Young Guns: Pacific Magazines group digital director, Neill Pitt

Lindsay Bennett
By Lindsay Bennett | 12 January 2017

Our Young Guns profile takes a weekly look at some of the buzzing young talent under 30 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.

This week, we head to Sydney to meet Pacific Magazines group digital director, Neill Pitt.

How long have you been in the industry?

10 years.

Duration in current role/time at the company: 

Just over a year.

What were you doing before this job and how did you get this gig?

I was a group sales manager with News Corp managing a cross platform sales team, my name was apparently mentioned a few times in market by some key agency folk as a potential candidate for a role being created at Pacific. I was approached for the position and the rest is history.

Define your job in one word:

Dynamic.

What were your real and cliché expectations of working in the industry?

This was some time ago, but I thought it was going to be all about long boozy lunches and parties - sadly not.

How does the reality match up? 

Well I’m still yet to meet Don Draper, however there are some fantastically talented people working within the industry and relationships are hugely important to success.

How would you describe what the company does and what does your role involve?

My role is extremely diverse, I’m tasked with commercialising and launching digital properties for Pacific. One day can differ completely from the next, working with multiple stakeholders we are in a process of huge transition as we progress towards being a truly multiplatform media business. 

Best thing about the industry you work in:

Without doubt the people, there are so many amazing people that I’ve met over the years from colleges, suppliers to clients – it’s great to be able to steal a bit of knowledge from them all.

Any major hard learnings in the job so far?

There has been too many to mention. I guess that’s the beauty about starting from scratch, you’re going to make mistakes it’s how you learn from them and adjust that’s important.

If you had to switch over to another department, which would it be and why?

I would consider a leadership role within RED, as I’ve never sold TV before and feel with my experience across print and digital could offer value to this division.

What's exciting you about the industry right now? 

Just how quickly things are moving and how as a digital focussed business there are so many new entrants in the tech space offering great products and services to assist publishers to better deliver for their clients.

What concerns you about the industry and its future?

Agencies and marketers are being inundated with new tech offerings; the hard part is to sort the good from the bad – this, coupled with market fragmentation making it increasingly more difficult to cut through the clutter.

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in 2020 and how do you plan on getting there?

I see myself still within the media industry – hopefully within an even more senior management role. I enjoy being able to develop high performing salespeople and my recent foray into the operational side of things.

What is the elephant in the room? The thing that no one is talking about – but they should be.

For me its content, everyone’s making it - but is what they’re producing actually really any good?

Where do you turn for inspiration?

Perhaps a little corny, but my wife she is seriously insane she has so much energy and manages to juggle a thriving social life, busy senior management role, stay active and most importantly put up with me. 

What’s your personal motto?

Stay hungry, stay healthy, be a gentleman, believe strongly in yourself and go beyond limitations.

I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

I studied marketing and my sister encouraged me to get into the industry. I originally started working within a medium sized creative agency but knew sales was always for me -  I was never going to be someone who could  wear a t-shirt to work.

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

I'd most likely be a policeman or detective – because I love to boss people around or a fireman because its active and you get so much time off. 

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