Industry Profile: Performics national head of strategy and planning Aaron Vardon

21 May 2019

Our Industry Profile takes a 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.

This week we speak to Performics national head of strategy and planning Aaron Vardon.

Time in current role:
Since October 2018.

How would you describe what the company does?
We combine market-first technologies and best practices to deliver end-to-end performance marketing solutions.

What do you do day-to-day?
I design and build bridges. I work to conquer the ever-changing gap of customer expectations, needs and wants as they continually change. I aim to connect our customers, and their brands, with their customers in new ways. While I am doing that, my team is teaching me about technology.

Define your job in one word:
Non-fiction.

I got into marketing because:
I found myself needing to work in a career that allowed me to balance both creative and analytical thinking. I nerd out by statistics and data around what drives people to make brand choices, and how technology is influencing and changing this at such a rapid pace.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
In strategy, we envision where we want to go and funnel down, where performance marketing considers exactly where we are and moves up. I work to understand how the human element fits into the technical aspect of performance, and marry these worlds.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
As an industry we often battle each other on the fields of procurement and lower rates, lower head-count, lower hours…. lower, lower, lower. This is a race to the bottom where nobody wins. Our calibre of work deserves fair compensation which we all should stand up for.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
Ikon, UM, Starcom.

Notable ads/campaigns you have worked on:
Bankwest Bank Less, Commonwealth Bank ATM surveys, Commonwealth Bank Local Home Loans, Stockland.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
This man was my first boss in Australia, and definitely elevated my genuine passion for strategy. He challenged me to think harder, go beyond the normal answer, and drive for that gold nugget insight that could tie the entire story together. As a convinceable skeptic, he taught how to balance hesitancy and questioning with keeping an open mind. Thanks John.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
All I know is what worked for me. Take a step back and look at the big picture. Find the best pattern to connect the dots to help guide the next move. Play Sudoku.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
Finding something to fix, or break and put back together. Alternatively, a leisurely travel photographer.

My mantra is:
The world’s greatest waterfalls all started with a single drop of water.

My favourite advert is:
Every ad is a Tide ad. This plays right into alternative thinking and changing the narrative by simply turning every ad into a Tide ad. Smart and witty.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to? 
I concentrate by listing to playlists on my Spotify, and relax by playing mobile games.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I’m a professional amateur recreational athlete.

In five years' time I'll be:
At the beach with my wife, two kids and our dog, while my digital assistant completes this questionnaire (current status: one wife and one dog).

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