Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Celebrating Women in Programmatic: Zoe Baptie, Account Director, Bluestripe Group

The Women In Programmatic Network was set up to represent women in the programmatic industry. To celebrate its work and its members, NDA is running a series of interviews with its members. Next up is Zoe Baptie, Account Director, Bluestripe Group.

Why did you join the Women in Programmatic network and what do you hope to get out of it?

My MD Lydia Oakes suggested I join. I actually geek out about programmatic as I find it really fascinating – it’s not something that, as a consumer, I would have ever imagined, this whole industry built around digital advertising and the technology that serves it.

So she suggested I join to further my knowledge and network with the people in the industry that live and breath this every day. And that’s exactly what I hope to get out of it, to carry on learning, develop my knowledge and meet some fantastic women who may just possibly geek out about this stuff on the same level as me.

What are the biggest challenges, and opportunities for women in the programmatic industry today?

I do think there is still a lot to do with raising the profile of women within this industry – which is why TWIPN is so great. I still see the same pale male voices across the trade media and sitting on panels, and sadly I have had glimpses into some companies that just don’t do enough to support the amazing women in their business.

But with challenges come opportunities. I love getting to know the different people within my clients’ business and having deep dives with them on their interests and role. There is always something that comes out of this where I think, “this is amazing, we need to be doing this with you” and then make it my mission to highlight that person and their expertise within the media to ensure we as a PR agency, along with the companies we represent, are helping to shape the media we read and making it more diverse.

What does the industry need to do to champion women in the programmatic industry better?

Don’t turn “we support women” into PR tactic.

It needs to be authentic and it needs to be real for women to feel valued, supported and have the confidence to be out on that stage. By this I mean, don’t just offer up women in your company for the odd speaker opportunity and have the occasional article bylined to them. Put in place real measures to support women; have a fair and supportive maternity and return to work policy, be understanding and flexible around school pick-up and drop off times and around the school holidays, offer child care vouchers – these are just some of the small starting blocks that need to be the norm not the nice to have, across the industry.

What are the biggest challenges, and opportunities overall for programmatic advertising this year?

Challenges are always going to be centred around privacy and data protection. Opportunities will come from the digital acceleration that the pandemic has caused. There were a lot of smart companies in the industry that instead of furloughing staff instead redeployed them to create and develop new tech. I think we have only just started to see the signs of this, I feel like there is going to be a lot more to come.

What is your biggest achievement in programmatic to date?

For me, it’s when a new member of the PR team makes a breakthrough and suddenly “gets it”. It’s not the easiest subject to teach and it does take time and training to bring people who are completely new to this industry up to speed.

We try and make it fun. The team are currently doing a module from the programmatic university a month – a couple of them are after my “programmatic princess crown” and they troll me on this when they send through their 100% scorecard that gets added to their development folder.

  • Bluestripe Group is the owner of NDA.

Opinion, The Women In Programmatic Network