Ian Johnson (Kinesso) - Geek By Nature

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This is a podcast episode titled, Ian Johnson (Kinesso) - Geek By Nature. The summary for this episode is: <p>Vincent and Ajay chat with Ian Johnson, the Global COO at Kinesso. He talks about how his role makes company visions happen, and how a start in engineering eventually led him to a career in strategy. Ajay takes his kids to see elephants, and Vincent is excited to visit the Alamo.</p>
Kinesso the technology company for IPG group
00:58 MIN
"Engineer by training, geek by nature"
01:05 MIN
The definition of a campaign or a tactic in this platform
01:06 MIN
Deciding I wanted my own startup
00:54 MIN
Final thoughts with Ian Johnson
01:13 MIN

Speaker 1: Welcome to The Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista. Probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you're going to put in your ear. I'm Ben, the associate producer here at Stirista. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders and get their take on the current challenges of the market. And we'll have a little fun along the way. In today's episode, Vincent and Ajay chat with Ian Johnson, the global COO at Kinesso. He talks about how his role makes company visions happen and how a start in engineering eventually led him to a career in strategy. Ajay takes his kids to see elephants and Vincent is excited to visit the Alamo. Give it a listen.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome. It's another episode of Stirista's, The Marketing Stir. I'm rocking Stirista gear today. It's not every day I do it. I was like, I'm just going to wear this shirt. It's warm, why not. So good to be here. Ladies and gentlemen, I of course, am one of your hosts, Vincent Pietrafesa. The vice president of B2B products and partnerships here at Stirista. First, Stirista, who are we? You must be wondering. Well, maybe you already know us because we have so many amazing listeners. Stirista, we are a marketing technology company. We focus on identity. We have our own business- to- business, business- to- consumer databases. We help customers utilize those databases to get new customers. We have our own DSP. Email me, vincent @ stirista. com. That is how confident I am that I could help. I just gave you my email. The other thing, and I say it all the time that I'm confident in, is A, our amazing listeners. And B, my cohost. Ladies and gentlemen, from San Antonio, my CEO, Mr. Ajay Gupta. What's going on Ajay?

Ajay Gupta: Hey, Vincent. Pretty exciting here. Looks like we will be seeing each other next week. Should be good times.

Vincent Pietrafesa: That is exciting. And thank you for saying that. I am always excited to come out there and see the team, have a little fun, talk some business. I get to see the Alamo in San Antonio, every time I go there. I'm just kidding, I only went once. That's all you need to go is just one time, but it's good to come down there. What else is new?

Ajay Gupta: Were you happy to see the Alamo or was it a little disappointing?

Vincent Pietrafesa: It's there. I know it was history, it wasn't disappointing. I'm glad I saw it. It's one of those things. There was one time I was in Denmark and everyone said," You have to go see the statue of this mermaid. This little girl, she's a mermaid." And it's a big thing and I saw it, I was like, it's just a three foot statue. It wasn't that exciting, it's just a three foot statue. And I think people wrote on it. But anyway, it wasn't quite that disappointing as the mermaid, sorry to our people in Denmark listening. But I'm glad I did it.

Ajay Gupta: Yeah, that was my feeling when I saw the Alamo, it's a cool structure, but it's not quite the fort that I was expecting in my head, like a European fort.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, it wasn't. It wasn't a fort. That's a good way of describing it. Any plans for the weekend?

Ajay Gupta: The usual, got a couple of tennis matches, but we are doing something fun in Fredericksburg, there is a elephant preserve that I'm taking the kids to. You can pet elephants and bathe them and whatnot.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh wow.

Ajay Gupta: We've been planning this for a while, so it's finally happening on Sunday.

Vincent Pietrafesa: You just don't get to do that in New York City. That's just a whole different thing here. They don't have a, pet the rat exhibit. I would not do that.

