Digital minds: 60 seconds with Yahoo’s Pierre Naggar

Digital Thought Leaders

pierre.JPGFormer managing director of 24/7 Real Media Pierre Naggar now leads Yahoo!’s direct response operations in the UK. In this interview, he talks to Danny Meadows-Klue about how far we’ve come since the dotcom bubble burst, why ‘last click wins’ metrics are soon to be a thing of the past, and the best ways for advertisers to reach their target audience.

How does your business help people or markets be more efficient or more effective vs traditional approaches?
We help advertisers by delivering them reach (more than 80% UK internet population), relevance (by targeting the audiences that are more likely to respond to their message) and results (we are ROI focused and strive to deliver the best performance).

Access to unique audiences powered by premium technology and data is what makes our clients come back month after month. My team’s primary objective is to advise on the best tactics our customer should implement to hit their target.

How did you get into the digital sector?
I was working for a media/sales house company (print) as marketing analyst and just fell in love with digital and its accountability

What frustrates you most at the moment in digital?
No widespread adoption of cross media attribution tools and techniques that give digital the right credit. Even within digital I feel that we still rely on old practices, such as the ‘last click wins’, which skew attribution immensely and do not take into account how each piece of media contributes to the goal.

What was the 'ah!' moment for you - the moment where you suddenly realised the scale the web or digital marketing would play in your business?
I have seen a few of these in the last 12 years but I have to say that today I am definitely living one of those moments, which is probably the most impressive! The innovation driven by new technology platforms, new profiling and targeting capabilities is absolutely fascinating and will shape our industry in the coming years.

What's different in the formula for creating successful teams / companies / products in the digital space?
A vision from the top that translates into a clear and detailed roadmap is, in my view, key to creating successful products.

Where do you spend your time most online, and why?
I am passionate about digital media so spend my spare time reading articles, posts on digital trade web sites. Recently I have discovered a new blog/news feed: which I recommend to anyone who wants to know more about some of the new developments taking place in the digital space

What are the big changes yet to come, in marketing, media and beyond?
Profound changes are taking place in the online display marketplace right now because of the emergence of ad exchange platforms, new technologies and data. I believe we are going to experience a lot of structural changes within our organisations (whether you are a media publisher or an agency) and the way we do business as well as the skills required will be very different in the next 5 years. In a way it feels like going back in time 7 or 8 years ago when search advertising was about to explode.

Who should own digital strategies in an organisation (brand/marketing director, agency, technology team, CEO, operations director) and why?
It’s a joint effort and those who have market knowledge will continue to be on the driving seat. That said, as technology continues to drive innovation in our sector, I believe that CTOs, technologists, data experts etc will have a greater involvement in the decision process.

If you could go back in time to a key 'digital moment', where and when would it be – and why?

I have seen quite a few in the last 13 years (Mobile, Search, Social Networks etc) however there is a ‘moment’ which even though I don’t necessarily want to go back to, just shows how strong and pervasive digital is. I am going back to those days that just followed the burst of the ‘internet bubble’ in 2000-2001 when everyone was rather negative about digital and people were jumping off the bandwagon. When I look at what the internet has become today, I have to say I feel some pride as I always believed that it was going to be big one day...

Pierre Naggar

Head of Yahoo! Direct Response UK

Started my digital journey with Realmedia UK in 1998 where I spent 7 years in different roles (Marketing, Research, Client Services, Business Development, Operations)

Moved to Italy for 2.5 years as Managing Director for 24/7 Realmedia

Moved back to the UK where I joined Bluelithium as Business Development Director for Europe

Headed the Publisher and Media Buying team for 14 months at Yahoo! Europe before I took on the role of Head of Yahoo! DR (Yahoo! Ad Network offering)

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