We spoke with Lauren Walker, who at the time of recording was the Chief Operating & Data Officer in EMEA for leading agency Dentsu Aegis. She is now Managing Director at Accenture Interactive.
Lauren joined Dentsu in 2017 from IBM and lead a team of more than 600 people across operations, market research, social science, digital and data science, and engineering. In May 2021 she moved to be Managing Director at Accenture Interactive.
Prior to these roles, she spent a decade at IBM with a raft of senior roles – most recently head of data strategy partnerships for Europe.
Lauren was also director of competitive strategy at Choicepoint, now part of LexisNexis, and spent two years as a special advisor to the Director of the White House in Washington DC.
In this fascinating podcast, we covered the world of data and looked at what’s next.
Disclaimer: Lauren’s comments are her own and not that of her previous or current employer.
Connect with Lauren on LinkedIn
Follow Lauren on Twitter
Welcome to The Actionable Futurist® Podcast, a bi-weekly show all about the near term future with practical advice from a range of global experts to help you stay ahead of the curve. Every episode answers the question. What’s the future off with voices and opinions that need to be heard? Your host is international keynote speaker and The Actionable Futurist® Andrew Grill. Welcome to Episode 10 Yes, 10 of the Practical Futures podcast. Today’s guest is Lauren Walker, who was the chief operating in data officer in a mere for leading agency, Denture Ages. Lauren join the group in 2017 from IBM and leads a team of more than 600 people across operations, market research, social science, digital and data science and engineering. She spent a decade IBM with a raft of senior roles, most recently head of data strategy partnerships for Europe. Lauren was also director of Competitive Strategy, a choice point now part of LexisNexis, and spent two years as a special advisor to the director off the White House in Washington. D. C. Welcome, Lauren.
Thank you, Andrea. Good to be here
now. We first met even before I joined IBM. If I remember correctly, I was a sea of influence, a platform cred on I presented to you in some of your colleagues in early 2013. So apparently what I said struck a chord because six years later, he you are in a podcast.
Of course it did. Come on now, I remember that day in South Bank.
Wow. So what does being a chief operating in data officer entail day to day?
Oh, it’s evolving feast of activities. The interesting thing is, when I joined Dense Regis after leaving IBM, one of my requirements and coming in was I spent 10 years and data and technology sometimes good, sometimes bad. And if there’s one thing I learned, it’s the person with the piano with a revenue figure is the one that gets stuff done and gets the assets. So my request to the management when I was doing interviews is very much give me a revenue number. Data should be on the piano and hold me accountable to the things I want to do. And let’s actually make this a data driven business. So it was very much about CEO positioning for the CD over roll when I came in and through that, I think I was able to really transform the businesses view of having data be a front office activity as well as a back office activity.
Yeah, Dieter is actually an asset tohave.
Yeah, and it’s great. So I would go to these roundtables and we work a lot with Peter B. C. And so we were talking with the accountants and saying, How do we get this on the balance sheet? Will it ever happen? And I do see this momentum of people saying it is something like brand like goodwill. It has to be accounted for. And if you look at the Equifax scandal with the state of leakage, it has fundamentally impacted their entire market capitalization. So it it is critical importance.
Well, hopefully on this podcast will understand how important data is. And you’re right. It’s got to be on the like good will it? It is an asset that people have. And I think as people understand Maur the data they have available, it’ll become more valuable and probably will be on the piano for every company.
Yes, and I think it’s only becomes apparent once you have the right organizational design to take advantage of it. And so that’s how I actually ended up. Evolving into the chief operating officer at Density MIA now is because it became apparent that while we have data in all these different places, do we have the rolls and the right skills to actually make sure the data goes through a process that leads to the ability to make decisions off of this trusted data? And having spent 10 years, we’ve done it together, right? There’s many accounts that we talked to together, where you look at all of the information that’s in the digital universe. A lot of stuff you focused on with social. How does it the map into the internal information like See Aram and all this other information? You have to actually give you a full picture of what’s going on. So that requires this whole thing of digital transformation right? Which is now the latest that I saw is digital transformation. Consulting is worth 44 billion globally, which is an 80% increase between 2016 and 2019. So I guess my years they’re a bit off considering it is 2019 now, but that’s massive right That’s huge growth, and it’s because everyone’s trying to figure out What do I do? How do I look? Like a Google and Facebook. It’s not an overnight thing.
