Q&A With Nicky Owen Advertising Specialist, Credit Suisse

Nicky has nearly twenty years international brand strategy experience across advertising, media, research and innovation agencies and is now working client side in the global brand team at Credit Suisse. She has developed comms strategy for some of the biggest brands in the world including American Express, Vodafone, Dove, HSBC, Tate, Sony and Nestle. Nicky is also a Non-Exec Board Member  of The Akram Khan Dance Company, one of the world’s leading contemporary dance companies and based at Sadlers Wells, and has an MBA from Nottingham University Business School.

Q: Why is it that more information can often lead to fewer insights?
A: I don’t agree that this is always the case, and in fact, having a lot of insights doesn’t necessarily lead to better work if you can’t act on them anyway. However we are all time pressured, so the ability to go through a larger amount of information in depth to make those insight discoveries is a luxury rarely available. If that information is summarised or presented well, however, more information can often provide more context and so it should certainly lead to better (rather than more) insights.

Q: What’s the biggest single challenge that impedes the successful integration of behavioural and survey data?
A: For us, the sample/respondents are key – rarely able to survey very affluent individuals at scale so it is hard to reconcile.

Q: Why is it so important for brands and their agencies to be able to compare online and offline audience and advertising data more effectively?
A: Who is offline these days? Tv is digital/streamed, as is radio, newspapers are read online…understanding what connects with your audience and what impact it has is key, regardless of off or online etc.

Q: Do you think that we will see more data sharing projects over the next three years and if so, why?
A: Yes – benchmarking and having context for figures is important for everybody or data becomes a bit useless. This will require more data sharing and pooling (even if anonymising) of data.

Q: How can insight teams ensure that we are asking the right questions of the data?
A: Be clear on what success is and work back from that.

Q: Can you sum up the holy grail of brand advertising attribution in one sentence?
A: To ultimately lead to profitability.

Q: Why is it important to break down the silos between data teams and insight teams?
A: Increased understanding between the teams and possibly different perspectives working together may challenge the status quo and lead to new thinking.

Q: If heads of data are from Mars and heads of insight are from Venus, what are the common skills and personality traits that should bring them together?
A: Both are about decoding the world to help businesses grow. But some look for patterns and some look at people!

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