In the latest episode in a series of video interviews entitled Quantcast Sessions, launched in association with Quantcast, Dunford discusses the importance of data in marketing today and the pivotal role of adtech companies.

Dunford is an advocate of programmatic advertising and its ability to deliver targeted, personalised advertising experiences. However, its dependence on consumer data means he believes the industry needs to do more to increase transparency.

“A lot of people worry about the data brands have about them now but it’s fine as long as it’s used to provide relevant personal experiences,” he said. “So educating consumers is a huge part of what we need to do as an industry and we’re doing pretty terrible job to be honest. As an industry we need to be more transparent about the data we hold on people and what we do with it.”

As brands increase the use of such data, particularly in areas such as programmatic advertising, Dunford believes marketers need to build closer relationships with the technology companies that are enabling and supporting such innovations.

“Having close relationships with vendors is crucial. With print media, for instance, we often never even needed a real relationship. But as markers we need to understand what the technology provider is doing. You don’t need to know how their algorithm works but you need a foundation of knowledge. “

He believes that the adtech industry has fundamentally changed the way brands need to market to consumers and that it is crucial for marketers to form relationships with technology companies in order to not be left behind.

“The tech suppliers are the ones really pushing the industry forward and brands trying to keep up. They’re constantly trying to improve the consumer experience with engineers far smarter than us marketers,” he said. “Things are moving things forward so fast, that as soon as you get a bit behind it just snowballs and the gap keeps getting bigger.”