IAB Names Digital Vet Dennis Buchheim Data & Ad Effectiveness Chief

The Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) on Friday announced that Dennis Buchheim will assume the newly created role of senior vice president, data and ad effectiveness, and general manager of the IAB Data Center of Excellence.

Buchheim is tasked with promoting the value of data in media and advertising, and building consensus with respect to digital ad measurement.

In his new role, Buchheim will run the daily activities of the IAB’s Data Center of Excellence. He will also be responsible for developing business cases and executing plans that promote effective advertising.  The work revolves around the use of data to improve digital experiences for consumers, while also focusing on results for publishers and marketers.

In addition, Buchheim will oversee the IAB’s efforts to educate the industry on the initiative known as “3MS” (Making Measurement Make Sense) and new measurement requirements.

Buchheim comes to the IAB from Yahoo, where he served as vice president of product management. Before that, he was at Microsoft, where he held various titles, including GM of display monetization. Buchheim’s first role in advertising was as GM of Inktomi’s paid inclusion business, before moving on to lead product marketing for Yahoo/Overture partners. Prior to entering the digital ad space, he designed and developed consumer and enterprise software products at Apple and Oracle.

Buchheim, in an email interview with Real-Time Daily, explained more about his new position.

RTD: Why was this role created now?

Buchheim: The IAB has long had a Data Council that has worked across the industry on data-related initiatives. Early this year, though, the increased importance, visibility, and complexity surrounding data usage in marketing and media drove the creation of a Data Center of Excellence, with a mission to define boundaries, reduce friction, and increase value along the data chain, for consumers, marketers, and the ecosystem that supports them.

The IAB Data Center of Excellence’s momentum and ambitious agenda made it the right time to hire a full-time leader to manage these efforts. I’ll be working on improving ad effectiveness for all parties in the ecosystem. We’re really at a crossroads in terms of how and when data is used, how advertising can be more relevant and less intrusive but still a healthy business, and how marketers and agencies can make sense of what works and what doesn't across so many devices and screens.

RTD: Where does the role fit into the organization?

Buchheim: Our data and ad effectiveness efforts and the IAB Data Center of Excellence will sit alongside the Mobile and Video Centers of Excellence, and will work very closely with the IAB Tech Lab to develop standards and relevant technologies. Work with IAB Public Policy will be key, as we ensure responsible stewardship of data at all times. In addition, we’ll be working with our research team to conduct relevant studies, and the certification team to bolster formal certification programs for expertise in data and other areas.

RTD: What specifically will you be doing?

Buchheim: I’ll be moving forward a number of the efforts that the IAB Data Center of Excellence already has underway and will also shepherd new work to facilitate better data practices and provide guidelines and tools to enable all constituents to use data more effectively. I also expect to be working more on attribution and measurement guidelines and standards for marketers, and design insights for publishers and app developers.

RTD: What do you see as the top three priorities for you in this role within the first three to six months?

Buchheim: My top priority right now is to develop a clear articulation of the IAB's charter related to data and ad effectiveness, and to map into that everything that’s been done to date or is a known new opportunity. As part of this, I need to go on a ‘listening tour’ to make sure key members’ views are fully understood.

That said, my sense, based on what I know so far, is that we’ll be continuing to invest in data-related education, research, and certification -- there’s still so much to do to support people throughout the industry in reaching a better baseline understanding regarding data.

On ad effectiveness, we need to take some next steps (in addition to the IAB’s LEAN and DEAL efforts) to provide publishers with guidance on what a good user experience looks like, especially in a cross-device, component-based-ad environment -- and we similarly need to help marketers and agencies with attribution best practices and measurement standards, working with the MRC.

RTD: What trends do you see that make this role necessary for the IAB in serving its members?

Buchheim: I think the past year has brought tremendous visibility to consumer frustration related to ad experiences and data usage -- ad blocking adoption being an obvious and very concerning outcome. Also, as digital ad spend exceeds TV ad spend, it’s no longer acceptable for marketers to take for granted what works and what doesn’t. All of this puts tremendous pressure on publishers to figure out how to continue building and sustaining their revenue and customer bases.

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