Industry Profile: Switch Digital CEO, Lee Stephens

Pippa Chambers
By Pippa Chambers | 24 August 2016
Lee Stephens

Our Industry Insights 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. 

Today we head to Sydney to speak to Switch Digital CEO, Lee Stephens.

Duration in current role/time at the company:

Four and a half years

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

Switch Digital is a sophisticated, independent digital media agency that helps clients manage their digital media and data budgets at a profit.

In one sentence, what does your role involve?

Keeping clients happy, educated and profitable by some of the best digital minds in Australia (I hope).

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

The last six months has required a dramatic shift in the business model for media agencies. The goal for FY16 was to move from a media buyer to a data led media management agency – that happens to buy media at a higher ROI than our competitors. We underestimated the cultural shift at the beginning however we got there in the end and are attracting a lot of clients large and small.

Best thing about the industry you work in:

You either keep changing or perish. It’s like the Hunger Games. It keeps you young.

Previous industry related (ad land/ad tech) companies you have worked at:

CEO of Aegis Australia & NZ, CEO of eMitch, Commercial Director of Fairfax Digital

Career-wise, where do you see yourself in three years time?

Helping clients move from understanding digital media to how building their knowledge on how digital is transforming all parts of their business. This is the next step in digital transformation of our entire economy.

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

I was a champion speed skater but retired when all decent roller skating rinks where bought by developers of apartment blocks.

Top networking tip:

Focus on your clients. No matter what level you are in the industry you attract attention by doing good work. Go get drunk with your friends after work, not with work.

My favourite restaurant for a business lunch is:

Alpha Greek Restaurant

My favourite advert is:

Qantas – Coming Home

My must-have gadget is:

iPad Pro.

My favourite media is:

Netflix.

My favourite TV show is:

Ray Donovan.

The last book I read:

Dracula – Bram Stoker

My mantra / philosophy is:

When you reach the end of the road, buy a f***ing bulldozer.

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

My Dad said my dream of being a Fisheries and Wildlife Officer was not for me.

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

Fisheries and Wildlife Officer.

In five years' time I'll be:

Digitally enhanced so I don’t look ancient in a young person’s industry.

Define your job in one word:

Unstoppable.

What's your poison:

Alpha Box & Dice Whitemare.

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