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Managing Marketing: Achieving transparency in the murky digital media supply chain

Nicole-Sheffield
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Managing Marketing is a podcast hosted by TrinityP3 Founder and Global CEO, Darren Woolley. Each podcast is a conversation with a thought-leader, professional or practitioner of marketing and communications on the issues, insights and opportunities in the marketing management category. Ideal for marketers, advertisers, media and commercial communications professionals.

Nicole Sheffield is an industry leader in digital media holding roles as the Chief Digital Officer at News Corp Australia and Chair of the IAB. Here Nicole talks with Darren on the changes and challenges in the digital media supply chain, including transparency, measurement and value. All of this made even more complicated by the constant evolving nature of the eco-system and challenging marketers to deliver meaningful results for brands and business.

You can listen to the podcast here:

Follow Managing Marketing on Soundcloud or iTunes

Transcription:

Darren:

Welcome to Managing Marketing and today I’m joined by Nicole Sheffield, who is one of the leading lights of the murky world of digital media.

Nicole:

Thank you, Darren.

Darren:

Well, what can I say? Welcome, Nicole. The reason I say the murky world is, I think it was Keith Weed at Unilever, described it as the murky supply chain of digital media. There is this perception that it’s all a bit dodgy.

Nicole:

Yeah, and we haven’t helped ourselves. I think the romantic part of digital like to keep it all black box and secret. At first that was exciting but after a while people want to actually look under the hood; they want to see the engine, they want to know what’s going on. And yet digital became quite protective because everyone felt they’d built their own I.P.

So, I think we haven’t helped ourselves and now we’re in the position we’re in now where everybody is questioning whether they can trust digital media, which is a crazy place to be when you think of all the media in this country, 19 million Australians every month consume digital media.

So, if the audience is there, we as marketers have to find ways to connect with them. But it’s certainly not as transparent or easy as other industries.

Darren:

I think part of it is also the whole level of complexity.

Nicole:

Yep.

Darren:

We’re both still very young at heart but experienced in the industry. I remember when I started TrinityP3 in 2000, media was still pretty much advertisers, media owners, and agencies acting as in-betweens. Now we’ve got all these extra people haven’t we, playing in this space?

We’ve got aggregators, Googles, Facebooks, and the like who have suddenly popped themselves in the middle. They take content from consumers, publishers, and they monetise that and pretty much make themselves rich.

Then we’ve got the ad-tech companies that are coming out with new platforms and new ways of measuring, and they’re all flogging their stuff to all and sundry. And then we’ve got the big consulting firms coming in and they’re saying don’t do this, do this and giving all this advice at the C-Suite level. So, suddenly there are so many more fingers in the pie.

You must have noticed in your career the number of stakeholders you’re dealing with has gone from when you’re a media salesperson you’re basically selling to advertisers and direct clients. Now there’s all and sundry.

Nicole:

Look, it has changed. Over time I think the word ‘digital’ will go.

Darren:

Let’s hope so.

Nicole:

I think all media will just be digital by the very nature of the way it’s distributed. In traditional media we’re generally thinking space; air time on television, air time on radio, a page in a newspaper or magazine—we think space.

In digital media you don’t think space because there are all sorts of inventory. And the inventory can be an ad unit, some M-req, or a banner ad in the simplest form or it can be really complicated data targeting.

So, the challenge in our industry now is that as more people have become involved to come up with new ways to monetise. They’ve made it murkier and more complicated to understand. But ultimately, what we’ve got to realise is that it’s just another way of connecting with the consumer.

If you take the aggregators—what the aggregators have done is they have been able to connect with the consumer. Now that consumer may be connecting because they’re searching for something, as per Google, or they may be connecting in a social environment, as in they want to share their personal, social, birthday etc.

That’s the purpose they ultimately serve. How they monetise then becomes taking from the traditional media and content. I think that’s where people get confused and overwhelmed. The ad-tech companies—they’ve made it their bread and butter to make it as complicated and difficult and jargony as possible. But the reality is their business is about performance.

