Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Doug Clark, Global Biddable Lead, Reckitt

Doug Clark recently joined Reckitt as their new Global Biddable Lead, responsible for leading new biddable initiatives and providing strategic guidance to local teams for successful campaign activation. He has previously held roles across the programmatic ecosystem from client-side, agency, DSP, SSP, and DMPs. 

Who is your digital hero?

Given how much the digital landscape has changed in the last thirty years, I debated whether I should select a well-known digital innovator who has made a seismic change in societal behaviour versus someone who has had the greatest impact on my career. Of course, I chose the latter. Back in 2011, Jana Eisenstein hired me for a little known, somewhat stealth start up called Videology.

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

Jana is a shining beacon for all aspiring working mothers in our industry. Jana leads by example, commercially astute but also diving into the technical detail when it mattered, she empowers her teams to take on greater responsibility through her infectious work ethic. It’s no surprise she’s led some of the most innovative companies in the adtech ecosystem. As a father of a young family today, I reflect back in awe of how she balanced her work/family life.

How has their heroism helped drive digital?

There is much discussion about the need for greater diversity in boardrooms, and that is so often tarnished by the treatment of working mothers by employers. Jana is an example of someone that has broke through those barriers by her strong work ethic and respect for enabling career development within her teams irrespective of race, colour, or gender.

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

From a client-side perspective, we face into many challenges within the digital space. We can talk at length about changes in global privacy policy, the impact of cookie deprecation, the potential of web 3.0 but the fundamental issue today is fragmentation. You just need to take a look at the carriage rights for content distribution across CTV as a prime example.

The success of digital has historically been its ability to attribute performance on a one to one basis. Programmatic advertising brought about the means to have more effective activation of media campaigns, centralising omni-channel capabilities into a single platform with a holistic view on performance. Yet, it feels like the industry is moving further away from this vision. Brands are staying loyal to the safe bets, we’re seeing less interoperability between platforms, and a continued rise of walled gardens meaning budgets are getting further siloed causing a greater duplication of reach and barriers to attribution.

It’s not a big ask, so if someone could step forward with a solution for cross platform interoperability that would be fantastic.

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

I’m not sure if it’s heroic, or stupidity, but I like to think I’ve been courageous to not take the straight path ahead. I enjoy learning through practice and I have been fortunate to have a career that hasn’t gone from A to B but instead ventured into holding varied roles across different parts of the ecosystem and hopefully gaining a better perspective as a result.