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In People and Data We Trust

October 24, 2019

 

After spending 14 years in the out-of-home advertising sector, I’ve never been more excited for the future of our small, but mighty industry, which continues to grow year over year. In an industry where we’ve always been told to “prove it” (quoting our Chief Strategy Offer Rick Robinson), we are constantly changing the way we evolve, whether it’s via attribution or measuring business outcomes.

It’s no secret that we now live in a world where information drives our lives and our businesses.  It’s big, bold, and incredible. It’s a world where we’re constantly seeking social affirmation, working to determine situational analytics, and using data points to understand business outcomes. We now have the ability to track people where they go and where they shop, all done by way of these tiny computers in our pockets. In a way, we’ve all become data points in an algorithm of some sort. Because of this, we have incredible power to bring engaging and audience-relevant messaging. It’s mind-blowing when you think of it.   

As I sit here and write this (after a full day of utilizing our incredible data platforms to develop hyper-targeted OOH programs), I lean back and remember one thing: these data points that I’ve been painstakingly filtering through are actually human beings. They are people like me. They are people with brains, feelings, good days and bad days.  We all think, we react, we feel.  

This got me thinking about a coffee Rick and I recently had with a long-time colleague and client. Our time was spent with great conversation discussing all different things: past and present projects, programmatic offerings, data and analytics (yes, again), you name it.

We then shifted our conversation to something a bit different.  People, relationships, and trust.  

In a world of data, the people who we work with and go to battle with day in and day out are such an important part of our business. I don’t in any way think this is overlooked, but it isn’t as much of a hot topic as it should be. I can’t help but think back to the people that have had an impact in my career - clients, vendors, colleagues; all of which have had a huge influence on the way I think, the way I hold myself accountable, and the way that I navigate each and every situation. These relationships have developed through the years, resulting in open communication, honest feedback, and the joint effort to always build stronger and more successful business outcomes.    

There is no data element to this. This is fully human and something that can’t be quantified by any numerical metric.

Developing relationships and trust isn’t always easy. It takes resolve, the desire to succeed both personally and for your clients, and the requirement to take on personal accountability to handle both the good and the bad. It goes back to a simple phrase that rings true in all facts of life and business. If it was easy, everyone would be doing it. We live in a world of high pressure and immediacy. This is no secret to anyone who sits in my chair. It’s a world where we all must continue to prove ourselves and deliver each day.  

Once we walk in the door and face each day’s challenges, it’s teamwork, trust, and resolve that will make it a successful day. Data and tools will always continue to evolve and bring us insights we never knew could exist, but the human element will always be the foundation.  

So when you look to your left and to your right (and when you virtually communicate to your clients/vendors via e-mail and phone), remember that we are all in this battle together. We need each other and we are vital to each other’s accomplishments.  

Strong relationships and the will to succeed together will always win out. Don’t be afraid to challenge yourself and each other. People + Data + Trust = Where the Magic Happens.