Ajay Gupta: Well, I think the rent for elephants would be too high in New York.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Could be. Just as the rent is high everywhere in New York City. I am seeing my mother- in- law, she's coming to stay with us, so not as fun. Anyway, what is fun is our next guest. I'm so glad we have this next guest on the podcast. Ajay, you and this next guest, you go way back, but I'm just meeting him the last couple of weeks. And I am so intrigued by this gentleman here. And I love the company too, Kinesso, ladies and gentlemen, I'm sure you might've heard of that. If not, you're hearing about it now. Please welcome the global COO of Kinesso, Ian Johnson. What's going on Ian?

Ian Johnson: Thank you, Vincent. Yeah, plenty of stuff. I was interested with your tourist tales and the disappointment. I'm from the UK and I remember the first time I went to Stonehenge, these Druid built stones in the middle of nowhere. And you stand miles away from it, you can peer at it, and it's just big stones piled on top of each other. And they built a freeway right by it, so it spoils the ambiance a little bit, but I thought that was interesting.

Vincent Pietrafesa: I did that same tour, I did Bath and I did Stonehenge. And you're right, it takes away from it when you're looking at it and then there's a 1996 Ford Taurus driving by and you're like," Wait a minute, it's 2017 when I went, what are you still doing with a Taurus from 96'?" But I get it. So glad you're joining us, Ian. For people who are listening, can you tell us about Kinesso? I want to get that right off the bat because you're doing some amazing things there, so please tell the audience about it.

Ian Johnson: Yeah, Kinesso is the technology company for IPG group. So we develop the technology solutions that are leveraged by the different agencies and their clients within the group. And we have a build and partner approach to that, so we work with some of the biggest AdTech and MarTech companies in the space. And we've built a solution that helps stop data sitting in silos so your planning applications can pass it to your audience solutions and vice versa. So a lot of that is about automation, making things work seamlessly. But we also have some cool IP, in terms of, how we analyze audiences, how we optimize campaigns and stuff. So it's a pretty cool job to have. I'm the COO there, so that's pretty interesting. Yeah, my background's product and engineering, but as a COO, I get to have a broader view across the business, so it's a lot of fun.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, so I want to get into that because being a global COO, you're probably sleeping two hours a day because you're probably on calls all over the world. But Ian, talked to us about just a day in the life, some of your roles and responsibilities as COO at Kinesso.

Ian Johnson: So it's a fairly classic CEO, COO set up that we have inside Kinesso. My boss, the CEO, Arun Kumar, his job is to set the vision and be the outward facing voice for the company and really be that inspirational leader that he really is. And my job's really to make a lot of that vision happen. The day- to- day stuff, most of my time is focused on the solution set that we have. So, what are we going to build with how we partner, how we integrate, where we're going? Deliver against that. And then also on the services, we have a big services team. On the product and engineering side, we're about 500 people or so. And on the services side, it's 600 or so. Basically leveraging those solutions that we deliver to deliver outcomes for our partners. So that's a lot of the day- to- day that I have, managing that products and services organization.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And Ian, one of the questions we'd love to ask is, how you got into this field? How you got into this business? Did you study engineering in college? Talk to me about that.

Ian Johnson: Yeah, so on the inaudible, I stole a former bosses saying which is basically, " Engineer by training, geek by nature." I definitely fit into that profile. So I started electronic engineering at university. Did a lot of computer science. Went into telecoms, so I did cell phone designs, designing cell networks. And I did that for 20 something years and went all over the planet with it. Company brought me out to the states, which was a lot of fun. Set up networks across the globe and just learned a lot. And I morphed from the engineering side, into more services, into marketing, into strategy. So I've got a fairly broad perspective of things, which was really, really useful. And then, in the strategy unit, I decided I wanted to be a CEO. And I remember my boss telling me, " You'll never be a CEO." So I thought, " Screw you, I'll set up my own company and be a CEO." So I did that and managed to get some VC funding and then got completely addicted to the startup buss. The first startup I did was, I worked for a mobile carrier at that time and suddenly it was all about advertising, how can you monetize your inventory through mobile advertising? And there weren't too many players doing it at that time, so I set up a company to do just that. Found some people who knew advertising inside out, had them co- found the company with me. And I really got addicted to startups, so made some money, lost money, got to ring the bell on the Nasdaq. So a lot of fun.

