Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Media Hero: Deborah King, Essence

Deborah King is VP, Media Activation Paid Social, EMEA at Essence. She has worked in the digital industry for over 14 years, at companies including Facebook, Bebo and Adaptly. She is also Co-Founder of black lifestyle I AM History.

Who is your media hero?

Adam Harrison, CEO of TART. 

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

Adam is force to be reckoned with. Not only is he a marketing genius, he’s also an entrepreneur setting up a cafe chain called TART in 2013. It was impressive to watch Adam take his business from a weekend stall in Herne Hill (London) to two cafes, one in Clapham Common and the other in East Dulwich.

Prior to launching TART Adam worked at Google and Facebook making the complicated digital tech digestible and translating their unique market proposition into language that marketers can easily understand.

Even though Adam is a busy maintaining and growing TART, he continues to consult marketers on the latest media opportunities and innovations.  More personally Adam has been an unofficial mentor and over time has become a trusted friend.

He embodies authentic leadership and is a nice person. It sounds simple but Adam has always made time to answer questions I may have or just simply have a glass of wine. 

How has his heroism helped drive media?

Through Adam’s gift to be able to simplify complicated media, marketers are able to be more informed on how media and specifically digital media works.g. Adam is able to explain the most tactical intricate digital media complexities of third-party cookies to custom audience remarketing and look-a-like set up and optimisation strategies in a way that makes sense without the technical jargon that confuses most of us in media.

This enables marketers to focus and make better decisions on how and where they share their media budgets and more importantly how they engage with their consumers.  

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

Transparency and trust – what is our data being used for? How is it being used? Who has access to my data?

Consumers and brands want greater transparency on how their data is being used and greater trust that their privacy is protected. 

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

I’m not sure if I would call this heroic but I’m proud of the fact that I’ve managed to figure out a balance between my incredible day job at Essence and being able to work on my passion project I AM History, a black lifestyle and culture publication designed to raise awareness and be a voice for black stories – both historic and present day. Both jobs demand a lot of time and attention and I’m grateful that I can work on both of them.