There’s no shortage of data and options to look at when it comes to programmatic, but Ben Wilks, general manager of marketing, Volkswagen Australia says marketers should stop analysing and just do it.
“With anything like this, the temptation is to wait for the ability to design perfection, but that’s kind of the exact opposite of what anything we know about technology is teahing us,” he told the audience at IAB’s Programmatic Summit in Sydney last week.
“You actually need to get moving. You actually need to try.”
It was a response to fellow pannelist Willie Pang, chief digital officer at Mediacom’s question on why he had bitten the bullet and delved into programmatic without spending oodles of time on researching.
Wilks said he refrains from saying ‘fail fast’ as he’s was sick of everyone saying it and that the expression doesn’t bode well with the CEO or the CFO of the business.
“But you do need to get started,” he continued. “You do need to leave room for innovation, especially if you’re one of the companies that says it values innovation.
“I would say this to marketers who are considering doing it, it’s worth taking that step, so you can get the first round of data.”
Wilks admitted the first round of data the company gathered from its programmatic abilities was “okay”, and not “massively worth all the talk and investment and stuff”. But he said as they moved into the second phase of data and using the data from the first round, suddenly things started to ramp up.
Another question that arose during the panel discussion was whether a data scientist is needed to move all the data muscle. Customer data has risen exponentially along with the increase in adoption of programmatic abilities and no doubt it will continue its pace.
Wilks said everything they do is looking at a five year term so a data scientist person is “exactly what we ultimately need to have on board”.
He mentioned the automotive brand is outsourcing that at the moment, and says he hopes to be able to challenge the outsource data guys to make sure they know exactly what they’re doing. It’s a challenge to stay ahead of the smarts as marketers, he added.
While acknowledging the brand will still need external help every now and then, he says the brand uses as much as it can of its agency’s resources to help upskill its employees.
“Ultimately, that data, that math muscle, is something we’ll see in our team in the next few years.”