Ajay Gupta: And Kinesso didn't always exist until recently, so what was the origin for it and how does it fit into the current work structure?

Ian Johnson: Yeah, so I was doing startups and then I did one that I actually lost a fair bit of money with, so my wife insisted," Give up startups for a while, get yourself a proper job." And as luck would have it, I don't know if anyone was over hearing, but I got a call from a recruiter and they were hiring for Cadreon, which was the, at the time, programmatic unit of media brands. And so I came in and took a product job inside that. And it was basically, delivering solutions for internal company people, at that time it was a very small company from a billings point of view. And we started getting our own unique voice, developing our own unique IP and made it bigger and bigger. We basically went into media brands and become the data and technology unit inside media brands and that got bigger and bigger, and suddenly it was big enough to be a standalone company supporting the rest of IPG. So it was really an evolution out of that company 10 years ago. And worked closely with Arun Kumar who's, as I say, a great visionary, got a great view, in terms of, where we should be going. And really helped him deliver against that vision, so it's been quite a journey, I have to say.

Ajay Gupta: And what does the ideal client look for NESA or is it primarily serving internal agencies?

Ian Johnson: No, so we work very closely with the clients, at the end of it, they have a business problem they're trying to solve. And the bit that we bring is technology. And as you know running Stirista, it can be challenging for non- technologists to really understand it. So we really work with the clients to understand what we're doing, how we're doing it, why we can deliver better results. But it always comes to the proof in the pudding at the end of the day, let us show you how it can grow. Obviously, we love all of our clients, we love everyone. However, some clients are more driven by," Just get me cheap inventory, I want a lower CPM each and every year." And actually, our focus is more about getting better outcomes, more outcomes more quickly and more cheaply. And if you have to pay a little bit more on inventory to do that, but you close the sale faster and cheaper overall, then have you, that's a better thing. Clients who are curious, clients who are keen to try new stuff, clients who are not scared by the technology are obviously, the clients that we resonate best with.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And Ian, you touched upon it a little bit when you were talking about, almost the birth of Kinesso there, but can you talk about Kinesso's role within the AdTech, MarTech ecosystem?

Ian Johnson: Yeah. So, as I say, we have a built- in partner approach and what you have is, you have really smart individuals who formed a company like yourselves. And you're trying to solve a particular problem and that's great. And having specialists work on a particular problem really gets to a good solution for that. But it can land to data islands, there's this little silo of data over here and there's a little silo of data over here. The definition of a campaign or a tactic in this platform can be different to how it moves. So what we are focused on, is breaking down the silos. So if you have the mission, you should be able to use data, whether you're in the planning function, the audience function or whatever. The challenge is, everyone has a data dictionary, how The Trade Desk defines things, is different than how you guys define things, is different to how Google define things. So you need a way to translate between those things. How the clients, how they look at their taxonomy of their product offerings. And what success looks like to them, they have different definitions. So being able to programmatically transfer the lexicon between those things so that you can map according to the platform you're in, those are some of the problems that we've done. Solved, should I say. And then the other component is that optimization piece, because within the Stirista platform, you can optimize very closely, in terms of, how you're delivering within the Stirista cloud. Within the walled guard of Google, they do a good job, but overall, should I be putting more money into the Google or the inventory and campaigns activated through Stirista? So having a view above that, that you can reassign across those things, those are some of the solutions that we have. Obviously, working closely with the agencies, such as media brands, they have a particular approach how they go about media planning, as an example. And again, we help them codify it in solution sets. So those are some of the things that we take on.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, no, I appreciate that. Thank you for sharing that. And Ajay talked to you about some of the ideal types of customers. We're always curious about this too, here at Stirista, how would you say you're able to measure? Whether you're meeting the needs of your customers?

