The Digital Dozen – Martin Pavey, CMO, Flashtalking
The Digital Dozen is a series of profile interviews with thought leaders in the technology industry. Here we speak with Martin Pavey, CMO of Flashtalking, the leading global independent platform for ad management, about his career path, and ask the question on everyone’s lips... what's your favourite doughnut?
Name your three best qualities.
Enthusiasm. High standards. Good listener.
What's the biggest lesson you've learnt in your working life?
Be brave. Whether it’s selling an innovative idea to a client or solving a strategic business conundrum, I think taking the occasional risk brings better results from a business and personal perspective. The best clients want to be brave and do something different – it makes for a much more exciting partnership. And if it doesn’t make everyone famous, learn from it and do something else.
What has been your best idea yet?
Naming an early rich media ad format ‘Toast’ with the supporting tagline ‘it pops up when it’s ready!’
What advice have you been given that made a difference?
Don’t be afraid of saying no. The conflation of advertising and technology into ‘ad tech’ has created possibilities people get carried away with. Just because you can do it, doesn’t mean you should. Right now a good example is personalisation of ads based on first party audience segments. The temptation is to create a segment and creative variation for every conceivable consumer; but in reality it’s not the right course of action.
What’s the best thing about your work?
There isn’t one thing – it’s a collection of things; I’m excited and enthused by our technology, design and ideas. Running a profitable business with a bunch of nice people is a great place to be.
What do you think will be big in media in ten years’ time?
Immersive experiences that don’t require you to wear weird stuff on your head. Highly intelligent algorithms will be able to serve us bespoke and engaging content we love, but didn’t even know we wanted.
What career path would you advise your children to follow?
One that inspires them and makes them happy.
What career path would you be following if you weren't in your current job?
I wanted to be a customs officer at school. Pretty weird. I nearly did a CPVE in law after university but decided organising raves was more fun.
Which TV programme would you like to star in?
Who would be your four perfect dinner guests?
- Steve Jobs.
- Valentino Rossi.
- Carl Cox.
- Massimo Tamburini.
What three items would you take to a desert island?
- A drum kit.
- A Ducat 916.
- Solar powered internet connected device.
And finally, the question on everyone’s lips... what's your favourite doughnut?
Hands up - I am one of those gluten free holistic media types to be laughed at. But on a day off - anything with chocolate.