This Is What I Do: Ian Dowds, Specific Media

Ian Dowds, vice-president, Specific Media
Ian Dowds, vice-president, Specific Media

Ian Dowds is vice-president of Specific Media

What does your job involve?
Spreading the gospel of Specific Media and educating agencies and clients on the benefits of behavioural targeting. I try to provide some direction to people who actually seem to know better than me which way they should be heading.  

What's it like working at Specific Media?

It is lively, exuberant, positive and focused on over-delivering results and gold-standard customer service. Oh, and young. I've raised the average age a couple of notches, that's for sure.

What qualifications and experience do you need?

No specific academic qualifications are required, but an ability to communicate, being at ease with change, a willingness to learn and confidence with numbers all certainly help.

How do you spend a typical day?
Alarm at 6am. Coffee for Mrs Dowd at 6.15am. Breakfast and packed lunch for three junior Dowds before running to station or cycling to work at 7am. E-mails, tea and toast at desk at 8.15am, before internal meeting at 9.15am and external agency meeting at 11am. Sandwich at desk before responding to agency from morning's meeting. Trade press, e-mails, problem-solving, strategising, forecasting, laughing and learning to fill the afternoon, before I head home at around 6.30pm.  

What's the best thing about your job?
We're all learning together all the time. I never feel I have to know the right answer to everything all the time (which I never do). Beer o'clock on a Friday also has its merits.

And the worst?
Never knowing the right answer.

What keeps you awake at night?
Scotland's under-achievement at rugby and Southampton's inability to keep a clean sheet.

Who helped you get where you are?

Alex McDevitt (UTV) and Simon Cox (Turner Media) showed me how to mix hard work with fun, and Tim Bleakley (CBS Outdoor) showed me that it pays to avoid getting too comfortable. Colin Petrie-Norris is the reason I'm at Specific Media, so he gets a nod too.

Who do you aspire to be like?
Winston Churchill - I envy such courage of conviction - and Finlay Calder, former captain of Scotland and the Lions.

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