Ian Johnson: Yeah. So that's one of the benefits being inside a agency environment within IPG, because they have a lot of structure, in terms of how they solicit feedback from their clients. They have regular satisfaction surveys that they have from the customer, so you can see it's improving, it's getting worse, where it is. So obviously, there's that component that we can tap into. On the Kinesso side, we've got a strong client success team, so they, again, really help. Have regular meetings with the customers, so we can really understand, in terms of, what they like, what they don't like. And then we use the usage stats on the platforms, what are they using, how they... This feature that we thought was going to reduce the number of clicks into a particular time, did it really? So it's things like that, which again, we're on the right track, or we're not on the right track.

Ajay Gupta: So Ian, with the pandemic we obviously haven't had a chance to meet, which under normal circumstances, I'm sure we have run into each other at a conference by now. But what are some of the areas within the company that have also been affected and what have you changed to keep operating efficiently?

Ian Johnson: Yeah, it was shocking. I remember one day, we were in the office in San Francisco and we heard, they were thinking about changing... Next, it's complete inaudible go home. I don't know about things on your side, but it's a big global operation. And holy crap, IT really stepped up to the plate. I'm good friends with the CIO in the company, so I've got a lot of time for the guy. But his whole team really stepped up, in some corners of the globe in India, the office folk had desktops, they didn't have laptops. So suddenly we had to get laptops so people could work from home. Once we did that, they didn't necessarily have wifi connectivity. Okay, great, we need to find a solve for that. We had dimensioning issues with the Teams set up that we had. We actually migrated to Teams from Skype. So there was a lot of stuff done and I remember when we were getting into the quarterly roadmap cycle. As part of that, we actually measured velocity, how much did we actually get done against what we're planning? And it was shocking to me, quarter after quarter actually, the productivity didn't change. It truly is quite amazing to me. There was a lot of the social components, so we have virtual happy hours, we were really trying to recreate some of the environments where we could just chat with our colleagues. I think those are a lot of the positive stuff that really worked. It took us a while to learn that it's okay to have camera off days. Initially it was," You must be on camera. We want to see you." But sometimes it's just a bad hair day and you just don't want to turn the camera on. I assume I'll be having more of those as I get older. So yeah, it's been quite a learning. I've been really impressed with the team and how they managed the productivity, how we've managed the check- ins on stuff. As people are able to travel, we actually opened up the US offices last week to enable some meetings. I have noticed that some of the more difficult conversations, as well as white boarding, there's been a bunch of things that have just stacked up and it has been really, really useful to start the meeting in person to have those difficult conversations, have those brainstorming sessions. So I do believe the hybrid way of working, where you're no longer expected to be in the office five days a week. I really think it's going to be much more mixed between the virtual and the in presence. I think it's actually been a really good learning experience.

Ajay Gupta: Yeah, this morning our office internet was down and we come in a couple of times a week and it was very strange having a call on a regular conference line. Because it's been about a year and a half where we'd all been doing this call and it had always been on Zoom. Yeah, it's definitely a changed world, but I agree with you I'm also surprised by the productivity staying up across all companies, including our own.

Ian Johnson: Yeah, great.

Ajay Gupta: And Ian, what are some of the other challenges, pandemic aside, that your clients are facing today that you keep hearing about?

Ian Johnson: I don't know. I put it down to two, one's the perennial problem. If you're the chief marketing officer, your job is to drive growth, how can I get growth? And it's amazing how quickly and strongly the economy's recovered. So everyone wants that share of voice, everybody's trying to make sure their stuff sends out. So it's a perennial problem and as media gets more and more fragmented, people turn to data and technology to really get to the audience that you're trying to get to. That's a perennial problem. I think the new problem is the news about identity, regulator action. Those are the things that are new from concerns... Or new, they've been around for a year or so I'd say. Good news that Google delayed their announcements. Sorry, they changed to deprecate the third party cookie, but it's still top of mind for clients. And it's a really difficult thing to help people navigate through," Well, this is what that means. That announcement means that." So we've had lots of client outreach and lots of client education assistance so they can understand what's going on, what our approach is and how we're evolving our identity solution to make sure that we can have addressable audiences in the future as the regularity changes and third party cookie changes take effect.

