Damon Westbury is Interim MD at European Broadcaster Exchange (EBX), a joint venture founded by some of Europe’s largest TV broadcasters (including Channel 4) to address the demand for brand-safe environments and high-quality online video campaigns.
Westbury joined EBX from Clear Channel and has previously held roles at Microsoft. He tells us: “After starting my media career trying to steal marketing budgets from TV and re-investing them into online, I decided to do the opposite and move them back into premium, digital TV environments.”
We catch up with Damon to find out what a typical day looks like.
Please describe your job: What do you do?
Damon Westbury: As Interim Managing Director for EBX I have full responsibility for the commercial performance, operations and business strategy of EBX.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
Damon Westbury: I report into the joint venture board consisting of eight senior executives across our stakeholders representing Europe’s largest TV Broadcasters, including Channel 4, TF1, Pro Sieben and Mediaset.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Damon Westbury: Stakeholder management, for sure! In a position such as mine, you need to find the right balance between our business, proposition, performance, customer and stakeholder expectations in order to make EBX an successful as it can be.
Tell us about a typical working day…
Damon Westbury: At EBX and many other start-up businesses there’s no such thing as a typical working day! The only constant is waking up at 6am, having breakfast with my son, followed by a regular sprint to the 6.57am train at Acton Central to get him to school in Fulham by 7.30am. Yes 7.30! The only upside is that I’m in the office by 8am, clearing emails and planning my day.
Most days involve a heavy mix of meetings with international agencies and advertisers, stakeholder and tech partners, as well as EBX staff – with a peppering of blocked time to allow for business development, speaking to new broadcast partners, regular European travel, presenting at the odd conference and always expecting the unexpected. Most days I try and get home just in time to read a story to my son and my daughter, whom I don’t see at the start of the day, because even aged six she does not care for early mornings!
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
Damon Westbury: I have spent the majority of my career working in the media industry, and I am proud to represent the Europe’s largest broadcasters. Representing such a unique company that can enable the entire industry to move forward quickly is what makes me passionate about my role.
Not much sucks if I am honest. We’re building and growing a new international advertising marketplace for premium, broadcast video on demand advertising, which is not an easy task, but I’m impatient… I just want to grow it faster.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
Damon Westbury: Right now, it’s all about growing top line revenue and proving the success of our business model. Based on that, the key KPIs I need to be able to measure are sales volumes, campaign size, business and customer satisfaction.
Beyond that, our mid-term goal is to expand the breadth of EBX broadcast partners across new markets and keep developing our tech to enable the company to scale.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
Damon Westbury: During the past years, I have built an extensive network which is essential for a role like mine. I love using LinkedIn to manage my relationship with these connections, keeping in touch finding new business opportunities. Beyond internal collaboration, platforms such as Teams are an essential tool to ease the communication across the board. We’re also heavily dependent on Salesforce to help us manage the commercial side of our business.
Our tech team love Wiki’s and Slack… I’m just starting to get used to that!
How did you end up at EBX, and where might you go from here?
Damon Westbury: After starting my media career trying to steal marketing budgets from TV and re-investing them into online, I decided to do the opposite and move them back into premium, digital TV environments! I’m only one year into EBX, determined to make it a success. I haven’t thought about what’s next.
Which advertising has impressed you lately?
Damon Westbury: I loved a lot of the advertising around the FIFA Women’s World Cup, most notably Nike’s ‘Dream Further campaign, where a 10-year-old girl is selected as a team mate and goes on an incredible journey through the world of football. Looking ahead, I’m looking forward to being impressed by the shortlist from Channel 4’s diversity awards which offers £1M of airtime to improve cultural diversity in advertising.
In general, I really like how advertisers and creative teams are moving forward to create a more inclusive environment where everyone is represented – advertising goes way beyond selling products, it plays a massive role in how our culture is transformed.
What advice would you give a marketer starting out in 2019?
Damon Westbury: Stop over-targeting your audience. Stop buying cheap media that nobody sees. Stop the short-termism and focus on building your brand in a premium, relevant, contextual and brand safe environment while simultaneously delivering strong ROMI.