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The Deets on Data

The Deets on Data

Natasha Smith

Natasha Smith

May 7, 2018

Havas Group’s new Global Head of Data works to demystify the talk about info and insights.

"The challenge is determining how to build this value from data to get relevant and efficient insights..."

Rodolphe Rodrigues, the new Global Head of Data for Havas Group, makes it simple: the huge opportunity with data has always been there. Now with modern media tools, and of course the internet, it’s up to the ad community to tap into that wealth of information. In this candid Q&A, Rodrigues shares why he joined Havas, tells us the reasons that everyone should be concerned about data, and gives his best data predictions for the future.

 

So why Havas, and why now?

Well, Havas is a media and content agency—so that gives me the opportunity to work for a data-tech provider and for an advertiser, at the same time. It provides all kinds of capabilities to accomplish great things.

Media agencies, oftentimes, have the right level of relationship with their clients to influence their global data strategy. And if they don’t, they should.

But ultimately, it’s all about time to market. And my feeling is that it’s now, for Havas and for me. Havas has the right size, compared to its competitor, to move more quickly on data topics, which require a strong mindset transformation, and they are also very ambitious. And so am I.

What is the biggest opportunity that data provides?

I don’t believe data by itself provides bigger opportunities than in the past. Data has always been, or at least should have been, at the center of any marketing and business strategy. What is new is that now, thanks to the internet, we have access to new sources of behavioral data with almost unlimited capabilities of storage and processing.

We don’t have to ask people what they like; we observe their anonymous behavior and then work to understand what their current states of mind are regarding brands and products. This is where the opportunities lie. It provides us the possibility to build more precise consumer knowledge from which we can build a full communication strategy, from awareness to sales. That’s a big, big opportunity. It’s a big opportunity for Havas. We’re not late. The timing is perfect.

What is the difference between data and insights?

There is no marketing value in data by itself; there’s marketing value in insights. Data needs to be processed to get value, and different types of data need to be merged to get value. The challenge is determining how to build this value from data to get relevant and efficient insights that could be used to improve the business of our clients. So, in other words, from insights to media to content and then business.

"We all work with data, but sometimes we just don’t call it data."

What are some of the biggest data goals that you have for everyone at Havas and our clients?

Clarification and realism. That’s so important. We are all talking about data or using words related to the data ecosystem, but most of the time we do not use the same dictionary. Imagine people using the same words with different definitions for each of them. We all have the feeling that we understand each other, but it’s not true. “Back to basics” as Havas Group Media CEO Peter Mears would say.

Why is data important to teammates who don’t work directly with, say, analytics and data?

We all work with data, but sometimes we just don’t call it data.

If you could share only one thing about data that you wish everyone knew, what would it be?

Demystification. As I said before, there’s nothing new about the usage of data compared to what we were doing before. The insights we can get today from a good processing of data are just different, and they might provide to our clients a better knowledge of consumer behavior.

What, genuinely, gets you excited?

Building that for Havas. It’s a huge project—changing the way we manage data and projects across all the expertise of the agency. That’s very exciting.

What’s your best data prediction for the future?

My guess is that data privacy will be a real concern in the future. We need to build our data strategy keeping that in mind. It’s a long journey, probably a never-ending journey, but there will be achievements along the way. We need to see and recognize them. And I’m certain the time to market is good. Let’s do it.

"The challenge is determining how to build this value from data to get relevant and efficient insights..."

Rodolphe Rodrigues, the new Global Head of Data for Havas Group, makes it simple: the huge opportunity with data has always been there. Now with modern media tools, and of course the internet, it’s up to the ad community to tap into that wealth of information. In this candid Q&A, Rodrigues shares why he joined Havas, tells us the reasons that everyone should be concerned about data, and gives his best data predictions for the future.

 

So why Havas, and why now?

Well, Havas is a media and content agency—so that gives me the opportunity to work for a data-tech provider and for an advertiser, at the same time. It provides all kinds of capabilities to accomplish great things.

Media agencies, oftentimes, have the right level of relationship with their clients to influence their global data strategy. And if they don’t, they should.

But ultimately, it’s all about time to market. And my feeling is that it’s now, for Havas and for me. Havas has the right size, compared to its competitor, to move more quickly on data topics, which require a strong mindset transformation, and they are also very ambitious. And so am I.

What is the biggest opportunity that data provides?

I don’t believe data by itself provides bigger opportunities than in the past. Data has always been, or at least should have been, at the center of any marketing and business strategy. What is new is that now, thanks to the internet, we have access to new sources of behavioral data with almost unlimited capabilities of storage and processing.

We don’t have to ask people what they like; we observe their anonymous behavior and then work to understand what their current states of mind are regarding brands and products. This is where the opportunities lie. It provides us the possibility to build more precise consumer knowledge from which we can build a full communication strategy, from awareness to sales. That’s a big, big opportunity. It’s a big opportunity for Havas. We’re not late. The timing is perfect.

What is the difference between data and insights?

There is no marketing value in data by itself; there’s marketing value in insights. Data needs to be processed to get value, and different types of data need to be merged to get value. The challenge is determining how to build this value from data to get relevant and efficient insights that could be used to improve the business of our clients. So, in other words, from insights to media to content and then business.

"We all work with data, but sometimes we just don’t call it data."

What are some of the biggest data goals that you have for everyone at Havas and our clients?

Clarification and realism. That’s so important. We are all talking about data or using words related to the data ecosystem, but most of the time we do not use the same dictionary. Imagine people using the same words with different definitions for each of them. We all have the feeling that we understand each other, but it’s not true. “Back to basics” as Havas Group Media CEO Peter Mears would say.

Why is data important to teammates who don’t work directly with, say, analytics and data?

We all work with data, but sometimes we just don’t call it data.

If you could share only one thing about data that you wish everyone knew, what would it be?

Demystification. As I said before, there’s nothing new about the usage of data compared to what we were doing before. The insights we can get today from a good processing of data are just different, and they might provide to our clients a better knowledge of consumer behavior.

What, genuinely, gets you excited?

Building that for Havas. It’s a huge project—changing the way we manage data and projects across all the expertise of the agency. That’s very exciting.

What’s your best data prediction for the future?

My guess is that data privacy will be a real concern in the future. We need to build our data strategy keeping that in mind. It’s a long journey, probably a never-ending journey, but there will be achievements along the way. We need to see and recognize them. And I’m certain the time to market is good. Let’s do it.

Natasha Smith is the strategic communications manager for Havas Group. She happily represents 404 in the 212.

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