Alex Steer

Better communication through data

HTML | PDF | Text

Email: hello@alexsteer.net
Twitter: @alexsteer

PROFILE

I'm a half-strategist, half-geek with experience turning data into commercial value for large and complex organisations, most recently in Chief Data/Product/Strategy Officer roles. My focus is on improving marketing effectiveness through better use of data, analytics and technology, and on offer development for agencies. I lead large teams of analysts, data scientists, developers, consultants and strategists, working for some of the world's best-known brands. I have a strong track record of creating scalable, meaningful change for global brands, leading new business, and transforming agency offers in analytics, marketing technology and data-driven marketing.

EMPLOYMENT

2021-present: Global Chief Data Officer, Wunderman Thompson.

2020-21: Chief Data Officer, EMEA, Wunderman Thompson.

I lead our global data capability: 1,000 specialists in data consulting, marketing science and marketing automation. Our offer helps ambitious brands turn data into a strategic asset, and use it to make better decisions and more effective brand and customer experiences. I'm responsible for making sure Wunderman Thompson's whole offer to clients is informed and inspired by meaningful data expertise. This includes overseeing the development of our data centres of excellence and data-driven products, leading data strategy for major clients and prospects, and our thought leadership and approach. I jointly led the development of our brand equity framework, Inspire, and am working on our approach to end-to-end effectiveness.

2018-20: Chief Product Officer, Wavemaker, London.

I was responsible for our agency's overall offer strategy and capabilities, especially our specialist practices in data, analytics, technology, programmatic and performance marketing, and ecommerce. I led on marketing transformation projects with key clients and on new business, helping clients design their marketing operations to get more value out of their investments in media, data and technology. I was global product lead for Wavemaker's communications planning, analytics and collaboration software, using cloud machine learning and AI to transform how we work. I wrote and spoke regularly on marketing effectiveness and the role of analytics.

2017: Chief Strategy Officer, Maxus, London.

I was responsible for design and execution of the agency's strategy, including management of our offers in strategy, planning, technology and data. I led on overall strategy and structure for key clients and for major new business pitches. My focus was on integrating technology and data into the strategic planning process to make our client work more effective and better able to adapt to change. This included designing a new strategic planning framework focused on understanding sources of growth and outcomes-based planning; retraining our planning community on the new process and tools; and building new cloud-based cross-media planning software which is now used at Wavemaker and Essence. As Maxus merged with MEC to form Wavemaker, I was jointly responsible for the creation of the new Wavemaker global planning process and toolkit, and the restructure of strategic planning teams as they transitioned into the new agency.

2015-17: Head of Technology, Effectiveness and Data, Maxus, London.

I brought together and ran the agency's integrated data and technology practice (known as TED), and led our offer in marketing effectiveness with all clients. TED was the first fully-integrated data and technology team in a UK media agency. Milestones included launching new practices in marketing technology operations (known as Pie), data strategy, and dynamic creative optimisation. I was the senior strategic lead on marketing integration, measurement and effectiveness with key clients and in major new business pitches. Over two years we grew data and technology revenues by four times and created a team of 25 specialists across the disciplines of technology, data platforms, analytics, research and effectiveness.

2011-15: Strategy Director; Head of Product and Analytics, Fabric Worldwide, London.

Fabric was WPP Digital's data-driven marketing startup. We built data lakes, marketing automation platforms and digital marketing capabilities for top-tier WPP clients. I was strategy lead on our biggest digital marketing accounts (KFC, Heineken), then led our product and analytics division building marketing technology capabilities for GSK, Unilever, Colgate-Palmolive and others. I advised global organisations and their agencies on digital content, media and measurement strategy, with a particular focus on precision marketing and social media.

2010-11: Strategy Consultant, Kantar, New York.

Research-based marketing strategy and innovation consulting; future planning, scenario planning and trends consulting with a specific focus on digital and social media, technology and data. I led key client projects and developed research and consulting programmes to inform strategic planning.

2009-10: Strategic Planner, Ogilvy, Cape Town.

Account planning across integrated advertising, PR and digital accounts; developing brand positionings, portfolio strategies and communications plans; monitoring and advising on market and consumer trends; client relations and day-to-day guidance on messaging and positioning.

2009-12: Marketing Fellow, WPP.

WPP's global leadership development programme, consisting of three year-long rotations in WPP group companies across different disciplines and markets (Ogilvy, Kantar, Fabric, above).

2008-09: Analyst, New Philanthropy Capital, London.

Advised donors, funders and charities on how to achieve and demonstrate greater social impact from their activities; planned and wrote reports on charities' work in the education and young people's sector; analysed charities' activities, results and finances and recommended funding priorities.

2006-08: Assistant Editor, Oxford English Dictionary, Oxford University Press.

Researched the history and development of the English language; wrote and edited dictionary entries; trained editors and researchers on research methods and new technologies; advised on specialist areas of lexicography and historical bibliography (especially early English). Also taught English language and medieval/early modern literature papers to Oxford University undergraduates as an external tutor.

AWARDS

Recent award wins: Performance Marketing Award, Best Attribution Solution, 2018; Drum Digital Awards, Highly Commended, Attribution, 2017; IPA Effectiveness Awards, Silver Award, 2016

Recent judging: IPA Effectiveness Awards 2018; UK Effies, 2017 and 2018; Media Week Awards, 2018 and 2019; WARC Social Strategy Awards, 2019.

EDUCATION

Girton College, Cambridge University (2001-05).

2005: M.Phil. Medieval and Renaissance Literature. Arts and Humanities Research Council award, 2004-5.

2004: B.A. (Hons.) English, double 1st class. M.A. degree awarded March 2008. Graduate Scholarship, 2004-05; Davies Scholarship, 2004; Russell Scholarship, 2003.

Caterham School, Caterham, Surrey (1991-2001).

2001: A Levels. English Literature (A), Government and Politics (A), Modern History (A), Latin (A). Academic scholarship, 1994-2001.

1998/99: GCSEs. 10 at Grade A*; 1 at Grade A.

ADDITIONAL SKILLS

Statistical computing and machine learning in SQL, R and Python. Experienced at using online and desktop computing resources to analyse, manipulate and use data. Working knowledge of HTML, XML flavours, XSL, CSS, PHP, Javascript, Python, Bash, SQL and R. Experienced digital product manager with a focus on big data and analytics products for marketing.

INTERESTS

Improvisation; linguistics and language history; word games; web programming.