Mark Slade, CEO of location verification platform Location Sciences, defines his way of doing business and what advice he would give to someone starting out today
What do you currently do?
As the CEO of Location Sciences, my role is to drive growth for the business. As location data specialists, I head up the team focussed on delivering transparency in location data used for advertising.
Although we are a listed company, we are still effectively a start-up. We are a small team, but we have fantastic talent in areas such as artificial intelligence and programmatic advertising. The latest algorithms the team are developing blows my mind!
We help media agencies and brands to verify the authenticity of location data and deliver more impactful location-targeted campaigns.
What was the inspiration behind your business?
In 2007, before joining Location Sciences, I co-founded the first mobile advertising company, 4th Screen Advertising, which kick started my career in the world of ad tech.
Being from the sector, I was hugely aware of the spend that brands put behind their location-based marketing campaigns. Location Sciences was started to address this, and ensure brands and agencies get more out of their location advertising. It’s all about driving better performance and improving return on investment.
Who do you admire?
Stewart Butterfield, the person who founded Slack, for his business smarts. He sold his first start-up, Flickr, to Yahoo for more than $20 million back in 2005. I have followed his movements ever since.
Looking back is there anything you would have done differently?
Delegate more! I tend to get tangled up in weeds and as a CEO you need to keep looking at the big picture and questioning yourself on whether what we are doing is adding value. Hiring the right management team is so you can take a back seat and don’t need to be in the detail so much. I can then focus on ensuring the team and customers are happy.
What defines your way of doing business?
If I’m honest, I never see the point in starting a commercial negotiation at a point where you know the other side can’t move with you. First steps first – work out what works for the other side first and fit that into your positioning. You don’t have to go back and forth on negotiations if you get a deal that works first time.
What advice would you give to someone starting out?
Trust your gut because 90% of the time you will be right. Don’t worry about making mistakes, just make sure you learn from them.