60 Seconds: Katie Rigg-Smith

By AdNews | 17 June 2011


Chief strategy officer, Mindshare

My favourite restaurant for business lunch?

Sake Restaurant in the Rocks. They do great Japanese food and it has a great atmosphere for a business lunch, casual but upmarket.

My must have gadget?

At the moment it’s my iPhone. I can’t go anywhere without it, I am totally addicted! I made the move from the Blackberry just 6 months ago and it took me a while to adjust, but I will never go back.

My favourite media?

Search engine marketing of course! It’s testing, interesting, accountable and completely fluid. SEM constantly challenges me; it’s not a simple business and there is never one single answer to a problem. For advertisers it is extremely invaluable, accountable and measurable and should be a part of every marketer’s media mix.

My interests outside work?
Growing up in the UK it’s hard to avoid the nations’ obsession with football (read soccer). In the last few years I have taken up the sport and now play twice a week for an indoor and outdoor team. It’s so much fun. I also love to follow the English Premier League and spend many Sunday mornings catching up on the games from the night before.

 My mentor / biggest inspiration?

I have worked for some truly amazing people throughout my career. I am still taken aback by the number of people I work with every day from which I have learnt something new. There are some truly amazing leaders, from both within and outside the corporate world that have inspired me to be a better person and leader, from Nelsen Mandela to Steve Jobs, they are all inspiring in their own unique way.

 My first boss?

I spent some time early in my career working for a reseller of hardware and software in the UK; it was my first ‘proper’ office job. My boss was passionate about what she did, and driven to succeed. She was extremely fair and focussed on developing her staff. I learnt a lot about how to get the best from people from her.

 My favourite TV show?

There are lots of them! At the moment I think I join most of Australia in being addicted to Masterchef. I am not a great cook, so it amazes me to watch the contestants create some of the dishes they do. I also love British comedy; my favourite of all time is Fawlty Towers, absolutely hilarious!

 The last book I read?

I have about 5 different books on the go at the moment, I seem to start a book and not get around to finishing it before I start the next one. The last one I actually managed to finish was Nelsen Mandela’s autobiography, Long Walk to Freedom. Truly inspiring.

 My mantra / philosophy?

Always give 150% to everything you do, remain driven, believe, and you will succeed.

 Why I got into advertising / the media industry?

It was actually by accident. It was the one career path I never saw myself doing as I am quite shy and quiet, yet this is where I have ended up. I took the opportunity to work for a leading online classified publisher in the UK around the 2000 boom and bust. It was a fantastic ride and taught me a lot about media and the Internet and now here I am...

 The campaign / piece of work / project I'm most proud of ... ?

I had just started at Yahoo! Search Marketing and was thrown into the exciting and rather daunting project of moving all of our advertisers to a new advertising platform. Having little idea about what SEM was all about at that point and having to manage a team and migrate hundreds of advertisers to the next platform, all at the same time, was challenging yet so rewarding.

 My career highlight?

I have two; taking a role in Australia, and also being part of a team who launched a classified site and built a client base from scratch in a new market with no network or contacts. It changed my life and my career and taught me so much about different market dynamics and the value of a network and client service.

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