Tencil Talks: Alex Wright

Alex Wright is the Digital Programmatic Lead at Channel 4.

Over the past 16 years, she has worked at the likes of News Corp, IPC Media, Blink TV, Live Nation, VEVO, Unruly, and more recently Channel 4.

Today we caught up with her on all things digital.

Q. Talk us through your career success to date?

AW: My first media sales role was at News Corp in my hometown of Sydney, Australia, selling ad space in a national newspaper. A few years after that, I moved to the UK and took on the role of Advertising Manager of NME magazine. I had a fantastic time looking after the live music section of the magazine and spending my time attending festivals and gigs and convincing them to advertise their events in my mag and on NME.com. I then moved into the live music space selling partnerships around major tours and festivals however, after a few years of this, I realised from my experience with NME.com, my true passion lay in digital advertising. I took on a role managing a team at the newly formed company Vevo for three years, which became the biggest digital music platform in the world.

I always feel drawn to the fastest growing areas of an industry and at that time it was both online video and programmatic. I took on a new opportunity at Unruly. Unruly was at the forefront of both, selling video solutions programmatically on behalf of hundreds of premium publishers. After a few happy years at Unruly, an opportunity recently arose at the newest, fastest-growing area of the industry. Connected TV. Channel 4 was launching a new programmatic product and I joined the Channel 4 Digital Team last October, excited to be bringing this new product to market.

Q. How did your first professional role differ from your current role?

AW: To be honest, not that much. I love the fast-paced environment of digital sales and that there is always a new hot topic whether it be the growth of mobile, video and now CTV. However, at the end of the day, media sales are media sales. The most important things to consider is the client relationships and delivering a campaign to help clients to grow their business, whatever the platform of choice is.

Q. What is your proudest professional achievement to date?

AW: When I first moved into my role at NME Magazine I noticed that there were many untapped opportunities around the festivals circuit, in particular around European Festivals. I launched the annual NME European Festivals Guide in the magazine and on NME.com, which generated over £250k of new business in its first year. As a result, I was awarded Time Inc’s Salesperson of the Year, and then the PPA Industry Salesperson of the Year. That year was without a doubt the highlight of my career! 

Q. What excites you about digital marketing?

AW: The fast-paced nature of the industry. When I sold my first online banner on NME.com, it might be hard to believe, but Facebook and You Tube had only just been launched and the first iphone had not been sold! It is so exciting working in an industry that evolves so fast.

Q. What would you like to see change in digital marketing?

AW: I would like to see the whole industry more regulated and I would like to see standardisation as is seen in other industries such as broadcast TV and print publishing. The industry has operated a bit like the ‘wild west’ for too long and it has been refreshing to witness regulatory changes by the ICO and the introduction of GDPR.

Q. Do you think enough material exists to educate young adults about digital marketing?

AW: Absolutely not. I feel that there are so many opportunities in the digital marketing industry from Operations to Digital Media Sales to Product Development and it is difficult for young adults to understand where these opportunities lie and what roles are most suited to their skill sets.

Q. What is your favourite lunchtime spot and why?

AW: Oh gosh, I love to exercise in my lunch break as it means more time for myself in the morning! I often go for a run around St James’ park or take one of the lunchtime gym classes offered to staff at Channel 4.

Finally, we would like to thank Alex for taking the time out of her busy schedule to talk with us today.

If you are interested in hearing about opportunities that exist in Digital Marketing, feel free to email Joel.Williams@tencil.co.uk

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