Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero Steph Miller, Commercial Director UK, Adnami

Steph Miller is Commercial Director, UK, Adnami. She previously held leadership roles at Zoopla, Telegraph Media Group and News International. We find out who her hero is.

Who is your digital hero?

Dora Michail-Clendinnen.

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

I first met Dora when I became involved with D&I a few years ago when I was at Zoopla. I attended an event at the Telegraph and heard her speak so eloquently and passionately about the importance of D&I and BAME representation, not just in any workforce, but in ours, in our company and our industry. She set a real fire in my belly that day, and I have continued to be impressed by her professionally and personally ever since.

During her time as MD, Digital at The Telegraph, Dora set Diversity, Inclusion and Equality at the centre of the agenda, setting up the company’s first D&I network and providing a framework for employees to create what are now thriving groups for ethnic and cultural diversity, LGTB+ and allies, working carers and more.

What’s more, under Dora’s leadership The Telegraph became a founding shareholder of The Ozone Project – named Campaign’s Media Brand of the Year in 2020 – an advertising and audience platform owned and operated by News brands, offering buyers and editorially governed publishers an alternative to the existing adtech offerings and the lack of transparency in the OMP.

The Ozone project has since gained traction with many well-known UK publishers and has set a benchmark for transparency in adtech. Transparency is something that we talk about a lot in adtech, but it’s not something that we have enough of.

At Adnami, this is something we are trying to offer to the market as we believe it is crucial to a successful future for our industry.

How has her heroism helped drive digital?

Dora is passionate about creating an environment in our industry that is inclusive and offers opportunities open to all. She mentors for Media For All (MEFA) as well as for Outvertising, the not-for-profit LGBTQ+ advertising and marketing advocacy group.

Without doubt she has inspired people in our industry to think differently, myself included, and has made important, necessary, improvements for people coming into our industry. We are a more diverse community than the one I joined 13 years ago, and I know that we are a richer industry because of it. Long may it continue.

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

I’d like to see us go back to basics. I think we have all had a challenging year in 2020, there wasn’t much time for anything but firefighting and changing strategies in order to remain solvent. We have the opportunity now, to come back together and remember what advertising is all about.

It’s about getting the right brand message out there for our clients and driving real, tangible results from the campaigns that they run with us. I think there has been a lot of noise created around cookies, data, pinpointing that one significant person and tracking their journey to the nth degree, that we have forgotten the power of a great advertising campaign shown in a fitting format and letting that do all the heavy lifting.

I’d love to be part of the solution to drive excitement back into advertising and move us all away from the fear of a cookieless world.

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

Taking a leap into another industry for 12 months, and giving something new ago, was an exciting and personally heroic move for me. Having learnt a lot in that time and subsequently having returned to digital in my new role as Commercial Director UK at Adnami, I have a reignited passion for the industry, and the people in it.

I have a really great opportunity in front of me, to drive the passion back into advertising with high impact formats, at scale and with a great brand message. I also need to grow a UK team and I am really looking forward to creating a D&I policy, hiring a group of inquisitive minds and making sure we have the best team together to take Adnami forward.