Industry Profile: Outfit head of product Ash Ivory

21 July 2020

Our Industry Profile takes a look at some of the professionals working across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles and companies across the buzzing industry.

This week we speak to Outfit head of product Ash Ivory.

Time in current role/time at the company:
One year in role, four and a half years at Outfit.

How would you describe what the company does?
We’re a brand management platform. We empower teams to self-produce content at scale, at speed and on brand.

What do you do day-to-day?
I support our amazing product team by helping them to ask the right questions, solve the right problems and ultimately make our users brand heroes!

Define your job in one word:
Negotiation.

I got into marketing and design because:
I was a creative kid, but I didn’t want to be a ‘starving artist’. Marketing and design gave me a day job that I knew I would be enthused about every day.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Product is generally the epicentre of a lot of problem-solving, especially in software. The biggest challenge is learning you can’t keep everyone happy and ultimately you need to make hard decisions. You can’t build every feature or solve every use case. Accepting that is hard for some people, but once you understand it, it is enlightening and makes saying no easier.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
I would like to see the concept of ‘exposure’ to be tackled. Exposure isn’t currency, money is currency. Creators shouldn’t be forced to justify why they aren’t willing to accept that.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
This is my first gig in software but it really feels like my tenth! I’ve gone through many transitions at Outfit, from sales to customer success, operations and now product.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
A little cliche but my current boss Bruce I would say has been my biggest advocate, mentor and friend. He took a chance on me when others wouldn’t and continues to see the potential that on dimmer days I struggle to see. On the great days, he is always right by my side.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Find the real problem that the majority of your users are facing and solve those. it is tough, but it can be done. If you push for that no one can deny your value as a product leader. Oh and learn how to connect with anyone, real truth and feedback comes when your users trust you.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
Riding my motorcycle around the world.

My mantra is:
Somewhere along the way I found the expression of “Authenticity is when what you say, think, feel and do align”. I try to be aligned like this as much as I can but I also know I fail at times! I like to show contagious grit wherever I can, with a good sense of humour and kindness. This all helps in an average day for our product team.

My favourite advert is:
I think the best type of advertising is the type of advertising that doesn’t seem like advertising. So on that note, I think that one of the best ad campaigns was a podcast called “startUp” by Gimlet. It was essentially a huge ad for all of Gimlet’s soon to be released podcasts, without actually ever mentioning any of them! Alex Blumberg is the podcaster you need to follow!

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
Spotify for music and now podcasts. Netflix, Stan and now Disney+ (Starwars). Luminary for Russell Brand’s full catalogue of under the skin.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I’m a pretty open person so the team know most things. One thing they may not know though is that I have just started a podcast called “The Neutral Moto Podcast” about all things cafe racer-y.

In five years' time I'll be:
Still solving real product problems, riding my many motorcycles and still trying to perfect my pour-over coffee method.

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