Any marketer listening to this—go back to how is this going to help me reach more customers more effectively (either faster, in a more agile environment)? What is the benefit I’m getting because ultimately ad-tech is about performance? It’s really not about creativity, engagement; it’s about performance.

Darren:

I read a quote recently, Robert Gottlieb, who is the chair of Group M (just resigned) and he said, ‘wherever there is confusion there is opportunity for profit’. That’s one of the things that I think has really happened here.

There are lots of stakeholders, they’re all making contributions, they’ve all got a stake in the game but when you compare buying space in a newspaper or magazine it was pretty much the advertiser, agency, and the publisher. You try and translate that into any digital transaction and suddenly you see the murky ecosystem that’s got 5 or 6 people with their fingers in the pie.

We’ve seen all those charts that the A&A in the U.S produce that show how only 40% gets to the publisher because everyone else is taking their cut on the way through.

Nicole:

That’s so true and I think that’s the other challenge because it’s so confusing, everyone is taking a slice of the pie and so ultimately the advertiser who started off just wanting the end consumer—the way they get there is not linear anymore. It’s really complicated and difficult. So, in the end they’ve spent a dollar but really only got 40 cents of value.

And what is that 60 cents they’ve lost along the way delivering? That’s what everyone now is getting really concerned about. I think all this fabulous attention, whether it’s Mark Pritchard in the U.S from Proctor and Gamble, A&A in the U.S, whoever is drawing focus, it’s a really good thing.

The more focus we can put towards transparency the more trust we’ll have, and we’ll actually be able to have better performing marketing campaigns.

Darren:

The idea of transparency is great in principle, but it actually becomes incredibly difficult to deliver from a technology point of view because a lot of marketers that we talk to don’t even get that say a programmatic trade—the whole thing happens in about 300 milliseconds.

So, you’re talking about transparency but all you can really do is understand the process. They’re talking about blockchain suddenly capturing all this and making it all transparent. Should we be focusing on transparency or should we be focusing on performance?

One of the things I love about the digital media ecosystem (to use a term of the moment) is that it is all about measuring performance. There are so many things you can measure aren’t there?

Nicole:

I think you’re right. Ultimately, that’s the measure. The reason I call it transparency is because it’s the current thing that everyone is paralysed by and it becomes the number one excuse when you’re talking to someone as to why I won’t do anything.

I think performance is key and what’s interesting in digital, to use the page analogy, at the end of the day I’ve got a fixed product, fixed distribution network, and a fixed number of people that are going to get this, by and large, and sales move up and down slightly but overall, you’ve got a general view.

In digital you have no idea how many people are going to consume that particular page or that story or social and you do not know how many times that ad is going to be delivered to them but based on their profile you would hope that would have a much higher click-through rate or outcome.

I think that last-click attribution also confuses people and that adds a whole other murky layer for using Keith’s analogy there. For marketers the challenge is what exactly are you trying to deliver on; what sort of emotional connection as well as performance? Because that is an area that digital has failed in.

They failed to deliver on an emotional connection and hence the reason we have aggregators or platforms like Facebook taking off because people see it as emotional. Actually, it’s just people connecting with other people—that’s the emotion.

Darren:

Which is a human desire. People want to feel connected. It’s interesting from my perspective because marketers will talk about performance but in actual fact their idea of performance has become reduced to cost in many cases.

Nicole:

Yes, sadly.

Darren:

I’ll give you a prime example—disclosed and non-disclosed agency arrangements. Now, we were doing work for a client and all of their digital media was on a non-disclosed agreement. For those that don’t know that means that the agency buys digital media on your behalf through a trading desk, but they have no obligation to disclose any transparency into that transaction.

The reason they do that is that sometimes they’re arbitraging, sometimes they’re buying whole blocks of digital media and on-selling it at a mark-up. Other times they’re doing other sorts of murky deals.

