Industry Profile: Starcom Sydney GM Martin Hadley

By AdNews | 1 May 2017
Martin Hadley

Our Industry Profile takes a weekly 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. 

For our last profile we spoke with Nova GM Peter Colosimo.

This time we speak to new Starcom Sydney GM Martin Hadley.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

New to my role but three years with Starcom (previously as agency director)

In one sentence, how would you describe what the company does?

We are a media company with a dream: the alchemy of people and technology creates experiences people love, and actions brands need.

What does your role involve?

Working with our Sydney leadership team and client leads to deliver tomorrow’s human experience thinking to client business challenges today, creating the most effective business outcomes and solutions.

Also to lead Starcom Sydney’s own transformation. People in our industry often forget that the media and communication sector is one of the top-three most disrupted industries in Australia.

Within the last six months/year, what stands out as the company’s major milestones?

Last year we restructured our teams to be client-centric and multifunctional – hard baking diverse and specialist talent and resource within each team.

2016 also heralded the launch of Publicis Media in Australia, which brings capability and talent from specialist practices to support Starcom and the agency brands to create greater value for our clients and our people 

This year our focus is on embedding our new HX (human experience) framework into how we collaborate with clients to create powerful human experiences that deliver strong business outcomes.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

In a word: “change”. Our industry looks very different today compared to just a few short years ago. It means leaders need to remain curious, open to continual learning, be comfortable with constant change, and have a flexible and dynamic outlook each day.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:

PHD, Mindshare, Initiative – both in Australia and across the Asia-Pacific region.

Careerwise, where do you see yourself in three years’ time?

I have just moved into this leadership role so definitely leading Starcom Sydney to continued innovation and success.

What is the elephant in the room? The thing that no one is talking about – but they should be.

The solutions gap within our industry. We see a gap where clients are forced to manage the tension between addressing the short-term business challenges of today or engaging with the long-term thinking required to meet the customer expectations of tomorrow. We need to be communications partners who are obsessed with both business results today and customer desire tomorrow, so we can collaborate with clients to help them move forward with confidence and close the gap.

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

I am a captain and public affairs officer in the Australian Army Reserve. This role has included being a media escort and liaison officer on operations.

Top networking tip:

Make time to meet people; you learn something new from every contact.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Coffee near our office.

My favourite advert is:

I love Samsung’s new Ostrich TVC for VR Gear - #DoWhatYouCant

My must have gadget is:

Active noise cancelling headphones, for when you need to concentrate and travel.

My favourite media is:

The individual or mix of channels that works the best for the specific experience we need to create.

My favourite TV show is:

I am half way through series one of HBO’s “Westworld”. The shape of AI to come?

The last book I read:

“Hacking Growth: How Today's Fastest-Growing Companies Drive Breakout Success”, by Sean Ellis.

My mantra / philosophy is:

“Talent wins games, but teamwork and intelligence wins championships” - Michael Jordan

I got into the industry because:

I was an intern while studying marketing and communications at university and decided quickly that media and advertising was what I wanted to pursue.

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

Investing in startup opportunities.

In five years' time I'll be:

Still learning

Define your job in one word:


What's your poison?

I am quite partial to Three Sheets pale ale, preferably on tap at its source: The Lord Nelson Hotel.

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