Industry Profile: Tug CEO and founder Nick Beck

9 March 2021

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 Tug CEO and founder Nick Beck.

Time in current role/time at the company:
14 years, but that has gone very quickly!

How would you describe what the company does?
At Tug we make advertising work harder - mixing media, creative, and tech to drive exceptional business results for our clients.

What do you do day-to-day?
I’m happy to say it changes every day. Lucky me!

Define your job in one word:

I got into digital marketing because:
Digital marketing is constantly evolving. It's changed so much, even since Tug started in 2006, and yet I need to remind myself it's also still in its infancy. There’s no other industry where you have the opportunity to learn so much, be constantly entrepreneurial, and genuinely leave your mark.

What’s the biggest challenge you face in your role?
Keeping everyone happy!

What’s the biggest industry-wide challenge you’d like to see tackled?
Data attribution between marketing data and client data. It's 2020, yet some clients still ask us to prove the value of digital marketing. The reason for this is that data is still not marrying up easily. When we get Tug’s Data Analysts to work closely with our client’s Business Insight experts, that’s when the magic happens.

Previous industry related companies you have worked at:
I went to Ogilvy school, where I learnt everything about direct response advertising and branding. I also had a short stint at J Walter Thomspon.

Notable campaigns you have worked on:
I’m very proud of the latest social media campaign Tug’s London team developed for WWF, in which they used the well-known “How it started vs how it’s going” meme as a way to highlight the plight of the arctic.

Who has been a great mentor to you and why?
Over the years I’ve taken counsel from Tim Carrigan who is one of the original digital agency entrepreneurs. He started Noho in London (in the late 1990s), which turned into Ogilvy Interactive.

Words of advice for someone wanting a job like yours?
It never gets easier. In fact, it just gets harder – and I love that – so make sure it’s something you absolutely want to do.

If I wasn't doing this for a living, I'd be:
Running a chain of pizza restaurants.

My mantra is:
Work hard and be nice to people.

My favourite advert is:
In Australia, Hungry Jacks has been promoting its new ‘Big Jack’, despite McDonalds threatening them with legal action. I guess they figure all the PR will be cheaper than the lawsuit – now that’s an innovative use of marketing budgets!

Music and TV streaming habits. What do you subscribe to?
All the usual but, to be honest, I don't consume a lot of long-form content. I’m too busy growing a young family alongside a global agency network (London, Toronto, Sydney, Berlin….. and LA next!).

Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I’m quite handy with a frisbee.

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