I asked the client, if transparency is so important why did you go non-disclosed? And they said the agent guaranteed a lower cost per impression on non-disclosed compared to disclosed. So, it showed me that the most important thing for that advertiser was lower cost (above transparency).

Nicole:

Yeah, I think that’s absolutely true. Ultimately all that the advertiser or marketer cares about (because they’re measured) is foot traffic. So, whether you’re a car dealer or David Jones or a bank, ultimately what are you trying to do? You’re trying to get people into your store (virtual or real, whatever your store is).

Ultimately, I need X amount of leads to buy this particular insurance product and so if I can generate X amount of leads, foot traffic or impressions (however you want to measure it) for a lower cost I’m always going to take that.

What I think losses out in that is the value in the brand. We used to talk a lot about environment. We cared a lot about the environment we were in whereas in digital as long as I can get you down I don’t care whether you’re currently on Google, a site in China or you’re reading a legitimate news site.

I really don’t care: I’m still getting you and you are still more likely to buy my insurance product based on all the other things I know about you.

Darren:

Except it’s not about environment, it’s called brand safety because you do actually care when your ad appears next to child pornography, gambling, prostitution, pornography, terrorism.

The irony is they called it brand safety. Why not call it brand care? Do you actually care about your brand and the environment that it’s seen in? Would you go and buy an outdoor site in a red-light district of a city if you’ve got family values? No, you wouldn’t because you care about your brand. But when we come to the digital world it’s called brand safety.

Nicole:

Yeah, true.

Darren:

People have had a complete conniption in being able to translate the same principles they’ve always had into the digital world because it’s all about volume of people at the lowest possible price.

The second point (I absolutely agree) if you’re measuring leads, traffic that you create, at least it’s a measure in the real world. The example of disclosed and non-disclosed was for a consumer packaged-goods company that has no measure because they sell through retailers.

So, they’re just going for impressions. They just want impressions. They treat digital in the same way they do traditional media. I can run a TV ad and I’ll reach so many million people or I can buy a million people on a cost per impression and it’s cheaper than television. Except that in non-disclosed it’s also very hard to know whether that reach is real people or bots.

Nicole:

Yeah, right, exactly.

Darren:

Or whether your ad was actually loaded or viewed.

Nicole:

Was it viewed with the sound on? I think in those instances it has become a cost measure and that’s the biggest problem for digital media today—that it’s measured based on cpms and that’s actually what agencies want because it allows them to put greater mark-ups and margins on it.

And the pressure they put on media or the people that own that inventory is significant these days because they do want to be able to be able to arbitrage it and sell it to their clients at a premium.

And the challenge to clients is to be really clear about what is the outcome. I think, for a lot of them in the past, as long as they can deliver X amount of inventory or X amount of people at the lowest price they’ve ticked a box. Now, they need to start thinking about how and where they want their brand to be perceived, how do they want to connect with people, and what are they actually going to do once those people connect?

Just like all other media, digital doesn’t work in isolation. It’s a growing and significant part of an ecosystem. That’s where marketers have to get smarter about connecting all those dots because when it comes to television or outdoor we all know what everyone does.

Television, you make sure you put it on a top rating show and make sure your boss watches that show that night.

Darren:

And the outdoor on the route that he or she drives to work.

Nicole:

Exactly.

Darren:

If there are no outdoor sites you get a mobile site and park it across the road so that they reverse out of the driveway and hit it.

Nicole:

Exactly. You can’t do that in digital. You can’t necessarily always find it and I think that’s where people get really concerned. The only way is up. It’s still really new.

Darren:

Come on—it’s a decade old.

Nicole:

A decade old and we’ve only got daily ratings and people aren’t even trading on them at the moment. Think about it. It’s a decade old in terms of ad units but how do we measure those ad units? Do we have industry standards? There are no standards.

