NBCUniversal is deepening its bench of data-driven executives, revealing on Wednesday that it had hired its first SVP of advertising technology, Ed Kozek.
Kozek was previously SVP of ad product and engineering for The Weather Co., where he worked on the audience and data platform WeatherFX. Now he will manage NBCU’s proprietary ad products.
NBCU is also appointing Pankaj Kumar, former head of media sciences at Comcast Cable, as SVP of measurement and innovation, and Brian Norris, former VP of media sales at Dish, as SVP of sales for NBCU’s Audience Studio.
These hires are critical for NBCU to meet new data and tech demands from brands, agencies and marketing partners, said Mike Rosen, EVP of advanced advertising and platform sales for NBCU.
The creation of these roles also points to NBCU’s focus on consolidated measurement across multiple screens and on better targeting.
For instance, NBCU hopes to combine digital, linear, mobile and out-of-home viewing under a single Total Audience Delivery guarantee.
Ratings guarantees are a response to advertiser requests for better measurement, particularly as viewership shifts to on-demand and streaming environments.
As SVP of measurement and innovation, Kumar is tasked with developing more ways to prove the efficacy of ad buys on NBCU.
“More accurate and precise measurement is critical to the health of the ecosystem in so many ways, [whether that’s] properly measuring cross-platform consumption through initiatives like Total Audience Delivery [or] advanced targeting of custom audiences through Audience Studio,” Rosen said.
NBCU will also invest in advanced targeting capabilities and data-driven talent and tools, whether managed or self-serve, Rosen said.
Its unclear whether NBC's advanced advertising talent drive was correlated to the reported 30 layoffs within its ad sales organization earlier this month. NBC declined to comment.
According to a source with knowledge of the matter, they were unrelated and its slew of new hires was more about the network realizing “[t]hese are the important issues that matter to the industry.”