Digital DNA 2017: The Increasing Role Data Plays in Marketing


This year Adoreboard took part in a panel at Digital DNA hosted by the Queen’s University Belfast’s Chief Executive’s Club discussing the increasing role that data plays in marketing.

Digital DNA is Ireland’s leading business and technology event held in Belfast. Launched on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange in 2013, it’s doubled year on year to become the go to event for businesses wanting to explore the challenges and opportunities digital technology presents.

We were very excited to be part of such an exciting panel discussing the increasing role of data in marketing. Our CEO Chris Johnston joined the panel of expert speakers including Yvonne O’Brien (Group Chief Insight and Data Officer at Havas Media Group), Justin Cooke (Venture Partner at Tech VC Northzone) and Steve Hyde (Chairman & CEO at Iotec Global & 360xec). The panel was chaired by Dave Birss (Public Speaker and Founder of

The engaging panel discussed the goldmine of data available on consumers today and how it represents a turning point for marketing leaders; how in this changing digital landscape the key to competing is deeply understanding the consumer better than anyone else and designing a customer experience that delights them at every point.

If you would like to watch the whole session please watch the video here.

Key takeaways from the panel

  • “It’s not about the data, it’s about the insights and the decisions you can make from the data. The key is understanding how your customers feel and designing the product and experiences better than everyone else.” Chris Johnston, CEO Adoreboard.
  • “We use data to understand people and audiences…[Adoreboard] gives us a much more rounded and holistic view of people and from that we can then start to understand the role brands can play in other people’s lives.” Yvonne O’Brien, Former Group Chief Insight & Data Officer at Havas Media Group.
  • “Data gives you lots of insight, but you still need a human brain to work it out…If we really want analytics to thrive we need to give people the [right] environment.” “I am enthused about working with startups and the environments they foster…[they] allow data analysts to flourish.” Yvonne O’Brien, Former Group Chief Insight & Data Officer at Havas Media Group.
  • “It’s the human beings behind the data who can [create] something valuable from the data.” Justin Cooke, Venture Partner at Tech VC Northzone. Justin also praised Spotify for their intelligent use of customer data in their 2016 campaign named “Thanks 2016, It’s been weird”. The music company used data driven customer insights to create tailored campaigns for each country which resulted in hundreds of thousands of shares online.
  • “You must invest in your future customer, otherwise every year your existing customer gets more and more expensive to reach…You’ve got to know how your customer is thinking and feeling at any point in time.” Steve Hyde, Chairman & CEO at Iotec Global & 360xec.

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We would like to take this opportunity to thank all our panelists for taking time out of their busy schedules to share their marketing wisdom and our Chair Dave Birss for leading such an entertaining and engaging panel discussion. Special thanks to Dolores Vischer and the Queen’s University Belfast Chief Executive’s Club for hosting, the organisers, those at Digital DNA and photographer Steven Hamilton at Presseye and SpeedMotion for recording the video.

If you would like to find out more about Adoreboard and our emotion analysis please email


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