Talk for another time. But I think digital transformation is often misused because people do a fake transformation. They say they’re doing it yet they can’t get on the WiFi. And so they’re the hygiene factors that I get this all the time. You are obviously very passionate about data. It’s a subject close to your heart. I’d argue we’re just drowning in it. So what can companies do to start to tame the data they hold?
Oh gosh, where to even begin on that one? Well, I’ll give you two kind of like stories, right? So one story for us is being an agency right? That’s helping clients understand. What is my brand strategy? How do I even understand how I drive someone with their emotions and their aspirations to buy this Lou Vuitton handbag at the same time? How do I convince you that when you’re thirsty, you want Dan and water or Nestle water or some other a sort of branded water, right? Whether the differentiation literally is the brand again. It’s not this aspiration. So when you look at all the data assets we have, we’re using data assets that we get from Google. We get data assets from Facebook. We get data assets from our own market research. So we are literally drowning in data on consumer opinions, and you need to have the understanding of each of the data sets is coming through a particular lens, and then you’re analyzing it for a particular outcome. So you really have to start to think about each of these data sets has been created with a particular a group of people for a particular end goal. And then it’s bringing all those three things together, knowing that one is coming from digital ones coming from, let’s say, offline. And how does combine to say this is the ideal archetype of person that we think is our muse and the person that we actually want to buy our product? And then how do you then use that externally to buy this billboard, to buy this TV spot, to do whatever digital campaign and also to advise? How do I evolved my product, you know, with Adidas howto evolve my shoes over time so that while everyone loves it today, I want them to love it for the next 30 years. So that’s like 11 side of the story. The other side is I’m currently rolling out sales for CR M internally inside my company as well as Work Day as well as D 365 So we have three massive, massive master data systems of record for our finance information for our HR people, information or talent and then our actual pipeline. So that’s a whole nother set of data that you can drown in. And if you don’t again, make sure that the people using it understand what the tool is for and what the definitions are for each, let’s say, you know, sell. Then it becomes useless so that the drowning thing is quite interesting, how there’s a functional drowning in my operating role. And then there’s the whole creative marketing media side of how do I use that to then drive a business outcome around people buying something,
you know, offering my keynote? I challenge the audiences to look at all the source of data they have and how that might acquire. I’ll give a good example. I spoke to Technogym who do gym equipment and a bunch of gym owners. I said, Look, you’ll have free WiFi in your gyms. Do you know that Because everyone has a unique Mac address, you could find out where people move around the gym and how often they spend on the treadmill versus on they went. We haven’t even thought of that. The data is actually there. You can actually go and get the data, but they don’t know what to do with it. So you sound like you’re drowning and day. Do you know that? You have. And I try and actually open up sometimes the source of data, remember? Did it for a train operating company. I did my keynote. Then an hour after we had these roundtables and I forced them in groups to say, Think of all the other sources of day that you have, How do you get it? And if you had it, what would you do with it? And their eyes were just open because we didn’t know we had access to all this extra data. But the challenges you said is, even if you have it, you’re still drowning
I and you have to. And that’s why the multi disciplinary teams that we’ve created. We had all these folks in their individual silos of I do performance marketing and most of my stuff is digital analytics. I’m just doing data, platforms and engineering. I’m just looking at market research, and people who answer these kind of response highlight group information. Once you bring those brains together, you literally have an anthropologist. Here. You have a date, a scientist, a statistician. You have a variety. And then you have to say it’s a computer scientist and you have this mix of people who are combining the best of the right brain, left brain thinking still probably more right brain because it’s not as completely like a picturesque but very data driven about. What does this actually mean? And what do we as a group want to do about this and I’ll never forget it? Vicky Brock, who’s the CEO of Clear Returns. She was a big S P. S s customer and used to speak for IBM at a lot of events, and so I still follow her today. But she had that idea. Let’s get these young people in to think and problem solve around these data sets. And I feel that that’s what I saw. A lot in my IBM role is people hiring data scientists and just saying Here’s the data like find the answer and that is never the right outcome or the starting point. Let’s say and a lot of the data scientists would say, This is unfair, but I’m getting paid a lot of money, so I better try to figure this out. And so it’s, I think it’s evolved now that you see data scientists who’ve kind of leaned into the business. You’ve picked up a domain who followed on that area and can speak the language. But that’s where I feel so fortunate with my career. Having been a political science and Spanish double major did some stuff in politics, as you mentioned, end up that a data company and then went toe IBM where I learned loads of things that really have made me where I am today, right? The process, the exposure on multinational level was huge.