Darren:

We’re working towards it—taking a long time to get there (and that gets me onto another point). I had a CMO of a very large brand phone me up and go, ‘I’ve just seen one of our ads and it’s directly opposite a review of our competitor’. And I’m going, ‘O.K.?’ ‘Go online and have a look’. And I go, ‘you do realise I won’t get the same ad served to me’ and he goes, ‘no, no, I’m looking at it right now’. He had no idea.

Nicole:

Right.

Darren:

He thought that their advertising was like buying space in a magazine or newspaper, that everyone that looked at that review was going to see that ad. So, I said are you at work or at home? ‘I’m at work’. ‘Then your media agency has probably upped it so that whenever you look at anything to do with your category your ad will be there to make you feel like they’re doing a good buy’.

‘What you should actually do is tell them to exclude your ip address because why are you serving ads to your own people?’ He goes, ‘I don’t understand what you’re saying’. It was like a 40-minute conversation.

Nicole:

This was a CMO?

Darren:

This was a CMO who was spending tens of millions of dollars on digital media. There were people under him that would be into it. But even they were not thinking about things like excluding their own IP address, so they don’t serve to the office.

You’re paying for every time you put that ad up, so how many times during the day are your staff looking at stuff online and getting your add popping up? And the agency is maybe taking 35% of it in a non-disclosed agreement.

Nicole:

So true.

Darren:

Why are they not waking up (apart from it’s early days)?

Nicole:

I’m saying early days in terms of monetisation, not early days in terms of usage of digital or the understanding of it. I don’t think it’s necessarily waking up; it’s keeping up. One of the challenges is that just when you think you’re ahead of the game it changes again; there’s a new platform, product, ad-tech, and a new way to deliver that.

And all of a sudden, we’ve gone from worrying about data to worrying about identity. I don’t just want a profile, I want you.

Darren:

You want to be able to target me.

Nicole:

That’s right. And so therefore the new conversation is about what’s more valuable and how do you get that? I feel for a lot of these CMOs. Something as simple as targeting ad based on review and category should have been known—that’s kind of scary. But on the whole keeping up is hard but you just have to stay committed to it.

That’s the reality for a lot of industries; they always have to stay ahead, they always need to study all the time to stay on top of their industry. Marketing has stayed the same for a really long time. It’s been formulaic for a really long time and in the last 5, 6, 7, maybe even 10 years it’s started to move at a rapid rate.

And so now it’s incumbent on the marketer to stay informed, stay ahead and actually step up and not rely on procurement or other experts within the company but use their knowledge and wisdom to show that they actually know something others don’t, which they do and that is how to connect to those consumers, which was always the purpose of marketing.

Darren:

I love that because, as you said before, digital has to go.

Nicole:

Yeah.

Darren:

The idea that digital needs its own strategy is wrong. Because from the marketing perspective, it’s who is our audience and what are the best ways to engage with those people in the right channel?

And channels might depend on what you’re trying to do in each channel. There is absolutely a role for senior marketers to define strategy very clearly so that the digital specialists can go and work out the best way to deliver on that strategy, not have their own separate digital strategy but be delivering against the overall customer strategy in those channels.

To have retail or ecommerce or whatever interface those specialists deliver. I love the idea of the unified strategy because what I see in big organisations is everyone’s got their own little strategy and none of them actually align. Again, in that confusion there is opportunity for profit for anyone down the chain to actually say, ‘oh you want to do a bit of this and a bit of this; we can do that’.

Nicole:

I’ve been in meetings (I won’t mention who) with major retailers and I turn up to these meetings as a digital expert with some information and questions and I get introduced to people sitting around the table and I just assume it’s the marketing team. I get through the eight people sitting at this table and they’ve all come from different agencies.

And you’ve got the social expert and the digital expert; why do you need me in the room? What are these people doing?

