In Good Company

December 1, 2014

These organizations know a thing or two about data

The Marketing Analytics Leadership Award (MALA) is given annually at the ANA Masters of Marketing Conference to a company doing extraordinary work to drive greater marketing efficiency through metrics. This year’s three finalists were Citrix, Intel, and C Spire, who won the award. Here’s a quick look at their approach to data and measurement.


Citrix, the company behind GoToMeeting and other desktop virtualization, networking, software-as-a-service, and cloud computing technologies, is a huge advocate of both internal and industry-wide standardized metrics.

“Standardizing our metrics enables us to have more focused conversations with potential customers, so that we’re able to spend less time asking ‘Are you sure of that?’” explains Judith Breisch, staff marketing operations analyst at Citrix.

Breisch suggests one key to good measurement is a sample size large enough to account for normal market variation. For some products, like GoToTraining, Citrix may have to let a campaign run for two months before there’s a large enough sample size to begin measuring. Breisch compared that to GoToMeeting, the company’s flagship product, which delivers an adequate sample in two weeks.

With Citrix looking to expand into emerging markets, the company’s measurement team faces the new challenge of accurately measuring response rates in parts of the world where there is little to compare against.

“One vendor we work with has a great deal of data on consumer response and what we’re trying to do is use that in developing markets to model how they might do based on the response rates to different types of media,” Breisch explains, adding the use of outside vendors helps Citrix ensure its own internal metrics and marketing remain on track. “With our vendors, we’re able to verify the intuition our media team has.”


Intel has been a household name in technology for decades. One reason for that — aside from great products — is its extremely effective marketing.

As director of marketing research, Antony Barton ensures that the metrics the company uses to measure its advertising are not only best in class — by studying and learning from the measurement departments of other top global brands — but are also used in the right way by the marketing department.

“We develop the metrics ourselves,” he says, adding, “If it’s a digital campaign we are working with our media partners to bring the data in-house so we can do the measurement and, more importantly, the optimization on the fly.”

Barton says Intel’s robust measurement playbook helps to take the emotion out of evaluating campaigns, and lets the marketing department evaluate its strategies and tactics while the campaign is still going on.

“Sometimes it’s an update if the campaign is midway and that gives us the opportunity to course correct,” he says. “So it’s about continuous improvement. It’s not just, ‘You spent this money, how did you do?’ It’s about, ‘As this campaign moves forward, how is it trending against our goals?’”

C Spire

Don’t let the fact that it’s headquartered in a small Mississippi town fool you — C Spire Wireless is not only the sixth largest wireless provider in the U.S, but it was also an early believer in digital marketing and the use of metrics and analytics to improve advertising ROI.

“We built the foundation for our analytics and measurement internally back in 2010 using our own IT shop,” explains Lisa Flynt, director of brand marketing and growth strategy for the privately held C Spire. “With that in place we began working with world-class partners such as Experian to leverage the data with our own platform and augment that with their big data platform.”

While C Spire’s measurement and analytics platform does not let the marketing team compare digital ad spend with non-digital, Flynt says, “What we can say is here’s what digital looks like and here’s how it compares to behavior-based geo-targeted advertising — which can get fairly sophisticated but is more traditional than digital. We’re getting some very encouraging results from those comparisons.”

Flynt adds the key to quality metrics is the right staff and a great relationship with your IT department. “You have to have a strong foundation that is scalable,” she says.


"In Good Company." David Ward. ANA Magazine Spotlight. December 2014.

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