CanadianSME Business Magazine June Edition

Page 38


Exclusive Interview with

Alfie Atkinson Managing Director - Canada at MEDIA iQ Digital Ltd.

Alfie Atkinson launched the MiQ Canada team in early 2014 and has been the driving force behind the phenomenal growth of the Canadian business ever since. With more than a decade of digital media experience spanning UK and North American markets, Atkinson has built a career around innovation.

What was the inspiration behind the founding of MiQ Digital Ltd.? When Gurman and Lee founded MiQ in 2010 in London, they already had the core idea. They wanted to deliver more than highperformance digital ad campaigns - they wanted to generate insights that would drive real business change. When we founded MiQ Canada in 2014, this was our ambition too.

"Our first step of working with a business is to help them see the big picture. To take a look at all of the siloed data points within an organization – paid, first-party, partner, etc. - then work out how we can bring them all together to glean actionable insights."

So, the first step in that process was working out what meaningful insights our clients need. SMEs are working hard trying to understand their consumers through “intelligence”. Terms like Artificial Intelligence, Business Intelligence, Customer Intelligence, and Media Intelligence are tossed around, and these businesses use data aggregation tools, content recommendation engines, ad targeting platforms and so on and so on, to work through their consumer data. But all of this misses an important dimension: Human Intelligence. Don’t get me wrong, the technology is vital.



These advanced marketing tools have helped to minimize marketers’ reliance on spreadsheets and they’ve streamlined data collection and analysis. But if we rely on technology too much, at the expense of intuition, and emotional or cultural context, we’re going to end up making bad business decisions. That’s why, in our business, interpreting data and making it work for a brand’s strategy is still largely a human endeavour: a job for our super-smart data scientists, analysts, engineers and so on. Can you tell us about some of the services and benefits that MiQ Canada provides to SME owners and how it can help them grow their business? Simply put, we can help SME owners use their marketing data better to get more, highervalue customers and tie marketing strategy to business strategy. A lot of SME businesses don’t understand the enormous potential of the data they have