Darren:

Except none of the agency people are paid to deliver results; they’re actually paid for the amount of time they can spend there. I’ve always loved, even when I was a little junior copywriter, the media agency but I especially loved media sales people because media sales people are right at the edge of delivering customers to marketers.

The agency is an intermediary, always has been. Their job is to try and take as much money on the way through, but a media sales person lives and dies on getting a client to agree to using their media and feeling at the end of that process that they got value for money.

All of that’s changed. There is no value equation anymore; it’s all about where can I buy the lowest possible price. Media sales is now about how can I bundle it all up to give as much away as possible to get a bigger share of the budget.

Nicole:

That’s right; give away 19 things to sell 1. It’s crazy and I think the other challenge is that the value in the creativity and the strategic thinking is actually the thing you give away. We’ve always monetised space but actually that’s the commodity.

Moving forward you have to be really smart about that because that’s the engagement piece. The creativity, the strategic thinking, the actual understanding whether it’s content marketing, whatever your particular challenge is–how you approach that has got to start off with what’s the strategy, what’s the outcome I’m trying to achieve, what am I going to measure, and what does success look like?

But ultimately a lot of media now are giving that away and therefore they’re not refining that or spending enough time on that because ultimately all they want to do is sell the space.

Darren:

They’re selling advertising. What’s the food… taste, right? One of the things that cracks me up, because I go there looking for recipes, click here and you can buy it (Coles or Woolworths?). There’s my shopping list at Coles. What they should be doing, when it says butter, you should be talking to Fonterra to see if they want to pay to have that as Western Star butter.

Nicole:

They do.

Darren:

Right. To me that is a much more interesting use of the digital environment because my engagement level, looking at recipes, is infinitely higher than any amount of advertising that appears around it. And yet, that’s the bit that seems to have disappeared.

Because the focus–your point about selling space is usually about selling ad space not content as the business driver.

Nicole:

Do you know what was really interesting? When I did that Taste/ Coles deal five years ago.

Darren:

Oh my god, you actually did the deal, fantastic.

Nicole:

I did the deal. I tell you right now, it took 18 months to do that deal. And it was so foreign for any supermarket. I think I went back to Woollies 5 or 6 times to develop this, hours, workshops, everything. It was so foreign for both the client and the agencies to think about this as anything more than a media deal and value it on the amount of impressions that were being delivered.

And I kept saying you are now part of the connected kitchen, no woman in this country, and I say woman not to be sexist—85% of traffic is female or was back then, it’s more gender neutral now – but the point is no person gets to 4.00 o’clock on a weekday and says ‘What am I going to cook tonight without going to Taste’.

When they go to Taste they want quick and easy recommendations, they want product substitutes and guess what, you now have the opportunity to deliver specials that are happening in your area, FMCG products based on what’s in that recipe. So, now if you go to rice it’s no longer just rice it’s Sun rice.

Darren:

I wasn’t sure if the brands were there because of a deal.

Nicole:

It was a deal but it’s really forward thinking of the marketers because they’re not thinking about a campaign. Sun rice or Fonterra are not sitting there thinking I just need it for 6 weeks. That is a commitment to 24/7 I am part of that ecosystem.

It probably is an annual deal, but the reality is that means I am intrinsically connected to that content and therefore intrinsically connected to that recipe and hence to the consumer and the connected kitchen. That’s actually the beauty of digital.

It’s no longer just an ad with lots of space in Master Chef, which that particular supermarket (Coles) probably already spends the same amount of money for 13 weeks on Master Chef. It reaches a lot of people, but it doesn’t actually connect when someone is cooking and that’s where digital can offer something really quite unique.

Darren:

That’s right. If you move beyond price and start thinking about environment (I don’t want to call it brand safety—brand care)—if you really care about your brand, then you want to have it in the environments where people are highly engaged and focused on what your brand has to offer.

And that’s the bit I think is missing because all the digital advertising targeting is focused on me as the individual and my profile that’s been built. I tell my friends don’t believe everything you see me share on social media, I’m doing it to upset the algorithm.

