Young Gun: Verizon Media insights analyst Evie Kennedy

21 February 2019
Evie Kennedy

Our Young Guns profile takes a weekly look at some of the young talent across the advertising, ad tech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.

Today we speak to Verizon Media insights analyst Evie Kennedy.

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

How long have you been in the industry?
Three and a half years.

How did you get here?
I originally envisioned working for the United Nations. I was halfway through a Masters in International Law and International Relations when I saw a graduate role in research and insights and figured I’d go for it, as it sounded interesting. And it was. I unashamedly love research, data and insights.

Who is your right hand person?
My boss, head of insights, Becky Smith. She is an ideas woman, a great mentor and I’ve learnt hard and fast working closely with her in the time I’ve been here. Nat Delpierre, Liz Adeniji, Clare Rudduck, Anny Havercroft and Megan McElderry have all, as official and unofficial mentors, given me great advice and support during my time at Verizon Media. We have so many great people to learn from.

What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?
Our industry is fast-paced, knowledge driven and innovative and in turn we have the ability to make an impact and truly feel it.

And the biggest challenge?
For the digital industry right now? Measurement. What is best practice? Which metrics matter? How do we come up with a standardised best practice for ad effectiveness? We have entire conferences around this and we still can’t agree.

Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?
I’ve always wanted my career to transcend the industry and for it to enable me to make a wider impact. I want to be in a leadership position within insights and strategy, but it’s equally important that I secure board positions at organisations that are aligned with issues I’m passionate about and continue charity work. You have to be the change you want to see in the world.

Where do you turn for inspiration?
Throughout my life, as cheesy as it is, my father has always inspired me. He is a passionate high school teacher who has worked in some of the most underprivileged schools in Sydney. He has instilled in me the importance of hard work, a love of learning and to always be grateful for every opportunity I have.

I am also an avid reader, I’m always looking for different perspectives on how to live and work optimally. Arianna Huffington’s ‘Thrive’ and the Dalai Llama’s ‘Art of Happiness’ are books that have inspired my perspective on my career and life recently.

My favourite ad is:
Western Sydney University’s Deng Thiak Adut Unlimited:

This ad encompasses the power of a great and inspiring story. We sometimes forget advertising is bigger than our industry, it has the capacity to cut through the hum of mediocrity and unearth what truly matters so everyone can hear about it.

Working at Verizon Media, what I’m excited about is our ability, through RYOT and across our network, to tell stories that matter in ways that excite and ignite human connection.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I failed maths in high school… and I now work with numbers.

Albert Einstein was right when he said “if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing it’s stupid”. It turns out I just had to be told it was about looking at numbers and finding the story, not always the sum.

In five years' time I'll be:
Surrounded by pet birds and competing in the Australian National Weightlifting Championships. 

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