Opinion

24 Hours With… IAB Singapore CEO Miranda Dimopoulos

Miranda Dimopoulos24 Hours With… spotlights the working day of some of the most interesting people in Mumbrella Asia’s world. Today, we hear about a day in the life of Miranda Dimopoulos, the chief executive of the Interactive Advertising Bureau of Singapore.

5:30am. I’m awoken by the sound of my dog (Prince) vomiting. Inspired to create a range of alarm clocks with sounds that get you out of bed immediately.

5:32am. False alarm – hairball.

6:45am. Real alarm goes off. I work out three mornings a week with a personal trainer and do sprints myself in the gym three mornings a week. I’d like to be able to say this with the smugness of a semi professional athlete, but as I’m only two months into my new routine I am still like a fat kid stumbling after the ice cream truck. Except the ice cream is dairy free and made out of air, hope and chia seeds.

7:45am. The most important part of the day; rubbing Prince’s belly and telling him how handsome he is.

7:50am. Double espresso and catching up on the Daily Show whilst I get ready for the day. I have my morning routine down and am out the door in 15 minutes. Any more effort is a total waste because humidity.

8:05am. Being a super lean team, travel time is no longer for admiring our beautiful city en route to work but for catching up on emails, calls and the news.

Pat, Khai and Miranda

Pat, Khai and Miranda

8:30am. The first meeting of the day is an internal one with Pat [Tong], our head of education and Khai [Kamal], our marketing, operations and partnerships manager. We’re doing a total brand refresh at the IAB to refine the content since we’ve quintupled in membership in the past two years. We also touch base on where we are at with regional and local activities.

9:00am. Now to tackle viewability in Southeast Asia. A couple of weeks ago we rounded up the MDs, head analysts and data scientists from Google, LinkedIn, Facebook, MEC, SPH, PubMatic, Xaxis and Starcom to do a deep dive on the topic and come to solutions. We were breaking down how SEA compares to other markets and what metric we should use to test for true views. We have published an article recently on the results of the chat. Just finalising the test with our board member, Joe Nguyen (APAC VP of Comscore) and give him a call to chat inventory – this is sexy stuff.

11:00am. It’s time to — hold my breath — read our attendee feedback for the ad blocking and ad fraud IAB FYI Series a few weeks ago. I open up the report and it turns out to be the highest ranking session we’ve had this year. Seriously, I didn’t just make this up for the article.

During the session, we had senior level members from Mediacorp, Adknowledge, Vivaki, Comscore and Amobee talk about whether ad fraud and blocking was as big as a drama that media made it out to be, then discussed what measures we could take as an industry to combat it. Now I’m editing the summary that was written about it. So watch this space.

12:00pm. Time for a call with IAB chairman, Tobias [Wilson, CEO of APD Singapore] and regional MD of Nick [Erskine-Shaw] from 90 seconds, about some content we are creating. You’ve all seen Carpool Karaoke and Comedians in Cars?

Prepare yourselves for CEOs on Cycles where we hit the East Coast on multi person bikes and find out how the leaders of our industry got to where they are. We want to inspire junior and mid career moves with the diversity of backgrounds of CEOs. Talent is a huge focus for us this year and this is just one of our approaches to help raise the bar.

1:00pm. Lunch. Salad at the desk. There’s too much ground to cover today and I have to dash to a quick catch up with the EDB. We liaise with the Singapore government bodies regularly and it’s great to stay across what we are both up to and how we can collaborate.

2:00pm. Another call. This time it’s a favour. An IAB member wants an introduction to a friend from a big brand. Being well-connected in the industry means many of my personal calls have to do with someone asking for an introduction, recommendation, or a referral. It’s a rewarding part of my job to be able to help and link other people… if they ask nicely. If they’re an IAB member though, there’s no question.

3:30pm. I receive an email for a speaking opportunity. I pass on most of these unless they are to do with championing the IAB mission and how it’s transforming the region to encourage investment. Otherwise there are far more entertaining people than me!

Being a not-for-profit, speaking ops need to have a relevant business case. I feel a responsibility to ensure that we spend our time (and money) wisely in ways that directly benefit the growth of the IAB and achieving our mission of growing investment in digital. As much as I’d love to hang out and sun myself in Bali, it’s a no-go this time.

4:00pm. Catch up with the co-chairs of the measurement and standards committee, Suzanne (Claasen, APAC agency business lead, Google) and Peter (Hubert, head of insights APAC, LinkedIn) and their IAB board rep Tobias to do a final run through of the measurement and guidelines we are about to publish for mobile, video, social and content. They also update me on a major project they are embarking on developing talent standards. This committee is absolutely killing it and make my IAB heart burst with pride. I text Su Lin (Tan, VP, digital, Singapore Press Holdings) our vice chair an update to share the love.

5:15pm. I get a text from my friend Phil [Townend], the APAC MD at Unruly. He wants my opinion on their new future video lab before they launch so invites me over for a sneak peek.

One of the coolest things about my job is developing relationships with our members and learning about all the innovative stuff they’re developing. It’s nice being their first port of call for opinion and advice.

6:00pm. I am spending the end of the day screening which startups will be invited to our new Tech Tuesday event. Khai has had an overwhelming number of people reach out to him about participating. He runs me through where they are. The start ups then go through the IAB committee for approval. We also run through the agenda for our upcoming training curated by the programmatic committee.

6:40pm. Time for (non-alcoholic) margaritas and tacos. I catch up with my friends, most of us work in the industry, so it’s a great time to bounce ideas off one another. I like knowing about the struggles other people in the industry are facing and if there is a way the IAB can help. That’s how we came up with Tech Tuesday.

One night I was introduced to a start up founder who said she was having a hard time networking with senior-level industry leaders to get a bigger picture of the industry. She had said, ‘I would love to have a coffee with Olivier from your board or Jo Flint from Google.’ And so Tech Tuesdays was born.

Prince9:30pm. It’s not a late one since tomorrow is a busy day and sadly will still be cheese-free (refer back to ice cream truck metaphor). On the way home I have a call with Virginia who is the VP of events for IAB US as we have a super-exciting-top-secret idea to discuss. We update each other on our puppies latest antics and how David Duchovny goes to the same dog park as her in New York.

10:00pm. I get home to the best delivery ever; a giant oil painting of my dog in full military regalia. It is even more magnificent than I imagined.

10:30pm. I’m a voracious reader and knock off a few chapters of my latest book. I really shouldn’t read thrillers before going to sleep (did you hear that?!) but I was recommended The One That Got Away by a trusted friend. I alternate between fiction and non fiction but if there is a new rock n roll biography out it goes to the top of the list. Especially if it is by a member of Motley Crue.

Then duty calls: Prince rolls over for a belly rub to signal that work is over and my real job begins.

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