Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Jonny Walsh, Head of Investment and Activation, Havas Lynx Media

Jonny Walsh is Head of Investment and Activation, Havas Lynx Media. Prior to this, he held the position of Head of Paid Media. Before joining Havas Lynx Group, Jonathan worked at MEC for eight years, starting his. career as a PPC Search Assistant at MediaVest Manchester Ltd in 2006.

Who is your digital hero?

My digital hero is Mark Varley, marketing and business consultant, former Managing partner of Havas and MEC and client lead at Talk Talk.

What has he done to win hero status in your eyes?

It wouldn’t be an exaggeration to say Mark has had a significant impact on my career. When at MEC he combined strategic vision with a personal touch that resonated deeply not only within the team but also amongst clients.  

What immediately impressed me was the impact he had on those around him. As an exec with only a couple of years of experience under my belt, I found his approach refreshingly opposite to the more traditional, hierarchical styles I had previously experienced. His approach broadened my understanding of what effective leadership looks like.

To boot, Mark also happens to be the nicest person in digital. His kindness and approachability made working with him a pleasure, team morale was at a high and he help create a positive workplace culture. It was only after he moved on that I fully grasped the difference between being a boss and truly being a leader.

How has his heroism helped drive digital?

Mark was pivotal in establishing MEC’s digital offering, not only building what was at the time, one of the biggest and most successful SEO teams in the country, but was  also instrumental in winning the biggest PPC account at the time, JET2. These helped establish MEC Manchester from a digital perspective, not only was it recognised for its strategic and planning, but was now seen as a leader in digital.

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

If someone could come along and solve measurement, I’d appreciate that. With the impending cookies apocalypse there is a need for improved measurement techniques,  Many in the industry it would seem are not fully aware of how this change will impact measurement.

Well-established brands and agencies might turn to Marketing Mix Modeling (MMM) as a solution, but this approach often requires resources and expertise beyond the reach of many smaller entities. As it becomes increasingly difficult to measure effectively, there’s a risk that some may rely too heavily on opaque ‘black box’ solutions from the likes Google and Meta, such as PMAX and Advantage+.

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

I wouldn’t call any of my achievement’s ‘heroic’ as such, but I am truly proud to have contributed to the growth of the digital offerings at Havas Lynx. Overseeing our dedicated digital team has been incredibly rewarding.

Together, we’ve launched impactful campaigns that have assisted healthcare professionals in diagnosing rare diseases and connected patients with crucial clinical trials, to name a few. It’s a privilege to work with such a talented team and to see our efforts make a meaningful difference in people’s lives.