Industry Profile: Avid Collective managing director and co-founder Luke Spano

28 April 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 Avid Collective managing director and co-founder Luke Spano.

Time at the company:
Just over three years since the company’s inception.

How would you describe what the company does?
Avid Collective is a network of digital media brands that offers a unique and powerful audience-led branded content solution.

What do you do day-to-day?
My focus is business growth so it varies from working on strategies to help our digital media brands grow, to working alongside our commercial team on developing epic campaigns and products for our clients to take advantage of.

Define your job in one word:
Problem-solving (can it be two words if there is a hyphen?!).

I got into media because:
I saw an opportunity for communicating and engaging audiences better than how it was being done.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Working for a young, new and innovative business means there is always a fear of taking a leap and trying something new or different. So there is a constant challenge of needing to build trust with stakeholders when first working with them. Luckily this is becoming easier every day, as we continue to do high quality work and we become more established in the Australian advertising market.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
Education around the fact that each ‘impression’ is not equal in value. KPIs based on hitting a certain number of impressions is futile if your overall goal is driving ROI on advertising. This might be more of an opinion than an industry-wide challenge, but I feel it is the biggest weakness with marketers who focus on impressions without more of an understanding on why they are doing so.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
I hadn’t worked in specifically the advertising or media industry before but had worked at two technology companies where marketing, customer experience and content was a big part of my focus.

Notable campaigns you have worked on:
Our branded content work with eBay is pretty astounding, in the second half of 2019 we created and published over 300 product focused videos as part of a six month campaign, driving over 2,500,000 video views and over 300,000 people back to eBay.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
Peter Wiltshire (ex-chief revenue officer/group sales and marketing director at Nine) has given me insights and advice that have saved me countless years of having to learn these lessons on my own. From ways to hire plus manage teams to the right perspectives to take into commercial conversations with different stakeholders. I’ve only been working with him for six months but already feel very indebted to him.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Focus on what you can control and work hard to ensure you do what you do better, every single day.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
My major income before getting into business was playing poker professionally so I think I would still be doing that.

My mantra is:
Smile and be better.

My favourite advert is:
The old “It’s a BIG ad” by Carlton Draught as I loved how they broke the fourth wall to capture the attention of the audience and establish a connection that is both genuine and self-serving.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
I subscribe to Netflix and Spotify. The user experience of both is exceptional.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
That I used to play professional poker.

In five years’ time I’ll be:
Working from an Avid Collective office in a different country!


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