Industry Profile: Quantcast APAC business development director Richard Knott

30 July 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 Quantcast business development director for APAC Richard Knott.

Time in current role/time at the company:
Six months.

How would you describe what the company does?
We’re radically simplifying advertising for brands and publishers by combining real-time, first-party data and machine learning.

What do you do day-to-day?
I drive the growth of the business horizontally into new areas such as new programmatic inventory supply, second and third party data sources and other business partnerships. If it were a recipe, I would start with a base of company mission and add a measure of lead and lag metrics as to how we measure up. Then I’d add a dose of industry insight, ideas and deliverables to achieve. I’d bake this through diligence, patience and adaptation, to ultimately deliver an end product for the Quantcast APAC team to consume.

Define your job in one word:
Protean.

I got into ad tech because:
It was something to do for the winter but I found myself enjoying it so much, the plan I had to join the UK’s Civil Service the following year, lost its appeal.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
The tyranny of timezones and distance between here, the US and Europe.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
I believe this industry is well positioned to solve the challenge of working families and in-particular mums returning to the workforce. A lot of us are in roles that could potentially be delivered, at least in part, by working flexibly, collaboratively and by utilising the latest technology. We’re a relatively small, fast-paced and nimble industry, which provides opportunity to come together and solve this challenge, which could then be used as a template for the wider, slower-moving areas of the
economy.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
Celtra, InMobi, Optus, Telstra, DMG Radio, ARN, emap advertising, ITV and a paper-round.

Who is/has been a great mentor to you and why?
I’ve never really had a mentor as such, but I count myself lucky enough to have met an array of great advisors like Venessa Hunt (Group M), Jeremy Pell (Adobe), Kerry Cusack (Jets) and Nik Kontoulas (JustEggs), all of who have helped me along the way. I’ve also tried to learn something from every manager I’ve ever had, even the ones that were more… challenging!

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
There are no shortcuts to long-term success, but this industry will reward talent and hard work, unlike many other industries. The most important thing is to not burn any bridges, our industry is just too small. If you have a bad reputation, everyone will know, even people you’ve never met.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
Probably in the diplomatic service, which I was supposed to join after university.

My mantra is:
Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you might miss it.

My favourite advert is:
Of recent times, it’s probably the KFC “FCK” ad, turning the most humiliating of “you-had-one-job” type disasters into a mea culpa that everyone bought into and thus forgave.

Of all time, it would be any UK advertising for processed food from the 80s. Pick one: Um Bongo, Kia Ora, Smash Mash, Birds Eye Potato Waffles, Tango… My personal favourite is Heinz Noodle Doodles - I still know all the words today.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
The usuals like Spotify, Netflix and YouTube. But most of my spare time goes to podcasts like Sam Harris, Farnam Street, football weekly and streaming TalkSport.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I have been on both the Irish & Croatian Game of Thrones tours.

In five years' time I'll be:
Assisting the paperclip maximiser make paper clips.

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