Ajay Gupta: And you've been in the industry a long time, so was it always the case with the regulations or is that something you've seen come up more recently under scrutiny in how data companies and media companies operate?

Ian Johnson: Yeah, so it has been changed and the GDPR, I think, was the first real wake up call. In the good old days, which aren't so many years ago, we really separate out between the MarTech world, where things were driven off of email addresses, or postal addresses and so forth. And then there was a whole different world, which is the AdTech side, where it was all about pseudo- anonymous, you were tying it back to a cookie identifier, such as a cookie, which was temporal and would disappear over time. And so there was very different rules on one side of the fence, versus the other. But as soon as you get to GDPR and all of a sudden there's as much scrutiny on the cookie side of the world as there was on the email address side of the world. A lot of those barriers, you've got to protect the data just as well, you've got to make sure you've got the consent to be using it for the purposes. It's not only having the consent, but proving you have the consent. So the whole audit trail of stuff if they want to revoke that, how do you make that happen quickly? So those are the changes, and I think the bit that is difficult is, no law is perfect. So there's a lot of interpretation what the law means. What is happening in California, now other states? What's happening in China? It's a lot of," Holy crap." How do you make sense of all of it? So I think there's going to be a lot of fragmentation caused by some of this regulatory inconsistency happening across the globe. And I'm hopeful that it will reach a point of consolidation and consensus in the future to make things easier, but at the moment, it's very fragmented. And that's the bit that I think is different.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And Ian, given your title as global COO and given what we were just talking, about as far as international relations. What is Kinesso's international presence? And talk to me about that and also, what's your strategy for international growth?

Ian Johnson: Yeah. So we have product engineering service shops in about 12 countries. So we have people we employ directly ourselves, Kinesso Solutions, in about 12 markets. We work very closely with Matterkind, that's our sister agency that drives a lot of the addressable media activation and we pair a lot of their solutions. They are present in about 30 markets, so our solutions get to use heavily for those. And then there's the other IPG companies who use different parts of our solution, and they're in about 60 to 60 markets. So we're truly global from a point of view of who we serve. The difference though is, that as our products have reached greater and greater maturity, we're putting more of them directly in the hands of the client. And so, as soon as you've move from that manage service environment to a more self- service environment, then suddenly you need local language support, you need to have turnaround times for tickets and stuff. That's much reduced, so we're now at that point of evolution where we're putting more into local market. So that's part of the transition we've started, it'll take us a few years to get there. As you may imagine, we're focusing on some of the bigger markets first to have that presence. Obviously, we're leveraging the assets of Acxiom and Matterkind, who are our sister agencies who are reporting to Arun Kumar to make that easier. But it's that transition and what we do globally, versus what we do locally, how do we localize part of the solution set? Those are some of the things that we're managing. We have big global hubs for the backend service delivery piece, so we'll just grow those out. But when it means talking to a local client or helping a local client through, then you need local language support and closer in the same timezone, so that's the illusion we're going through currently.

Vincent Pietrafesa: And Ian, I was reading about a new community that you had launched there at Kinesso called Kanvas. Can you talk to me a little bit about that? And for those people who are listening, that's K A N V A S. Talk to me a little bit about that and how it fits into Kinesso's strategy.

Ian Johnson: Yeah. So as I was saying, I think we're in a pretty unique spot in the ecosystem. We're trying to enable MarTech and AdTech to work seamlessly together and we've got some pretty cool solutions that help make that work. And what we've found is that, when we work with companies, whether they're our clients who've got their own tech stack, or whether it's companies such as yourselves, who we're trying to integrate into our solution. Having robust set of APIs that you can expose just makes that whole process easier. So what we're doing is, exposing that, trying to create a developer community. If you look at some of the other developing communities that folks like Google have, it's really just about working with the Google stuff. And then you have something completely different when you want to work with Facebook, as an example. And I think it's pretty unique having this solution that enables you to touch more broadly, a wider set of solutions so that you can have that seamless end- to- end. So we think the developer community will be pretty unique in that area. We had a soft launch last year. We had three companies that we signed up and we've been slowly expanding that. We're now reaching to a point of maturity where we can open up even more broadly, so that's what we've been announcing.

