NP Digital Appoints Former Dentsu Exec To Chief Media And Data Officer In Brazil

NP Digital, a performance marketing agency, plans to announce this week the appointment of Luisa Bernardes to chief media and data officer of the Brazilian region. She will step into the role on December 6.

Bernardes brings -- most recently from Dentsu -- more than 21 years of experience in global integrated communication, digital media and data intelligence. Her most recent position is chief media and data officer at Dentsu. She also spent six years at NBS in various media roles, most recently as the vice president of media and data intelligence, as well as time at Publicis Brazil.

At NP Digital, Bernardes will spearhead the team and develop a data-driven information strategy that drives business decisions.

Mike Gullaksen, CEO of NP Digital, said NP Digital began supporting clients in Brazil about three years ago. The company started 2021 with just under 100 employees in the country, and grew to 130.

Despite the agency works with companies across the globe, it does not have a global media or data officer. "We’ve structured our teams in alignment with our client’s structures, needs and wants," Gullaksen said. "We learned during the last two decades, even in digital, clients with centralized marketing structures always demand localized strategic and operational execution.”

Gullaksen said the differences from region to region are significant. “Think in terms of PII and what you can do with it in different regions and even countries,” he said. “It’s difficult for one leader to effectively understand the nuances globally and country by country. We’ve assembled an amazing media leadership in each of our regions with expertise working at platforms like Facebook, as well as agency holding companies.” 

This team works together as a steering committee to determine global strategies. Bernardes will have significant influence in this group.  

Search & Performance Marketing Daily caught up with Bernardes to talk about her new role, goals, and life.

S&PMD:  What prompted your switch to NP Digital?

Bernardes:  I wanted to build a growing company and contribute to the transformation of our industry. I fell in love with the NP Digital’s culture and beliefs around clients and employees first, which connect with my own. The fact that NP Digital has grown organically seems to have allowed for less focus on internal integrations from acquisitions and more of a focus on operational excellence from the ground up. 

S&PMD:  What are your goals for the coming year?

Bernardes:  My main goal is to structure the media and data teams in Brazil, with the best ways of working and methods for all clients. I want to continue to build a media and data best in class team, so we can help our current clients grow as fast as we want to grow ourselves. My next crucial goal is to drive growth for NP Digital in Brazil through Paid Media for all kinds of clients, making sure that we’ll deliver the best integration of all expertise for them: SEO, CRO and Paid Media. I believe that this combination, added to the services that NP Digital already delivers, is very powerful to transform our industry.

S&PMD:  What is the biggest difference in supporting Brazil vs U.S. compared with other markets when it comes to data and media?

Bernardes:  Basically, the maturity of the digital market. Although Brazil has very mature market in advertising, in digital we are still figuring out the best model to follow, we are the only country in the world where creative and media services are still together. This is very positive because we can have a strategic and holistic view about the businesses, but at the same time it brings some difficulties in developing specific digital skills. That’s why is so important to work together with US teams in order to have the best of both worlds.

S&PMD:  If you could invent one thing to help do your job better to support brands, what would that be?

Bernardes:  I would create a way to personalize and customize services at scale, so that we could help as many businesses as we could grow through digital marketing.

S&PMD:  Have you always loved data and media?

Bernardes:  Yes. I started studying data processing when I was 14 years old in high school. I learned so much at that time, because it was the beginning of the commercial internet we all know today, so I had the opportunity to closely follow the birth of the digital transformation. At University, I started studying advertising and realized I could connect both worlds through media. A funny story: I was taking a copywriting class and the assignment was to write advertisement text for a new product. Instead of writing, I analyzed the target audience and demographics data. Based on the data, I built a comprehensive media strategy for the product. When I presented the work, my teacher said ‘I think you should take the media and data classes, because it is natural for you.’

S&PMD:  What were your career goals in high school, and why?

Bernardes:  I don’t remember exactly my specific career goals because I thought I would switch areas when I started studying advertising. At the time, I didn’t know I would end up doing both things together. I just remember I wanted to be independent and build something meaningful for me and for others. I was part of a dance group—classic ballet, contemporary and modern jazz—since I turned 7, so I also had this artistic vein. I always liked to build things in collaboration with others, and advertising gave me that opportunity, but at the same time I loved to structure things, such as methodologies, data bases and more. So, I believe my career was pretty much a combination of the left and right sides of my brain, that were stimulated by different kinds of projects I was involved.
S&PMD:  Best piece of advice received throughout your career, and from whom did you receive it?

Bernardes:  I was so lucky to have many great people who helped me and gave me so many good advices and tips that is difficult to pick just one. But I think the most important was to ‘focus on what will help you to build and tell the story, starting from the main goal.’ and who gave me was a former boss. At that time, I was a media and research manager and I was trying to analyze a lot of data from different sources to build a media strategy, and I got so confused among so much information. This piece of advice helped me to not lose sight of the actual and main outcomes goals of each project.

S&PMD:  Best novel you ever read, and why?

Bernardes:  Memories of My Melancholy Whores, from Gabriel Garcia Marquez. I love the way he talks about ordinary life in such a poetic way. I was very young when I read this novel, that is about a 90 years old man doing a reflection about his ‘meaningless’ life without love and other important things. It was so impactful that I decided to always focus on what it’s really genuine for me.

S&PMD:  How might your favorite novel relate to your career choice?

Bernardes:  I believe it’s about being genuine. I’m always looking for something that is meaningful for me, which is basically the relationships I build through my life—my family, my friends, my teams, my clients and my peers. I can say that my career is marked by those relationships.

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