Industry Profile: Seven head of programmatic sales and audience Luke Smith

By AdNews | 26 June 2018

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 spoke to Seven Network head of programmatic sales & audience, Luke Smith.

Time in current role/time at the company:

five months.

How would you describe what the company does? (In one sentence max)

Australia’s home of news, sport and entertainment content.

What do you do day-to-day?

Lead the Melbourne digital sales team and drive our programmatic and audiences agenda nationally.

Define your job in one word:


I got into advertising/ad tech/marketing etc because:

A lot of people say they fell in to this industry, not me, I’ve had a passion for marketing communications ever since studying Media at school. The combination of sending a message, seeing change in an audience all whilst driving a commercial result is very rewarding.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?

Trying to communicate the role of programmatic and data effectively across a wide variety of job functions. Whether it be talking to a trader about the untapped benefits of SSAI/VAST on CTV versus the concept of real time bidding to a broadcast team who are only familiar with a fixed inventory model of trading TV – the understanding is so varied and getting the communication right is so important.

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?

Ensuring there is continued investment in & competition amongst local market entities so that there is more choice beyond an international duopoly.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:

Funnily enough I worked at Seven many years ago in broadcast sales – but more recently I spent the last four plus years in London at The Exchange Lab going from a time when programmatic was a buzzword and we were opening advertisers up to the concept, right through & beyond our acquisition by GroupM at the end of 2015.

There’s no doubt that programmatic is the future of media trading – but still lots of work is needed to fine tune & increase its adoption on both sides.

Who is/has been a great mentor to you and why?

It’s hard to name one – I’m very grateful for plenty of advice over the years.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?

Get a job with a company in a market that is growing and surround yourself with good people, both personally and professionally.

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

On a boat with my wife and children, a really big boat ideally

My mantra / philosophy is:

Smile – today is going to be a great day.

My favourite advert is (and why):

I’ve always been a fan of the Transport Accident Commission’s work in driving down the road toll – continually reinventing the message.

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to? (Spotify/Netflix etc)

7Plus of course.

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?

I can cook a great bbq

In five years' time I'll be:

Still smiling

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