Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

Q&A: Chris Childs, UK MD, Hawk Platform discusses accountability, cookieless ads and the end of marketing silos

With NDA’s latest Trinity Lunch event just days away, we sat down with some of the event’s sponsors to ask why they have agreed to get involved, and what their thoughts are on the current state of the industry. Here, NDA speaks to Chris Childs, UK MD, Hawk Platform

Why is your organisation sponsoring the Winter Trinity Lunch?

We are proud to support an event that celebrates the digital marketing industry, and the people who help to drive innovation and creativity within it. It’s also a great opportunity for us to invite some of our key clients and to thank them for all their support. 

What are the big priorities for your organisation in the new year?

Hawk’s main focus is to continue our growth, across Europe. We’re in four markets now (the UK, France, Germany and Spain), launching in Belgium before the end of the year, and have plans for further expansion next year. We are incredibly proud of the teams we have built in each of these markets and it’s essential we continue to build on this, so another priority is to continue to hire and retain the best talent. Finally, we need to have the best possible knowledge of our customers’ businesses, ensuring we have a clear understanding of their expectations, and that we over-deliver on them at all times.

What are the biggest issues your clients/customers are facing right now?

The uncertainty around the wider economy, along with the various global issues that impact businesses around the world are obviously big concerns. We need to work more closely than ever with brands and agencies and be more accountable than ever before, ensuring that we deliver the greatest value possible and the best return on investment for those brands. With so much uncertainty it is essential that technologies like Hawk’s are delivering trust and transparency to our customers – and helping to shift the rest of the industry in this same direction. 

Are your customers/partners testing ‘cookieless’ ad targeting and measurement solutions?

Our founders had the foresight to recognise the shortfalls in cookies as a data currency long before the current discussions started, so Hawk was – uniquely – built as a cookie-less platform. We work with brands to help them unlock and grow new strategies and solutions all of which can be accessed directly via our platform. We’re seeing more and more brands turning to spatial targeting rather than one-to-one messaging for example, so using device ID data, telco or postcode data to optimise buys across mobile, CTV, DOOH and audio. 

Are there any other noteworthy trends in your marketplace right now?

For us a huge focus is on helping brands to build cross-channel targeting strategies and discover how best to tailor their creative messaging across different channels. The continued growth of programmatic digital out-of-home (DOOH) is really exciting, and enables DOOH to tie in with, and complement, other channels. Similarly, the growth of in-game advertising offers brands great new opportunities, as does the increasingly widespread adoption of connected TV (CTV). 

From a personal perspective, is the advertising industry moving in the right direction?

The digitalisation of more traditional advertising channels such as TV, audio and OOH, and the ability for platforms like Hawk to help brands reach audiences across all of these is hugely compelling. Digital is coming together as a whole; channels are no longer siloed, we are all very much rowing in the same direction and our team is very proud to be at the forefront of this. At the same time, we’re always learning; nobody has all the answers and it’s up to the technologies, brands and agencies to be the best we can be and continue to push the envelope in terms of strategy and innovation.