Ajay Gupta: And you've worked at a lot of companies, startups, like you mentioned and billion dollar brands. Has there been an experience or two that's really shaped your career or that's been very instrumental for your career?

Ian Johnson: Yeah, I think there's a few. I was very fortunate, early in my career I had this great boss and he was like a real mentor. It wasn't just," You screwed up here. You did that." He really helped me understand," Here are your core assets, and here are things that are holding you back." And he just had a way of bringing it down to help me focus on the stuff where I needed to focus, I was very fortunate in that regard. And I've worked for big companies and then decided, I want to do my own startup. And so that moment when I got to ring the bell on Nasdaq was validation that all the sacrifices I put my family through, self- funding startups, was worthwhile and that was a big deal. And then when we launched Kinesso a couple of years ago, it took me back to when I first started at Cadreon, in the small product team, it was just a handful of us at that time. And I remember, people said," This is an agency. We're not a product company. What, are you're trying to do product here?" inaudible an agency for, and again, the point that we'd reach to a maturity where IPG believed enough in us, so that we could spin out as their own company within IPG group. That was what was very rewarding as well, it was validation of the work of the team everybody put in and Arun Kumar's vision. It was complete validation of what we'd set out to do, so that was really, really, really heartening.

Ajay Gupta: That's awesome. And one of our staple questions is about LinkedIn. So with your job title, I'm sure you get a lot of unsolicited messages and connection requests. What is a message that gets you excited, that gets you to respond? And what's one that you really don't like or is a pet peeve?

Ian Johnson: Yeah, I don't know. I've lived all over the planet. Over many years I've been in different corners and I like to connect with people and go out and have a few beers, but I'm lousy at following up and staying in connection as I move out. So I love the emails when it's somebody you worked with years ago, or," I saw this post from you." Or," I saw that comment." And it really just cheers me up. So that is stuff, because I am so lousy at maintaining my own network. So thank God that other people don't have the same deficiency that I have, and I really look forward to those. The ones that I hate is very similar to that surprisingly, it's when people who you don't really know pretend,"Oh, we got had a great... Oh, and by the way, I work for this company, can you buy our product?" And it's like, just come clean. Start there, don't try to build on a relationship when I met you once in an elevator. So that's a thing that I worry about.

Vincent Pietrafesa: I like that answer, it's like," Ian, my old friend." It's like," I don't even know who you are. You met me at a booth for three minutes." Ian, talk to me about this... We're getting to the close here, let's get to know you a little more personally. I know Ajay knows you and we've gotten to know you, but tell our audience there, what are some of the things you enjoy doing in your personal time? Hopefully, people are also watching this when we put it out. Ian has, it looks like, three guitars in the background, so there must be some music. Tell us what you like doing in your spare time, some hobbies, interests.

Ian Johnson: Yeah. Well, I said earlier, I'm a geek so I love trying to understand how stuff works. And I try to stay ahead of quantum computing, how are we going to save the planet from greenhouse gases? I consumed shitloads of YouTube videos trying to explain this to me in a language I can understand, so I really geek out on stuff. My kids are all grown up now, I've been married 33 years, so we just like family time as well. So it was really hard in the pandemic when we couldn't go out to restaurants or pubs and just socialize with friends and family. So that's the thing that we spend many, many evenings doing. You saw the guitars. In my teenage years, I taught myself to play the guitar, which I wouldn't recommend, I would recommend getting a tutor. I loved it for a while, I had my own band and I was determined, my kids would learn how to play music. So I remember sitting in bed in the morning when they were little kids, play a bit of the guitar and sing along. And then my daughter, I think she was four at the time said," Daddy, can you not sing to me now?" And it just broke my heart, so I became less enthusiastic about music in general. I kind of dabbled away. And then I had a injury, a neck injury, and I had C8 nerve damage, so I couldn't really hold my two little fingers on my left hand, which was pretty devastating. I couldn't really play guitar. And then it's one of the miracles of COVID, I stayed at home, I could do my physio, I was sleeping in my bed every night and all of a sudden, I could move my fingers again. So I've relearned my love affair with guitars, so I'm really enjoying it at the minute, I got to be honest with you.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh, wow. Just to have it come back to you like that, that's amazing. Does your daughter like your singing now?

