Meet Will Sandwick, JWT New York's Head Of Analytics
This week, JWT New York welcomed Will Sandwick as its new Head Of Analytics.
Will is an avid speaker and has given talks at the Miami Ad School, New Inc., The Samsung Accelerator, and CCNY Branding and Integrated Communications. Additionally, his work has been cited/quoted in periodicals such as Adweek, Advertising Age, Creativity Online, Forbes, CNBC, ClickZ, and MediaPost. He also won an award at The One Show.
Previously, Will held positions at R/GA, Droga5, The Barbarian Group, and Blippar.
We sat down with New York’s new analytics lead to learn more about his background, hobbies, and the goals he has in mind for his new role.
How would you describe your new role as the Head of Analytics?
As the Head of Analytics, I’m responsible for creating a vision and application for all the data the agency collects on behalf of our clients. This includes creating systems to measure ROI, processes that allow speed to optimization, and developing tools that fuel creative insights. I am especially excited to be joining such a robust strategy and intelligence practice that has long put research and understanding of the consumer at the center of the agency’s offering.
With your 8 years of experience in the industry, how do you think the world of analytics changed and where do you see it headed in the next few years?
When I started, analytics was about tagging and tracking to get the data you want. Today, data is everywhere and analytics is focused on determining the right data sources and metrics for the job. In my opinion, it is a very exciting time to be in analytics because advancements in technology are allowing for entirely new types of data. Thanks to natural language processing, computer vision, and advanced location tracking, advertisers have entirely new ways to answer some of the oldest questions in the business.
Can you give us an example of a number that illustrates one of the biggest opportunities in the industry for our brands?
103%. Google and Facebook account for 103% of growth in the U.S. digital ad market. Although this is going to be the year global digital ad spend overtakes TV, at the moment, digital advertising outside of Google and Facebook is a declining business. This does not mean that there aren’t a host of other digital properties and platforms where brands can reach their customers. While Google and Facebook are key parts of any healthy media mix, brands armed with proper measurement and a willingness to invest in innovation can step into emerging platforms that will give them unique advantages over their competitors.
Can you explain a time when you said or referenced something in the analytics world that you are proudest of?
One of my favorite takes was the “5 Stages of Data Adoption” presentation I wrote for Sophie Kelly’s keynote for the 2015 IAB Global Summit. We based it on the Kübler-Ross model, which discusses the five stages of grief. Using the five stages of grief, we mapped different inputs to each stage of data adoption. For example, we began with “Survey Data” representing “Denial” and “Big Data” representing “Depression.” This ultimately mapped the path to total data acceptance. It was a fun way to acknowledge the reluctance some folks in the industry have when engaging with data and the event attendees loved the tongue-in-cheek approach.
What are some hobbies or activities that you enjoy outside of the office?
I will unabashedly show you my GoPro ski edits, or any run where I got a deep powder turn. Generally, I am all about the thrill of motion and being outside. I Citibike everywhere and, season permitting, you can also find me hitting most of the local surf spots. While I’m currently recovering from a knee surgery that happened earlier in the year, I have every intention of being ready for the upcoming surf and ski seasons.
What would you like to achieve in your new role?
For me, it’s all about humanizing the data. People often come into analytics with the idea that a number can be attached to something or to create a dashboard, but that is only the first step. Every data point is an opportunity to learn something new about how the work we do here is influencing people and changing behavior. My goal here at JWT New York is to embed an approach based on learning and experimentation that enables everyone here to champion new ideas and better serve our clients business.