PHD Australia had a huge night at the AFR’s Most Innovative Awards, taking the number one spot for Best Innovation Program and second place for Most Innovative Company in the media and marketing companies category.

The list is based on a rigorous assessment process managed by Australia’s innovation consultancy, Inventium, in conjunction with a panel of industry expert judges.

Mark Coad, CEO, PHD Australia commented on the win: “PHD have a clear vision – that talks to building smarts and the role of innovation in doing so. This recognition shows we are absolutely on the right path. Everyone at PHD is extremely proud today, knowing they have contributed to such a great accolade.”

Mark Jarrett, Managing Director, added: “Innovation is a proven driver of better commercial outcomes. We strive to deliver that innovation for our clients and we’re grateful to all the partners that help us deliver that day in and day out.”

The win for Best Innovation Program was for PHD Australia’s first-time mum algorithm. Instead of relying on standardised targeting, PHD Australia created a machine-learning algorithm designed to digest a huge amount of real-time data and identify first-time mothers with children aged 0-1 with unprecedented accuracy.

The algorithm conducted more than 8 billion observations every 24 hours, looking at topics of interest, natural language, sites visited and sentiment. This allowed the agency to be genuinely reactive to the continual stream of new mums entering the segment.

The algorithm knew exactly the information each mum was looking for (e.g., teething), then the media media environment she was in (e.g., Mamamia or Nine Now). Then it served the most suitable format for this environment (video, display, mobile).

These matches were all being created in real time to meet each mum’s individual need at any moment. PHD’s innovative algorithm enabled them to target this unreachable audience with 96.7% accuracy – significantly improving the media cost per person reached.

PHD Australia’s AFR win comes off the back of the recent announcement that PHD has been recognised as an ABA100 Winner in The Australian Business Awards 2019 in not one, but two categories: HR Management (HRM) and Employer of Choice (EOC).