July 28, 2016

Part 2 of IAB FYI Series #4: Breaking down the Silos Unleashing the Power of Data
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This is a continuation of Part 2 of [Part 1 IAB FYI Series #4] IAB SG Measurement and Standards Committee launched an initiative to solve the digital age problem of data resource management for marketing and sales effectiveness.

As a follow up to the Measurements and Standards Roundtable white paper that the IAB SG published in June 2016, we held a follow up IAB FYI session to share and discuss the results with publishers, brands and agencies in Singapore’s digital advertising industry. The goal is to help companies understand how they can harness the power of data without remaining stuck in traditional organisational structures.

The original white paper was produced on February 2016 when the IAB SG gathered a team of APAC’s top digital minds comprising of more than a dozen CEOS, VPs, and HODs from Hewlett Packard, comScore, MEC, Yahoo, Kantar, YouGov, Eyeota, Tealium Xaxis, Ipsos, Keboola and SapientNitro to investigate why breaking down silos within the digital industry and unleashing the power of data in the region is critical for success. 

As a next step, on June 2016, we held a panel discussion on the findings from key participants in the discussion, and engage with members of the IAB Community. The panel included:

The discussion was lead by Committee Co-Chairs, Peter Hubert, Head of Insights at LinkedIn and Kerry Chapman Brown, Vice President of comScore.



Situation #2

Overinvestment in technology vs underinvestment in people

What to do?

Make people your number #1 priority

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Training and development of teams and education within organisations is absolutely critical to keep pace with the rapid changes in technology. People should be aware about how data is analysed and that the information gathered can be utilised in things like audience insights and targeting.

A perfect example would be building a new office and filling it up with all the new technology you could need - it is equipped with all the right tools and mechanisms to gather data and analyse, but the marketer/boss forgot to train his people on how these innovations work. In the long run, the business hasn’t moved up even just a little, because he/she forgot to teach the staff.

No matter what technology you have access to, a company will always require the help of people to be able to use such innovations. As an organisation, it’s your responsibility to train everyone, starting from the lower level employees all the way to the top.


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Situation #3

Creating a culture of collaboration

What to do?

Nurture data-driven culture through openness, curiosity and collaboration

A data-driven culture isn’t really about nurturing the data, it’s about making sure people understand what it is, and putting those people at the centre of the dialogue. In terms of collaboration, education and making sure that people feel that they will benefit from understanding all kinds of insights is necessary.

Data is a product of curiosity, meaning it’s not really data-culture, it’s a curiosity culture you should be practicing.

To have a data-driven culture, you need to go back to one of the basics, which is ensuring that your people fully understand the value of data and know how to utilise it. It is also essential to democratise the information to be able to get the best value of your data from everyone in your team.

Q: How do you break silos when data is not shared with everyone?

If you can articulate what you’re looking for and why you’re looking for it, you’re going to get collaboration. If you’re fussy in what you’re asking for and if you’re not clear with what you’re asking for, you’re going to get push back. You could ask the other party what their rationale is for not sharing the data. If the reason is around privacy, no problem. However, we advocate hard for the data so we can make decisions, changes and advance the agenda of our company.


Situation #4

Marketers are not asking the right questions

What to do?

Ask the right questions!

To come up with the right questions to ask, curiosity must be applied - but it’s about not one question, it’s about a lot of questions. What are you trying to solve? What are you trying to breakdown? What are the nuisances of that? It’s kind of complicated and requires communication. It means you have to get the right stakeholders to answer the right questions. It’s a journey and a lot of time, it requires heavy lifting and a level of discipline. It requires understanding of the data sets that you do have, and the gaps in it. 

Obviously, the opposite of calling out the right questions is actually supplying the solution for the questions that were asked. One of the dynamics between clients and agencies needs to be around stating the problem and having the agency come back with solutions, rather than pre-defining them. When given different solutions by agencies, don’t be deceived by bells and whistles and the fancy lingo. At the end of the day, what the agency should be delivering is a solution to that problem. It’s only ever going to be an estimate until the campaign is actually executed, so there’s a certain level of evaluation and good faith.

It is important that you ask questions and get answers in very basic terms. And as an agency, it is perfectly okay to say whether or not they are the right guys to do the job and if possible, refer the right set of people who can help solve the client’s problem.


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Situation #5

Fast moving technology fostering laziness

What to do?

Build your foundation

You can’t really move up in analytics if you don’t have the fundamentals in place. This involves a lot of different things - the right questions need to be asked, such as is it a matter of placing this, or is it a matter of not having the standards to guide people?

It’s not about the number of customers but the value of each customer, there is a data to the way that it’s measured. The data stored, how is it accessed? Things like look-alike modelling for example have become less popular, and digital and social and now apps have become more popular, somebody’s understanding of concepts have been lost. Which I think goes back to discussion in training and development. Some of the discussion has to actually go back and start at the basics. Even with mid-level management.

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