First Movers: Mark Power

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Mark Power is a colorful and gregarious Australian and a digital veteran who has been building brands and driving innovation for 25 years. He is now applying his extensive experience to the world of Amazon and eCommerce as the founder of Podean, a dynamic agency and consultancy that delivers holistic Amazon solutions and solves profitability for brands globally.

He is also the author of the groundbreaking book Amazon for CMOs and speaks regularly on Amazon and the marketplace imperative. 

Why did you choose to pursue eCommerce in your career? It was an obvious path for me as it leverages my many years of broader marketing experience globally, spanning digital, advertising, media, brand, creative, content, data, commerce and innovation. To truly succeed in eCommerce now you need all these capabilities working together. 

What is your biggest strength, and how have you used it for your success in eCommerce? My biggest strength is I am convincing and can get people to believe in my vision. I have used this conviction to challenge our clients to do things differently in the world of Amazon and eCommerce. The results we are generating for our clients who believed and embraced a new approach now speak for themselves. 

What is the weirdest skill or talent to come in handy in your eCommerce experience? My scrappy nature is perfect for helping clients be successful in the complex and dynamic world of Amazon and eCommerce.

How have you most successfully influenced change within your organization (or with your clients)? As the Founder and CEO of Podean I am enjoying creating the agency of the future and challenging how things are done, and loving involving our whole team globally in shaping the company.

What was your most “valuable” career failure, and why? I have had several start-ups that never took off. 

In the last five years, what new belief, behavior or habit has most improved your life? Being open-minded.

What are you learning right now? We are diving deep into the world of live streaming and the huge potential this space has in eCommerce.  

What are the 1-3 songs that would make up your career soundtrack today?

  • Alive by Pearl Jam
  • Down Under by Men At Work
  • My Wave by Soundgarden

What are the 1-3 books you’ve gifted the most or that have greatly influenced your life, and why?

  • The Magic of Thinking Big by David Schwartz: The title says it all.
  • The Prize by Daniel Yergin: The history of oil and how it has shaped modern society and world politics.
  • Amazon For CMOs by Kiri Masters & Mark Power: Yes, I was Co-Author of this book, but it does give senior execs the insights they need to understand the strategic imperative that is Amazon and can highly recommend it ????

If you could have a gigantic billboard for the world to see with anything on it, what would it say, and why? Don’t sweat the small stuff.

Something my Mom reminds me of regularly but a hugely important mindset particularly in these turbulent times.

What are the worst recommendations or advice you have heard related to eCommerce? The relentless focus on ACoS and ROAS that all Amazon agencies push and live by. The focus should be on profit.

What advice would you give to a future leader of change about to enter business, or specifically the eCommerce field? Dive into the deep and start swimming. Be open-minded and embrace being challenged. Surround yourself by people cleverer and more knowledgeable than you and learn from them. 

What specific, industry-related change do you believe will happen that few others seem to see? Two changes:

Amazon Profitability: with Amazon now a strategic imperative for brands, it will become under more scrutiny by the c-suite. CEOs and CFOs want to understand its contribution to the bottom line, but due to its complexity and siloed nature, it is had to quantify its exact profit contribution. Expect new solutions, partners and technologies (and Amazon competitors) to emerge to solve the profit challenge.

Innovation as the Norm: I have always challenged my clients, teams, partners and the industry to innovate – to look ahead, be ahead of the trends and continually test and learn. It still blows my mind that so many brands and marketers are not equipped to innovate and are fundamentally risk averse. Leaders across all industry categories will now make innovation a high priority and there will be a new breed of executives and marketers to navigate the innovation journey.

What is the last thing you bought online, and why? LOT’S of furniture. Just moved to Newport Beach in California after 8 years in New York. Had a whole house to fill!

First Movers is a change leader interview series featuring select industry pioneers who are boldly driving the evolution of digital commerce, the consumer and everything in between.

Categories: First Movers