Even you current company, it sounds like data got you promoted.
Yeah, it did. It did. I’m loving It brings me
neatly to the role of the chief marketing officer. The CMO role is evolving and it has to evolve. I’m saying the required see most skill sets now moving into an area where they must be both data and tech literate. Not just any master. The discipline of marketing. More recently, we’ve seen the rise of the chief digital officer CDO to breach the CMO and CTO rolls. What’s your view on the digital literacy needed for the C suite rolls going forward? And he is the chief digital or data officer here to stay
so fantastic question. So yeah, it’s one of my favorite topics, right? So I thought when I laid out my career plan, especially as I was looking to leave IBM, it’s like I’m gonna be a CMO like that. To me is the pinnacle of I don’t want to be a CEO, but it’s CMO that that, to me, is where you’re really driving the combination of the data, the technology and still that creativity of how do I stand out from all the other competition what I’ve seen, especially in this agency role, where we’re working from both marketing side and media side along with actually c R M departments. I’m seeing this. The fact that most marketers use 15 different tech applications that are best of breed because they prefer to use best of breed means that marketing is massively siloed. And I think that is up the detriment of the ability of the CMO to run that as a fully oiled machine. What I also see is in the people that we work with in our client side more and more of the digital data oriented folks of the ones getting promoted. So I do think it’s without a doubt that those who came from more traditional brand background CMOs they will have their day again, I’m sure, but for now it’s definitely the data tech types and especially the folks in Digital, because there’s a desire to do this 1 to 1 marketing and coming to the UK nearly 10 years ago. The U. S. Has a huge amount of data, so you can do that 1 to 1. Targeting the laws are very different for us over here in the u with GDP are and so forth. It’s actually more about, let’s say, contextual targeting now and so you really have to begin to understand. How do I use all the tech in an appropriate way to really triangulate to what I want this person to d’oh! And where Doe I use all of the data and tech and channels to achieve the brand marketing that gets you to buy into that long journey of. I love this, Brent. I love John Lewis. I really do so by the way, John Lewis love U. S. Oh, I love that shop. And so if you think about that, therefore, as people look for places to buy in a very noisy, attention disruption environment, you need to be ableto guide that. And so I do believe that the digital officer is actually oftentimes evolving into the CMO. But they have to have that understanding of that market research that brand side and I know meth ice pressure. And he used to work with me at IBM as well. He’s done a couple CMO roles, and he’s been quite vocal on linked in about Let’s not forget the right and left brain of marketing, but there definitely is back to digital transformation loads of technology companies coming in selling the dream marketing transformation It’s the new E r P. Didn’t you know? And that’s where I’m again. As a client of sales force but also a partner with Salesforce, we were the number one agency partner for sales force last year. I know that that is a big part of what’s going on. So it’s actually the CFO, the CEO and the CEO who I think are buying the tech that the CMO then has to use. So if that CMO is not skilled upto understand, it’s about the process and the people that are in 15 silos. That’s part of my dysfunction. The technology is not gonna solve that
now. Like you, I was glued to the Netflix documentary The Great Hack, which focuses on the Cayman genic expose from 2018. What can we learn from this? What did you learn from it?
