Interviews, insight & analysis on digital media & marketing

NDA Heroes: Meet the Sponsors – Joe Merriweather of Fifty 

With the first-ever NDA Heroes Awards just weeks away, we caught up with senior players from the businesses sponsoring the new event. Here, we meet Joe Merriweather, Head of Brand Sales at Fifty

What attracted your organisation to sponsoring the first-ever NDA Heroes awards?  

What initially drew us to The NDA Heroes is the opportunity to shine a light on the individuals in our industry who are making a difference on a macro level. As a people-first business, we really resonated with that mission. Fifty is committed to building trust and pushing for higher levels of transparency not only for our team and clients, but also for the people in the wider digital community. Company achievements should be celebrated, but it’s easy to forget about the individuals behind the scenes who are working hard to support their team and drive innovation, so we’re proud to be sponsoring a platform where they can be celebrated. 

What are the big priorities for your organisation this year? 

2022 is shaping up to be another busy year for Fifty. A big priority for us this year is scaling our cookieless solution, FiftyAurora, to provide ID-free, privacy-first audience targeting to more businesses around the world. In line with this, we’re also focusing on expanding the Fifty audience intelligence offering to allow for more bespoke understanding and analyses of our clients’ current and future customers.

Last year, we opened Fifty’s first Australian division in Sydney, so one of our main goals this year is to cement our presence throughout the wider APAC region. To keep up with this international growth, we’re also increasing our hiring efforts in order to boost capacity across teams. 

How important is collaboration to the work that your organisation does? 

Collaboration underpins everything we do. We understand the power of human connection, so we have created a flat structure that promotes open communication and collaboration across teams, while still encouraging individual brilliance. Partnership is one of our four key values and we stand by the motto ‘you invest in us and we invest in you’, which applies not only to our team and stakeholders, but also to our industry as a whole. 

Generally speaking, how well do you think the digital media industry does at supporting the needs of the individuals within it? What could the industry do better?

Technology has a major role to play in helping the digital advertising industry solve its current problems of lack of trust and transparency and move toward accelerated change. Our industry needs to start putting people at the heart of solutions: think of customers as humans and not IDs. Stop tracking users with cookies and you will improve privacy, build trust, deepen your understanding of your audience, create more relevant advertising, and boost engagement.

Do you have any Heroes of your own, individuals who were particularly important in the development of your career or who acted as an inspiration to you? 

It’s difficult to pinpoint one person individually as multiple people within Fifty have helped me to develop in my career within tech and digital advertising. That said, I’d have to highlight Simon Eaton (UK, MD) who I’ve learnt a lot from, from understanding the importance of rooting planning and buying strategy in robust audience insight to providing me with the opportunity to work with well known and exciting brands. I’d also add that the whole team at Fifty provides autonomy to run with new ideas and build out processes which has given me the chance to learn and develop rapidly.

Fifty use AI, technology and data to help brands understand their customers and power advertising to best engage them. Built for a cookieless world, Fifty’s platform combines human-powered insights with contextual targeting to grow, transform and future-proof media buying strategies.