It’s time to get all strategic as we take a gander into the world of Joe Lunn, chief strategy officer at Mindshare.
Who do you think is the best strategist in Australia and/or the world?
Stephen Farquhar and Sean Healy. I was fortunate enough to work with both of them while overseas, and having had exposure to hundreds of strategists around the world over the past 16 years, I have no doubt they are two of the best.
What’s different in a strategy role today compared to five years ago?
Five years ago I’d just moved into a regional strategy role in Paris, so for starters, everyone was speaking French. That was unhelpful. I’d say the main difference today is the richness of cultural and category-specific behavioural data we have at our finger-tips. The purpose of strategy is to create positive behavioural change, and we can’t do that by basing our thinking on generic media and demographic metrics.
In the recent B&T salary survey, strategy positions came out as the most overpaid jobs – what do you think of that?
Sounds awesome! I guess my response would be ‘relative to what’? There has always been a shortage of experienced strategists in Australia, especially home-grown, however it’s up to the market to decide what value that person can bring to an agency. Strategy has always been a priority for Mindshare, and I’m really excited about the team we now have in place. Our ambition is to identify and nurture young strategic talent from within the agency, while attracting the best senior talent from Australia and around the globe.
Describe your average day?
We now have over a dozen strategists across Sydney and Melbourne, so a large part of my day is spent with the teams providing feedback and coaching. The rest of my time is divided between meeting clients and partners, finding inspiration in unusual places and providing thought leadership. I’m trying to achieve an even balance between people, partners and our product, but it’s easier said than done!
Do you ever shout at managers or referees during spots on TV because their strategy is crap?
I’m a long-suffering Wallabies fan, so there’s been no shortage of things to shout about over the past decade or so.
What are the biggest threats and opportunities to today’s strategists?
Technology is both our biggest threat and our greatest opportunity. As more and more marketing decisions become led by attribution modelling, the onus will be on strategists to apply technology and data to prove their value to the client’s business above and beyond pure media decisions.
What advice would you give to your 20-year-old self?
Reply to that recruiter from Google.