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Media Mavens: The Innovid Interview with Alissa Coronna

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Alissa Coronna is Leo Burnett’s EVP-Head of Data Intelligence, so it is no surprise that she is a fan of data. Her early career included a stint as a researcher at Kantar Milward Brown. In her current role, she relies on data to help bring briefs to life for the creative department. Read on to get Alissa’s take on data’s relationship to creativity and why she’s excited about the power of CTV (and its data).  

Editor’s Note: This Q&A is the latest installment in an occasional blog series where Innovid interviews industry thought leaders about their take on the future of advertising and media. 

Innovid: Tell us about your responsibilities at Leo Burnett.

Alissa Coronna: My primary job is to make sure that all of our briefs are more data-informed. Historically, there's a trend of coming up with a great strategy and then retroactively figuring out what is the data that proves that to be true. My job is about bringing the voice of the consumer early and often into the creative process. How do we make sure that we are routing our creative solutions through consumer and cultural insights? When you do that, it becomes more creatively inspiring. It becomes more effective — because you're hitting on something that is a consumer truth, and you're solving a real need for them. Having worked in media, I also know how important it is that you're building an audience that can actually be bought. If it doesn't have the behavioral aspect to it, it doesn't really matter how great the creative audience is: We won't be able to find them in real life. 

Innovid: The shorthand way of describing the evolution of advertising is the shift from Mad Men to math men, but agencies still have to work on both sides of that street. How do you play in that dichotomy?

Alissa: I do think there is a fine balance. Creatives have beautiful minds, but they don't think in spreadsheets. My job is to take the spreadsheets and the numbers and turn those into a data story for them that they can understand. And when I do that, then they get really creatively inspired, because I'm able to bring all these data points to life.

Innovid: When you talk about the audience, tell us how you use data to describe their media consumption habits?

Alissa: It’s really important to me to make sure that we are thinking about that media translation. What are the attributes that can travel between creative and media? If you build this amazing story, but then you can’t actually reach the people you need to tell the story to, it defeats the purpose. So it’s important to think about what are their behaviors within the immediate buying space and what are the contextual places that we could reach them? 

Innovid: From your point of view, the digitization of TV probably gives you a lot more data. How does your team look at the potential of connected TV (CTV)?

Alissa: For starters, it gets me really excited, because the better data that we have in these environments, the better we're able to target. It's always unfortunate when we create this amazing story built for one audience, and then we're not able to reach them. So having more data in these environments is exciting, because we're more confident that our ads are actually going to reach who we intended them for. We can also get so much more personalized with the stories that we're telling. We're able to think about what are the right stories for the right audiences and make sure they get to the right places.

Innovid: What measurement advantages does CTV deliver for you? 

Alissa: Gone are the days where everybody just celebrates when the ad is shipped. We really want to make sure that we're putting effective work into the environment, making sure our work is delivering for our clients. The measurement has gotten so much better around CTV, and measurement is better across CTV and digital and linear. For us, it's about measuring everything in a holistic aspect whether that's through brand lift or working with our ad servers to look at, in conjunction with media metrics, how a campaign is actually turning into sales or traffic for our clients. The current environment is allowing us to get that bigger holistic picture of how our work is impacting consumers — and where are the opportunities for us to continue to improve. 

Innovid: How do you see CTV changing over the next few years?

Alissa: For me, CTV gives us an opportunity to tell one story in 1,000 different ways versus traditional linear, which is one story for everybody. There are going to be more of our clients pushing us for more personalized assets. We're going to have to think about the connected experience more and more. So, while you're watching CTV, you’re also on your phone. How do we sort of bring these two experiences together in a way where we're building assets for an environment and leveraging data to build a holistic and connected experience for the consumer?

Learn more about the fundamentals of CTV advertising.