Head of Data & Analytics
From monitoring turtles in the Caribbean to digital natives in their natural habitat, unearthing insights in behavioural data has always excited Steph. Find out how our Head of D&A now combines forensic analysis with Hearst data to get to the heart of what drives consumers.
I started out in the Caribbean where I tracked and monitored turtles. When I came back to the UK, I completed an MSc in Marine Biology, but decided to make the move into online consumer behaviour. The huge volume and variety of data available really excited me – I could see where the industry was headed so was eager to get involved and make a difference.
The huge variety of clients attracted me to iCrossing – in both verticals and data sophistication – and I’ve been here for eight years now; progressing from a web analyst to Head of Data & Analytics.
The D&A team is made up of data engineers, strategists and an innovation director and in leading it I shape and develop our product to give clients access to industry-leading expertise and cutting-edge solutions. I also work closely with senior clients to provide strategic direction, so they get real value from what we do.
When I joined, we were the Research & Insight team; focused on delivering performance and competitor insights for our clients. I built up the team’s technical web analytics capabilities, secured our Google Analytics Certified Partner status and added statistical modelling and CRO to our services.
Over the last two years we’ve shifted our focus to data consultancy, and more recently I’ve taken this to the next level; to understand the end customer and build audiences that can be activated through our media know-how.
So today, we offer a unique approach to performance marketing, asking ourselves ‘who are the people behind all these data sources?’. It’s marketing science; forensic analysis of audiences. We turn the common persona into evidence, data-based segments and science through psychological and behavioural examination.
And we do it all in a way that’s easy to digest and action, so marketers can make informed decisions without the need for a maths degree. Our media innovation director, Dan Williams, can tell you more…
I’ve been working really closely with key stakeholders at Hearst to understand the granularity of their first-party data. One in three women in the UK touch a Hearst property, so this unlocks a huge amount of insight that can be used to enhance our understanding of user behaviour; for example what content, format and messages resonate with audiences.
And the major advantage here is that we’re not talking about a black box. We have access to this data and can build, refine and optimise audience segments to drive real value for our clients. And we can share the details, which is unique in the current publisher/agency world.
I love to watch an innovative idea come to life and to conquer challenges – internally and for our clients.
I’ve worked hard to make sure every member of the D&A team has autonomy within their role, as I feel this is the best way to drive innovation and success for clients, as well as job satisfaction. I take pride in watching my team develop their skills and expertise but, most importantly, hearing them say they love their job.
I’m excited by the conversations I’ve been having with clients around customer profiling and how this will amp up our media execution. And I’m looking forward to growing our team of experts further. D&A will become an integral part of every client relationship in 2020.
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