Is there such a thing as too much data in advertising and media? Quite possibly, according to the CEO of Havas North America. “I still see an incredible rush to data,” says Colin Kinsella, noting the trend of agency holding companies combining their data assets and building “these incredibly large organizations” around said data.
He believes there are caveats to be considered along the way. “I think there’s some pros and cons to that. The pro is they have a lot of data and a lot of resources to tap into,” Kinsella says in an interview with Beet.tv. “The cons is you kind of lock yourself into a certain system and as we’ve seen the pace of change in this industry, you can get caught up trying to protect your point of view.”
On the latter point, he says the catch is you can get locked in to certain sources of information and cannot take advantage of others that might be “potentially less expensive.”
This is not to suggest that Kinsella isn’t on board the data train. Indeed, Havas having combined creative, media and data together in each of its U.S. offices was one reason he joined from Mindshare, where he had been CEO.
“The talk within the industry is maybe heading in the wrong direction because everybody wants more, more, more and different versions of data,” Kinsella says. “When it gets to be too big it almost becomes uncontrollable and unusable.”
Havas tries to find “the small pieces of data” that will actually drive clients’ businesses. “I think data is still a big area that agencies are trying to sort out. How deep to go and how effective going deeper really means,” says Kinsella.
What’s not a matter of contention is the need to follow consumers whose television viewing habits have shifted to mobile devices. “Sight, sound and motion,” says Kinsella. “Nothing’s ever beaten it” for explaining what brands are about and how they can benefit consumers.
Again, there should be limits at play in chasing the video prize. “We don’t have to jump off a cliff,” Kinsella observes. He sees a balancing act concerning “how much viewability is really there, how much fraud is in the online ecosystem and how do we balance that with the power of video getting in front of the right person.”
As he looks ahead to CES 2017, Kinsella doesn’t share the apprehension of some people who feel it’s a tough time of year to have to travel to Las Vegas. Calling it the “modern version of the World’s Fair,” he says it’s a great way to start the new year with clients “in an incredibly creative environment.”
People don’t go to CES “to see things that are going to happen today,” Kinsella says. “You go there to see what potentially could happen in three years, five years.”