Ian Johnson: I don't know. She may have learnt manners over the years and being a lot more diplomatic now what her dad is good or not good. Her fiance is also learning to play, he's learning to play the guitar so we've been jamming out. But yeah, she's very diplomatic and I don't know if it's because she likes it or she is just being diplomatic.

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah. I experienced just today as I took my four year old to school, you could walk them in, with a mask on of course. You could walk them into this one area, but my son was like," Dad, do you mind? You don't have to walk me in." And I was like," What?" Already, I was like," Isn't this when you're a teenager this is supposed to happen? Why are you doing this to me now?" So that was my stop singing moment right there.

Ian Johnson: I was just going to add a story for what it's worth. But when we first came to the states and my daughter, I think she was two or three, and we had somebody mind her for a while. And for a couple of weeks, got home and my daughter said," You guys, you just got to chill." And I like," Okay, we've been in the states too long, we're going home."

Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, just chill out, dad. Just chill. You're like," All right, this is too much American TV you're watching right there." I want to get your thoughts on, we talked about it before and then I think it's a good way to close this, your thoughts on cookies, identity. I know that's a wide topic there, but I'd love to hear your final thoughts on just those two areas.

Ian Johnson: Yeah. I think the easy ways to talk about is the solution that we've developed and are launching KII, which is the Kinesso Intelligent Identity. And the thing is, as I was saying earlier, there isn't a universal solution that is being accepted by the industry as the replacement. Some companies are out there building solutions based on emails, some have more probabilistic techniques, in terms of how you get to it. Others are trying to have locally stored objects. There's a whole raft of different solutions out there. So what that means is, in some cases, you're sacrificing reach, so you're not going to be able to have such a large addressable audience as perhaps you enjoy today. And in other cases, you're going to sacrifice some accuracy. So you may not be talking to exactly the consumer that you thought you were talking to in the past. So what we've tried to do with Kinesso Intelligent Identity, is to really work with multiple partners in the space using these different techniques, be able to inaudible the cost these different techniques. And then filter the audience, depending on the accuracy or reach that you trade off that you're prepared to make. So that's the vision of where we're getting there. We've just launched the solution, so this is not the complete vision delivered, but it's a pretty robust solution that allows us to reach the individuals again through technology that we've built. But is also partnered with some of the leading companies in the space.

Vincent Pietrafesa: No, that's amazing. I'm glad I asked, I would have been remissed if I didn't ask that. Ian, this has been awesome. We really appreciate your time here at The Marketing Stir. I look forward to meeting you in person, having a beer, having a cup of coffee with you. And thank you so much for your time. Ladies and gentlemen, that is Ian Johnson. He is the global chief operating officer of Kinesso, be sure to check them out. Ladies and gentlemen, Kinesso. I am Vincent Pietrafesa. That's Ajay Gupta. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. Thank you so much for listening. And we'll talk to you soon.

Speaker 2: Thanks for listening to The Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista. Please like, rate and subscribe. If you're interested in being a guest on the podcast, email us at, themarketingstir @ stirista. com. And thanks for listening.


Vincent and Ajay chat with Ian Johnson, the Global COO at Kinesso. He talks about how his role makes company visions happen, and how a start in engineering eventually led him to a career in strategy. Ajay takes his kids to see elephants, and Vincent is excited to visit the Alamo.

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