loads, an ad is swiftly assembled.
“What’s the right one to show you? The permutations are just enormous,” said Marston Gould, director of customer relationship management and online marketing for Alaska Airlines.
Mr. Gould is quick to admit that data drives online marketing, and does not mince words when asked about his view of other marketing professionals who are more focused on tag lines or catchy videos.
“I think they’re very afraid of getting into the data,” he said. “It’s either overwhelming, or it will tell them something other than what they actually believe.”



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.