Ad tech summit

Big Data is Just the Beginning: Australia ad:tech Data Summit 2013

Katy Daniells is a senior digital strategist with Social@Ogilvy Australia 

Last week I attended the first day of the ad:tech Data Summit in Sydney, hosted at Swisshotel. It promised to be a good mix of data issues and topics and featured some great local and international speakers. As you can see from the below Radian6 word cloud the subjects covered over the day were varied with a big focus on topics such as; is data killing creativity, the importance of measurement and managing customer’s privacy concerns.

A big highlight for me on the day was Darren Stein from News Ltd who talked through the News Ltd approach to achieving a single customer view. Darren recapped the wise words of Harper Reed (CTO on the Obama campaign) who made the following, simple but useful, points about data:

  • If it doesn’t have a metric it doesn’t matter
  • If testing shows that it works – do it (you don’t know better)
  • The answers lie in data
  • A data led argument must win every time
  • Listen to the people that actually use your stuff
  • If you don’t use your data to help you, you must hate making money or something

I think these points highlight the mistakes that people often make with data – they don’t listen to what the data shows them. Data provides rational insights that can prove to be very useful when planning a campaign or a strategy if the insights are understood and taken onboard. Darren also admitted that over at News Ltd, while they are striving towards a ‘single customer view’ they haven’t got it right just yet. Darren added, ” The media space is being won by people who connect well to their consumers and offer a good user experience. Offering a personalized service is going to be a key feature for the future of media, consumers don’t care that a site offers coverage of ALL sports, they care about the sports that interest them.“

Another great speaker on the day was the new CEO of IAB Australia, Alice Manners who shared some of the IAB’s viewpoint on privacy concerns and how to deal with these within the digital industry. Alice reiterated that digital growth in Australia continues to grow, noting that the digital share of advertising is up 26% July-December 2012.

Alice also shared this great video from PwC (@PwC_AU) on data, privacy and how individuals around the world view these.

All in all it was interesting to hear different perspectives on how data is affecting how we, as marketers, respond to a brief, think through a problem and measure success. There is no doubt that data can be hugely insightful in understanding the customer and what motivates them. However there is still much debate around how to collect, measure and utilize this data. This will continue to evolve as business’ place more of an emphasis on the importance of big data. It’s an exciting time ahead, in Australia, as companies strive towards a better understanding in how these insights can relate back to key business objectives.

I’ll leave you with my favourite quote from ad:tech’s data summit: “Data isn’t the answer to your marketing brief it’s the start of a question that leads to an insight.”