Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Nicole Lonsdale, Chief Client Officer at Kinetic

Nicole Lonsdale is Chief Client Officer at Kinetic, and forms part of the UK Leadership team.  She is a member of WACL and founder of BalanceOOH a network of businesses who champion diversity and inclusion across the OOH sector. 

Who is your digital hero?

This is a relatively easy one for me as it has to be Claire Valoti.

I worked with Claire for a number of years when I was running the OOH team at Mindshare and she was one of eight people in the relatively new Digital team (this is showing my age!). We both worked on the Jaguar Land Rover account, and I fondly remember numerous trips to Gaydon for client meetings and audits – along with Louise So (another Digital Hero) who at that time worked in the Press team.

What I most admire about Claire is her honesty, passion and unbelievable work ethic. She helped grow Mindshare’s digital proposition across the early 2000s, swiftly moving up the ranks before joining Facebook in the very early years and then moving to Snap in her current role leading across EMEA.

How has her heroism helped drive digital?

Claire is an unbelievable role model for women in the industry – and not just within the digital sphere. She demonstrates what is achievable with the right talent and personality – and she’s a mum of 3 kids too!

The fact that she was head hunted by Snap while on maternity leave with her second child is testament to the many qualities that Claire has. She is also actively involved in WACL like myself, and is continuing to pave the way for the next generation of female talent.

What is the biggest challenge in digital we need another hero to solve?

While my hero is Claire, I want to bring this back to OOH, the area that I work in.  DOOH (Digital Out of Home) now accounts for 70% of OOH revenues, and its growth, powered by advancements in data and tech, has broadened OOH’s capabilities. DOOH is dynamic, programmatic, data-driven, measurable, brand-safe and accountable. There is more on offer than ever before for brands to reach the huge audiences that OOH and DOOH commands.

The biggest challenge we face is educating clients of the power of DOOH. It continues to surprise me that OOH and DOOH still only accounts for c.5% of media spend. With its new capabilities it should feature in many more campaigns than it currently does. Brands should not just think about DOOH as a broadcast channel. While this is no doubt a key strength many other channels wish they had, DOOH is part of the broader digital ecosystem and should be considered alongside all digital campaigns as it can target the same audiences and activate real time messaging based upon a variety of data and contextual triggers.

The majority of DOOH screens use renewable energy and 50% of OOH revenues go back to helping fund local infrastructure, transport, the environment, and communities.  No other digital channel offers as much, which makes DOOH such a responsible choice for brands. We need more advertisers to be aware of this. And rather than this being a problem for one person to solve, it’s a collective responsibility the wider OOH sector has.

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

Probably my work setting up our behavioural planning platform; Journeys. Working with our Head of Data we launched the DMP in January 2019, just before Covid.  Journeys has been revolutionary for our business and clients. It’s a privacy-first DMP containing a range of behavioural, mobile and offline data sets that are anonymised – so fully GDPR compliant and not reliant on cookies. What makes Journeys unique, is that it’s fused with Route data (OOH’s official audience measurement currency) to help us understand real-world behaviour in relation to OOH inventory. 

Journeys has accelerated Kinetic’s and OOH’s capabilities, enabling us to track near real-time audience behaviour (the holy grail for our clients during Covid lockdowns), and more importantly deliver smarter, more adaptive and integrated OOH and DOOH solutions.

Journeys powers all stages of OOH activation – from audience insights, campaign optimisation to measuring performance. Outcomes can be assessed of those exposed to a campaign through footfall tracking, purchase behaviour or brand uplift – closing the loop, while also ensuring learnings fuel future planning.

It has been game-changing for our Programmatic DOOH offering, which continues to grow and evolve under Alys Donnelly’s leadership, bringing new clients and new revenue to the channel.