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Together appoints data and technology team, names other personnel changes

Award-winning independent media agency Together have formalised a new data and technology team to further accelerate its focus on business outcome-driven media. The team is said to bring together existing specialists in analytics, engineering and development with data science to enable more advanced business intelligence, attribution and triggered media solutions. 

As part of the new team, the agency welcomes experienced data science and analytics lead Dr David Airehrour to the role of Data Scientist. The role will focus on predictive modelling, audience segmentation testing and customised algorithm development to enhance media planning and buying. 

Dr Airehrour joins from Unitec where he’s currently the most senior data science and analytics academic at Unitec’s School of Applied Business. Across a 15-year academic and professional career Dr Airehrour has led a range of analytics initiatives from using machine learning to estimate carbon footprints for the tourism industry to churn and next best action modelling for retailers. 

Also joining the team to support Dr Airenhrour is Data Engineer Dr Tayaza Fadason. Dr Fadason has worked in data architecture and engineering for over a decade in projects spanning Australia, the USA and New Zealand, building algorithms and data pipelines for complex commercial, health and behaviour change projects. 

The team will be headed by Together senior staffer Suraj Barnawal in a new role of General Manager, Data, Technology and Programmable. Barnawal is one of the industry’s most experienced programmatic media leaders. He was recently recognised as the only New Zealand media agency professional in Campaign Asia’s 40 under 40 in 2021. He will continue to lead the agency’s award-winning programmable team as well as overseeing the new data and technology team. 

“Our future is in custom solutions that enhance how businesses extract value from media. It means we have to better understand what drives business growth for our clients, then be able to develop custom audiences, contexts and media triggers that deliver this through technology. Our best work already does this, so it’s a natural step to be scaling the approach,” says Barnawal. 

The change also sees Data and Analytics Director Torsten Stolt moving to the new role of Business Intelligence Director, reporting into Head of Strategy Bridget Bucknell-Whalley. This alignment follows the introduction of the agency’s new planning process which pairs Strategists with Analysts. 

Together’s work in data and technology-driven media has already been recognised locally and regionally at the highest level. Accolades from 2021 include winning Best Use of Data and Best Use of Programmatic in Asia Pacific at the Drum Digital Advertising Awards, as well as Best Use of Data at the 2021 NZ Marketing Awards. Together is again the most shortlisted independent agency at the 2022 Beacons with 13 finalists across categories including Best Use of Data, Best Use of Technology and Media Agency of the Year. 

“These changes will help us go even deeper into client business to identify what drives growth, then develop even more creative custom media and technology solutions to capitalise on that,” adds Kris Hadley, Managing Partner. 

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