How Jatinder Singh Is Bringing Data and DEI to DDB

Jatinder Singh might be new to DDB Worldwide, but he’s not new to Omnicom. Before taking the helm as the Chief Data Officer of DDB, he held another executive role at Omnicom Precision Marketing Group as Global Chief Marketing Sciences Officer, where he oversaw data science over all agencies in the group and lead a team of 600 data scientists and engineers in 19 markets globally.

Then, DDB North America CEO Justin Thomas-Copeland tapped him to take the clients and the agency along a data in tech journey while staying true to their deep history in brand building.

How does this come to life for their clients? Take for example, a retail client with whom they have done long-standing brand building. This client begins to seek their advice around business challenges like ecommerce and digital experiences. DDB uses some of their own data expertise, like TrackDDB, and partners with groups like Omnicom Commerce Group and OPMG to answers the clients’ total customer experience needs. Asks that include addressing emotion in context and emotion at scale using DCO platforms. This ensures they can remain true to DDB’s core offering and identity while never having to turn down an opportunity with a client (and even strengthening the relationship because of their knowledge of Omnicom).

Beyond just bringing his incredible data chops and strategic thinking to Omnicom, Singh has been able to channel his multifaceted identity into next-level leadership. Recently recognized as one of Adweek’s 2021 Pride Stars along the likes of Dan Levy and Janet Mock, he credits part of his success to showing up at work authentically and giving his colleagues the opportunity to do the same.

Being a gay man is just one part of his identity: Jatinder is also of Indian descent and a British immigrant. He not only sees it as an opportunity to have dialogue, educate, and learn; he sees it as good for DDB’s business, and thus client business. At OPMG, he was key in building their DEI Discipline and is actively involved in OPEN Pride.

His approach is simple – be vulnerable and open. He accepts that he won’t be perfect and allows room for others to make mistakes so they can embark on a journey to constantly learn from each other. And DDB has plenty of perspectives to learn from – there are many other executives of color joining Singh in leadership positions at DDB – most recently Justin Thomas-Copeland, of course, along with Nikki Lamba, Andrea Diquez, and Darla Price.

Together with allies, they are taking a deep look at the DNA of DDB to ensure it is truly reflective of the fabric of our society. That doesn’t stop at leadership but runs through every level of the agency.

The work is difficult, but Singh is excited about it, particularly because of the unique space our industry sits in to tackle these opportunities. He sees the answers in finding ways to use creativity to connect with consumers on an emotional level and create experiences around them that ultimately impact business. He’s excited to work in a creative agency for the first time, building experiences and human connections that are underpinned by data from not just a rational perspective, but an emotional perspective using platforms like Omni.

This has manifested in a piece of IP he’s created called the Motivational Canvas, which takes behavioral data, converts it into a bank of motivators, runs an algorithm against an audience, and tells you what motivates that segment to take-action. Jatinder likens it to another ingredient in the stew of insights, a complement to ethnographies and qualitative and quantitative research. That nuance of flavor takes DDB’s work to the next level.

It’s one thing to build a platform like this, but it’s another to get people to use it. This is part of the reason he’s stuck around at Omnicom. In his own words: “What I love the most about this place is that it’s full of smart people, it’s a very collaborative ecosystem, and I know who to call.”

Now, you know when to call Jatinder.

Originally published on OMC Hive.

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