Ian is driven by a passion for what lies at that intersection of creativity and commerce. From a past in traditional television advertising to a future in marketing automation, Ian has been part of this odyssey and travelled the world in the process.
He has worked with advertising legends like the Saatchi brothers, sold a new media company to the Murdoch’s and shared the boardroom with Silicon Valley’s most clever minds.
From shooting TV ads in the Moroccan desert, to signing rock stars for mobile brands, to joining a startup in Facebook’s original office, Ian has many experiences to draw upon.
But it all had to start somewhere….
After graduating with an MBA, Ian started his advertising career at Colenso Auckland in the late 80’s. He then joined Saatchi & Saatchi, rising through the ranks to eventually become the NZ CEO.
In 2003 he moved to London, working out of Saatchi’s iconic Charlotte St offices, as Worldwide Account Director for T-Mobile, Lexus and Bacardi. He then moved to WPP, one of the world’s largest marketing services company, as the Global Account Lead for Nokia, covering 24 markets.
In 2009 he co-founded ChannelFlip a video on demand channel, based on advertiser funded programming, that grew to one of the most popular video channels in the UK. It was then sold to Elisabeth Murdoch’s Shine Group.
Ian then became a founding shareholder and Chief Marketing Officer for Findly, a San Francisco based recruiting software firm. Findly was majority sold to Silicon Valley private equity giant Symphony Technology Group, in 2013.
Ian has returned to New Zealand as he passionately believes that there should be more Kiwi businesses on the world stage and it’s time to play a part in making that happen. He is now an enterprise marketing consultant and is living in the Hawkes Bay.
His speaking topics include 'Lessons from a Kiwi ad man in Silicon Valley.'
- Silicon Valley is a pressure cooker environment where winning technologies that capture hearts and minds, win big.
- Being in Silicon Valley allowed him to see first-hand the sweet spots and the pitfalls of marketing a business in this ultra competitive quest for hearts, minds, money and power.
He also recently had his book published called 'In the Groove: Applying the Principals of Jazz to Business' which went straight to number one on Amazon. Ian found that business is like jazz where the rules are there to be broken. It’s only through constant reinvention – and even mistakes – that breakthroughs happen and legends are created.
His approach to business and marketing (like jazz) follows these four principles:
1. Passion and Purpose – love your customer and understand the role you play in their lives.
2. Keep discovering – the answers lie in a relentless analysis of the market dynamics and opportunities.
3. Improvisation – be prepared to change course when required.
4. No hierarchy – good ideas can come from anywhere so team dynamics must be structured for this.
If Kiwi businesses want to both thrive and take on the world, this is part of the journey they need to take.