Me in Merkle is a series of interviews that showcase the incredible individuals who make Merkle a unique and diverse place to work. This week we chatted to Jonathan Cozens, programmatic manager, at Merkle EMEA.
1. Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up and where do you live now?
I grew up in a small village in Somerset, then moved to Australia when I was 11. I came back to the UK to go to University in Aberdeen and Manchester, and now live in London. I’d love to say I’m still a country boy at heart, but the truth is my happiness is massively reliant on convenient flat white access these days.
2. What drew you to your current career?
I studied Psychology at school and university, and have always been interested in consumer behaviour. Why do only some brands form emotional connections with customers and why do I only trust Fairy liquid are questions that have always intrigued me. I wrote my dissertation on the idea of “banner blindness” and why early internet advertising was largely terrible, which led to reading some research on the virtues of Programmatic buying and it snowballed from there.
3. Why Merkle?
I’d seen Merkle at a careers fair, so it was a familiar name when I was looking for jobs out of uni. I came down to London for an interview, and the smart and funny Programmatic team members I met really sold the company to me on day one.
4. What do you enjoy most about programmatic and what do you think future developments will be?
It’s always growing and evolving as an industry, which means you are constantly learning and innovating to stay relevant. A large amount of what I learnt in my first year is now out of date. Even on a shorter timeframe, my day to day is rarely the same, which keeps things fresh. It’s a really interesting time for the industry at the moment, with a digital-savvy public supporting increased regulation of their own data, a lot of the rules are being re-written. Brands, agencies and industry partners are having to overcome these challenges together, to ensure we can operate efficiently and sustainably in the future. I also think we are still yet to see Programmatic buying really take off in TV and Out Of Home advertising, and these will both have a massive impact on the scale of the industry moving forward.
5. What would your advice be to someone considering a career in Programmatic?
I, and most of my colleagues, didn’t really know what Programmatic was on our first day either. Give it a go.
6. What is your greatest accomplishment?
There are a couple of industry awards on my bookshelf, but I sound less arrogant if I say it’s the number of excellent friends I’ve made working at Merkle (it’s also true).
7. Tell us a bit about your experience so far with Merkle.
It’s been a whirlwind four years – moving to London, working with some huge household names, adjusting to flexible working from home, and meeting some really smart and interesting people along the way.
8. What inspires you about Merkle’s workplace culture?
There is a really collaborative and supportive team culture at Merkle. Everyone pushes each other to succeed and help is always on hand when you need it.
9. What was your dream job growing up?
I wanted to be a vet, I’ve not made much progress yet.
10. Rapid fire:
a. How do you like your eggs? Scrambled slowly.
b. What are you currently watching on Netflix/Prime? Kingdom. If you like zombies and subtitles I highly recommend it.
c. What’s your guilty pleasure? Country Music while I work.
d. What is your dream holiday destination? Alaska
e. Best advice or mantra you live by? “Risk comes from not knowing what you’re doing”.