A Week in My Life: Nick Welch, VP Business Development at ADmantX
ADmantX enables publishers and advertisers to match ads to relevant online content at page level.
The company examines the ‘real’ interests of consumers based on the media they’re consuming online and apply machine learning and AI to predict their propensity to click and buy.
Their clients include Netflix, WPP, Vodafone, Sky, The Financial Times, Politico and many more.
The VP of Business Development, Nick Welch, sheds some light on what a week in his working life looks like.
My alarm is set for 6:15am and I head downstairs to start my morning with 15-20 minutes of ’silent’ meditation or Zazen, trying not to wake the dog who is a massive distraction. Having battled with my mental health in the recent past, I find meditation practice an important part of my daily routine.
I then make the commute to my office downstairs via the kitchen and set the priorities before my morning call with my CEO, Giovanni. We have several high profile proof of concepts (POC) in place with leading premium publishers so the morning call is dedicated to updating Giovanni on their progress and ensuring our tech team have prioritised accordingly.
Working with a company that actively promotes flexible working, I normally try and keep Monday’s as home working days, but I head into London at 8:00am to present the results of our POC to said premium publisher at 11:00am.
We demonstrate that up to 30% of their inventory is being unfairly blocked by their current technology vendor and if they switch out to ADmantX, we will increase their revenue potential almost immediately whilst maintaining accurate brand safety to their advertiser partners.
In the afternoon I have a call with Adform and IKEA who are rolling out our brand safety solution via their ad server globally. One of the most rewarding aspects of this business is being able to work without conflict across both advertisers and publishers, delivering genuine solutions that serve both sides.
I head home for 7pm in time to take my daughter to Street Dance practice. Something must be paying off as she’s been selected to dance for England at the Dance World Cup in Portugal in June. Moments like this really put life into perspective.
I wake-up at 6:15am and it’s straight into meditation again, successfully sneaking passed the dog.
I’m back in London for another meeting with a prospective publisher customer. It really feels like the industry is ready for change and receptive to new or at least ‘better’ ideas.
I then have several partner calls across Europe before reviewing the redline of a publisher contract (remember the successful POC… well it looks like a positive turn of events).
Late afternoon: ADmantX US wakes up and I engage in a rather sweary Skype chat with our VP of North America before the sales call starts. It’s all good-humoured but being a New Yorker he doesn’t hold back on his use of expletives, or his opinion on GDPR and the general health of ad-tech. I remind him it looks like the US is following suit with CA privacy.
After a hastily prepared plate of ‘chicken-tray-bake’ (classic Mary Berry recipe when you have little to no time… or in all honesty can’t be bothered to cook), I have a final call to review the QBR actions for our partner meeting tomorrow. Giovanni likes to be pretty hands-on, so we effectively end up having a mock-QBR over the phone.
Wake up at 6:15am and try to meditate but don’t successfully dodge the dog, which means whilst I close my eyes and try to find my Zen, the scratching and squelching of the hound cleaning himself is a distraction too far, and I finish after three minutes.
The partner QBR meeting lasts most of the day but it becomes a bit of a love-in for all involved, we’ve surpassed revenue expectations again considerably (52% year on year) and between us, we have developed some great ideas utilising our core technology. Brand safety is a no brainer but there is still a big education piece to be done for those buyers tied to legacy keyword technologies - we’ll keep fighting the good fight.
In the afternoon, we take advantage of Giovanni being in town and discuss the product roadmap for 2019, how it is shaping up and what changes are likely (nothing ever goes exactly to plan, but that’s ok). Although GDPR fatigue seems to have set in across the industry we are seeing more and more businesses who would like to create their own data using signals they collect (with consent).
We have a big pitch coming up with one of the major holding groups to help them build their own audience. We discuss how the pitches are working across each market what has become apparent are the nuances and local dynamics between each country - and their view on who owns the data, some say the advertiser and some say the publisher.
It’s late and time to head home - I’m looking forward to spending some quality time with the family. However, it seems my son is more interested in YouTube so being what I think is a dutiful Dad I discuss how he should pick up his guitar and do something productive. If he dedicated the same amount of time to his guitar as he does to the YouTuber Vikkstar he’d be the next Eric Clapton. Doh….. This backfires…. He doesn’t want to be the next Eric Clapton. I need to change my tact here, but like all parents, I’m a little worried about the amount of time he dedicates to snacking on YouTube.
Up at 6:15am and the dog is nowhere to be seen. I begin to meditate then feel something wet and cold against my hand, the dog out dodged me and meditation is over before it starts.
I attend a panel discussing alliances and the new Ozone Project. This is a good thing and I make a b-line to chat with Damon Reeve about what they are doing - taking control back for publishers. This compounds my feeling that we are at a pivotal point for change. I leave feeling pumped, positive and upbeat.
The afternoon is spent focused on new business and trying to make use of the lead generation tools at my disposal. I’m not convinced LinkedIn is that effective but I use it anyway, maybe I should think about employing some click-bait subject headers.
It might be ‘Media Thursday’ but since giving up the booze, it just means getting home and maybe heading out for some dinner with my lovely wife, or ordering a takeaway (after the compulsory Dance School run of course).
It's Fri-Yay as my daughter calls it and my alarm isn’t set but the habit of getting up at 6:15am means I’m up at that time regardless. It’s HOME WORKING DAY.
Contrary to popular belief, I believe productivity, if disciplined, sky-rockets when working from home and I start my working day at 7:30am with a view of hopefully finishing my day at 4pm or maybe even 3:30pm… oooh, rebel!
My son nods at me as he passes through the kitchen, picks up his porridge and elects to have a quiet breakfast with ‘Vikkstar' in another room before heading out to school. I feel the urge to have another chat about YouTube consumption but my inner Zen tells me ‘Pick your battles… he’s just got a distinction in Business Studies… give the guy a break”.
The morning is spent reviewing the week and following up on the agreed QBR actions. I then have a call with one of our hot prospects, followed by an internal call to discuss how our ‘Holding Group pitch’ is panning out.
At lunch, I head to the gym then take the dog for a walk. Living in Surrey, I can head out the back of my house and be walking up the River Wey in minutes… ahhh work-life balance.