Oh, my. I was freaked out. I mean, I have to say, having worked on political campaigns, having worked in the White House and studying politics, this really hit me near the core of my heart. Especially because I do believe in the fact that all of us should own our own data. Having worked a choice point which spun out of Equifax, which is now part of LexisNexis. I understand the importance of having these data Brokers need aggregators who can help us understand pre employment screening and make sure we’re screening the right people and that the right people have credit. But let’s make sure the credit scores were built on things that are not biased because there’s a confirmation bias that’s in the data models. Yes, just a little side note there. So all of that stuff going on, I do worry that Facebook had great intentions in the beginning to connect people. And at this point, I was listening to a podcast yesterday where they said, there’s something like $50 to $100 CPM rate buy’s going on of Democratic primary candidates through Facebook. That usually would be a dollar or less so the fact that Facebook is now essentially a weaponized data machine. People don’t really realize what’s going on, and I think to some degree, while Facebook may try to fix that, I think it’s almost beyond their control and so I do worry that because the government regulation is really far behind understanding what Facebook can dio, we need to really review. Is Facebook a technology company or a publisher? And if it’s a publisher, then we need to really look at it as CBS Viacom we need to look at it is whatever oath and Verizon are now and all the other big multinational TV plus print publication companies are, and I think that’s why they’re struggling, right? So you’ve pretty much got the walled gardens of Amazon, as we call them, right? I didn’t know that term when I was at I B M, but you got the walled gardens of Google, Amazon and Facebook. Of course, he got 10 Cent and he’s got Ali Baba. So you literally have. That is where you do all your digital marketing and so back to my obsession and my client’s obsession with targeting people. Most of the marketing dollars now to talk to people are not going into television. Maybe they’re a little bit into Netflix as it opens up. They’re not going into like the BBC for sure, maybe channel for and otherwise. But we’re actually starting to create this monster that feeds itself such that the only news will ever see will actually come through those walled gardens who are bigger than any government and so as a human being who believes in free will. Still, to some degree, I do think people need to understand what value exchange is really happening here. And with Google, I think we get a gateway into the Internet. We get maps, we get this other information. I think Facebook is is a bit different in terms that the true value it brings to humankind.
You said, My favorite phrase Value exchange. I talk about a lot of Mikey notes that the consumers are now becoming wise. I think what happened in 2018 win came in. General Baker and the Guardian expose happen and then made the front page of the news in the evening standard In all the tabloids around the world, People in the street going Facebook did what with my data, I’m Australian. So I spent a few weekends ago. I spent a whole weekend reading a new report by the Australian government. They basically looked at the market power off Google and Facebook in Australia. Now you might say Australia’s a small market 23 24 million people, but the A triple see the competition commission into really deep. It’s 600 page report. They even went to look at the privacy controls and how you can’t negotiate when you actually wanted to sign up for Facebook or Google. And if you’ve got four hours of your time, it would be a really interesting thing to read, because I think what’s come out of what’s happened in Australia will happen here in the U and eventually us. They are becoming very, very powerful. I don’t take a risk with the next question. I talk a lot in my key notes about a thing called digital agents and given you work for leading advertising agency, this might be a little bit uncomfortable way with May. The digital agents are II powered personal assistance that combine all of the data on us that already exists on iPhones. Their next meeting on explain Tripper Bank balance with health insurance is ju etcetera. It helps manage the man youto their lives. And if you have a personal assistant, he or she might do some of that for you at the moment. But imagine an aye aye machine. You’ve got two mobile phones in front of you your whole life is on that, and I would be very powerful now. This is where if I’m in front of an audience full of market as they become very uncomfortable, I think is a futurist where 3 to 5 years away, possibly sooner from having our own aye aye power digital assistant run our lives and do digital deals in Milly seconds with their trusted supplies via AP Eyes application programming interfaces. This means that we’ll have to write ads for robots because I’ll never see traditional advertisement. This could change the advertising industry forever. How do you feel about these need to him? Futures
And I love it, which is, I really believe in brand marketing and the long term connection that you have is a consumer with the brand rather than the performance by it. Now get you down the conversion funnel. And I do think that there’s a lot of marketing that we get that’s get you down the funnel, so to speak, marketing terms that we are not massively appreciative of, and that’s where you are. A lot of people say, Oh, that ladder advertisements following me all around the Internet and it’s showing up inside my my news.
