Jonathan Lewis is Global Head of Teads Studio, an interactive creative and data platform for advertisers.
Econsultancy caught up to him to find out about his role as a Global Head of Studio, the skills and tools he finds most critical in his work, his favourite ad campaigns, and his advice for anyone looking to make it in advertising.
Here is a day in his life…
(Remember that if you want to fast-track your own development, Econsultancy offers a whole host of marketing training.)
Please describe your job: What do you do?
Jonathan Lewis: Studio is a global team of 70+ people, designers, creative strategists and engineers whose collective responsibility it is to build better advertising experiences for our clients on the Teads platform.
The bedrock of what we do is The Studio, a creative authorising tool that allows us to develop enhanced video and display solutions. We have a product team that builds tools and formats for the platform, designers who design and build in platform, creative engineers that code in the Studio and creative strategists that use the Studio to bring ideas to life for our clients.
A large portion of the team work direct with our advertising partners (brands, agencies, creative shops) in order to understand comms objectives and to provide the best possible creative orchestration to meet those needs.
My role as global lead is to build and manage the teams charged with articulating the above strategy, ensuring we are delivering best-in-class solutions in all markets and continuing to innovate and build solutions to the benefit of all.
In addition, I’m charged with ensuring we are tightly aligned to the other teams within the business whether that be product, sales, marketing, insights etc.
Whereabouts do you sit within the organisation? Who do you report to?
Jonathan Lewis: Within the executive team and I have the pleasure of reporting in to the hardest-working man in digital, Mr Jeremy Arditi, Teads CCO.
What kind of skills do you need to be effective in your role?
Jonathan Lewis: If I were to reference my LinkedIn ‘skills’ via endorsements, I’m skilled in SEM, PPC, affiliate marketing and behavioural targeting. Even if I possessed those skills, they would be of zero use in this role.
The majority of my work involves managing people across diverse time zones, each of whom have their own market opportunities, limitations and or pressures and are in different stages of their journey with Teads. So, let’s say that empathy and awareness is a requirement.
I think the team functions well or most effectively when each member of the team has the space and time express themselves and make their own decisions. They are not micro-managed but are provided with an overarching framework in which they work, naturally aligned to the overall business objectives and strategies. So, being of a consultative and strategic nature helps.
Finally and this may seem like one of those banal, eye rolling statements – but being able to listen, like really listen, helps both with understanding what our clients are trying to achieve and where they need help, and also managing the team to generate ideas and overcome obstacles.
Tell us about a typical working day…
Jonathan Lewis: I’m not sure there is a ‘typical day’ as such but there are days that admittedly share some sort of commonality. That being, emails! Lots and lots of emails. Too many emails.
If I haven’t cycled into work, I try and cover off those that have dropped overnight from the US or early A.M. from APAC whilst commuting into the office. If I have cycled in, I’m at the office early enough to get that done before 8:30.
Once at the office, EMEA team one on one’s tend to take precedence in the morning followed by the global leadership and or management meetings in the afternoon. During the day, a health check on the state of the Studio business operations vis-à-vis designs, workflow and client meetings, plus preparing for client meetings and/or event presentations.
What do you love about your job? What sucks?
Jonathan Lewis: I love seeing what this product has become from its relatively humble beginnings, and how as a business unit we are constantly evolving to answer the needs of our clients. I love the daily interaction with the Studio and wider teams within the business and I love the fact that I’m constantly learning from the people around me.
As for what sucks, well, I would much rather the Studio team be all in one office so I’d get more time face-to-face, but alas, it’s just not possible.
What kind of goals do you have? What are the most useful metrics and KPIs for measuring success?
Jonathan Lewis: We have a number of intertwined goals that in some way, shape, or form are a contributing factor to the revenue line. Adoption of Studio creative is a key goal as this should lead to better campaign performance for the brand and better experiences for our publishing partners and ultimately for the end user.
Closer relationships with clients and respective agencies is also a key goal. If we can understand their business priorities to a greater degree, the help and guidance we can offer from a creative perspective is solid and comes from a place of intelligence and knowledge.
Also, of specific importance for me is retention and development of talent. My goal is to have a vested, determined and ambitious team driving us forward.
What are your favourite tools to help you to get the job done?
Jonathan Lewis: I possess a nice collection of chamois from a London opticians, Cubitts. As I mentioned above, I tend to do a lot of video conferences, and these are the best thing for cleaning the MacBook camera.
Slack, Zoom and Trello for communication and team meetings / tracking. ChartIO, Salesforce for business monitoring. And probably most importantly, the Studio itself.
How did you end up at Teads and where might you go from here?
Jonathan Lewis: I arrived at Teads in September 2016 as part of an acquisition. I had been leading the commercial operations for Brainient for four years before Teads brought us on board.
It’s been an amazing two years, but the journey is only just beginning so I can’t see myself going anywhere else from here any time soon. Unless Jeremy has other ideas of course.
What ad campaigns do you admire?
Jonathan Lewis: Campaigns that either don’t take themselves too seriously and involve an element of fun. So, the Geiko video campaigns spring to mind and the wonderful ‘Long, long man’ (Sakeru gum) campaigns out of Japan. The Atlantic feat Michael K Williams, and Audi clowns.
Away from video and on a more serious tip, I loved the Stabilo’s print ads in Germany highlighting the forgotten, but life-changing, women from history.
Do you have any advice for anyone looking to make it in advertising?
Jonathan Lewis: Ah, I’m afraid I’m going to the pander to the standard convention of responses here: the standard aphorisms or clichés around being a successful human in the modern workplace.
If you’re going to succeed you need to be ambitious, open to change, willing to learn, and be as good a person as you can possibly be. Treat everyone with respect, don’t take yourself too seriously and if you’ve finished with your plate/bowl/mug, please put it in the dishwasher, thank you.