Q&A with Shaun Polidano: ULab's new unicorn

We’re delighted to showcase our newest partner, one of Australia’s savviest marketers, the ‘Unicorn’.

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Shaun’s innate ability to dissect data and customer journeys has previously led to an Australian Effie Award and MFA Grand Prix, as well as seen him recognised as a finalist in the prestigious B&T 30 under 30.

His work show-reel is as impressive as his title. Two of our favourites feats include delivering 6,000 qualified leads for a new car launch – within 24 hours – at a cost per acquisition of just $0.66.

In another instance, his insights led to an increase in brand favourability 20 times higher than the industry benchmark. 

We love his digital smarts, passion and laugh. Our clients love his commitment and ability to sprinkle “digital magic dust” – yup, that’s a verbatim quote.

What do you do?

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My self-appointed title is Chief Digital Unicorn. I wanted a unique title that reflects my personality and channel strength as a marketer.

I've been in the industry for close to 10 years and have worked on a wide range of fantastic brands across Australia and New Zealand including Mondelez, Ford, Bupa, Nike, NAB. General Mills and BP.

I work across myriad streams taking a data-first approach to solve business and customer problems. This includes performance and programmatic marketing, Google and Microsoft ad platforms, consumer behaviour and journey analysis, wireframing and UX design.

However, what I really love doing is understanding what consumers want through a mixture of first, second, and thirty party data signals, my favourite being search data. And from there, building a strategy underpinned by the true intent of consumers.

What mantra are you living by this year?

A mantra I always live by is “do more of what makes you happy".

I have this quote written up on a chalkboard within the kitchen of my home. It's a great mantra to live one's life by, as well as to reflect on the positives within each day.

What’s the most important thing marketers can do to drive commercial outcomes?

The biggest opportunity for business: Unlocking insights from real-time data.

The biggest opportunity for business: Unlocking insights from real-time data.

There's a big opportunity for a lot of organisations to become a lot more sophisticated at how they use real-time data to formulate true consumer insights.

My other suggestions are to define what success looks like – when you know the endpoint, it enables you to perfect the execution.

And finally, don't forget to make every interaction count. The customer journey is complex and dynamic. But when you maximise every step to within an inch of its life, that’s when the magic happens.

When you do all three things well, you can exceed any business objective.

What’s a cracking book you’d recommend, or a podcast you swear by?

I don't get to read novels too often, but do suggest the 1995 memoir named "Holding The Man" written by Australian writer, actor and activist Timothy Conigrave.  

This book is a serious tearjerker that takes you through the HIV/AIDS crisis here in Australia and young love.

I also love the Hidden Brain podcast by Shankar Vedantam . It always covers great topics about consumer behaviour. And most importantly, it’s all backed by science.

Who are your go-to thought leaders, and why?

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I don't have an individual per se, but do have two fantastic, thought-provoking and inspiring channels and programs respectively: Vox and Ologies. Subscribe!

Our favourite qu: What’s your top beer or wine recommendation?

I highly recommend Four Pillars Shiraz Gin. Simply grab a whisky glass, add one big ice-cube and then pour two shots of this delicious shiraz infused gin on top.


Matt Allison is the Managing Director of Ubiquity Lab. Click here to sign up to our monthly EDM, or here to follow us on LinkedIn.

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