Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Stephanie Fabb, Head of Data and Analytics at iCrossing & Hearst UK

Stephanie has held a variety of roles at iCrossing in a ten-year career with the agency and media owner.

Who is your digital hero?

Emma Welland

What have they done to win hero status in your eyes?

I first worked with Emma when she joined iCrossing as our Head of Paid Media back in 2017. Emma was and still is a clear expert in her field but it’s her passion, excitement and energy that are truly infectious. Emma has a fantastic work ethic and strikes the balance between doing what’s right for her clients, her team and the agency overall. She is a clear leader in her field and strives to take everyone on the journey with her. More importantly she is always willing to learn and listen to alternative solutions which meant I could try out some pretty “out there” data concepts in live pitch and client scenarios which has enabled my own personal development within leadership roles and tipped the balance in female leadership at iCrossing.

How has their heroism helped drive digital?

Emma transformed the way in which we talked about and delivered Media for our clients, putting a clear customer-centric vision and strategy at the centre of her approach. Having worked client-side, agency-side and for a large network her confidence to set up her own consultancy is testament to her capabilities and desire to help brands maximise their ROI through performance marketing. Emma is has worked hard to develop her extensive network, particularly in the AdTech space, where she has been able to heavily influence the product roadmap of some of the tools and tech we use today.

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

We have many data challenges ahead as we strive to put people back in control of their data. Aside from the legal regulations that have come into force and expanded since 2018, there is a lot of work being done in the AdTech space together with the emergence of new platforms that look to overcome the technical challenges of collecting and using data, however, we must not forget to take a step back and remember why we are doing this. For me, this is where the question of data ethics comes in and we should be looking to brands to understand what their stance is. This will be as important to consumers as the likes of sustainability and will play a part in their brand consideration and selection process. We should all be considering “just because we can, doesn’t mean we should” whenever we are exploring opportunities to connect with our consumers.

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

For me I’ve always been excited by seeing my passion for all things data and digital rub off on others. Leaving a meeting, whether that be a client review, pitch or internal team session at any level and receiving feedback that the topic of data has been thought provoking and even exhilarating at times means I have done my job in placing data as our hero asset. Converting someone from “it’s all too complicated” to truly understanding, seeing the benefits and believing in the possibilities is a huge personal win for me and something I strive for every day.

From a client perspective pitching and winning a small data project for Fidelity and building this relationship to make Fidelity one of the largest full-service clients we have today has also been a great personal achievement. More importantly, as the strategy lead on this account their digital and data transformation to date has been huge and with the support of the team around me this will continue to grow and expand over the next few years, there is so much potential here and with a great, transparent partnership in place, the possibilities are endless.

My Digital Hero

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My Digital Hero: Marco Ricci, Global CEO at Takumi

Marco’s background in adtech pans over 20 years He has led technology teams at WPP GroupM and Microsoft, before moving to Google to lead Sales Teams both in New York and London. As CCO of Condé Nast he transformed the business into a digital-first company, delivering profitable growth for the first time in 12 years. He joins as Takumi’s Global CEO at a pivotal time for the Influencer Marketing sector.


My Digital Hero: Dan Douglas, Founder, The Cloud and Compass

Dan Douglas runs the startup accelerator, The Cloud and Compass, working with founders to help them scale up. He is the founder of StoreBoost, the retail media to OOH DSP and previously founded Liveposter, which sold to Denstsu and digital agency de-construct to Aegis. We asked who his digital hero is.


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