Industry Profile: Sizmek head of marketing Ayaan Mohamud

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 12 December 2017
Ayaan Mohamud

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

Last week we met Nicola Lewis, chief investment officer at Mindshare Sydney. Now we meet Sizmek head of Marketing, APAC, Ayaan Mohamud.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Two and a half years. It’s been an action-packed ride at Sizmek.

How would you describe what the company does?

Sizmek is the largest people-based creative optimisation and data activation platform. We help brands and agencies create relevant, personalised advertising that resonates with their audiences across all media.

What does your role involve?

A bit of everything. I’m responsible for building the Sizmek brand across Australia and Southeast Asia. I spearhead all marketing initiatives in the region, including demand generation, product and service launches, industry outreach, sales enablement, communications, public relations and social media.

My goal is to ensure that everyone knows who Sizmek is, why we exist and how we bring value to our clients and partners.
Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

Sizmek has launched some innovative products and solutions this year, especially in the areas of digital campaign management, data activation and programmatic creative. However, the appointment of our new executive chairman, Dr Mark Grether earlier this year was a real stand-out, as he was the co-founder of Xaxis. The company is transforming under his leadership and will continue to do so now the acquisition of of Rocket Fuel is complete .

There’s a new Sizmek on the horizon so watch this space.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

Innovation and change. Nothing ever stays the same. I’m lucky to work with incredibly smart, fun and creative people. Oh, and the free lunches!

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:

My ad tech career started in London. I was part of the European marketing team at comScore and then DataXu, before moving to Australia in 2015.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

Maybe working in a role that doesn’t even exist yet. That’s what’s exciting about this industry.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I’ve lived in three continents and visited more than thirty countries. I also dream in a different language…

Top networking tip:

Be interested. Ask lots of questions.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Flying Fish in Pyrmont. The view is incredible!

My favourite advert is:

My vote is for the John Lewis ‘The Long Wait’ Christmas ad. It’s always stuck with me over the years because the message is so powerful - giving feels much more rewarding that receiving.

My must-have gadget is:

My UE Boom speaker - music sounds better loud, every time. Plus it’s waterproof, making it the perfect beach accessory.

My favourite media is:

Instagram. I still love going to the cinema though. You can’t beat the big screen.

My favourite TV show is:

Any show on Netflix that makes me binge watch multiple episodes in a row. For example, Breaking Bad and House of Cards.

The last book I read:

“First, break all the rules” by Marcus Buckingham. The book challenges you to find your strengths and discover different ways to achieve your goals. What works for one person, doesn’t work for the next.

My mantra / philosophy is:

Don't just have passion, have tenacity.

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing because:

It challenges you to think differently and you never stop learning. I like that it combined things that I was interested in - creativity, storytelling, technology and problem solving.

If I wasn’t doing this for a living, I’d be:

Travelling the world and getting paid to do it.

In five years’ time I’ll be:

In denial that I’ll be closer to 40 than 30!!

Define your job in one word.

Multi-tasker (i.e a juggler)

What’s your poison:

Red wine. Preferably a Cab Sav or an Argentinian Malbec.

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