Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

My Digital Hero: Andy McNab

Andy McNab is VP EMEA at Fanplayr. An adtech veteran, he spent over six years at renowned adtech company Rocket Fuel, ending up as VP and Managing Director. In a career spanning over two decades, he worked at companies including AOL, MSN and Centro.

Who is your digital hero?

George John – founder of Rocket Fuel.

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

In my mind, George was one of the visionaries and architects  of AI and machine learning way back in the early 2000s.

He built a business based on his belief that AI could take care of the heavy lifting of tedious manual operations, allowing people to do more interesting stuff and learn from big data.

It’s funny that George faced a lot of cynicism and disbelief in the early days, and now everyone talks about AI / machine learning as integral to their business and marketing  plans. 

 How has his heroism helped drive digital?

AI is in almost every tech platform deck whether it’s display/ search/ social/ OOH- some have more than others.

But George’s vision is now widely accepted as the norm, and that in itself is a huge driver in our ecosystem.

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

Complexity is making it harder for businesses and agencies to know what’s out there and how to stay ahead and remain profitable. I see some businesses and agencies having so many platforms to log into, that are not necessarily connected, so everything gets disjointed and siloed, and efficiency is lost. 

Somehow, it needs to all  be better connected, automated and people become more aligned and work more collaboratively, that’s what the next hero needs to solve. 

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

For me, the achievement is more people based, for all the revenues and partnerships I have built over the years and awards won.

I am more proud of the fact that when we started Rocket Fuel in EMEA, we built such a sense of togetherness and shared vision across all depts, no-one left for 3.5 years, not a single resignation!

I actually got head hunters calling me saying “Andy, I can’t get anyone out of your business”.

And you’re only ever  as good as the team you build.