Outgoing Maxus chief executive David Gaines has joined Australian research and insights firm Edentify as managing partner, amid increasing calls for strong data capabilities in the industry.
Gaines has been brought on board to “evolve a new client service model”, as the company transforms from looking mainly at research and data solutions to a “more comprehensive data-led planning approach”.
Apart from setting up and running Maxus in Australia, Gaines is well known for his role as head of the Media Federation of Australia's (MFA) Digital Committee.
Gaines said agencies are currently recognising the importance of data and are becoming better at collecting data, but added there was still a lot of room for improvement, particularly in the area of insights.
It’s become much more of a challenge to actually outline what all that data means, and to separate data based insights from those based purely on emotion,” Gaines said.
“The opportunity to work with Edentify means for the first time there is a trusted partner to provide genuinely useful context alongside data.
“This will allow agencies and marketers to do what they do best, providing real strategic direction and execution to their customers.”
The agency will not act as a full-service media agency, but will be a data organisation which will partner with agencies and marketers.
Recently, a round table of industry leaders including UM chief Mat Baxter and Telstra marketing boss Mark Buckman argued the Australian agency landscape was lacking competitive data capabilities, and should look to strong data companies like Javelin in the US or Google to see how data should be done.
Edentify founding partner Dan Banyard said: “I’m proud of what we have achieved with Edentify, and we have one of the best data and insight capabilities in the market.
“As marketers become more savvy about using data to inform business decisions, I have noticed a real gap in knowledge about how to usefully interpret and utilise the information we deliver.
“Teaming up with a top industry planner has been part of our strategy for some time now, and we could not have done better than partnering with David.
“Combining his unrivalled industry experience and our advanced data collection capacity, will allow us to develop our systems and service far beyond the existing model.”
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