Rishad Tobaccowala: Tips for Recruiting Talent

Denuo chief executive Rishad Tobaccowala advocates a simple strategy for hiring and retaining talent: don’t be cheap.

“We make certain we have profit margins that allow us to pay better than anybody else,” he said at a panel discussion during Interactive Advertising Bureau’s MIXX conference this week. “I tell people: Money is tall, talent is short in this world. Pay your agencies well, otherwise, you’ll have a bunch of mediocre people.”

ClickZ asked Tobaccowala, who’s also Publicis Groupe Media’s chief innovation officer, how digital media executives can ensure their creative teams don’t dismiss analytics as a diversion for number crunchers. Talent emerged as an issue aired by other executives during Advertising Week, as well.

Tobaccowala, in an e-mail, offered these insights.

ClickZ: How can organizations that embrace creative people learn to work with metrics?

Tobaccowala: Metrics are not necessarily creative unfriendly. Creatives love feedback and knowledge if their work is having an impact. The key is to make sure that the right things are being measured. If the creative’s goals are a, b, and c and a and b are measurable and c is not then we should measure a and b. Often we measure c or d and e and then disparage the work by measuring the wrong thing.

ClickZ: What advice do you have for organizations seeking to optimize online
advertising and marketing campaigns on the fly?

Tobaccowala: Use technology. Recognize that creative still matters. Understand that fast optimizing requires organizational structures that allow for message, approval, and financial flexibility. Often the technology is ahead of the organization or financial ability to move quickly.

ClickZ: In the information technology world, some people say the role of business analyst has emerged to work as a liaison between technologists and executives in business units. Are there any new jobs emerging to bridge the gap between the creative and business sides of online advertising/marketing?

Tobaccowala: I do not see any from my vantage point. I think current planners, media folks, and creatives need to get better trained on how to use and analyze the data rather than have a special role created.

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