Telefónica’s Joe Cox represents ISBA on the UKOM Technical Board. All the Ps - planning, re-planning, privacy and parenting - feature in his Q&A

What's brought you joy in lockdown?
I’ve worked remotely for much of my career so it wasn’t really an adjustment. Working in London but living in the South West, travel has always been a massive part of my week but I never realised the toll it took until I didn’t have to do it any more! I’m livelier, healthier (and lighter) than I was a couple of months ago; no unhealthy commuting snacks!
The best bit, though, is getting to spend so much time with my five-year old daughter, exploring the woods around the house, doing school work. She’s never had both of us at home for so long.

And the biggest challenge?
At home it’s balancing the demands of shielding, work and family life. Working early and late to get through things while allowing time in the day to look after my daughter and my wife to have her meetings and calls. I’m not great at multitasking unlike my wife. At work? Getting through everything, re-planning 2020 and planning for 2021 despite huge unknowns.

What are you looking forward to?
Seeing family and friends.

What impact has the crisis had on your role?
I have worked remotely much of the week, either from home or from agency offices in London, and O2’s remote working infrastructure is very good so the transition has been easy. We’ve adopted video conferencing well and I hope that some of the changes will persist post-lockdown.

Is yours a role where remote working can be done seamlessly? What have you had to compromise on to get the job done?
Whatever this post-lockdown world looks like there will be a significant economic impact as consumers and businesses feel the pinch and experience uncertainty, not least because of Brexit. So, knowing how your media investment is working and being able to make it work harder as well as optimising your media strategy to accommodate the unknown is even more important. The demand for robust measurement and actionable insight will increase significantly as businesses make every pound count in the short and the long-term. Understanding the incremental impact of marketing is essential.

As we approach its launch in January 2021, what aspect of Ipsos iris are you most excited by?
Daily data, bringing it into line with data such as BARB, is a big step forward, and especially useful in situations where use of digital and other in-home media is increasing and audience behaviour is changing. Daily data will help us stay ahead of the curve as the post-lockdown situation stabilises. What behaviours will remain and what may revert or change further? Daily data allows us to explain changes more quickly and then take considered action.

Looking at your work, how do you see online audience measurement evolving? 

Online audience measurement needs to evolve. As an unrepresentative sample of the UK population, marketers cannot rely on intuition or experience because it does not equip them to understand the impacts of a changing world on different sectors of society and socio-demographic groups. Much of life in the UK is hidden from us and data is vital in understanding and engaging with all consumers. Most brands are mass-market brands, so they need to understand and engage authentically; without robust data they cannot do this. 
Privacy is another area where online audience measurement will have to evolve. Many organisations have not fully got to grips with GDPR, yet the old ways of measuring marketing effectiveness are being impacted by privacy-driven changes. The changes to Chrome and the Google ad environment are just the tip of the iceberg.

Joe Cox is Senior Media Strategy Manager at Telefónica UK

« Back to News & Views