My Digital Hero: Elli Papadaki, Head of Programmatic, Condé Nast.

We’re asking some of our industry’s leading figures to nominate their digital hero and to explain what’s so special about them.

Elli Papadaki, head of programmatic at Condé Nast, is one of the leading figures in digital media. She was previously at The Financial Times driving its programmatic strategy.  

Who is your digital hero?

Jon Slade, the FT’s Chief Commercial Officer.

Jon is widely viewed across the industry as exceptionally astute and a visionary and for good reason. Throughout his career, he always had the ability to gauge where the industry was headed and position the FT carefully on that path without sacrificing or jeopardising its core values.

How has their heroism helped drive digital?

From taking a tough stance against ad fraud and calling it out, launching the FT Commercial charter, aligning the advertising and marketing operations of the title more closely, he has always driven initiatives that challenge the industry norm and aim to reframe the dialogue. 

What are the biggest challenges in digital we need another hero to solve?

How to measure success in digital (apart from the obvious conversions) and be more respectful to users.

While I am passionate about digital advertising and the realm of possibilities it offers, I sometimes reminisce about the days I worked on print.

Life was much simpler then!

What is your most heroic personal achievement so far in digital?

I am not sure I would call it an achievement but the one key learning I took from working with Jon is to always think holistically about our business and to keep the brand values we uphold at the forefront of what we do.

During my time at both the FT and now at CNI I always speak of how technology isn’t there to serve everyone in the same way and I still fundamentally believe that.

Every publisher and brand is different and while it’s important to understand how to make things work at scale, it is also important to understand the uniqueness of every project and the components needed to deliver it without getting too caught up in what the wider practice is. 

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