Our Post RampUp Interview With Stirista’s Newest VP Of Audience Solutions, Henry Olawoye

March 29, 2024
Henry Olawoye
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    Q: So, how was it going into RampUp 2024 repping Stirista?


    After 10 years in the industry, RampUp 2024 was the first event I’d attended with a different company’s name on my badge. All of my industry relationships were built on years of work with a previous employer. This would be the first RampUp where I’d have awkward & nervous energy. So, of course, I had some jitters. 

    Q: And how did it go? 


    As I mentioned, I was a bit uneasy at first. However, the positive response to my LinkedIn posts about leaving my former employer, followed by the positive feedback on now being employed by Stirista, melted most of that awkwardness away once I was on the ground in San Fran. 

    Q: What were your biggest takeaways from the event?


    Going cookieless was a big one. 

    Previously working for one of the largest data marketplaces, my relationship to data & with data partners has pretty much always been linked to non PII identifiers. Now I’m on the other side of that fence; I work with one of the largest data providers around. The past few years I’ve heard different variations of, “what is your solution for when cookies go away?” It seemed a lot of data providers were waiting on one company to provide a viable solution, and now in 2024 I think the consensus is that there will be multiple solutions in multiple platforms, and you’ll need to decide which works best for your use case, in the platforms you want to operate in. Personally, I think that even though this approach could add some complexity, it helps lead us away from situations we were in, where one player has too much power. It’s my opinion that data companies need to get behind a few organizations that have identity solutions and really kick the tires, make sure they can do what they say they’re going to do; in many cases these partners should actually get under the hood and work with these companies to ensure the solution works.

    Then there was data collaboration/partnership.

    This term is being used by a number of different marketplace-offering platforms and I like what this means for data buyers. In some platforms the concept of dynamic search just got exponentially stronger. Data platforms are offering the ability to match with specific 3PD providers based on past successful use cases, while other platforms are also providing the ability to layer data from different providers and export it to the destination of your choice, using the identifier of your choice. I think this is great for data buyers, but also a good feature that will help high quality data providers, especially the ones who cultivate good partner relationships.

    And last but certainly not least, Artificial Intelligence was definitely this year’s hot topic.

    There were few rooms you could enter without hearing the term “AI”. It’s being thrown around by any and everyone, but very few people are explaining exactly what they’re doing with AI. If they are using AI or plan on using it they’re not elaborating on the type they’re using, and what exactly they’re using it for. The companies that have detailed, yet easy to understand, AI aspirations are the most attractive to me. AI most definitely has a future in marketing technology. It will open up new opportunities while also increasing efficiency and improving upon accuracy. While our industry is making strides and some companies have full-fledged plans around how they will incorporate AI, it’s important for companies to be realistic about where they are with their AI capabilities today. If you’re using ChatGPT, Bard etc, that’s fine – just be transparent about it.

    Q: Did anything stand out to you as a trend to watch this year?


    The forward facing companies understand that change is being forced upon us, whether we’re ready for it or not. As we get closer to Google’s imposed deadlines it’s important to work together to find new ways to generate revenue, identify alternatives when it comes to data linkage & identifiers, and increase measurement & targeting ability, while also identifying lanes of growth (IE CTV, cookieless & data collaboration). – This excites me. Stirista is uniquely positioned to succeed & lead in 2024. We have non-cookie dependent data, and we have lots of it. We have our own DSP, an ESP (with rich email data), and more importantly we embrace the spirit of partnership.