It’s known retargeting. It’s dumb, targeted
and and part of it was actually the G d. P. R and the I c o interpretation of GDP, our consent, the current situation now in France, the i C e O. In France, I forgot the name of the actual body has a French name. Obviously, they have now legislated is going to effect in July of next year that most of the cookies that are on a website now have to be automatically opted out. To the extent that it’s only the very, very essential elements that were allowed, which basically means that the cookies you have for even you ex design and the Google analytics that that would allow you to say I bought this search at. And now I’m on this, you know, Web Page. We won’t be able to do that anymore. I’m kind of sort of pro it because I feel like as a consumer, I should be going to the website I know on a buy stuff in. But that may end up just being again Amazon, Facebook or Google rather than the brand’s own website, so it forces brands to be content providers. Add value to my life about not just why this widget is five times faster, but I actually derive emotional value from this thing. So a particular brand that I wear it makes me feel better and part of a tribe, right or a guild,
and you’ll tell your job and you’ll become your own influence. And if you say something is good opera, we believe you because I know you
exactly. And that’s why we’ve seen so much with instagram and Twitter and so forth with all of thes social media influencers, they Hey, I mean, lookit, look at the number of influences you have because people believe what you say. They find it interesting, and that is, I think, how things will evolve so to the to the robot point. I think if that does happen, it’s a great challenge that we should take on board. But it’s because I believe in the power of brand and long term planning, and I think what’s happened is with Wall Street and other short term thinking of the way people are paid, people are thinking more short term than long term, and therefore I do worry that there will be no brands, right that everything seems to be the same, and we do almost through the robot. Just say this is what they said to buy. So I’m just buying that cause my automated you know, Black Mirror episode said. I should be this.
I think the brand thing actually speaks to my model of the digital agent, because if it learns my preferences and it learns that I’m always on the John Lewis website, I’m always buying things from John Lewis. Then when a digital deal comes through, my agent will go well. Andrew, we know he likes John Lewis. We’ll let that through. But if some other T. K. Maxx comes through and you’ve never dealt with them other than me not seeing the ad, it just won’t get through. So the copy will have to be content that my eye assistant has learned that I’m actually interested in and we’ll have to have a wide enough filter to go. You know what? He hasn’t dealt with this other brand Selfridges before, but we know it’s similar, so we’ll let it through and see if he responds to it. And I think that sort of learning will actually help brands have a great brand story rather than, as you say, Get in the final and get out of there.
But let me just go even a step further, which is super exciting. Some of the stuff that we’re doing is because of the attention economy, as we call it a DNC Regis. We have started to work with production companies to almost go back to the 19 twenties, where it was brought to you by Campbell Soup. But instead of it being that overt, we’re actually doing programs that relate to the brand and then the content and the brand’s product is within the actual program. But it’s just there is. And this to me is advertising at its best, right? You don’t even know you’re being advertised to, but it’s there. And if you watch madman, how many times do you see a cigarette or them drinking? Do you not want to smoke or have a cigarette? By the time you’ve watched, like three Siri’s is, you know, three episodes of madmen you don’t even know it’s happening. And so I think good marketing is subliminal and you end up doing something, and that’s where again. It’s the coordination of all the different channels you have together and you’re receptive because advertising is not noise, its content. And I think that is the beauty. And that’s what I love about my job is how do we figure out the right operating model to make sure we have all the right skills working on all the different options that we have with the data available to help have data driven brands and really happy consumers cause that’s kind of the point.
So the skills thing is an interesting question. So watch subject. Should any future leaders listening this podcast be studying now to ensure they take advantage of this new rich digital world?
