Pandemic and Brexit aside, 2021 is the year of what? Why?

2021 will be the year of the New Normal. I’d like to think that all the professional challenges we had to face over the last year also came with opportunities to learn. Many companies have hopefully realised the importance of a flexible work environment and that you can still maintain a successful business when your teams are working remotely. I love being in the office with my colleagues, but the liberties of a flexible work environment are something I wouldn’t want to miss.

What are the 3 most exciting things on your to do list for today?

1. Working on my session for MAD//Anywhere

2. Doing a prep call for a webinar I’m planning with our amazing customer Hootsuite

3. Training for a half marathon I’m going to run later this year

Who inspires you in adland? Why?

This might seem like an odd choice, but I’d say Ryan Reynolds (yes, the actor) and his agency Maximum Effort. Whether it’s the Deadpool films, Aviation Gin or Mint Mobile, they manage to create wacky, funny and unconventional ad campaigns that absolutely harness the potential of viral content.

What was the last ad your saw that made you buy something?

BrewDog’s Golden Can campaign. It’s like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory for beer fans. It’s also a better way of spending your money than playing the lottery, even if you don’t win you will at least have a tasty pack of beer.

What’s your all time favourite ad campaign and why

Currently that has to be the “Help Dad” campaign by the Swedish oat drink company Oatly. In multiple short clips they take the typical 'teenager vs. parent' relationship and flip it on its head. The videos still tickle me every time I watch them and they tackle the serious topic of climate change in a very humorous way.

What’s your single biggest learning of 2020?

Allow yourself a time out. When you’re working from home it’s really easy for your days to just blur into one. Take a break, go for a walk, exercise, anything that helps you clear your head. Also, pretend that it’s just a regular day in the office and get ready accordingly in the morning (unless you’re wearing your pyjamas to the office, in which case: Good for you!)

How do you plan to take your business forward in 2021? 

Last year, Highspot surpassed the 3M users milestone, connecting millions of salespeople, channel partners, services reps, and customers worldwide, representing a 100% increase in platform usage from 2019. Earlier this year, we announced our new Series E funding, bringing our valuation to $2.3B. 

Highspot’s hyper-growth has been driven by the critical role sales enablement plays in a company’s ability to improve the performance of their customer-facing teams. The importance of sales enablement has become undeniable and we want to use 2021 to take it mainstream.

What keeps you awake at night?

I’m a night owl by nature, so being awake at night is not unusual for me!

What’s the biggest opportunity in marketing and advertising right now?

The biggest opportunity has to be creating content that goes viral. I have to use Maximum Effort as a great example again. They don’t work with ridiculous budgets but instead focus on creating subversive and unconventional content that spreads like wildfire. Viral content has the potential to to be low budget yet incredibly successful.

What kind of innovation excites you the most?

Any innovation that helps with problem solving and productivity. A solution that can help me do my job as effectively as possible immediately has my attention. 

I’m sure everyone can relate to the following: You’re looking for a slidedeck you really need, but you can’t remember where it is, you stumble upon an outdated version somewhere else and before you’re wasting any more time looking around, you just create it yourself, knowing that the presentation you need is somewhere out there. 

At Highspot, we combine intelligent content management, training, contextual guidance and actionable analytics to help you find the content you need, when you need it.

Lockdown is over. The office is open. Describe your perfect working day…

The way that remote working is being facilitated in our company is amazing and I feel absolutely no negative impact on my work. However, I do really miss meeting my colleagues. I joined the company in June 2020, so our offices were already closed at that point and I haven’t had the chance to meet anyone in person yet. That’s what I’m looking forward to.

What would you most like to change about the ad industry?

I would like to see more unconventional campaigns. Too many ads follow formulaic and dull concepts that don’t really stick with the audience (at least not with me). Another great example here is the “Dumb Ways to Die” campaign by Metro Trains in Melbourne. It’s a PSA for railway safety. Sounds dull, right? Well, they made it funny and it became a viral sensation. 

What are you speaking about at MAD//Anywhere? 

My session is called: “Coffee is for Closers: Close the gap between sales and marketing and get your coffee!”

 I’m sure many marketers are too familiar with the age-old problem of misalignment between marketing and sales teams. Marketing feels like sales is not listening, sales thinks marketing is not delivering, accompanied by a whole lot of finger-pointing who is at fault here. I will talk about how marketing and sales teams can be aligned for joint success. Spoiler alert: We won’t be talking about coffee, unfortunately.

Dom is speaking at MAD//Anywhere at 11:56 on 11 March. Click here for the agenda.