Industry Profile: SBS programmatic executive Deborah Sadler

3 November 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 SBS programmatic executive Deborah Sadler.

Time at the company: 
Three years.

How would you describe what the company does?
SBS is a public broadcaster on radio, TV and online, which delivers content to inspire all Australians to explore and appreciate our multicultural world and contribute to an inclusive society.

What do you do day-to-day?
Anything related to programmatic I do it! I manage and optimise all our programmatic supply and SSPs vendors, set up, troubleshoot and report on deals, support ad ops and sales, run training sessions, liaise with buyers and DSPs etc.

Define your job in one word:

I got into adtech because:
Originally I wanted to get into film distribution and was sent on a job interview by a recruiter to Eyeblaster (now Sizmek). I stayed in advertising and adtech because it’s such a unique, dynamic, challenging and fun industry.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Keeping on top of constant changes and staying informed/up-to-date – then passing on that knowledge to the rest of the business.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
Adapting to the death of the cookie and changing privacy regulations.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
Sizmek, Mediabrands, Southern Cross Austereo, Yahoo!7, Seven West Media.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
My current manager James Vongdara, who allows me space and freedom to work independently, make mistakes and learn from them, gives me critical feedback to improve professionally and personally and always has my back

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
Be OK with not knowing everything, there is mountain of things to learn and master, but if you are curious, willing to learn and patient, you will get there. Also, aim for excellence, see how you can always add value, or offer something above and beyond what is excepted.

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

My mantra is:
Sooner is better than later (not sure if I actually live by that though!).

My favourite advert is:
“Not Happy, Jan!” from Yellow Pages, it’s so iconic and that catchphrase became a part of our lives.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
SBS OnDemand of course! Netflix, AppleTV+, Amazon Prime, Spotify and I’ve been known to be a reality TV tragic watching whatever is on at the time.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I was an X-Files fanatic back in the day and waited eight hours in line at a Westfield to meet Gillian Anderson (Scully). I was happy to learn that the whole 11 seasons were coming to SBS so all us fans and the new generation could stream it for free.

In five years' time I'll be:
Five years older and wiser…hopefully working for a company or creating work that aligns with my values and is fulfilling. I’m looking forward to all the cliché life events like getting married, having kids (and a cat), travelling the world and building a tiny house in an idyllic location.

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