Andie Potter On What It Means To Be A Woman In The AdTech Industry

Andie Potter On What It Means To Be A Woman In The AdTech Industry

With more than ten years of experience in media and marketing, Andie Potter is a passionate and experienced leader who delivers growth and innovation across digital paid and owned channels.

Women Leading Tech (WLT) sat down with the Women Leading Tech award winner, Potter, to discuss how PHD incorporates technology and what it means to be a woman in the tech industry.

WLT: Can you tell us how PHD incorporates tech to support brand growth?

Potter: At PHD, we work hard to identify key trends that drive disproportionate growth for our clients and invest in developing capabilities to address these areas specifically. So technology is ingrained in every facet of how PHD operates… From planning and media buying to digital transformation strategies and measurement, we leverage market-leading technology to drive the efficiency and effectiveness of the tools we employ in these processes.

Omni Studio, our proprietary planning tool, is one of our most advanced technologies. In straightforward terms, it provides a real-time platform for our people to collaborate and build campaigns for clients – from research, growth mapping, and audience building to channel selection and optimisation.

The significance of Omni Studio lies in its ability to enhance efficiency, agility, and effectiveness. By operating within a unified platform, we can integrate all the essential data points needed to make informed business decisions for our clients that power brand growth.

WLT: You’ve been in the AdTech world for quite some time now. Can you give us some background on your experience in that world and how it has changed in recent years?

Potter: I’ve been immersed in the Ad Tech world for more than a decade now, with my journey starting in Spain, where I was born and raised, before moving to Australia 7 years ago.

Throughout the years, I’ve had the privilege of working with really exciting brands like Toyota, Disney, Volkswagen Group, and, most recently, Virgin Australia. A highlight has been leading “Virgin Australia’s Real-Time Routes,” which earned PHD 6 industry-wide awards in 2022, Best Use of Real-time Marketing at MFA and Best Use of Digital Media at Festival of Media Global.

Regarding your question, on ‘How much has the Ad Tech space changed in recent years?’ I say SO much! I believe marketing communications are more complicated now than ever before. There is a cumulative list of forces that have and are impacting our industry today: from cookie deprecation, impending privacy regulations, the acceleration of AI, and the massive acceleration of tech and data platforms. These forces, combined with the disruption to our workforce post-pandemic, have resulted in businesses re-evaluating their priorities and shifting towards technology, privacy, ethical practices and sustainability.

But, to be honest, I think many of the practices we had been deploying for years were obsolete and unethical (i.e. our use of data), so I am thrilled to see some change happening.

WLT: As a woman in the tech and advertising world, what is your biggest challenge in your day-to-day role at PHD?

Potter: This is a topic I am extremely passionate about. AdTech and MarTech are still very much male-dominated industries. Even in the media industry, where 62 per cent of us are women, we are still under-represented in leadership roles. So, there’s still so much work to do to ensure the workplace is inclusive for women at all levels.

We all know that the high-pressure nature of our jobs can take a toll on our mental health and well-being, but this is especially true for women who are often also responsible for family care.

Last year, I had to work remotely from Spain for six months while taking care of my mum during her palliative treatment. It was a challenging time that made me realise the immense pressure many women face. Our

personal and professional lives are deeply intertwined, and the struggles we encounter at home often go unnoticed by those around us.

While I’ve felt incredibly supported at PHD, I think it’s important to acknowledge that extended periods away from work inevitably affect professional progression. And again, given women are (in the vast majority of cases) the ones who take on these responsibilities, we are the ones who sacrifice our seniority and pay progression opportunities throughout our careers.

WLT: What is PHD doing to empower women hoping to enter your field?

Potter: When I started in the industry, most tech specialists in my workplace were men, and it was quite daunting to find myself as either the sole woman or one of a few in the room. Many of my female peers at the time went on to pursue roles outside of the industry because of that lack of representation, sexism and, quite frankly, often a ‘Bro culture’.

Now, over 60 per cent of ad-tech and digital specialists at PHD are women. This is an incredible shift because when people see themselves visibly represented, they are more likely to feel comfortable applying for a role or pursuing a career in that field.

We actively empower all people at PHD through various initiatives:

  • Sponsor and Mentorship Programs: PHD offers outstanding mentorship programs to people within the agency, irrespective of gender. I’ve benefited significantly from female sponsors who have advocated for me and played a pivotal role in shaping my career.
  • Creating a safe and flexible environment for women: Recognizing the different life experiences of men and women, we acknowledge that women often take on caregiving responsibilities outside of work. PHD provides unmatched flexibility and support to its employees, understanding the importance of accommodating the diverse needs that each PHDer might have.
  • Advocacy and recognition: We actively advocate for the accomplishments of women within our organisation, whether through internal channels or by participating in industry awards that highlight the contributions of women in ad tech and digital specialties. Over the last few years, multiple women at PHD have been recognised for their amazing work across B&T Women of the Year and B&T Women leading tech awards.

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