Worked in: London, New York, Stockholm and Boston. (Matt’s never lived anywhere that wasn’t cold.)
Matt has built his career at the intersection between marketing and technology. As Managing Partner, Global Chief Digital Officer at Arnold, Matt leads digital teams across the agency's global micro-network to ensure digital capabilities are integrated throughout each office. Arnold Worldwide, a global communications company, now has 18 offices in 15 countries. It is one of the top five most creatively awarded agencies of the past decade.
He arrived at Arnold from Modernista!, where he spent three years, most recently as President. While there, he ran the interactive group and successfully integrated digital practices into the core of the agency's offering.
Previously, Matt worked at R/GA and was responsible for award-winning work for Nike+, NikeiD and the Nike Online Store. He was also a part of the agency's expansion into Stockholm, Sweden. Matt began his career in traditional advertising at Ogilvy & Mather in London before transitioning to digital marketing in 1996. Since this time, he has overseen work for clients ranging from AT&T to Sony to Cadillac to Prada.
Over his career, Matt’s work has taken top honors at Cannes, the One Show, the Clios, and others. He also sits on the Board of Directors at Boulder Digital Works at the University of Colorado, where he is a frequent lecturer.
Dictionary definitions aside, how would you characterize innovation in the work you do? I think the most important aspect of my job is creating an environment where bright, restless, motivated people can create their best work. So, much of my focus on innovation is directed toward creating opportunity and an environment where smart thinking can be realized. That means stripping away unnecessary process, sidelining unhelpful people, and working to provide access to skills, tools and technology necessary to bring beautiful, innovative ideas into the world.
What is the biggest challenge you face in applying innovative thinking to international projects? The greatest challenge is in finding the people capable of coming up with and executing breakthrough, innovative ideas. We’ve got some remarkable people in our agency, but we always need more. If the internet has taught us anything, it’s that great ideas can transcend geography and culture.
What role does innovation play in your marketing strategy today? Innovation plays a leading role in our approach to marketing strategy-- both in service to our clients and ourselves. Our agency is competing for talent with creative and technology start-ups from around the world. Our work needs to reflect the complexity, the ambition and the innovation to attract the most interesting and creative minds from around the globe.
Any other interesting aspects to your international background? I am a lifelong depressive, and as such, a lover of Russian literature and history. After leaving R/GA’s [then] Stockholm office in 2001, I spent a month in Russia in museums, on literary tours, a 4-day trip on the trans-Siberian railway, and making wobbly exits from more drinking establishments than I’m able to remember.