Nicole:

Of course, you are. I must try that.

Darren:

I know they’re collecting this information. I had a conversation with someone who’s been in social media for 10 years and I go, ‘you did realise that the whole time they’re profiling you, every app you sign up for?’

Nicole:

A friend from the U.S. went on to my Facebook page and into my settings—I ask everyone to do that—have a look at your ad settings, your profile that has already been built on you. I was shocked; it made complete sense about what ads were being served.

If you’re in the U.S it’s already worked out, based on what you read, what political persuasion you are. It will deliver ads based on that and that sits within your profile and it’s constantly added to. It’s amazing, I think it’s exciting but it’s also quite scary.

Darren:

This person was amazed that they made a phone call to someone and then the next day inside the Facebook ad that person was put up as someone they may want to connect with.

Nicole:

Wow.

Darren:

I’ve had the same thing on LinkedIn. I’ll send or receive an email from someone because these apps are not just self-contained; you’ve given permission for them to go right through your technology platform and draw any information they want to draw to actually enhance your experience of them.

Nicole:

Well I think this period that we’re going through at the moment with all of this analysis of particularly Facebook and Cambridge Analytica these are going to be really interesting times.

Darren:

Where do you see it going?

Nicole:

I don’t know that I necessarily agree with the extreme view of regulation. There needs to be some level of self-regulation.

Darren:

Spoken like the Chair of the IAB—you’ve drunk the Kool-Aid.

Nicole:

I’m outgoing but I speak to too many people who don’t understand when they’re on these social media what they’re giving away. And I think that’s wrong as well. But I think it will be really interesting to see what their next steps are because it’s a really challenging time.

But my final point on that question is what’s interesting is that it hasn’t seemed to impact advertisers particularly in this country. You see it slowing down in the U.S.,  a lot of people going I don’t think I will spend as much money with Facebook anymore; I’m going to watch what’s going on’. But in Australia I haven’t seen that to be the case.

Darren:

I think it’s because we delude ourselves to think that the Pacific Ocean somehow protects us from the ills of Silicon Valley. I think the big issue is going to be that in May the EU regulations on data, the GPDR—I don’t think a lot of companies realise that if they have anyone in their data base that is in the EU they’re going to have to comply with the GPDR.

That is a whole new game with making available the data that you have on that person.

Nicole:

I also think that’s what’s incredible is that all these businesses and companies that have built their global businesses based on that data—I don’t think people have put 2 and 2 together—they will no longer be able to operate in the EU at all.

Darren:

Well you can as long as you comply with all of the regulations. Any citizen of the EU will be able to contact you and have a complete audit done on everything you hold and who you’ve shared that with and what you’ve used it for. First of all, if you don’t comply you’re in breach and can be prosecuted. Secondly, if you comply and you’ve been in breach you can be prosecuted.

So, I think the EU has already set the standard for data. I think that transparency around what is held on us, from all of the reading I’ve done, I think Blockchain, when it finally reaches maturity—if I could put all of the data that’s been collected on Darren Woolley and put that into Blockchain and control it, then I can start to release bits of it to advertisers in return for some sort of consideration that’s of value to me.

Once we, as individuals, have the ability to control our personal data and transact it in a way that delivers (and I’m not talking about being paid to have ads served to me) but to be able to say to a financial services company, ‘O.K you can have this bit of information (my financial profile) here’s the access to that bit of Blockchain—I’ve given it to you but anything you come back with I want a discount on the interest rate or I want some sort of deal.’

Nicole:

Yeah, I think that’s really interesting.

Darren:

It would completely change the world because suddenly we, as individuals, have value. The industry has wasted their opportunity for years by saying the customers are valuable to us but then treating most customers like crap; bombarding someone with meaningless emails, serving ads to them, re-marketing.

Nicole:

Yeah, I know.

