In an attempt to showcase the personalities of the people behind the media and marketing sector, The Drum speaks to individuals who are bringing something a little different to the industry and talks to them about what insights and life experience they can offer the rest of us. This week's 10 Questions are put to the global chief executive of Xaxis, Nicolas Bidon.
What was your first ever job?
It was cutting plastic sheets with the same repetitive motion for eight hours a day on a production line when I was 16. It was my parents' way of ensuring I would continue to study hard.
Which industry buzzword annoys you most?
Any of the three letter acronyms the adtech world seemingly cannot stop creating to further confuse clients.
Who would you most love to share a coffee with and why?
Barack Obama: an inspiring leader and pioneer with more than one interesting story to tell. One coffee would be way too short though.
What is the highlight of your career (so far?)
Being nominated by my peers and chosen by the global leadership of Yahoo as one of the lucky winners of the Yahoo Superstar Award. Then flying my family to San Francisco (one of my favorite cities in the world) as a result and getting to hang out with Yahoo's affable co-founder Jerry Yang.
What piece of tech can you not live without?
The internet and my iPhone come to mind, but neither existed when I grew up and life was still fine.
Who or what did you have posters of on your bedroom wall as a teenager?
A map of the world. I got the travel bug early and I have to admit that getting a license to visit our teams, clients and partners across the 47 markets we are in is one of the things I enjoy the most about my current role as global chief exec of Xaxis.
In the digital ad what needs to change soon?
We need to start simplifying and focusing on the essential: there is too much fragmentation, complexity and stunts which do not deliver measurable value for brands or consumers. In my opinion, we have collectively failed to fully deliver on the early promises of digital advertising (massive reach, measurable outcomes and new creative possibilities). It’s not too late to fix it though and there is so much talent in this industry that I have no doubt we will get it back on track. The future of advertising (and by extension a large portion of media) depends on it.
What is your major prediction for the industry in 2019?
Further consolidation for all sides (media owners, adtech, agencies, and clients) partially driven by a global economic slowdown and the need for scale and a renewed focus from brands on understanding and measuring what truly matters when it comes to delivering the business outcomes they are after.
What one question do you never want anyone to ask you?
I cannot really think of one. This one maybe?
Best advice you ever heard or received?
Be curious and never stop learning.
More of The Drum's 10 Questions With... interviews can be found each week online.