Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Nick Reid, Global Head of Agency Partnerships, Adobe Advertising Cloud

Nick Reid is Global Head of Agency Partnerships for Adobe Advertising Cloud. A true digital veteran with over two decades in the industry, Nick spent time at some of the industry’s most innovative companies, including video advertising pioneer TubeMogul, which was bought by Adobe for $540m in 2016.

Who is your digital hero?

I’m going to take the liberty and opportunity to have three if that’s ok – all three have had a different impact on my career and that of many others and all three I believe deserve a mention.

Jay Stevens: the first to give me the experience and exhilaration of a start-up mentality, when running the UK Sales at MySpace. We started as a small few in an office in Broadwick Street and no one knew what Social Media was – a different world.

Jay had and still has the passion, charisma and constant appetite to strive and drive forward, everything that is needed when starting a new business, especially in a new region, new markets and in fact new “category”. He has done this a few times since in his subsequent roles and continues to entertain and enlighten when on stage.

Brett Wilson: the last person to inspire and drive my start up experience at TubeMogul. Un-relenting passion and determination to succeed – relentlessly! The company ethic was Figure Shit Out, Get Shit Done and Make Shit Happen, which pretty much summed up the approach not just of Brett and John the two founders, but the all that worked in that business from start, to IPO, to the acquisition by Adobe. Creating a business, which sort to drive change, be a leader and take you along with it.

Niki Stoker: This one is more of a twenty year+ experience, over a number of roles, though never actually working in the same company as Niki. Throughout that time through, she has been an inspiration and solid rock, who herself has moved and helped build and lead many a successful new business and start up.

One of the best in the business at understanding the Customer and Client, built on a technical knowledge, a fantastic empathy and a spirit to succeed.

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

It’s the combination of work ethic, drive for success and the desire to bring others along for the journey – seemingly always in new or leadings spaces of the industry

How has their heroism helped drive digital?

If you just look at the business they either created, influenced or lead, they span everything from rich media, to social media, to performance media, to programmatic media, to transparent media – it’s somewhat the narrative of the last few years!

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

There are the obvious challenges around the future of identity. Many talk of a cookieless future, which will impact the infrastructure that has always “powered” digital advertising (Audience Targeting, Optimisation, Measurement, Attribution etc). Flip that over and argue it’s a wonderful new opportunity to drive the change and future of identity, combining anything from the importance of 1st Party Data and Customer Match, Industry ID Consortiums, a “new” Contextual Targeting, 2nd Party Publisher Data etc, all of which will have a combined role to play.

Consumers want a relevant well orchestrated experience and journey orchestration for Brands is not easy. The idea of Digital Transformation encapsulates the bringing together of the Martec and Adtech investments made over the previous years (often in siloed departments) and orchestrion of those around a 1st party data strategy. That touches so many parts of a business and involves so many other Partners, on the technology and services side. Again a challenges, but one with such exciting reward for the Brand and the Consumer and all those involved in helping to deliver

Creativity continues to have such an instrumental role and always will. The harnessing of creativity, within the parameters of the challenges and opportunities above, is exciting.

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

I’m not sure that I have done anything heroic. I do feel I have been incredibly lucky to have chosen a profession and at a time, where there never seemed to be any barriers, or anything that prevented one from achieving their ambitions. The last 20+ years have been hard work, but incredibly enjoyable and fulfilling and I hope that stays the same, not just for me, but also to all the young and talented people, who are starting at the beginning of their journey in this industry.

It’s a challenging time, not just in terms of uncertainty around investment, but for many starting their careers and never actually meeting a colleague in person. Many are missing out on what has inspired so many and that’s the daily interaction, support, learning of those they work with and having fun with those they worked with.

I used to say I spend more time at work than I do at home, that has changed somewhat now (not sure my family appreciate it that much either!). Like many, I have been lucky to be surrounded by inspiring people and learn and develop in an inspiring industry, one that continues to evolve.

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