It’s going to sound crazy, but I kind of feel one part of me feels like anthropology and social science, like understanding people in human behavior is really critical. And then you can not. I mean, you have to study technology, and I don’t think, and this is really important to me, because again, I’m a police I and Spanish double major. And while I did statistics and we did data, you know, surveys and research, I don’t think you need to succeed in data and tech being a stem person, and I think it’s really important because if people don’t have the inclination to do maths all the time on engineering, you can understand that by joining a technology company is one of the first jobs you do with your domain of finance, of marketing of HR, whatever it is, and understand how the technology helps you do your job better. And I’ll never forget Gore of despond. It was my first manager at IBM. IBM had bought Tree Go and he’s like Lauren, if you’re going to do product marketing, you have to understand how this product works and you’re going to scripting camp. And here I went after my MBA. I was like, You know, hot to trot. I got my marketing MBA now that IBM doing this cool job and he’s like, Go to this class and the 1st 2 days were about using the technology, and then it was into scripting. I was like, I’m not done this before, but I loved it, and so is from that day I was credit him with. You have to know how something works to make it better to sell it and to adopt it to whatever you know, environment, you’re gonna use it. And so that is part of the ethos I still have today that I need to know What are the ingredients in this thing? And most of the time, this thing is technology. So how does this work?
I’m the same. So while I’m a technologist and I study technology, I’d like to take things apart, understand how they work. So, for example, a few months ago, I bought a WiFi pineapple, which is actually used by hackers. Teoh be a man and middle attack, not a hacker. But I want to understand how it works and how vulnerable that people were. And I really have Ah, call it digital curiosity. How does this work? How does this product work and how people people use it. So you have the word data in your job title one of them because you had a long job title. What does it mean to be a date? A person? Yeah. So this is this is an interesting one. I have kind of the
three lessons I’ve kind of learned in life, being in accidentally to some degree of the data field, right, and One of the things I found is the important things about being a date. A person is understanding your confirmation bias. And I think Tally Sharratt, who from the UCL She’s done a lot of talks on the confirmation bias, and I saw it one of the Huxley Summit meetings a couple years back, and I brought it back to my teams and I said, Wow, if you really think about this in data science and in Google and in fair Isaac, there’s a fight go score that does their credit scores. Who wrote those algorithms and and what background did they have? And fair Isaac was founded in like 1969 by two guys in the West Coast of California. So how much of that model is still the same and was written by those two guys in California that at a particular view of what was creditworthy and not? And there’s been loads about the underbanked not being accounted for in people with cash under their mattresses, and we have Brexit coming up. So maybe there’s more of those now
Break’s coming up ahead another. Exactly. So
you do have the confirmation bias thing. You have to be aware of. And if we didn’t have it, like as humanity, we probably wouldn’t be here right, because it’s trying to help us make sense of everything
we have to. So we have to have an opinion. You have an opinion about something
exactly, and that’s why it’s important to know your biases there and then surround yourself with people to challenge that bias. Okay, so that’s like the part one was like that the kind of this data lens. The next part for me was about understanding what is going on in the digital marketing and media ecosystem. So that really started to blow my mind because I didn’t know how much data Google, Facebook Amazon really had. And once I started looking at the consolidation of this industry, another stat I have is that 95 billion is the forecast spend in intelligence, technology and marketing technology. 95 billion huge by 2021. So that’s insane. And really, what that comes down to is you have sales force that’s a fantastic company growing right fast and has essentially your serum and your marketing data inside. What I’d say is your enterprise, then you’ve got Google that has all the data outside your enterprise. And those two are really well coordinated partners like Google uses Salesforce, Tech, Salesforce’s Google Tech, et cetera. Put that together. Holy God, that’s Google has seven billion people on their platform, Salesforce says. Everyone cr m literally. There you go. Done. I’ve got my entire connected value chain of all consumers with one I. D. So that’s kind of amazing. In terms of understanding, How does technology empower data? And who are the vendors that are deciding the future landscape of, you know, IBM had the mainframe. This is the next kind of federation in that, and I will also say I do think Microsoft and Adobe will be another one. And what if Amazon team up with S A P? Wouldn’t that be interesting? So just some thoughts out there
thes big tech companies are getting almost too big and regulators and are getting a bit nervous. And I keep talking about how 2018 was the year of regulated disruption, first open banking and second with Judy PR. I’m sure that is someone who deals day to day with consumer data. It’s something that keeps you on your client’s awake at night. What do you think of the key trends that will define digital transformation in a post GDP? Are you world?
