Q&A: Meet...AntiConLX Global Speaker Rowena Humby

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Rowena's one-two punch of being a CEO and an astrophysicist puts her on the track to be some sort of Marvel superhero. 

Instead, she brings her superpowers to Starcount, a data company which aims to transform customer targeting for the marketing and advertising industry.

Her experience with third party data spans retail, banking, social media, mobile, geodemographic, and media.

Join Rowena at this year's AntiConLX Global, where she'll be speaking on the Power of Emotion in Personalisation!

We chatted to Rowena ahead of her session to get her tips, tricks and insights:

We want to hear about you, marketing legend. Give us a quick overview of what your company does and your roles and responsibilities there!

I'm the CEO and co-founder of Starcount - a consumer behaviour insights agency. We specialise in using behavioural data to understand customers. What sets Starcount apart is our proprietary dataset that shows what consumers love and care about derived from blending UK wide demographics with social media behaviours.
We work with brands, agencies and publishers to use this data to send relevant marketing and personalised customer journeys. My role is designing our capability and working with our clients to demonstrate the art of the possible - and most importantly - return on investment.

What, in your opinion, makes a great AntiConLX Global presentation?

All presentations should tell a story and leave the listener feeling they've gained knowledge, inspiration and ideas to apply in their role.

What bull$hit industry advice do you hear too often?

 That software alone will solve all your customer challenges. You need quality data sets to truly understand customers. An expensive MarTech platform without quality data is like a sports car without fuel in the tank.

What’s your biggest industry gripe? Don’t hold back!

 The obsession with identity being an email address, mobile, cookie, address. Customers want to be understood not tracked - understanding customer behaviours and what they care about is more important. Context of purchase is any marketer's secret sauce.

What advice would you give for starting a career in the industry?

 Think about the customer. It's easy when you are given KPIs and targets to think transactionally - but customers are emotionally-driven. In fact, 80% of purchase decisions are emotional, not rational.

We’ve all read about Mark Wahlberg’s insane 2:30am morning routine, filled with golf and cryo-chambers. What’s your personal morning routine?

 Most mornings I get up for a spin class, grab a coffee and get my emails done before checking in with the rest of the team. But I am partial to occasionally sleeping in to the last possible minute when it's been a long week. Sleep is my saviour.

What up-and-coming trend or tech do you predict will take the industry by storm?

Contextual data, geo identifiers and clean rooms.

What was your first job, and how did it help you develop in your industry?

 A data scientist - I studied Astrophysics and learnt a lot of data skills in my degree, but it wasn't until I realised there were jobs that allowed you to analyse data to understand my true passion (people) when I started working for a consumer behaviour science company. My passion for understanding people, whilst protecting their privacy, is what drives me and Starcount's direction.

Who's a public speaker you admire, and what makes them good at what they do?

Gary Vaynerchuk is an amazing speaker - he tells stories and inspires by making all his content so relatable and human.

If you could recommend one book, podcast, tv show, magazine, or piece of bathroom stall graffiti etc. etc. what would it be?

 How to Fail podcast by Elizabeth Day. She talks about how we learn the most from our failures and interviews an amazing mix of guests. I also love Desert Island Discs - but who doesn't?!

What is your favourite marketing campaign of all time?

 I loved the collaboration of FKA Twigs and Adidas - it was one of the first of it's kind - for a global sports brand to collaborate with a more niche, diverse role model. A powerful move that the industry has followed.

Can our audience expect any future projects on the horizon, personal or professional?

 We are very excited to be onboarding a major new behavioural data set into our platform that will combine what people buy with what they love... watch this space!