This is the latest installment in "PII," a series featuring the talent that makes the wheels turn in our data-driven advertising world. Read previous interviews with talent from Mindshare, Mediavest | Spark, Razorfish, Essence and INNOCEAN.
Digital native Andy Stevens is SVP of research and insights at Clear Channel Outdoor. He works on the Radar initiative, which uses mobile location data to better plan and buy out-of-home (OOH) and retarget users on mobile.
With insights from Radar, Stevens and his team help CMOs prove the effectiveness of OOH advertising, bringing a traditional medium into a digital world.
AdExchanger: Did you always want to work in advertising?
ANDY STEVENS: When I graduated, the career options were banking, consultancy or accounting. A few people went into law. I remember thinking, “I’m not quite sure if it’s me.” I like the business side, but I like being creative as well.
I applied at a bunch of ad agencies and, on a whim, I saw an online advertising company. This was 2000, so online advertising was pop-ups and banners. It was the Wild West and we were the scrappy upstart.
I thought I wanted more of a traditional agency, but the guy who set this up used to be an investment banker. He said, “Trust me, this industry is about to go stratospheric.” It was the best decision I ever made. Within three years the company was acquired by AOL.
I was in love with advertising from the beginning, always more on the data and research side. We often talk about the art and science of advertising. Increasingly important is the science. That’s where my expertise is.
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