When TBWA launched the Digital Arts Network (DAN) as an umbrella organisation in 2012, it did so with the aim of unifying the digital specialists who were working for the agency all over the world. Since its inception, DAN has gone on to be a single access point for the network, uniting a pipeline of global digital talent, methods and capabilities, including creative technology, e-commerce, social media, user experience, content, mobile, analytics and search.
Today, there are over a thousand digital specialists working within the entire Digital Arts Network’s 34 hubs spanning all 99 countries where TBWA has offices. A dozen of these offices have dedicated specialisms, from social media, social business and design, to creative tech, e-commerce and product development.
One of the network's specialist hubs is its Irish outpost that, operating out of TBWA\Dublin, is a data and analytics hub, dubbed DataLab, overseen by Johan Reveillard, Head of TBWA’s Digital Arts Network Dublin.
Having started out on his digital journey in R&D at the Royal Institute of Technology in Sweden almost twenty years ago, Reveillard is no stranger to the industry and has contributed to the digital arena across Europe and North America for over 18 years. Passionate about Human Computer Interaction and Usability Engineering, Reveillard initially joined TBWA off the back of his work on award-winning digital solutions for the likes of Heineken, PepsiCo and Sony Playstation and has since worked closely with the Irish office’s clients, including BMW, Bank of Ireland and McDonald’s, to create digital and integrated solutions that work both for the client and customer.
Alongside Reveillard in helping push DataLab forward is Deirdre Waldron, CEO of TBWA\Dublin and leader of new business for DAN Dublin. Having been with the agency since 2009, Waldron has driven the group’s digital offering through innovation.
Reveillard has been with the DataLab from that start and was involved in the development of Dublin’s DAN outpost, putting a focus on the sheer multitude of touch points that consumers face rather than homing in on a few. “We were running through a social strategy with a large client and were debating how to gain real, proper consumer insight in terms of what drives them and their behaviour – we really wanted to get under the consumer’s skin,” he explains. “This was in 2013 and from then we began building two systems in parallel, one of which is a solution for the client; our bespoke Customer and Business Intelligence System (CUBIC).”
While DAN Dublin began taking shape, a number of social channels began shifting their stance towards privacy, helping shape DataLab’s development. “Previously you could have a social tool that you could hook up with your CRM and boom you knew everything about your customers,” explains Reveillard, “but that soon stopped and you could no longer do those matches, so we created some algorithms that allowed us to do that matching.”
One of DataLab’s key features is the unique, four level model that has been carefully developed over the years to cater to every client’s possible question. Dubbed the ‘four fives’, the model provides clients with information, insights, intelligence and custom systems, drawing from a host of marketing, research and social sources as well TBWA’s proprietary and partner resources.
“The goal is the service can offer client solutions from five minutes, to five days, to five weeks, to five months,” explains Reveillard. At its Information level, the DataLab can answer simple client questions in five minutes that are key to clients, as it informs the way in which they run the marketing and advertising strategies that would typically take the client a much longer time to get to the bottom of. Beyond Information, the DataLab tackles insights on a five-day timescale, intelligence within five weeks, and then custom systems across five months.
“We have these four levels to nudge a client into more effective marketing behaviour,” adds Reveillard. “Today, everyone that’s offering data services to brands in the advertising space, and even outside the advertising space, look at three criteria either on targeting, online attribution or its audience segmentation. There’s nothing wrong with these three areas, they are mighty important, but they are boring and they blind people. If you stare yourself blind on these three questions, you will never actually have data that is working for you.”
So, whilst the DataLab is looking at data, its doing so differently with different perspectives for different purposes. “It’s no longer simply advertising, we’re now looking at everything from pre-sales to product development, to pricing, to sales strategies and to distribution,” Reveillard goes on to say. By using business and customer data, his team can reshape and expand on what they’re doing, getting deeper into the marketing space and not limiting their service to advertising. “We look at everything including customer profiling, retargeting, intelligence, loyalty and advocacy, and it helps our clients inform and excel the creative process and assist their creative teams in their work.”
For example, when a client’s loyalty programme was underperforming three years in, they wanted to understand how they could revitalise and regenerate it. By designing business questions ranging from programme performance to customer behaviour and sentiment, DAN analysed them in their bespoke customer and business intelligence system (CUBIC) to determine what did and didn’t work and why.
By activating DAN’s CUBIC services, they were able to offer insights into the problems, suggesting a complete rebuild of the loyalty strategy by which the platform, partners, offer sets and customer journey became a one-to-one, personal basis. Whilst long-term results are still being verified, so far the early indications and results are extremely positive.
Ultimately, Reveillard and his team are unlocking, analysing and utilising data to help the creative process and, to him, that is going to be ever-more critical from a purely advertising perspective. Not only has the DataLab been successfully servicing clients in Ireland, it’s been working closely with TBWA teams across North America and Europe
Looking forward, it’s clear that Reveillard is hugely ambitious about what he and his team can achieve in Ireland and beyond. “What I would love to see is that we are the de facto Western European supplier of data services throughout the network and that we can function, not only as an integral part of the network, but as a solid, standalone player in this field one day,” concludes Reveillard. “We’re always looking to tie in partnerships with data source providers, which will mean that we can broaden our service and provide a great 360 service for clients and brands when it comes to data and analytics.”