Continuing our series of interviews with speakers leading up to ClickZ Live New York, this Q&A with Jeremy Hlavacek from Weather.com gives some insight into how the weather giant uses big data beyond just being a buzzword!
ClickZ (CZ): Tell us a bit about your role at Weather.com and what you’re tasked with achieving for the brand.
Jeremy Hlavacek (JH): I run our programmatic sales channel, which means I use technology and automation to sell our inventory. My goal is to maximize the value of the channel using yield optimization and strategic sales.
CZ: Your session at ClickZ Live in New York is on programmatic advertising. What’s the current state of play in that part of the industry and how does it fit in the overall marketing mix?
JH: Programmatic has exploded in growth. In my opinion, this is because programmatic offers better targeting via data and more efficiency via technology. No marketer can say no to that.
CZ: We hear “big data” as a buzzword thrown around a lot in the marketing scene. How big is big, and can you give us some examples of how you or other brands are really tapping into its potential?
JH: Big can be enormous and in our case, when we think about first-party weather data, big can mean billions of data points being updated every hour during the day. It’s certainly an amazing technological feat to even capture and collate such a large data set, but I think we are only starting to scratch the surface in terms of the utility of the data. I think we are entering an age where marketers will no longer ask how “big” a data set is, but instead how valuable the insights are that can be derived from that data set. In the case of weather, we have shown that the insights can be extremely important to a number of different types of businesses.
CZ: What’s the story for integrating social media into the mix, especially now that many brands are being forced to pay their way across social platforms to be seen?
JH: To me, social media is the part of the ecosystem where we are beginning to tie data to actual human beings. This is very exciting because we no longer need to use other proxy measures to try and predict what consumers are thinking, feeling, and buying. Social media allows marketers to understand exactly what consumers think in their own words. This is very powerful.
CZ: How do you hope delegates will feel when they leave your session at ClickZ Live New York on April 1?
JH: I hope the delegates leave excited for what is sure to be a bright future, but also with a healthy amount of skepticism, as many of today’s marketing innovations tend to get oversold.
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