Behind the Scenes: An Interview with Colour’s CEO
Our CEO, Randy Newman, has been with Colour for nearly 8 years. We thought it was time for others to get to know him as well.
Randy is a seasoned professional in the digital advertising industry, gaining valuable knowledge that has helped him lead Colour through a global pandemic, and the launch of a new brand, Colour Health. We asked him a few questions to share his insight and expertise with you!
How did you get into advertising?
I studied marketing in university, and was always drawn to a career in advertising working for an agency; the appeal of being exposed to multiple accounts across different industries, while coming up with creative solutions on a daily basis is what really spoke to me. After I graduated, I worked a few months in ad sales for a startup while also making sure that I was sending my resume out regularly – eventually I landed an interview at a large media agency in Montreal, and knew I wanted to work there as soon as I set foot in their office. At the time, I wasn’t even aware of the role media agencies played in advertising, but my affinity for planning and numbers definitely made for a good fit!
What drew you to Colour?
I met Colour’s former CEO at an alumni event in NYC back in the Fall of 2015, we started talking about programmatic marketing and that led to frequent conversations over the coming months over coffee. By Summer of 2016, Colour had plans to open an office in NYC, and I was brought in as VP of Media & Strategy. I remember the first time I met the teams in Halifax and Toronto: what stood out was that both offices had a vibe that was friendly and without that feeling of pervasive stress that’s common in many agencies. I thought how rare a find it was to see an agency where the people actually cared about one another, and realised that I found something special.
What is your long-term vision for Colour in the developing tech world?
Our industry evolves at an extremely rapid pace, and I want us to remain at the forefront of digital media innovation so that we can continue to help our clients with their digital adoption, digital transformation, or digital acceleration. Media has changed so much over the last twenty years, and I think connecting with people via paid media is only going to get more interesting.
Branching off of that, how do you help our team connect to your vision?
I try to share everything I learn, immediately after it’s learned. With a small team, it’s easier to ensure that everyone is connected to the company mission and vision, and reiterating it in the day-to-day helps everyone internalise it.
You are in a different country than most of the team, what strategies do you employ to the team remotely? Does it open more economic opportunities for the company?
From the time I joined Colour, every hire on the digital media and strategy team has been in Canada, so I was no stranger to managing a team remotely when the pandemic hit. I think the new wfh/hybrid model is great, as it not only allows us to service clients across different borders and time zones, but also allows us to recruit based on talent rather than geography.
Now that we know a little more about Randy’s management style and philosophy, we asked him some questions about the changing landscape in digital advertising.
What is your opinion on ChatGPT and the growing AI presence in the tech industry, and its effect on marketing and advertising?
I think AI tools like ChatGPT are going to shape multiple parts of the ad tech industry:
- AI is going to impact the way consumers search for information, so tools like Google Search, which has more or less had a monopoly until now, will be forced to adapt.
- Publishers, advertisers, and agencies alike will start incorporating AI into their content generation, and the result will be lower production costs and shorter turnaround times.
- Talent. As AI starts taking over what people are doing today, those folks are going to have to adapt: we’ll likely see mid-range talent shift to different roles or even to a different industry, while top-tier talent will evolve their skill set.
How do you see the advertising industry changing in the future?
Advertising will be increasingly personalised, omnichannel strategies will have an easier time integrating with paid media, 0 & 1st-party data will be the standard and media channels will be evaluated based on their ability to ingest that data.
With Gen Z beginning to enter the workforce, we asked Randy a couple of questions to help out the younger generations just beginning their journey.
What is your advice to someone looking to start their career at an advertising agency in 2023?
When I started job hunting after graduation, I was focused on things like the size of the company and the types of clients that I’d be working with. I only really started to understand later in my career that the biggest determinant of job satisfaction was who I would be working with, and more importantly reporting to. I think when anyone starts their job hunt, they should take the time to ask about who specifically they’ll be reporting to – if that individual isn’t involved in the recruiting process, I wouldn’t waste my time on speaking with that company further!
What are some important traits of successful and supportive agencies that junior candidates should look for? do you think will be important for recruiting younger employees? What does Colour offer to Gen Z?
I think our greatest strength is developing young strategists: I’ve repeatedly seen Colour team members with less than 2 years of experience in the role doing things that most of their counterparts at other agencies wouldn’t do until they have 4 or 5 years of experience. Every time I witness something like this I’m reminded how effective our management approach has been at developing young people quickly and accelerating their careers.
As Colour navigates the ever-changing digital landscape, it’s clear to us that we are in good hands with Randy at the wheel.