Advertising Week caught up with recently-appointed CEO of Redmill Solutions, Jay Stevens to discuss his new role and the needs of global brands.
By R. Larsson, Advertising Week
Q: You’ve recently joined Redmill Solutions as its new CEO, what are you excited to accomplish?
Redmill solves problems for brands that aren’t being addressed elsewhere: being able to understand where their global ad spend is going and the impact it is having, as well as the need to make sure agencies are delivering their pitch promises. Our platform provides a deep level of media data transparency, visibility, clarity, and accountability, allowing brands to successfully execute their media buying strategies and keep track of what was delivered in a timely manner.
We’re now ready to take this to the next level for even more brands. Redmill has already seen huge success through its work with global brand clients, and has been scaling via word of mouth and referrals, I’ve come in to pour gas on to the fire, so to speak. I’m hugely excited to be working with the Redmill team on this, and alongside Hasan Arik, who has made the decision to move into the role of company Chairman and Chief Product Officer. I hope to leverage my industry experience to continue Hasan’s immense achievements by bringing our product to an even wider global audience.
Q: How do the needs of the global brands you work with differ to brands operating in single markets?
All of our clients are global, so we work daily with the challenges they face. One challenge that they all come up against is the fact that media is inherently local, and it needs to be to ensure maximum results; different markets function in different ways, and so do the working practices of local media agencies. No matter how connected the world becomes, the local teams – and their intimate knowledge of their markets – remain powerful. Global brands rely on the multitude of local data sets that detail campaign performance, media buys, and so forth. However, the question of how to unite the fragmented data coming from these local teams can be challenging, with different currencies, language challenges and taxonomy issues coming from varied classification methods. It is also super important not to ask the local teams to change their ways of working – all solutions that will work in the long term need to be low friction.
This lack of data unification or standardisation can cause disparate data silos that prevent proper holistic analysis. Without the ability to ingest this data, the full picture of true media spend remains cloudy. With budgets being watched increasingly closely, gaining clarity and a single source of media truth is more important than ever to give global brands agility in all markets.
Q: On that point of current socio-economic circumstances, how is this affecting brands and agencies currently?
With the cost of living crisis, rising manufacturing costs and shrinking talent pools, as well as impacts from the tragic war in the Ukraine, consumers and brands are being squeezed more than ever before and have to be nimble in their decision making. The only way to have that flexibility is with full visibility of the numbers, what is being spent, what is the RoI, what is committed vs not, and other key decision points.
Despite the optimism of recent reports such as the IPA Bellwether and the AA/WARC Expenditure Report, advertising budgets are stretched and spend is being closely monitored; the need for spend transparency should be an industry-wide priority. With so many intangibles affecting global trade and productivity, being able to have a clear view of all global media data – what we call a single source of media data truth – is key for any brand looking to maximise ROI in these trying times.
Q: How can a single source of media data truth help brands and agencies alike?
Media planning is incredibly fragmented, and largely localised. Data sits in different teams over the world, in different formats and taxonomies. Unlike any other solution on the market, Redmill is able to ingest this data for global brands effectively and accurately helping to create for them a single source of media truth.
To build on what I mentioned earlier, it is more important than ever that brands are able to see exactly where their spend is going. There is a great deal of unaccounted media spend in global brands. Finding out where exactly budgets are heading not only helps to save money, but also assists with measuring their effectiveness.
Ultimately, what we also bring to brands is speed; our platform is able to pull data together faster and more accurately than the legacy systems many are continuing to use. Global brands need to be able to have up-to-date information at their fingertips from any market at all times – we help them achieve this.
With Redmill’s system, agencies are freed up to deliver on their pitch promises, providing a clear view of their data to make better decisions for their global brand, without compromising on the demands of markets at a local level.