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Empowering Marketers with Data: Chris Matty’s Visionary Journey with Versium

Empowering Marketers with Data: Chris Matty’s Visionary Journey with Versium

Luka Dragovic
Welcome to our latest blog post where we delve into the innovative world of Versium, a data technology company with a 12-year legacy of transforming marketing strategies through advanced data tools and machine learning. In an enlightening interview with Website Planet, Chris Matty, the founder of Versium, sheds light on how the company leverages vast sets of identity and insights data to empower marketers with precise, data-driven campaigns.

We explore the journey from the early days of digitizing contact information to the development of predictive models that revolutionize marketing efficiency, highlighting Versium’s commitment to enhancing marketing outcomes.

Join us as we uncover the insights from the Website Planet interview, revealing the story behind Versium’s success, its comprehensive suite of services, and the visionary future it foresees in the ever-evolving Martech landscape.

Please present Versium to our audience.

Versium is a seasoned data technology company with a rich history spanning 12 years. At its core, Versium specializes in providing a comprehensive suite of automated data technology tools, which are deeply integrated with machine learning and robust data sets. Our primary offering is akin to a data processing workbench specifically designed for marketers, aimed at enhancing their marketing strategies through effective data utilization.

Central to our platform is an identity platform, underpinned by a vast array of data. This data is categorized into two main types: identity data and insights data. Identity data encompasses contact information such as emails, phone numbers, mobile IDs, as well as personal identifiers like first names, last names, and addresses. This variety of contact details enables marketers to reach individuals across multiple channels, from direct marketing to digital platforms.

On the other hand, insights data delves into the characteristics of individuals, providing marketers with valuable information to tailor their campaigns more precisely. This includes demographics, purchase interests, activities, firmographics, employment details, and skills, among others. Our cutting-edge technology facilitates the association of this diverse data with our customers’ first-party data, enriching their data pool and enabling more targeted and effective marketing efforts.

Versium’s focus has primarily been on the domestic market, but we are now expanding our reach internationally, leveraging our extensive experience and robust technology to aid marketers worldwide.

Please describe the story behind the company: What sparked the idea, and how has it evolved so far?

The genesis of our company traces back to my extensive experience in the data technology sector, which began over two decades ago. My journey started during the nascent stages of the internet when we were at the forefront of digitizing the White and Yellow Pages. This endeavor was driven by a common need to connect with others, whether it be friends, classmates, or business associates, by searching for their contact details like emails and phone numbers.

Fast forward to about 12-15 years ago, during a period when daily deal platforms like Groupon and LivingSocial were revolutionizing consumer marketing with their “deal of the day” concept. It was an exciting time, but it also highlighted significant inefficiencies in targeting marketing efforts. I distinctly remember receiving a completely irrelevant offer for a Brazilian wax service located far from my residence, which sparked a realization: there was a substantial opportunity to enhance marketing precision and efficiency.

Motivated by this insight, we embarked on developing a predictive model that leveraged demographics to improve marketing accuracy. Our initial project involved collaborating with a radio station on their deal promotion, where we applied our model to refine their targeting strategy. The results were compelling; our targeted approach outperformed their conventional method by 65%, confirming the potential of data-driven marketing.

This success laid the foundation for our company. We have since dedicated ourselves to empowering marketers with advanced data tools and AI, enabling them to predict consumer behavior more accurately and make informed decisions. Our platform has evolved significantly, now encompassing billions of data attributes and trillions of insights, all designed to optimize marketing strategies and drive better outcomes.

In summary, our company’s story is one of innovation, driven by a desire to solve real-world problems and enhance the effectiveness of marketing efforts through the power of data and technology.

Could you outline the range of services provided by Versium?

Versium offers a comprehensive suite of data technology tools designed to empower data-driven marketing strategies. Our services are categorized into three main phases, each containing multiple tools tailored to enhance data utility for marketers.