Darren:

I read an article, there were 12 ad spaces and they were all the same company so clearly, they’re re-marketing to me because I’ve done something but 12 times? I go back to a personal salesperson; if you approached me once and I rejected you, why would you approach me 11 more times?

Nicole:

Well what’s crazy is half the time you’ve already bought or consumed the product and they’re still marketing it to you. It’s like I’m done. It’s very interesting.

Darren:

Marketers are going to have to get smarter and they’re going to have to be careful about who they listen to for advice. There are so many people out there giving advice but they’re all selling something, even the consulting firms.

Nicole:

Absolutely. I think the next phase of the consulting firms and whether they will actually drive change or whether they’re just jumping on the bandwagon of murkiness to capture some dollars themselves will be really interesting.

Darren:

There was an article in the Wall Street Journal which said the four biggest auditing firms; PWC, Deloitte, KPMG, they’ve generated more revenue in the last 12 months from consulting than they have from auditing.

Nicole:

Wow.

Darren:

So, are we going to be back where we were with Enron, where auditing and consulting had to be separated? Because if you’re giving advice—it’s a bit like your self-regulation—if the gate keeper, the policeman is also the one recommending how to break the law, is that a really good system?

Nicole:

Very interesting.

Darren:

We talked about keeping up to date. What’s the most exciting innovation that you’ve seen recently in this space because there have been so many things, AI and Blockchain but something that’s really got you excited?

Nicole:

As much as I’ve loved content marketing I think how we’re using data and analytics we haven’t relay mastered yet and to me that is really exciting. I feel like it’s particularly early days. I feel that some of the conversations that I’m having with clients who are truly trying to unlock customer value; the conversation is not actually anywhere in the funnel.

It’s about understanding the customers and looking at matching their data with anyone else’s data and looking at what those synergies are. I think that’s really interesting. So, I think data is really exciting, I love AI—I just finished a piece of work on AI at the end of last year for Newscorp and I learnt a lot out of that—again just scratched the surface.

For me, AI has been misconstrued as a cost-saving mechanism like I’ll be able to save people because all of a sudden, a machine can do a person’s job. That’s not the case at all. AI is kind of like performance; it makes us better so that we can focus on the better stuff.

Darren:

I see the big opportunity as being able to personalise at scale in real time because AI is going to be able to make those decisions based on data, have an algorithm of how to respond, and test and learn.

Nicole:

I think the testing and learning is a really interesting thing because what you’re seeing now (again to use the Facebook analogy) there’s a lot of blaming the algorithm; no human was involved in that, the algorithm determined what you got. And I think AI allows humans and the algorithms to get closer together. Currently we are too far apart.

That’s a really exciting opportunity for where we go next but I’m not sure we, as a country, have a view yet. I rarely think oh that’s one to watch. I think that there’s good thinking happening, but I haven’t really seen anything that I’ve gone ‘yeah, that’s amazing’.

It’s not like when Amazon created dynamic pricing 5 or 6 years ago and all of a sudden, we saw the book industry that we all thought was going to be dead actually take off again because dynamic pricing meant an author could release his or her old books at 99 cents and when the new book came out everyone would buy it and depending on the time of day and all of those sorts of things. I haven’t seen anything quite as clear and linear as that, but I think AI will take us to that in the next phase.

Darren:

Nicole Sheffield, thank you very much. We’ve run out of time; it’s gone really quickly hasn’t it?

Nicole:

It has indeed.

Darren:

But a final question. What’s next for you?

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Darren is considered a thought leader on all aspects of marketing management. A Problem Solver, Negotiator, Founder & Global CEO of TrinityP3 - Marketing Management Consultants, founding member of the Marketing FIRST Forum and Author. He is also a Past-Chair of the Australian Marketing Institute, Ex-Medical Scientist and Ex-Creative Director. And in his spare time he sleeps. Darren's Bio Here Email: darren@trinityp3.com

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