Smart Choice: Hetal Patel Returns To iHeart


When it came time for iHeartMedia to select a New York-based EVP of its SmartAudio Intelligence Insights arm, it lured back an individual who had exited the debtor-in-possession media giant in July.

Hetal Patel is now in the role, and she reports to Brian Kaminsky, President of SmartAudio and Analytics Group for iHeartMedia.

In her new role, Patel will lead the SmartAudio Intelligence Insights team “to create research and insights that shape iHeartMedia’s value proposition.”

Her responsibilities will include providing critical consumer insights, market intelligence and industry trends to iHeartMedia teams, markets and executives by leveraging expertise in areas such as audience analysis, advertising sales metrics and media and digital consumer research.

In addition, Patel will work closely with iHeartMedia’s partners on the development of next-generation analytics, techniques and products including Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Sentiment Analysis and more.

iHeartMedia’s marketing optimization tools include SoundPoint (programmatic real-time radio ad buying platform) and SmartAudio , which enables advertisers to do impression-based audience planning and dynamic radio ad creative that utilizes real-time triggers such as weather, pollen counts, sports scores, mortgage rates and more to deploy different campaign messages based on what is happening in a specific market at a specific moment.

SmartAudio, says iHeart, “has allowed brands to use broadcast radio ads to dynamically serve the most relevant message in each market, at each moment, just as they do with digital campaigns to ensure increased relevance and impact.”

Kaminsky said, “We’re thrilled that someone with Hetal’s extensive research background and intimate knowledge of iHeartMedia will be playing such a key role in developing our next generation of data driven advertising, attribution and ad effectiveness products.”

Patel exited iHeart for a role as Head of Sales Research & Insights for Vox Media. Yet, after six months, she decided to come back to iHeart.

For 4 1/2 years until July 2018, Patel was a key member of iHeartMedia’s research team, moving up the ranks to become VP of Research, Insights & Analytics. Patel’s background also includes positions at Radius GMR and KPMG Nunwood. She began her media career in 2006 as a research executive for The Nielsen Company in Mumbai, India.