Clicking With Data

Once a public relations major, Lynette Teo (CS’16) forayed into the world of data analytics and has never looked back since.

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As someone who had always shunned numbers, Lynette Teo (CS’16) never thought she would enjoy working in the data analytics field.

But last year, she was selected to be one of 24 Singaporeans in the pioneer batch of Google’s Digitize Program.

The one-year programme was launched last September and focuses on increasing the local talent pool for the programmatic advertising industry.

Commonly described as the future of advertising, programmatic advertising uses softwares to purchase digital advertising space in real time, said Teo.

It is an efficient way of buying advertising space by showing the right person the right message at the right time, she added.

In a report by media agency Zenith, which analysed advertising trends across 41 markets including United Kingdom, China and United States, programmatic advertising was forecasted to grow 31 percent this year —  and is expected to continue growing at an average of 28 percent a year to 2018 when it will reach USD$64 billion. According to Zenith, programmatic advertising gained market dominance in just a few years.

Teo’s experiences during her recent internships helped bag her a spot at the Digitize Program. After hearing about Teo’s internship work at Singapore’s luxury nightlife and dining establishment Ce La Vi and advertising company Ogilvy, a recruiter at Google Singapore invited her to apply for the Digitize Programme — a collaboration between Google, the Infocomm Media Development Agency and recruitment consultancy Xpand Group.

Participants of the Digitize Program were given opportunities to train in Google and media advertising agency, Dentsu Aegis Network at their offices in Singapore as well as Sydney.

“I saw the threat of technology across all industries and I wanted to be in a position where I controlled the technology rather than letting it eventually take over my job.”

Lynette Teo
Account Executive at
Amnet Asia Singapore

Teo explained that the programme exposed her to advertising in digitally mature markets such as Australia, and helped her understand Singapore’s international standing in the digital and programmatic advertising industry.

“The months spent in the different agencies was where the real learning took place; I learnt hard and soft skills like the basics of advertising, the different buying models and negotiating with clients,” she said.

Having enjoyed her 10-month stint with Dentsu Aegis Network’s programmatic agency Amnet Asia Singapore, Teo returned last month to work full-time as an account executive, where she now handles the regional coordination of various markets.

While this was a far cry from her initial post-graduation plans to work in a public relations firm, Teo decided to take up the challenge of tackling technology, which she believes is a “future-proof” skill.

“I saw the threat of technology across all industries and I wanted to be in a position where I controlled the technology rather than letting it eventually take over my job,” Teo added.

Describing herself as a creative person, Teo was never interested in data analytics — the foundation of programmatic advertising, as she found it “dry and boring”.

But Teo shared that her passion for humanities helped her make sense of the data so that she could convey them to her clients effectively.

“I was able to package the performance of the campaigns in a way that helped the clients understand how we were helping them achieve their marketing goals,” Teo said.

“If the numbers don't tell a story, it's not compelling or useful to the client,” she added.

“And that was where I was able to marry the two together. I believe I have so much more to learn in this industry that I have grown to love.”