CHE Proximity does data deal

Rachael Micallef
By Rachael Micallef | 9 October 2015
Chris Howatson

CHE Proximity has made a first-in-market deal with US data firm Annalect to provide clients a single customer view across owned, earned and bought media, in a move it says will reduce wastage and improve advertisers' understanding of customers' motivations.

The tech platform plugs in the agency's first, second and third party data and has enough processing power to analyse 20 billion lines of code in 30 seconds. The new capabilities will be run out of the agency's existing human data team, lead by the division’s director, James Greaney.

Part of the Clemenger Group, CHE Proximity has a data-focused heritage, having formed in 2012 when creative agency CHE and digital agency Proximity merged, but MD Chris Howatson said the deal with Annalect is a “game-changer” for the agency.

“It's definitely an area that clients are getting excited about because, until now, we've all been hindered by the same limitations of measurability and traceability,” Howatson said.

“What we found when we were planning our customer experience journey was that when it got to bought media, those journeys would break and so we would lose the understanding of the customer and therefore the intimacy with which we could talk to them. But what this essentially means for clients is less wastage: if you do the right messages at the right time, it means you're not wasting money on messages to the wrong people.”

The Annalect capability gives brands access to an untapped opportunity in terms of understanding their customer. Howatson said it also has implications for the agency, allowing it to become a multidiscipline shop.

“It changes what we can do for clients because they can use us as their main agency to solve all of their communication problems," he said. "If you understand the customer, you can understand what is going to grow the greater return, and that's all you need.

"They don't need a social agency, a media agency, a data agency and a communications agency, they can come to us and get all those services in one place."

Howatson said the partnership will also assist marketers when it comes to getting the ear of the CEO and the rest of the C-Suite, by giving them solid metrics to work with.

“It's a game-changer because it means we no longer need to rely on broad persuasion alone to influence behaviour,” he said. “We can create different journeys for people to solve their needs as they happen.”

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