GroupM’s media company Xaxis has named Silvia Sparry to the newly created role of global chief operating officer. Sparry most recently served as VP of global operations and platforms.
In her role, Sparry will lead global operations with a focus on accelerating Xaxis’ journey to become an artificial intelligence and data-science-first company, according to a statement by the company. She will also be responsible for technology platforms, partnerships, operations, and process “excellence,” which Sparry defines as the process of simplifying programmatic advertising for clients based on their technology and data requirements.
“One of my goals is to further embed artificial intelligence in what we do to orchestrate the complexity in the market and to help extend that [AI] into new channels like audio, digital, out-of-home, and TV,” Sparry tells Ad Age. “My goal is also to ensure that we’re making it as easy as possible for advertisers to navigate through the very complex media data technology landscape.”
Sparry will work with GroupM agencies like MediaCom, Mindshare, and Wavemaker as well as across WPP’s creative and tech agencies to help translate how capabilities such as Xaxis’ AI platform, Copilot, and GroupM’s global data company, Choreograph, can be leveraged by clients to deliver better outcomes in their digital media investments.
According to Sparry, AI has become an even more valuable tool ever since Google announced it would be blocking third-party cookies from its Chrome browser by 2022. Sparry says she has been seeing more advertisers inquire about how its AI platform can help prepare them for a cookie-less future.
“Our capabilities are agnostic to the data inputs that they receive,” Sparry says. It doesn’t matter what type of data inputs you are giving it [Xaxis’ AI platform], whether the data inputs are cookie-based or the data inputs look at things like time of day, stock levels or, what the weather is today, it doesn’t matter. AI is definitely the kind of tool that you need to combine all of the different kinds of non-cookie data to drive the best outcome.”
Beyond focusing on advancing Xaxis’s AI capabilities, Sparry will focus on making sure there is synergy across Xaxis’ 47 markets as well as the GroupM and WPP agencies the media company works with.
“I place a lot of focus on ensuring that we overcome silos within teams or silos across different operating companies within the group, through cross-education, building strategy, and building technology together,” Sparry says.
An example of this is Xaxis’ co-creation sessions which is like a technical hackathon, Sparry says. In the sessions, employees from around the agency are brought together to figure out which piece of technology, data, or media they want to test out and then potentially scale to the advertising market.
“We bring individuals from a campaign management background, a data science background, individuals from the agency planning teams, and client representation into the same room where we whiteboard what goal we want to achieve and where each discipline can contribute to help deliver on that goal.”
This is a key move for the media company’s leadership team as advertisers look for specialists like Xaxis to accelerate their digital transformation and growth, Nicolas Bidon, global CEO of Xaxis, says in a statement.
“To help our clients seize the opportunities presented by this ever-changing and complex ecosystem, it is more important than ever for Xaxis to have a strong global operational leader who can drive operational excellence and innovation across the globe,” Bidon says. “Silvia has a proven track record of driving transformative initiatives, and I could not think of anyone better to help us continue our 10-year journey of innovation and growth.”
Culled from Adage.com