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Karthic Bala named Condé Nast's first chief data officer

Condé Nast chief digital officer Fred Santarpia today announced that Karthic Bala has been named the company’s first chief data officer. Bala was previously head of data of strategy and, in his new role, will continue to lead Condé Nast’s data capabilities across the company’s business groups, with a focus on growing its ad supported and consumer revenue streams and building new data-driven businesses.

“Karthic has completely transformed our data capabilities and helped build what are a market-leading set of products and offerings in our proprietary Spire platform,” said Santarpia. “I look forward to him overseeing the next phase of our data strategy, and the many exciting milestones ahead.”

Prior to joining Condé Nast, Bala served as president of Precision Health Data Institute at Everyday Health, where he built profitable data-led business products. Before that, he oversaw Viacom’s business intelligence and data-warehousing department as its director of application development, and he has also worked at TIAA-CREF and IBM.

The announcement follows the 2018 expansion of Spire, the company’s next gen precision audience targeting platform, which has driven successful results across multiple categories since its launch in 2015. Recent case studies* illustrate the effectiveness of campaigns enhanced with Spire:

- A beauty company using the platform recently saw a return on client ad spend of 285 per cent

- A retail client looking to connect with new consumers and drive incremental sales saw 44 per cent increase in brand awareness, a 46 per cent in household purchasing and US$1.86 return on ad spend

- A travel client aiming to drive favourability and visit intent saw a nine per cent increase in the former and a 45 per cent increase in the latter.

The announcement also comes after the company’s 2017 acquisition of CitizenNet, which added social optimisation capabilities to the platform, and the January acquisition of the team from Lighthouse Datalab, a data solutions firm focused on creating value by extracting actionable insights from client data.

*Sources: Kantar Millward Brown; Condé Nast Spire Proprietary data 

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