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Rachel Brook

Rachel Brook

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MediaCom's Rachel Brook Explains How She Humanizes the Complex World of Data

Rachel Brook has overseen MediaCom USA's data and analytics operation since she joined the agency in 2004. As a member of the executive team, she's tasked with maintaining an integrated view of the business and ensuring best-in-class analytics support for clients that include Bayer, Dell and Revlon.

She was also named one of 30 Internationalist INNOVATORS in 2016, an honor that acknowledges agency executives who are transforming our concepts of a contemporary advertising agency business.

Rachel's team is one of the fastest-growing at the agency, and for good reason. "When I started at MediaCom, data supported planning and buying," she says. "Today, data drives everything. It's still early days, but what we do know is that data-led planning is the new normal, and that takes resources."

It takes a variety of different kinds of resources and people, too, as Rachel is committed to giving clients the power and confidence to make smarter investment decisions. This means that members of her team aren't just "quant jocks" or number crunchers; they must also be curious and savvy enough to understand their clients' businesses.

It's this understanding that underscore's the group's mission: that is, to help futureproof MediaCom's clients. Rachel's team has to stay ahead of the game by developing leading indicators that ensure business success, media KPIs that represent business outcomes and an ability to measure and produce recommendations at every data point across a client's entire communications system. Rachel views this as "humanizing" the data, or tying it directly to genuine business improvements. It's this approach that helped make MediaCom the first agency to fully integrate cross-channel measurement with digital analytics and business consulting.

"Our industry is overloaded with data that doesn't always add value," notes Rachel. "It's a business where the adage, 'Just because you can, doesn't mean you should," definitely applies. "We push ourselves to become experts in consumer insights and audience management tools so we can report not only the 'what,' but also the 'how,' 'why' and 'so what?' parts of the equation." The next generation of analytics specialists will need to be client-facing practitioners, equally comfortable presenting to a room full of people as they are with a multi-touch attribution model.

"Clients no longer want to deal with multiple vendors to understand their marketing ROI (accountability) digital performance (optimization) and consumer behaviors (targeting)," notes Rachel. "They want one source of 'truth' and, I don't blame them! As an explosion of channels has put media at the center of the marketing conversation, the opportunity is there for us to become that source, and we're seizing it."

In 2014, MediaCom began offering a base product that included a data and analytics element: that is, Rachel's team delivering a level of increased rigor, insights and accountability fully integrated with the strategy and planning sides of the house. "Today," she says, "we have deeper relationships and higher retention, and have contributed to a period of exponential growth. It only gets better from here."

Rachel Brook was named an Agency INNOVATOR in 2016 for her accomplishments as Managing Partner and Head of Advanced Analytics at MediaCom where she "provides provocation" or challenges the status quo to build confidence through data. While consistency in data may be hard to find, she believes there is huge upside to a standardized language and framework to streamline effort and extract greatest value.

Rachel is from Huddersfield, England in Yorkshire, and she likes to remind people Sir Patrick Stewart is from the very same town.