In this Executive Interview article Robert Brill talks about advertising, marketing and entrepreneurship.
Where did you grow up? How did your upbringing influence your career?
I grew up in Los Angeles, which is an incredible city filled with diversity, beauty, and opportunity.
When I was 14, my parents bought me my first computer. What I discovered is the world of connections that are possible through the Internet. I was, and remain to this day, so interested in the ways that people communicate. Since I was a teenager, I’ve been paying attention to both where and how people communicate.
That’s what I love about the work I do. I get to be part of an industry and ecosystem that is at the forefront of a primal human need: the need to connect, learn from others, and share common experiences. The technology evolves, but the human behaviors behind the tech are very much the same as they have ever been.
What do you see as the biggest challenge in your market?
The digital advertising business moves so fast. Looking outward, there are many technology changes, tracking and targeting developments, and ongoing sales efforts that present both challenges and opportunities.
For many agencies and small businesses alike, I think the biggest challenge is development and deployment of talent. There are few experts in this business and it’s important to find the right people – not only with expertise but also the ability to handle changes and be a good cultural fit within an organization.
Also, if you provide too much monotony in a job, employees don’t learn anything new or find their work boring. Expose them to the realities of developing real-time client solutions and customer service in a completely customized way and employees can get swept away by unpredictability. So, the challenge is: finding the right combination of structuring a team so they find a comfortable routine, while also giving them enough of a varied workload to keep them interested and engaged.
How do you continue to educate yourself?
I stay up to date through industry trade publications, podcasts, and Facebook groups. For me, the three most important points of knowledge are grouped into buckets: digital advertising, entrepreneurship, and people. With digital advertising, I’m interested in data privacy rules, technical capabilities across social platforms, ad format changes, data platforms, and the technical work focused on tracking user activities. With regards to entrepreneurship, I pay attention to the challenges and solutions that other entrepreneurs are sharing. I’m looking at business owners, C-Suite executives, and people who write books on varied experiences as sources of inspiration. Finally, with people, I’m interested in being a better arbiter of emotional IQ. A lot of this learning comes from podcasts, and one-on-one conversations, and learning from people who are smarter than me.
What role do partnerships and relationships play in your career?
Relationships are key to our business, as we partner with agencies and advertisers. When I started BrillMedia.co, my relationships were key to getting the business off the ground. One of my biggest assets is the network of professionals I have developed over the years. Speaking at events, doing good work, meeting people, and being friendly have all been key to the development of my network.
True or false? Hard work solves almost anything. Tell us why you feel this way.
Mostly yes. Talent needs to be developed, and the difference between talent and success is hard work. Hard work is important, along sometimes with reflection, clarity, and pattern recognition. A little luck never hurt anyone either.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I’m super excited about BrillMedia.co’s recent Inc. 5000 designation. Their annual ranking just came out and Inc.’s recognition of our team and our hard work with clients has felt incredible. I’m proud of my team and how they have come together. They have been instrumental in developing process and creating a standing set of protocols that help our organization operate effectively.
On a personal note, I’m most proud of my 8-month son. He’s amazing – sweet, smart, and silly!
What’s next in your career?
I’m going to continue growing and improving BrillMedia.co. We’re looking for bigger platforms and larger challenges to solve. I can’t wait to see what is next!
What advice do you have for our readers?
Do what you love. Leverage the immense social media distribution opportunities that are free to you and all of us. Use digital advertising to test products, locations, and messages for your business. Deploy emotional intelligence. Focus on process. Keep learning. Keep smiling. Embrace the process.
Is it possible for our readers to hire you or work with your team?
Of course! They can reach out to me at [email protected] or (818)720-1632.