By Michael Foster

Anyone who’s been in the marketing game for long knows data is the key to all success. But you can indulge in a data excess, too; some marketers will throw all data they can at a campaign and hope that it magically gets them the leads and the conversions they desire.

It doesn’t work that way.

In reality, using data is like making the perfect painting; too much paint and you spoil an otherwise beautiful picture. Not enough, and it’s unclear what you’re trying to create. Likewise, using too much data or too little can be equally disastrous. If you’re paying top dollar for third-party data, but that data isn’t boosting your conversion rates, you’re just wasting money.

When it comes to marketing in our digital-first, always-on world, it’s easy to overindulge in data because there’s just so much available. That’s why marketers are beginning to think not so much about big data, but about smart data.

The key is to analyze data quality in your data-driven marketing efforts. Is the data you’re using accurate? Is it verifiable? Is it actually going to boost performance? Should you choose one data set over another? How and when should you use these data sets?

These are the questions we’re going to dig deep into at this year’s DMA &THEN. Recognizing the need to get smart about smart data, many marketers have begun to work together to compare notes and establish best practices that will determine what is and is not high-quality data and how you can learn from using data sets to refine your data mix perfectly.

In “Data Partnerships: Finding the Right Mix of First-, Second- and Third-Party Data,” Julia Heiser of LiveNation, Aaron Lassila of MediaMath, Jenn McClain-De Jong of iFly and Josh Palau of Johnson & Johnson will get together to discuss how you can establish data quality, how you should store your data, how you should use it to yield the best marketing ROI, and how to learn what blend of data sets will yield the best results. This session is about all kinds of data – data you own, data you buy, data your content partners supply and data from titans like Facebook, Google and Twitter.

In this session, they’ll discuss what new opportunities exist to leverage data from websites, email lists, social media and other owned channels. They’ll also dig into how to leverage second-party and third-party data and what external data sets are best to avoid.

If you are a CMO, CTO, CPO, analyst, lobbyist, or anyone who uses data to sell ideas in our massive media marketplace, you need to attend this session. Join us and learn how the right mix of data sets can work for you.

This article is brought to you by &THEN, DMA’s annual event. Click here to join the leaders of the marketing community and explore how data transforms marketing in New Orleans, October 8-10. Save over $300 when you register online.