The Fishbowl: Matt Salmon, Snap

The Fishbowl: Matt Salmon, Snap

The Media Leader’s interview series asks the media industry’s top salespeople 10 revealing questions, drawn from our fishbowl. The questions will be drawn at random and contain some tricky posers set by the commercial chiefs themselves.

This week is Matt Salmon, director of UK sales at Snap.

Matt Salmon joined Snap in January 2022 after spending eight years at Channel 4 where he held various sales and leadership roles.

Prior to that he worked at Hearst Magazines UK for more than 11 years across different titles and brands before becoming group commercial director in 2010.

**Peer question** What moment (or event) was the biggest turning point in your career?

In 2012 I jumped from the glossy world of magazines into TV, joining Channel 4 as head of sales — I was an avid viewer so the opportunity to marry my personal and professional lives was one I couldn’t turn down.

It was a big personal leap to leave Hearst and to dive head first into the world of TV — but I loved the learning experience and it shaped my desire to keep learning new parts of our digital media industry.

It’s the same reason why I joined Snap with the opportunity to play a pivotal role in our UK ambitions, which has opened up a whole new side of digital media for me, especially the continuous innovation our team and clients are driving through augmented reality.

** Question from Sarah Goldman, director of advertising at UKTV.

Describe three qualities that make a brilliant salesperson.

Boundless energy, positivity and a great listener.

**Peer question** If you could click your fingers and change one thing about the way your company operates, what would it be?

I don’t think this is specific to Snap but more to the media industry as a whole — I think for all businesses, navigating the post-pandemic world remotely was hugely challenging.

So much of our activity is founded on relationships and connections, and frankly there’s nothing that can truly replace the in-person time with your clients and team. Being back together in person has been energising for everyone.

**Question from Dave Randall, commercial director at Future.

What podcast do you regularly listen to and why?

This may be a controversial answer — and there of course are so many brilliant podcasts that get you thinking or help you learn — but personally, music is still my go to, so Spotify is the app you’ll find open on my phone. At the moment I’m listening to Circa Waves and Tom Grennan.

What key thing has changed in conversations with clients this year compared to last year?

While we’re still experiencing a period of economic instability, the biggest shift I’ve seen is that clients are now absolutely focused on growth — and for us at Snap, that means exploring how we can partner with them from both a brand and performance perspective.

**Peer question** If you could live in somebody else’s shoes for one day, whose would you choose?

I feel like I should give a business answer here but the honest answer right now is Mikel Arteta, Arsenal’s manager.

Football is a personal passion and I think there’s something fascinating about the decision-making process you must go through as a manager in selecting the right talent, at the right time, knowing when to play it safe or when to take a risk.

**Question from Ryan Rummery, commercial DAX director at Global.

Has selling media become easier or harder?

Harder — although I would prefer to say it’s more complex rather than hard.

The scale of choice available to marketers is much more vast, the balance of brand and performance ROI is super challenging for clients and so there is much more skill required in helping them navigate this.

But it also keeps it exciting and creates huge opportunities both for learning and for us to really drive value for the brands we partner with.

It’s all about the pace of change — when you think it can’t get quicker, it shifts again. At Snap, we’re at the sharp end of innovation, and I wouldn’t change it.

What’s the bravest thing you’ve ever done?

It’s one of the bravest professionally but also one of the proudest — during my time at Channel 4, the business launched its diversity charter which was all about driving greater representation on screen and with advertising partners.

On the Sales side, I launched the Diversity in Advertising award —  which challenged advertisers to produce really brave, bold, inclusive advertising.

The award was £1m in airtime credit to the winning advertiser, which was a huge investment — but the creative that came from it, spotlighting so many stories and perspectives from underrepresented communities, was incredible and felt like a real moment of change for our industry.

If you could take a year off from work, what would you do?

I mentioned my passion for football and part of that comes from my sons — I coach an under-9 and an under-13 team that includes  them — so I’d love to have the chance to go and build my coaching credentials.

Ideally combined with fulfilling my dream of learning to surf in Australia on Bells Beach….

**Peer question** What one bit of advice would you give someone starting their career in sales?

Selling is always the most fun part of the business — you learn, refine, grow and enhance your craft constantly.

My advice is to never lose  the hunger to learn. Build your network and the people you know and the relationships you have will grow with you through your career.

** Question from Richard Costa-D’sa, head of industry, media agency at Meta.

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