Interactive Advertising Bureau
22 May 2020

Interact Online! Meet The Speaker – Mark Howe, Managing Director EMEA Agencies at Google

On 3rd June, IAB Europe will be hosting our flagship event Interact, virtually! This free-to-attend virtual conference will allow the digital advertising and marketing industry to interact online! It’s never been more important to come together to help support, build and sustain our innovative industry. Expert speakers include senior executives from Coca-Cola, Zalando, Adform, Google, ProSieben, RTL, GroupM, OMD and OneTrust.

In the run up to the event, we wanted to introduce you to some of the great speakers that will be discussing and debating the latest industry topics in our panel sessions.

We are pleased to introduce Mark Howe, Managing Director EMEA Agencies at Google.

Q. Firstly, thank you for supporting Interact Online. Thanks to the help of our sponsors, we’ve been able to create a free event for all of the industry to join. Apart from your own session, what are you most looking forward to seeing at Interact Online?

Mark: I always find Daniel Knapp’s market perspectives super interesting. In these challenging times it will be fascinating to see how he has formulated his outlook for the year ahead.

Q. What is your role at Google and what’s been your focus so far this year?

Mark: My role at Google is to oversee our EMEA Agency facing sales teams & our team that supports the many Advertising Trade Associations in our major markets.

Given what’s happening globally right now, Advertising Agencies & our Specialist Agencies are naturally going through challenging times. Supporting them & supporting our sales teams in a remote working environment has been a huge priority.

Meanwhile there has been no shortage of industry developments that our Industry Relations team has been working to progress, such as our Chrome announcements, TCF, ads privacy projects and our global outreach to support publishers, journalists and SMBs at this unprecedented time.

Q. Outside of work (and before the lockdown) what do you most enjoy doing in your free time?

Mark: My sport of choice these days is open water swimming, alongside a bit of cycling with my mates. I taught myself to swim front crawl after a major back operation & since then I’ve managed to swim the “Escape from Alcatraz” race three times (the water’s a bit chilly). Last year I raced my first 10km river swim breaking my target of three hours & then swam the Hellespont & Dardanelles swim in Turkey crossing from Europe to Asia. All a great way to spend a weekend with your mates. Sadly this year I'm stuck on dry land.

Q. You will be providing a short presentation ahead of the Sustainable Advertising in a Privacy-Centric World panel, which will be looking at the role first-party data will play. Can you share some of your insights ahead of the session?

Mark: If the last ten years were about third-party cookies, the next ten will be about first-party data quality.

We’ve just published some new research with BCG that focuses specifically on first party data - data that companies can collect directly from their users, with their explicit approval, and can help to drive greater relevance for customers, and better business results.

We also found that top marketers established a transparent, equitable value exchange with their users -- and that this was key to ongoing success. I look forward to sharing more at Interact Online.

Q. The depletion of third-party cookies is just one of the efforts to create sustainable advertising in a privacy centric world, what do you think the next priority is?

Mark: As well as investing in first party data, another priority for advertisers will be the shift from a Precision to a Prediction Era. We’re shifting from an era of user-level precision controlled at the advertiser/publisher level to advanced machine learning models learning from larger cohorts of audiences determined at the browser level. This will significantly change how audience reach is done today; however, greater reliance on automation and contextual signals have the potential to meet performance standards achieved today. The next few years will mark the new era of automated audience models.

Q. Why should people attend Interact Online?

Mark: We were of course looking forward to getting together in sunny Lisbon and hope that we can do that next year. But in the meantime, what a fantastic opportunity to get the whole industry together - at no cost - and discuss the issues that matter.

While we know we must be physically distant, being socially connected is crucial. I’m looking forward to discussing privacy and taking questions from IAB members across Europe.

Q. What’s the best work related advice you’ve ever been given?

Mark: Always be true to yourself. Take off the mask and be the best you can be at what you’re best at...and whilst you’re doing that, bet on yourself!

For more information on Interact Online and to secure your free registration, please visit 

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