Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

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.

Who is your digital hero?

Joseph Pamboris, Co-Founder at Alligator Solutions, previously Chief Product Officer at Flashtalking.

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

Like myself, Jos (Joseph) has continuously fought the good fight for quality and accuracy across the Adtech industry for 20 years & counting.

He is one of the most intelligent & knowledgeable spokespeople for Media that I know. But the real difference with Jos is that whereas great knowledge often leads to arrogance & being unapproachable, he has always been kind, helpful and a gentleman to all he works with and anyone who is fortunate enough to meet him. It’s not always easy to be the good guy & remain universally respected in an industry where money is King. But Jos continues to prove it is possible.

How has his heroism helped drive digital?

Jos has managed some of the largest Digital Brands Globally during his time at Omnicom Media Group, FlashTalking, CvE and more recently consulting for Advertisers as Co-Founder of Alligator Solutions.

He has grown clients’ investment in digital ad buying by proving that transparency+more granular measurement in campaign reporting leads to higher ROI performance. Across the full spectrum of display, video, Programmatic, Ad Verification and Supply-Chain Optimisation to name but a few, Jos has helped Brands push to achieve KPI goals with an open, data-first approach to ad buying/supply… rather than blind, non-transparent trading.

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

I would highlight two. The first is Greenwashing aka Sustainability in Online Advertising. We all want to do better/shine a light on Carbon footprint reduction, but the inevitable reality is that there are too many players across the Adtech Lumascape reaping the financial reward through an advertiser’s supply chain, and unless some are removed, the collective Co2 emissions for an ad campaign will remain extremely high, regardless of each player claiming they are reporting on carbon footprint.

The solution is to buy direct from publishers again. It would make for an interesting study: comparing Co2 emissions from the (good old) days of direct buying, vs. today’s RTB OMP footprint.

The second is a need for universal, consolidated measurement in Influencer/Social Marketing. We’re all aware of GAFA/walled garden Companies marking their own homework. But now it’s increasingly rife across Social Media Platforms, where large Advertisers’ budget is heading. A true barometer of Performance is much needed in this exciting industry sector.

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

I have been fortunate enough to ride several of our industry’s tentpole moments: the ad-server acquisition years, the emergence of rich media, the dawn of RTB Programmatic, the launch of ad verification companies and have been lucky to lead businesses in each of these fields.

I am proud that I haven’t gone stale and continue to learn and lean towards the next must-have metric, and for me that is now Influencer Marketing and its intersection with AI ecommerce/Intelligence. It’s exciting to transfer all my industry knowledge into delivering performance for Brands in this new industry sector, but arguably what’s more rewarding is educating the next wave of Adtech superstars who are only at the start of their Media journey.

I take great pride from that.