My Media Week: Tim Webster, The Exchange Lab

Tim Webster, chief strategy officer at The Exchange Lab, has a major tech roll-out, a three-way shoot-out in Amsterdam and goes chicken wrangling.

My Media Week: Tim Webster, The Exchange Lab

Monday

My week begins when the kids start to wake up – they are five, three and one, so this can be anytime from dusk until dawn.

I help rally them to get up, clothed appropriately for school and winter, and downstairs for breakfast before I make my way to Lingfield Station (Surrey) and grab a cup of tea for my commute into the office.

As a firm believer that the events of the first couple of hours shapes your entire day, it’s a great sign that Southern Rail have called off the strike and I am London bound.

First thing, I’m with our head of product – we discuss some new features and integrations scheduled for Proteus, our programmatic trading platform, as well as looking at the broader roadmap for the year ahead.

This is no easy feat managing the multiple stakeholders who are currently fighting (or rather balancing) the big "sexy" projects with the smaller infrastructure upgrades... the new release will deliver a richer audience profile and campaign data for our clients, filling in gaps in the consumer journey.

Tests at the end of 2016 went to plan, so we’re all set for launch tomorrow. This release is exciting as it is functionality we’ve all wanted to build for a long time and it creates new opportunities and direction for our business.

Lunch is a sandwich on the go and I head to check out a new office location – our lease is coming to an end, so we’re looking for some new surroundings to move into later in the year. It’s a great space and I can really see the team loving it – I hope we get this one.

I get home around 7:30pm, just in time to say goodnight to the girls before dinner and an episode of The Night Manager.

Tuesday

Every Tuesday morning we have our office all-hands meeting – it’s a tradition we’ve carried over right from the early days. It’s important for the company to get together and give updates from each team including challenges, highlights and what’s coming up.

At lunchtime we have a well-known British retail brand come in to run over our proposal (we’re in the final stages of a pitch with them).

It’s fantastic to see just how well educated clients are now when it comes to programmatic and technology – what a turnaround from a year or so ago.

Following the meeting the team have a de-brief agreeing actions and owners for the next phase of the pitch process. We’ve got a few days before we need to be all hands to the pump preparing the presentations.

The afternoon is spent with the team fine tuning a presentation for another client meeting tomorrow. Everyone is happy with the deck and their parts – we’re good to go.

I leave a bit early as its parents’ evening tonight for our eldest daughter, Ella. She’s settled into school well. The arts and crafts table at school is a known favourite of hers. It turns out she is using a whole roll of Sellotape a week.

Wednesday

At 6am my cab arrives to take me to Gatwick and catch a short flight to Amsterdam for the client pitch. We are down to the last three and this is the final presentation. I meet the team there who have flown in from different airports and we have a run through over a coffee.

After the presentation it’s back to the airport.  We’ve got a little time before our different flights so we grab a couple of beers and some food to unwind after what has been a long two weeks of work to get ready for today.

We’re very happy with how it went. As James, our other co-founder, would say "it’s in the hands of the pitch gods now".

Thursday

This morning I’m woken up at 4am by my three-year-old daughter who is in desperate need of a number two. The joys of parenthood.

As I’m awake I take the opportunity to get moving and go into the office a little earlier. If I stick by my theory that the first couple of hours shape my day, it’s not looking good so far…

Today is agency day. At 10am I meet with Alex Stil, president EMEA of [m]Platform for a coffee. We chat about the plans for [m]Platform in the agencies over the coming months. Then I join some of the team at Mindshare to help them on a pitch.

In the afternoon we have our Proteus technology roll-out meeting at a time that we can have London, New York, Toronto and Singapore dial in to give local market updates.

When I get home, it’s dark and I have the job of walking across the field with a torch to close the chickens in their coop for the night, then it’s inside for a well-earned glass of wine.

Friday

As a self-confessed programmatic geek, I like to keep my eye in with some of the new vendors in market, so I have Friday morning breakfast at The Ivy with our head of vendor, Ben Alpren and an innovative location-based mobile technology.

After that, I head back to the office to de-brief the team on the Mindshare client pitch requirements from yesterday. We quickly get working on a customised client demo - it’s rewarding to see a clients’ marketing strategy visualised in our technology, so they can really understand the benefits of programmatic marketing in their business language.

I take the team out for lunch and a couple of drinks at our local to welcome the latest addition to the team, our new director of analytics Tom Hart.

After lunch I have a catch up call with our management team where we hear from our VP Sales in North America – they’ve had a great start to the year having just closed a couple of large deals with a high profile FMCG company and global flower brand.

Weekend is here again. We have Nana staying with us, so I’m sure I’ll get home to wild excitement and the kids whipped into a frenzy.

The lowdown

Age: Ahem...40
Favourite media: Apple TV
My biggest inspiration: I read a lot of autobiographies, which I usually find inspirational, so often it depends on what I’ve read recently
Dream job: Astronaut
Not a lot of people know this about me... We have just got pet miniature pigs

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