Our Young Gun profile takes a look at some of the young talent across the advertising, adtech, marketing and media sector in Australia. It aims to shed light on the varying roles, people and companies across the buzzing industry.
Julian Bright: Data and digital marketing strategist at Orchard.
Time in current role/time at the company: I’ve been a Data Strategist for the past year after starting as an analyst at Orchard during the launch of COVID in early 2020.
How long have you been in the industry?
I’ve been working in digital marketing & media for the past 5 years, since 2017.
How did you get here? Was this always the plan?
This wasn’t initially the plan, if there ever was one. I studied Biochemistry and Statistics at university, purely because it was something I enjoyed, and I thought I could pass. I wasn’t sure what to do next. Sweeping floors in a big pharma R&D facility seemed anti-social.
My brother had been working in performance marketing at Bohemia media agency for two years. His work tickled that part of my brain that loves solving fiddly issues with technical insights, whilst still being in a *bubbly* agency setting. I applied for a performance coordinator roll and jumped straight in. As I learnt the tools, I found I could apply science-like testing methodologies and data analysis to digital marketing. Data driven strategy became the core of what I did, so when the opportunity to apply to the amazing Orchard Strategy team appeared I couldn’t resist.
Who is your right-hand person/who guys you day to day?
My strictly professional working relationship with fellow strategy team member David Szanto is notorious within our agency, the Sydney Digital Marketing community, and Sydney social basketball competitions. We have been a duo since day dot, he was my first manager at Bohemia and I followed him across to Orchard. He is the straight man in our partnership, direct with logic and data, I am the big picture guy.
What’s the best thing about the industry you work in?
Digital marketing can be truly innovative, particularly when it comes to finding a loophole or cheeky solution. Place a blocker in the way of a good campaign idea/strategy, and watch the industry find a way to dig under or smash through it. Examples like “the death of the cookie”, how COVID effected the digital environment, or even the Cambridge Analytica fallout show the resilience of the digital industry to rapid change. There will always be a “better way” to target your audience with the right messaging no matter what the internet becomes. Finding these solutions is what I love.
And the biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge, from my perspective – what will the internet be in the future and who gets to shape it? There is a tension between the walled gardens and the free open internet. Deciding what is safe (or safe enough) whilst still providing freedom online is an existing and ongoing challenge. Will you take a “wait and see” approach, or risk it all and attempt to shape what it becomes?
Whose job have you set your sights on in the future?
Where do you turn for inspiration?
From a strategic perspective Orchard strategist Doug Robb is the king of strategic thinking, a pioneer of ideas. Whenever you have a hard spot to reach, he has an idea on how to scratch it. With years and years of experience under his belt (it doesn’t show), he always has a comparable campaign he has worked on, complete with an anecdote on an awkward pitch experience.
On the other hand, I find TikTok often far more inspirational than it should be. If you get your “for you” page (FYP) as refined as mine, you can scrape a bunch of interesting strategic ideas from videos about digital marketing, in amongst the regular videos of monkeys fighting and Rosalia chewing gum.
Tell us one thing people at work don’t know about you?
I am an electronic music producer, as over 80% of the population will be by 2030. In particular, I produce music for fashion industry related things, often with my best friend, designer Alix Higgins. I have produced music for Australian fashion Week runways and makeup ads. We are performing live as PATAMON around Sydney now, if you see us on a poster come check it out.
In five years’ time I’ll be…
Still making music and art. Reading a lot of science fiction. Travelling with my girlfriend. Enjoying my work and getting paid enough to do what I love outside of it. Basically, all the things I do right now, but just 5 years’ worth of experience better. I’m already living my dream, come to one of my shows and see!
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