Debbie Weinstein is Managing Director, Brand Solutions & Innovations (EMEA) at Google. This year, she will appear at Warc's Future of Strategy event at Cannes 2016
Warc's case study editor, Lucy Aitken, interviewed her earlier this month.
What is your take on the role of comms planning versus creative planning?
They have always have been inter-related but, over the past decade since the break-up of the big media agency ad groups, they've become a bit disconnected. Comms planning helps us understand where the consumer is today. We are seeing more collaboration between comms and creative, there's a return to how it used to be, to the days when ad agencies were first up and running.
How is data changing comms planning?
When you talk about media and data, you typically think about better ways of targeting your customer. When you think about planning to find consumers, for many decades it's been about using demographics as shorthand. For instance, if you are marketing hair dye to women over 40, you used to find TV programmes to reach them. But now, with data, you can use signals to find people who are likely to be buyers of hair dye and you might find that the people buying it aren't in fact women in their 40s - maybe they are guys or women in their 20s.
There is another dimension of data which is really powerful: all the insights you can find that help form a creative expression to give customers a unique message as a nudge. I would love to see how people are using data to be relevant in their creative messaging so it's of benefit to their business. At the moment there is lots of talk and not a lot of action in this next generation area where data meets creativity.
At Google, we have tools that can be used at many different levels of sophistication. The most basic is based on demographics rather than behavioural signal and they are much more powerful indicators of intent. Using search data or affinity or in-market data, you know the content that people are watching on YouTube or their search terms and these are powerful. We use more sophisticated tools like DoubleClick, a tool which enables you to marry first or third party data with the ability to change real time creative messaging. You have to have the insight about your audience and the creative messaging with each of those different targets.
Should comms planning adapt to become mobile first?
Mobile is digital, digital is mobile. The point is where is the consumer? Where are they spending their time?
What will future media agencies look like? How do they need to adapt?
Media agencies are in a great place right now. With the convergence of comms and creative planning, media teams have access to data and insights around consumers and how they're using media platforms. The starting point of a lot of creative work now is how comms are being used - that has moved to much earlier on in the comms development process. Because of their insights and knowledge, media folks are custodians of budgets and that's an important role to help their [brand-owner] customers make the most effective choices. This is an ever-increasing role as comms channel planning becomes more complicated.
Can you cite an example of how data helped inform future comms planning?
Unilever using data to drive All Things Hair. One of the things we did specifically in that programme was to look at Google search trend data, so to find out what hair trends are based on every year. Certain styles come in at the same time every year, for instance bobs in January, and we used that data to inform the creative that we made.
For me, it's more about how we solve old problems in new ways. No one is pretending that marketing has changed but the tools have changed. We are now looking at how tech solves problems in new ways and how it is having more of an impact.
Debbie Weinstein is Managing Director, Brand Solutions & Innovations, EMEA, at Google, and chair of the Effective Use of Tech category for this year's Warc Media Awards
Debbie is part of Warc's Future of Strategy session at Cannes on Thursday 23 June, 12pm - 1pm at The Press Centre, Level 4, Palais de Festivals Cannes. You can register for that session here.