Steve Jobs, great sushi and banning ‘laser focus’: Jon Schulz, CMO at technology company Viant – recently acquired by Time Inc – takes a ride on M&M Global’s Lucky 13.
1 – Summarise yourself in three words.
Challenger, energetic and team player.
2 – What made you want to pursue a career in media and marketing?
I’ve always had an interest in business from a very young age, holding many odd jobs starting at the age of 11, including newspaper boy. My aspirations to pursue accounting ended pretty quickly after I completed my first college course in the subject, and my first career path in Information Technology from a technical, programming perspective gave way to my broader passion for media and marketing in the advertising technology field.
3 – Describe your ideal client.
A great client is truly invested in improving their business and is seeking innovative partners to drive smart, accountable solutions.
4 – Name your favourite ever campaign.
For me that is easy, the ‘Imported from Detroit’ 2011 Super Bowl ad from Fiat Chrysler Automotive. It was a rare combination of powerful emotion, great music and the unbelievable ability to break through the clutter on one of the most cluttered stages in advertising – the Super Bowl.
5 – Which award win are you most proud of, and why?
Recognition as a leading solution provider for the Viant Advertising Cloud on the Forrester Wave for Video Platforms in Q4, 2015. True third-party recognition for our innovative platform that could not be purchased, only earned.
6 – Who is the best industry speaker you have seen?
Steve Jobs always had an undeniable presence and held the audience in anticipation in a way few others can or have replicated since.
7 – Which is your favourite social media platform, and why?
For me it is LinkedIn. I find the utility and information flow of LinkedIn invaluable.
8 – Where is your ideal meeting venue?
It is not so much a specific location or view, but more an environment. Away from the office for sure, but not too casual. I’ve found meetings in non-traditional venues at CES and Cannes to be some of the most informative and productive.
9 – What is your favourite restaurant?
I am fortunate to visit many cities throughout North America and Europe so I have a lot of choose from. However, my favorite would have to be a little sushi place in Newport Beach, California near our corporate headquarters call Wasa. I rarely miss an opportunity to eat there on my frequent visits to HQ.
“I could never have predicted my current career path in a million years, and don’t plan to start now”
10 – What is hot in international media and marketing, and what is not?
There is no question that the death of the cookie and move to people-based marketing is the next big wave in advertising. People should expect more from their ad spend, taking advantage of the ability to target actual people as they move between their devices. Companies with large first-party registered user databases like Viant, Facebook and Google will lead the way here and help advertisers connect with their actual customers, not proxies. Old media which more and more includes traditional network and cable television is losing is luster. Great content will always be in high demand; however, consumption patterns are changing rapidly.
11 – Which industry buzzword would you ban?
I thought it would be dead by now, but I still hear an occasional “laser focus” pop up from time to time.
12 – Where do you see yourself in 10 years’ time?
Really hard to say. I could never have predicted my current career path in a million years, and don’t plan to start now. As long as I’m doing work I enjoy, with smart people I respect and for a company I believe in, I have absolutely nothing to complain about.
13 – Finally, who would play you in a movie of your life?
Jim Carrey. We both have dark hair and are about the same height. Actually, I admire his great energy and ability to be relatable as well as funny.