Acxiom Makes A Living Marketing Decades of Data

by Luke Jones  on Monday, Nov. 7, 2011 12:00 am  

Acxiom Corp. of Little Rock has data on 98 percent of the U.S. population.

"Managing a database of 100,000 people is not that complicated," Danziger said. "But managing the database of a large credit card company - effectively it might look at the whole country. Managing 120 million households, that's where the real complexity is."

Danziger said managing these enormous databases was a cornerstone to the business Acxiom does.

Employing a Digital Focus
As it develops its digital marketing strength, Acxiom is edging further away from its original emphasis, direct mail. Danziger said it was a necessary and natural move.

"Acxiom's history and legacy was very much in the direct mail world," he said. "The reason was that was one of the only channels that existed. There was a robust amount of individual household information that was really good. If I'm mailing to you, I know I'm reaching you."

But the paths started to separate with the advent of telemarketing and, later, email marketing. Acxiom, ever more active in the digital arena, hired Scott Howe as CEO in July, partially based on his experience with online advertising at Microsoft Advertising Business Groups in Seattle.

Danziger said Acxiom's challenge had been to separate relevant advertising from what is considered to be spam. Danziger said Acxiom was spending considerable development time in online display advertising, which he hopes can become more focused.

"When the Web-verse exploded, there were untargeted banner ads," he said. "One could argue that they're still not very good, but they're emerging as an opportunity. This adds lots of possibilities, where we're making sure more ad dollars move into areas that can be intelligently approached."

He said more and more emphasis was being placed on online and mobile areas and reaching the right people.

"It's pretty exciting to be in the area of helping to reach customers better," Danziger said. "There are certainly some new areas, new challenges that lie ahead. But I think we're doing well, in a privacy sense, and customers will appreciate that."

Click here for a sidebar story on other Acxiom products.



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