Marketing with Data

Joseph Adler (Facebook)
Location: Sutton North Level: Non-technical

Marketing is the art of telling potential customers or users about products or services that they might find useful. Some technology people might look down on marketing as a dirty, but necessary, part of running a company. That’s unfortunate, because marketing is one of the most interesting and valuable things that you can do with data.

At LinkedIn, we look at marketing as a recommendation problem, not a sales problem. Our goal is to help our users get the most benefit from our service. We use a lot of data and technology to market our own services. To do this, we use a variety of big data systems: recommendation engines, data processing, and content delivery. We rely on a team of marketing professionals, designers, engineers, and data scientists. We approach marketing scientifically, and constantly test new hypotheses to learn how to market better.

In this talk, I’m going to describe LinkedIn’s approach to personalized marketing, using the story of the award-winning “Year in Review” email message. I’ll talk about how we come up with ideas, how we test new ideas, and how we quickly turn ideas into scalable production processes. And finally, I’ll talk about Tickle, the Hadoop based system that we built to generate and prioritize marketing email messages.

Photo of Joseph Adler

Joseph Adler


Joseph Adler has many years of experience in data mining and data analysis at companies including DoubleClick, American Express, and VeriSign. He graduated from MIT with an B.Sc. and M.Eng in Computer Science and Electrical Engineering. He is the inventor of several patents for computer security and cryptography, and the author of “Baseball Hacks” and “R in a Nutshell”. Currently, he is a senior data scientist at LinkedIn.


  • Aster Data
  • EMC Greenplum
  • GE
  • Lexis Nexis
  • MarkLogic
  • Tableau Software
  • Cloudera
  • DataStax
  • Informatica
  • DataSift
  • Splunk
  • Amazon Web Services
  • Datameer
  • Impetus
  • Karmasphere
  • MapR Technologies
  • Pervasive
  • Platform Computing
  • Revolution Analytics
  • Sybase
  • Xeround
  • Media-Science
  • Platfora

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