Biggest fuck up
There was a huge launch event for one of our clients, and I was in charge of booking the Snapchat filter that people could use whilst at the event. For some reason, it didn’t work, which could have gone unnoticed if there weren’t posters/flyers everywhere encouraging people to use their Snap filter. This was when Snap filters were still fairly new and exciting – I hadn’t done anything wrong; it just didn’t work. I wanted the ground to swallow me up because I was so embarrassed, to the point of not being able to enjoy the event.
I, of course, owned up to it the next day, and the client took it fairly well and understood there wasn’t an error on our side. There isn’t really a learning beyond not taking work too seriously in the personal sense – I’m a big believer that work ‘fuck ups’ shouldn’t be impacting your own personal wellbeing, so you should never be going home feeling anxious or upset about something that’s happened at work. The same goes for the reverse – if someone has done something wrong on your team, they should, of course, know what they’ve done and come up with a resolution, but it shouldn’t impact them personally. I remember hearing early on in my career, ‘It’s just media,’ and I always repeat that – we aren’t saving lives here!
The hill I am very much willing to die on is the amount of money that is wasted in the programmatic space. Business is booming, and I think there are a lot of amazing suppliers out there doing great work in the ad tech/data space, but sometimes all of that goes to waste when the end product is a tiny banner on a cluttered made-for-advertising site.
We need to start putting more focus on the end product of programmatic, which is the actual user experience. There are too many bad players, and I don’t think people are paying enough attention to where their money is being spent. There are also way too many terrible websites – even the legit players are selling way too many ad placements.
Don’t wait for someone else to teach you something if you have a knowledge gap, and stay curious.
I’ve learned a lot from watching webinars, random LinkedIn posts, and reading books about our industry – that’s come from my own eagerness to learn rather than someone saying ‘Hey, you should read this book’ or ‘have you thought about signing up for this course’?
I think you can easily get stuck not advancing by only prioritising the tasks you’re given – it’s easier said than done but we still live in a competitive industry, and the difference between you and another candidate (whether that’s for a new job or promotion) could be that they listen to a podcast that helps them stay aware of industry trends.