So for us, the big trend I’ve seen, part of it is Thean sourcing. So in the media agency industry, we have a lot of clients who are saying they want to own the tech because traditionally they would just essentially, it’s I almost feel like the media agency is the outsourced CMO sweet and essentially we use all attack bile attack have all the skills, have the right kind of environment to nurture those skills and drive innovation that a enterprise wouldn’t. But with the you could say the consolidation of the 6000 Martek Cos if you’ve seen the Loomis cares about you, she hardtack is the guy who does it in his website. It gets bigger every year but at the same time sales I did an analysis and salesforce, Google Adobe and to some degree, Microsoft are picking off the biggest ones and you had tableau and data Rama both bought by Salesforce recently, Looker was bought by Google. So you look at that landscape and you say, Well, I already know who the big guys are gonna own everything. IBM, you know, our alma mater has exited completely and sold off all of their marketing assets. So in that environment, what I think’s happening is people with the GPR and the need to control their data. They’re saying, I want to own the text. So anyone I’ve outsourced to I know want to own the tech license. I want to try to take it in house and run it. And what I’ve seen is some car crashes of people trying to run it because marketing still doesn’t get funded because you can’t do the director rely on what they did, because again, we can’t use direct 1 to 1 conversion because it’s against the law. So there’s a lot of reasons why marketing will always be a rounding estimation, and that’s okay, because that is the part you have to have some again art in the numbers of the world. So that’s my belief in where that’s gonna and it’s gonna kind of let it level out some sort of equilibrium. But the fascinating thing again for you and your listeners is I do think back to the point in this attention economy. With all these rules with thes walled gardens running than if you work in a brand, you need to make a reason for it to be your app, your website, your store, your program. Whatever the heck it is. People need to want to come to you because there’s content that’s worthwhile. And if that content is then on a platform that you own, that allows you to understand, this is Andrew Grill, and even it’s not his robot, it’s him. And here’s all the things that I collect on him over time that allow me to personalize that experience. And actually, once I realized he’s a power buyer. Andrew, why don’t you come in and help us design some of our new products? Why don’t you be a brand ambassador? Why don’t I give you this kind of bonus? Not because it’s your birthday, but because you’ve really shown really good customer feedback. That’s enlightening, not just is really cool, so I think there’s huge opportunity there, and so I think the GPR is an opportunity for all of us, but it is a shift in their model, and so therefore people have to be ready for that And so we are. But, you know,
I totally agree. I talk about you know, I’m a glass half full person. Anyway, I think Judy PR is a big opportunity. The fact the Data Protection Act was 20 years old and it is now bring brought in the 21st century. It’s about time. But on the back of that great hack documentary we talked about before, I think consumers are slowly becoming Maur informed about what big tech is doing on. We talked about this value exchange, and they’re aware of their own digital data footprints. So how do you manage your own personal data? Given what you know about how the industry works?
