Hearst, DMA launch second analytics challenge

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Hearst Magazines and the Direct Marketing Association will launch the second annual “Hearst Challenge” on June 1. The media company will give a $25,000 prize to the entrant who can best build a model to predict whether a consumer will open or click through an email promotion.

The contest, which is also serving as the DMA's 2011 “Analytics Challenge,” is open to the public. Entrants will be able to access 500,000 sample promotion emails from 2010 to create an analytic framework.

Consumers can submit entries via the Hearst Challenge website through September 1. The organizations will pick three entrants to present their submissions at the DMA2011 Conference in Boston this October. Hearst will also award $5,000 to the contestant with the “most innovative method.”

Charlie Swift, VP of database strategy and marketing at Hearst Magazines, said the contest will help the company build a model to “address our customers in a more efficient manner.” He added that entrants will have “a lot of information to process into clean and relevant data.”

Analytics and data mining firm Thinkalytics will manage the contest site, aided by Experian.

Keith Baker, conference manager at DMA, said last year's analytic competition, which attracted 700 teams from nearly 60 countries, was “successful.” The organization will promote the contest through various media, “including an annual promotion in the DMA catalog.”

Krishna Mehta, cofounder and principal at Thinkalytics, said that the company is promoting the contest through Twitter and LinkedIn, as well as PR outreach.

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