Additionally, we incorporate a fourth essential aspect to our offerings. These phases are:
  • Data Preparation: The foundation of our services begins with data preparation. We address the common challenge of messy, outdated, or incomplete data sets, such as CRM data or marketing automation data. With over 200 automated rules and tools, we standardize, normalize, and cleanse data to ensure its accuracy and usability. This includes correcting email addresses, standardizing addresses, de-duplicating records, and updating stale data to ensure that marketers can effectively reach their intended audience.
  • Data Enrichment: Our data enrichment services aim to enhance the value of a brand’s existing data. This involves augmenting first-party data with additional insights, such as demographic information, household income levels, and other relevant attributes that can inform marketing strategies. For instance, understanding whether a customer owns or rents can help tailor promotions, ensuring that they are relevant and likely to resonate with the target audience. This phase also includes expanding customer lists with new, actionable records for targeted marketing campaigns.
  • Activation: With data prepared and enriched, the next step is activation—utilizing the optimized data to achieve the highest reach and engagement across various platforms, including Google, Facebook, and LinkedIn. We specialize in overcoming the challenges faced by B2B marketers in reaching their audience through consumer-oriented ad tech ecosystems. By associating personal emails with business contacts and applying advanced hashing techniques, we enable marketers to significantly improve their campaign reach and effectiveness on these platforms.
  • Advanced AI and Modeling: Beyond the initial three phases, we leverage AI and modeling to predict consumer behavior and improve marketing outcomes. This involves analyzing extensive attribute data to identify patterns and propensities that indicate a higher likelihood of purchase. By employing AI for pattern recognition, we can score potential customers based on their predicted propensity to buy, allowing for highly targeted and efficient marketing strategies that go beyond traditional persona-based approaches.
In summary, Versium’s services span from data correction and standardization to enrichment, activation, and advanced predictive modeling. Our goal is to enable marketers to leverage data and AI effectively, transforming their marketing efforts into highly targeted, efficient, and successful campaigns.

What is the mission of Versium?

Versium’s mission is fundamentally centered on empowering marketers to effectively harness the power of data in their strategies. We understand the critical role that data-driven marketing plays in enhancing performance across various campaigns and initiatives. To this end, we have developed an extensive suite of automated tools designed to provide marketers with easy, efficient, and affordable access to the data they need.

Our aim is to simplify the process of data utilization, enabling marketers to unlock the full potential of their data and drive meaningful results in their data-driven marketing endeavors.

What separates you from other similar companies?

What truly distinguishes Versium from other companies in our field is our proprietary identity engine, a culmination of over two decades of expertise in data technology. This engine is at the heart of our operations, designed to accurately identify individuals by synthesizing a variety of data points, including names, addresses, phone numbers, emails, and browser data, among others.

Our identity engine is uniquely flexible, allowing us to tailor its performance based on specific client needs—balancing between precision and recall. Precision, in our context, refers to the accuracy of the data match, ensuring that we’re targeting the right individual. This is crucial for high-stakes marketing efforts where the cost per contact is significant, and accuracy is paramount. Recall, on the other hand, pertains to the breadth of the target audience we can reach. Depending on the campaign’s goals and cost sensitivity, we can adjust the engine to either prioritize accuracy or expand the audience size, even if it means accepting a higher margin of error.

This ability to fine-tune our identity engine in real-time for different use cases sets us apart. Whether a client requires a highly accurate data set for an expensive direct mail campaign or a broader audience for a cost-effective digital promotion, our technology can adapt to meet these varied requirements.

Moreover, the entirety of our technology stack is developed in-house, ensuring that our solutions are seamlessly integrated and highly efficient. Our emphasis on automation further enhances our cost-effectiveness, enabling us to deliver sophisticated data solutions without the need for extensive manual intervention or a large team of data scientists. This combination of proprietary technology, adaptability, and automation is what positions Versium as a leader in data-driven marketing solutions.

How do you envision the future of your industry?

The Martech landscape has experienced explosive growth over the past few years, evolving from a handful of companies to an overwhelming array of 4,000 to 5,000 entities today. This proliferation has led to what is often referred to as “martech bloat,” where enterprises find themselves juggling an average of 90 different marketing technology systems. This situation has emerged due to the influx of investment into a myriad of specialized solutions, each addressing a narrow aspect of marketing technology, from IP to domain mapping to mobile targeting.

However, this fragmentation has created significant challenges for businesses, including the complexities of managing multiple systems, the inefficiencies in cost and operation, and the dispersion of valuable data across numerous platforms. As a result, there is a growing demand for consolidation within the industry.

The future of martech, as I envision it, is characterized by this inevitable consolidation. We will likely witness the merging of point solutions into more comprehensive platforms that offer a unified suite of tools accessible through a single interface. This shift will not only streamline operations and reduce costs for enterprises but also enhance the effectiveness of their marketing efforts by providing a more integrated and coherent approach to data and tools.

Some major players, like Adobe, have already embarked on this path through acquisitions, yet the challenge remains to achieve a truly integrated experience with a single login and seamless interoperability among the acquired tools. The winners in this evolving landscape will be those companies that can offer an all-encompassing, user-friendly platform that consolidates key marketing technologies, eliminating the need for multiple systems and logins.

In summary, the future of the martech industry is heading towards greater integration and simplification, responding to the needs of marketers for more efficient, effective, and manageable marketing technology solutions.

Find out more at: www.versium.com

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