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iProspect's Louisa Wong on unleashing the power of data

Louisa Wong
Louisa Wong, Director of Media Platforms at iProspect appeared at last week’s AOP Trading Revolution Forum.

Louisa, you recently joined iProspect, and in a role that means you are now responsible for global strategies rather than UK only?

I am responsible for the UK Trading Desk commercial and platform strategy (which includes display, mobile & video) at Aegis Media, which is currently hubbed out of iProspect.

While my role focuses on the UK but I am also part of a Global Strategy team. At Aegis, we have always organically grown from local roots. A trading desk strategy cannot be prescribed at a local level, the fundamental tactics might be the same but the execution and instruction of the buys might differ depending on scale in that market.

There has been much debate around who owns data, particularly when publishers use trading desks and RTB agencies – what is your view?

Ownership of data is a contentious topics... In my opinion, no one owns the user!

Agencies manage first party data on the advertiser’s behalf and publishers facilitate and bring audiences to brands. Ad exchanges, DSPs and SSPs host the transaction of media (I liken it to PayPal), and ISPs are a 'rental service' (much like Spotify with music) that consumers pay for to access the internet. This list goes on…

I think there are three stages:

Step 1: I’m aiming to “get my own house in order”; by that I mean, establishing and developing the role of first party data in trading desks.

Step 2: I think this will be the evolutionary piece; working with media owners to assess the value of their data by advertiser.

Step 3: Is for the industry – we need to agree a currency and transaction model that works for all parties.

You have indicated that buyers and sellers are not maximising the true potential for monetising data – can both sides do this and still add value to their businesses?

It’s difficult to maximise potential when you haven’t understood the value of your data... Media owners need to work their sales strategy.

Creating tiered inventory is one way.

Conversely you could put it all in the same pot (excluding creative solutions and integrated sponsorships) and create a “data layer” to sell on audience segments and reach.

Data could also prove to be an incremental revenue stream for publishers. That said, not all data has the same value; so publishers will have to work out the context value in conjunction with demographic data.

The advertising industry is reliant on cookies which have become progressively more sophisticated – and yet consumers are still confused about its use – how is the industry tackling this confusion?

IAB Europe and various industry bodies have been proactively lobbying the proposed revised EU Privacy Directive in Brussels since 2008.

In 2009, IAB UK established the Good Practice Principles (GPP) with which provides a self-regulatory framework of notification through sites’ privacy policy and sign up the GPP Framework.

The EU Privacy Directive is not a prescribed legislation but a framework that is provided to individual EU states which is then interpreted and passed as local legislation.

The advertising industry bodies and internet businesses have been working proactively with the ICO (Information Commissioner’s Officer - UK) to navigate through legislation and work to building a consensus on how to establish a meaningful way of complying with the new privacy legislation.

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