5 Questions with the Speakers of AR: Creatives in Tech (pt 2)

Assembly Required: Creatives in Tech is fast approaching, we want to introduce you to a few more of our speakers! This week, meet Cathy Novelli and John Jones. Get to know them a little better and get a taste of what you’ll hear at Assembly Required next week!

Meet the Speakers


Cathy Novelli


Cathy Novelli serves as the Global Head of Corporate Marketing at QuantcastIn this role, she is responsible for the growth of Quantcast’s brand via owned, earned and paid media, marketing operations, and industry partnerships.

Cathy has two decades of experience in media, advertising and marketing. Prior to joining Quantcast, Cathy held senior leadership roles at Pandora, Yahoo, MySpace and Say Media. Before she led ad strategy and marketing at these various online publishers, she spent years in advertising sales, as well as on the agency side, planning and buying media for clients such as Hewlett Packard and GM (Saturn).

1. How has developing technology changed your industry? 

Advertising technology has, in the last couple years, really destroyed the purpose and impact of advertising. Two key trends are particularly concerning: (1) The digital ad industry values what it can measure vs placing value on what is truly of value. For instance, the industry values clicks – but they rarely look at, or measure, WHO is clicking. And (2) we have more data than ever – brands are drowning in it; so much so that they have spent billions of dollars on data management tech, which has provided limited, to no, value. Brands have so much data but aren’t gaining insights or value from it.

That said, I see both of those disturbing trends as ones easily addressed with AI. I believe AI will allow us to better measure what is of true value to growing a brand – and it will see the patterns in the data that yield actionable insights and opportunities that allow marketers to get back to marketing (and get out of the tech + data weeds).

2. What is one change you’ve made in your life that has made the world of a difference?

Cut out (most) school night drinking.

3. What advice would you give yourself at the outset of your career?

Don’t dwell on mistakes you made. Everyone makes mistakes – immediately own it, write (on paper – it sticks with you better) what you will do to avoid it happening again, forgive yourself, then try to push it out of your head. Dwelling on it only hurts you. Chances are your boss (and/or whoever else) quickly forgot about it; you should too.

4. Who inspires you, and why?

Oprah Winfrey – She’s Oprah! That speech – her life – her courage. All of it!

Or John Oliver, simply because he inspires/motivates me to take some civic action nearly every single week.

5. What is a belief that you have that others may challenge you on?

Most people are generally aligned. Whether politics or in business – when you peel the onion, people have more in common than not; they are just informed differently. It’s always better to give the benefit of the doubt to others and have clear, motivating expectations to measure and inspire improvement. Everything else works out for the better from there.

John Jones

Senior Vice President of Public Policy & Government Relations at CenturyLink, Mr. Jones serves on the board of directors and the executive committee, and chairs the Technology Council for the Louisiana Association of Business and Industry. He also serves on the boards of the Council for A Better Louisiana, the Louisiana Telecommunications Association, and the Governor’s Workforce Investment Council and is a past board member of the Public Affairs Research Council of Louisiana.

1. What advice would you give yourself at the outset of your career?

I would say to not underestimate the long-term value of pro-actively developing your personal network of relationships at all age levels and demographics early in your life. Many of the jobs I’ve had, including the one I have now happened because someone in my network recommended me to the persons making the hiring decision.

Learn to look for gaps in organizations that may require being alert, applying initiative and common sense in solving a problem, improving a  process or adding value to the department or overall organization.

Communicate clearly, concisely, frequently and accurately. Mastery of English grammar tends to stand out.

Recognize the value of working in a team rather than being an individual contributor.

2. What is one change you’e made in your life that has made the world of a difference?

I try to listen more than I talk.

3. What do you think is the most important development in technology in the last 5 years?

The pace in which technology is evolving, but more granularly, I would have to say ultra-high speed connectivity and artificial intelligence are allowing us to do more and more in the areas of innovation, entertainment and commerce.

4. Who inspires you, and why?

My CEO because of his achievements for our company, but I have 168 employees.  I have several who provide great counsel as well as overcome some huge obstacles to get good outcomes.

5. What is a belief that you have that others may challenge you on?

Emotional intelligence trumps a Type A personality in the workplace most of the time.

Chew on that for awhile! I know I will. At least until I get to see these two speak in person. I hope you enjoyed reading these bits of wisdom from Mr. Jones and Ms. Novelli and are even more pumped to see them IRL.

Don’t forget to follow ThreeSixtyEight and Assembly Required on social media, and keep up with this blog for more info!

Our new conference series, Assembly Required, is in full swing. Tickets for innovators in Food are available now.