No, it’s It’s a great point, actually. I’ve volunteered at my local school to start educating the parents because I know that people in my N. C T group in my local neighborhood yeah, my local neighborhood, we talk about it and there was like, Oh, here comes Lauren again. With their data news on, I said, It’s just about being informed. I don’t care what you do as a result, but I think you need to be informed as to how this works and I think the great hack was something I sent out to pretty much everyone I knew. And I said, Please watch this because you will start to understand that literally elections were swayed because they saw enough information against subliminally that they did not vote in. I think it was Trinidad and Tobago. Is that where that happened? There was
one of the
places where they literally got one group of young people not to vote because I don’t vote since literally is a campaign. Don’t vote. And I thought to myself, That’s what people don’t recognize. Like you can get people to do things. That’s why marketing is still getting funded for all these years, right? So so for my own personal data, footprint of sake, where is the value exchange to what you said, Lincoln. I have a high value exchange. Scougall live a high value exchange. I don’t have a value exchange with Facebook. I did at a point in my life. But then I found it to be voyeuristic and not useful. And I look at all the things about kids who are now in suicide, who now the millennials who aren’t having sex because they’re afraid of body shaming and people taking pictures of them and posting it on whatever. So I do worry. And because again, I have this Data Tech mindset of how all the acquisitions Facebook and Google are making feed into this walled garden. Of all the data I have, I ultimately will be able to know exactly who I need to target against a particular behavior. And I think that’s the critical bit right, Andrew. The critical bit is yes, they have lots of data and yes, people, I said earlier, the data scientist asking the question into the data. If they don’t know why and how the day has been collected, that it’s hard. But if you have a lot of people who are looking at certain things who are starting to trend towards topics who are responding really well, then you can ask that question within that source of data to say, Ah, this person’s trending this particular way So how do I get them to do this based on these lovers? And that’s a very, very different thing. And I think people think, Oh, I don’t care if anyone sees my browsing habits, but what about your kid whose one year old, who is now 15 and you posted their entire life. What if they don’t want that posted? So I definitely say like you should not be posting about your Children because they have no voice. So there’s loads of options available now where you can use your own emails. There’s a new company called Wire started up by the guy who started Skype. So it’s a Swiss based kind of WhatsApp that’s not quite fit for purpose yet. But I’m all over it because it’s encrypted and it’s not for advertising. And I think that’s it right. If we have some new social media sharing environments that are not based on advertising, but you pay, that’s great, because now they’re actually as I’m getting this for this. And currently, I think that people don’t realize that they are paying by giving away their data and then ended up being targeted with things and doing things they didn’t know. They did.
My favorite phrases. If the product is free, the product is may. Yes, all right. So as this is the practical futures podcast, what three things can I listen to do next week to embrace the power of data.
Okay, It’s the number one We’ve already talked about the great hack. You’ve gotta set some time in your diary, Thio.
Not even its will spin.
Yeah, 100% on and have your phone ready so you can toss all your friends while you’re watching it and say, Oh, my God. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. The next thing I think you should do is you should go into either Google or Facebook and basically asked for that download of what they have on you. And the next thing I think you should do is look at your phone. Look at the settings in your android or in your, you know, apple phone or whatever, while way whatever phone you’re running and understand how many of the apse you’re actually using. What is the microphone on? Is there access to the camera? What? And why did the zaps need that? And are you even still using it? Because your phones, they’re listening? Because let’s go back to my really critical thing. Voice search is the next search. The current battle right now is over. Who wins the voice search? Is it apple with Siri Is it Amazon, or is it Google? And yes, Microsoft is trying to be in there with with theirs, but at the same time, it’s no longer going to be a type thing. Think about your kids asking Alexa things. So all of your app said Iran are actually taking in listening. Not because they’re trying to do anything now, but they’re trying to understand and build that database that already exists in words
and Episode three of the Practical Futures podcast we had James pull tow. It was all about voice, and we talked about this. So go back and listen to that. Finally, Lauren, how can people find out more about you and your work?
Oh, wow. Well, follow me on LinkedIn cause I love toe say all sorts of stuff there and keep you alert of the you know, the data trails that you lied. But all those
great stuff look from your stuff. Thank
you. And I also try to make it fun, right? I’m a huge American football fan. And so when I wrote the latest one inspired by the HBR article, it was very much about the data offensive in the data defensive. So I do think it’s important to see how the CDO title is evolving, how data and business is evolving and really back to your point about the future. CMO every roll my CEO overall, the CFO, all of us air using data but in a very, very new way. So if you understand the anatomy, let’s say of a business and how that data flows. You will be that much better at that role. And I do think those are the people that will then rise up into these rules into the future.
Lauren, thank you so much for your time. It’s great to have you on the show.
Thank you. It’s been really fun. Can’t wait to see you again.
Thank you for listening to The Actionable Futurist® Podcast. You can find all of our previous shows at actionablefuturist.com If you like what you’ve heard on the show, please consider subscribing via your favourite podcast app So you never miss an episode. You can find out more about Andrew and how he helps corporates navigate a disruptive digital world with keynote speeches and C-suite workshops at acionablefuturist.com Until next time. This has been The Actionable Futurist® Podcast.