Ultimate Edge Communications ventured into Marketing Intelligence back in 2014, years before it became the industry buzzword it has since become. Marketing Intelligence has been a foundational principle underpinning the consultancy’s ability to create market-beating results by automating and systemising the feedback loop across media, creative design right through to sales.
Easier said than done because of the disparate data sources, the multiplicity of media platforms compounded with a variety of client-side constraints. Gemma Giam, the division’s first Data Optimisation Specialist, was not daunted by the challenges this presented. In fact, as an intellectual trailblazer, she revelled in the complexity of the task in front of her.
Gemma’s professional path to becoming the catalyst for this division is quite an interesting story.
From visual graphic design to quantitative analysis…
Prior to joining UEC in 2017, Gemma worked for sportswear giants Under Armour and Nike where she led a variety of successful campaigns and activities across Australia and New Zealand. This involved enhancing brand awareness, brand activation and store retail design to internal staff training and sales while engaging with world class talent, notably World #1 tennis legend Andy Murray.
With such a solid foundation, it was no surprise that within 5 months, Gemma was promoted to Head of Creative Activations. Coming up with attractive designs became second nature as the primary contributor to the outstanding sales funnel conversion metrics UEC provided its diverse clientele. Serendipitously, it was this focus on bottom line results that triggered her fascination with numbers, metrics, ratios and the closed feedback loop synonymous with ‘Marketing Intelligence’.
She was hooked.
She jumped right into the deep end without hesitation or apprehension. She became a fervent student of this nascent new field of exploration. It wasn’t without serious hard work: She signed up to and completed 32 courses, attended 16 UEC workshops, led or participated in 26 Lunch and Learn sessions that encompassed a whopping 508 hours of attendance excluding study, writing term papers and prepping for exams and certification assessments.
But all that effort did come with substantial rewards and accolades: She was the awarded the eponymous Gemmy Award with an all-expense paid holiday for two to beautiful Bali. She scored a perfect score of 100% in Assembly’s landmark Data Analytics course and was invited to be an Alumni Ambassador and teacher’s assistant. Most importantly, she has been the catalyst, the passionate spark to get the Marketing Intelligence division off the ground, going and growing in record time.
The journey from Art Director to data optimisation specialist didn’t happen overnight. It was a gradual, systematic and strategic undertaking matching her skill development in lockstep with client project and campaigns of increasing complexity.
Beginning with the aggregation of Excel and Google Sheets Gemma learned how to use sophisticated pivot tables to dice and slice data as well as automate and systemise the data management tasks to substantially reduce human intervention, costly mistakes and misleading data duplication.
Once that box was ticked, Gemma explored data visualisation tools, selecting the market leader – Tableau. Now, with dynamic data feeds, UEC can track and monitor data in real time across multiple platforms reducing the feedback loop to provide instant optimisation capabilities. This serves to reduce media waste while increasing sales and the acquisition of leads of much higher quality.
Two years into her role, there are still many challenges ahead for Gemma to sink her teeth into; embracing the power of Artificial Intelligence, leveraging Machine Learning and Advanced Heuristics to further embolden our clients’ position within their respective domains.
Ironically and surprisingly these innovations come at a zero-cost base since once deployed, the combination of savings and increased sales substantially dwarf the investment incurred – because of the disproportionate efficiency and effectiveness gains achieved.
In line with UEC’s holistic culture that embraces flex time work, career, advanced study and/or family planning while having fun, Gemma, serves as a role model for all to mirror as she starts her family in early 2021, as a working mum benefiting from flex time as she completes her Master’s Degree in Business Analytics at the University Of Technology Sydney.