Jeff Robertson
Jeff Robertson of Delta Air Lines was the keynote speaker at the first EmoryMAC Marketing Analytics Conference at Goizueta Business School. PHOTO: Allison Shirreffs

In March, the Emory Marketing Analytics Center Initiative (EmoryMAC)  held its inaugural Spring Conference, “Using Marketing Analytics to Drive Business Performance.” The full-day of programming began with a keynote address by Jeff Robertson, Vice President, SkyMiles Program, Delta Air Lines.

Robertson’s presentation: “Using CRM to Drive Loyalty,” offered an inside look at how the airline utilizes data and how it plans to use info and analytics to drive revenue.

Delta’s most frequent travelers (those who fly with the airline at least three times a year) represent just a small percentage of the airline’s total passengers, but they drive a large portion of revenue according to Robertson. Going forward, the airline plans to use data to “tailor the experience” for travelers so it can recognize and reward them.

To do so, Delta plans to “operationalize” what it calls a “customer value score,” a metric that corresponds to the amount of value an individual customer brings to the airline. Efficient use of this score, explains Robertson, will help the airline shift its cost structure and build revenue. The airline also plans to give employees better access to important customer data— a “panoramic view of the customer” — that will help them make more informed decisions regarding fliers.

With an emphasis on “individualization,” Delta will complete a redesign of its website by the end of the year.

Robertson expects that within two years more than 50 percent of Delta airline tickets will be purchased via

What will allow the company to reach that goal? Analytics.

Said Robertson: “There’s not a decision we make as a company that is not based on data.”

Conference Offers Big Names, Big Ideas

EmoryMAC is a unique educational and research enterprise where leading scholars and business leaders assemble and collaborate to address issues related to marketing analytics and performance management for major stakeholders – customers, employees and shareholders.

As part of a Marketing Analytics certificate program, EmoryMAC provides students the opportunity to work directly with firms solving real-world marketing problems and work with faculty in developing new support models that will aid marketing decision making.

The conference featured three customized presentation with Goizueta faculty and outside guests and an afternoon panel. Discussion focused on:

  • Social Media Measurement
  • Consumer Customization
  • Customer Relationship Management
  • Bundled Offers
  • Loyalty Programs

Outside speakers included Kevin Geraghty, Vice President of Reporting and Advanced Analytics, 360i; Steve Sickel, Senior Vice President of Distribution and Relationship Marketing, InterContinental Hotels Group; Jeff Lyman, Experience Lead for NIKE+, NIKE;  Rachel Spasser, Vice President of Marketing, Ariba; Jon Bridges, Vice President of Customer Experience and Restaurant Concepts, Chick-fil-A and  Colin Coleman, Senior Director Data Strategy, Turner.

“We were thrilled with the great turnout that we had at the inaugural MAC conference,” said Tim Halloran, Executive Director of EmoryMAC and a marketing professor at Goizueta. “There is clearly interest and passion within the Atlanta marketing community to engage in marketing analytics. We look forward to continuing to evolve the Marketing Analytics Center with additional events for the upcoming academic year. ”


– Allison Shirreffs and J. Michael Moore