Speaker spotlight: Emily Miller, Head of Marketing at Ollie Quinn

September 30, 2019

“The more personalised your content, the less often you need to deliver that content to your audience.”

On October 29th, we’ll be throwing open the doors of the trendy Zetland House, Shoreditch, to 100+ marketing innovators for our biggest and best ever #SuperchargeMarketing event. This insightful evening will involve multiple chances for relaxed networking with London’s diverse marketing community, the opportunity to trial Datasine’s AI martech platform and a list of exciting guest speakers. 

One of these speakers is Emily Miller, Head of Marketing at designer eyewear firm Ollie Quinn, who’ll be taking part in the #SuperchargeMarketing fireside chat. We caught up with her ahead of the event to hear all about her career, personalisation in marketing and the impact of AI on the industry.


Emily Miller, Head of Marketing at Ollie Quinn

Tell us a bit about yourself? 

Originally from Toronto, Canada, I moved to London a year and a half ago to lead marketing for independent eyewear brand, Ollie Quinn. I oversee all marketing at OQ, across the UK, Canada and the US. Prior to moving to London, I worked for OQ in a digital marketing role, so I’ve been there from the beginning – building the brand from the ground up.  

How did you get into marketing? 

I’ve always worked on the digital side of marketing and communications, but I actually started my career in public affairs (a niche of public relations including lobbying, political campaigning and government relations). Working at global PR agency, Edelman, I segued from PA to corporate communications and worked on the team that mitigated public reaction to the 2015 Volkswagen emissions crisis (“Dieselgate”, as some may remember). I then migrated from corporate to consumer PR, building social media influencer campaigns for brands including KFC and Wonder Bread. 

In 2017, I was invited to build the overarching social media and influencer strategies for Ollie Quinn, and have since grown to lead all marketing operations at OQ.

“The pressure to produce significant ROI in a short space of time is greater than ever.”

What marketing tools could you not live without? 

It’s a really interesting time to be in marketing. Up until recently, the only metrics marketers used to benchmark the success of their campaigns were things like average or estimated impressions (an educated guess at the number of views an ad received). Being a marketer in the digital era means we finally have metrics that track the full conversion funnel and measure mROI – previously quite a nebulous concept and frequent point of contention between CFOs and CMOs. As tech giants like Google and Facebook sophisticate their offerings, these metrics – particularly mROI – become much more accurate. For marketers in the current economic climate, this is a double-edged sword. Tools like Google Analytics, Facebook Ads Manager and various email/CRM platforms can tell us about our return on investment, but the pressure to produce significant ROI in a short space of time is greater than ever, as investors seek considerable short-term returns in the age of billion-dollar valuations and unicorn start-ups. 

In this age, I’d say every digital marketer needs an effective CRM platform that stores and manages data in compliance with regional regulations (like GDPR), a great email marketing platform that leverages AI and machine learning to tailor content to subscribers, an Instagram grid planner (like Planoly or Snug) that helps one visualise a branded Instagram account as a whole, and of course, Google Analytics.    


How do you see AI and machine learning affecting marketing? 

As I mentioned, the availability of more sophisticated metrics has put vast pressure on digital marketers to deliver ROI. AI and machine learning can help marketers optimise their budgets by course-correcting the parameters of online ads and content (often in real time) so less of one’s marketing budget is wasted. There’s also AI that saves us valuable time and energy by telling us whether or not content will receive engagement or results before we place it in-market. This is invaluable to marketers whose task is to stand out on ultra-saturated channels. 

Essentially, AI and machine learning leverage the data we now have available to us to mitigate marketers’ workloads and make campaigns much more efficient and effective. 

Do you have any tips for marketers wanting to implement personalisation without coming across intrusive? 

While AI is an incredible tool for marketers, it’s also the type of innovation that instills fear of Orwellian dystopias. Google, Facebook, Amazon, Apple – these companies know us better than we know ourselves. The data collected on our behaviours and preferences is comprehensive and immensely detailed. Artificial intelligence can be used to leverage this data in myriad ways, but the onus is on marketers to utilise AI ethically and responsibly, which is why policy like GDPR is so important. 

Ultimately, it’s beneficial for both marketer and consumer when content is tightly tailored to one’s interests and needs, but there’s a fine line between catering to one’s tendencies and invading a consumer’s privacy. I would say the more personalised your content, the less often you need to deliver that content to your audience. Customised information allows for less frequent dissemination of information because you’ve tailored the messaging to the individual so it resonates upon first encounter. 


Here’s a simplified example: you’re handing out flyers to all passersby to promote an event and all the flyers have the same information printed on them. That content is general enough that you could also put up signs in the area you handed out flyers in that same week, without seeming invasive. If, however, you mail personalised, hand-written notes to a carefully curated list of people to promote the event, telling each person why they’d enjoy the event based on intel you have about each of them, you have less need to put up posters near those people’s houses that same week. The message you delivered the first time likely resonated, and delivering more personalised information to those same recipients in a short space of time is more likely to make them feel annoyed, bombarded, or as though they’ve had their privacy invaded.

Sign up for the FREE event now while limited spaces still last – and we’ll see you there.

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