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Ainul Huda is Vice President, Audience Development & Analytics at Condé Nast

 

WHAT LED YOU TO START WORKING IN DIGITAL/MEDIA PUBLISHING?

During my MBA, I was networking with an alum who articulated on how I could combine my analytics background & newly acquired finance knowledge from b-school to help with audience growth strategies within the digital/media space. I was really fascinated with the opportunity to be so close to decision making based on data & analytics, and I managed to impress the same alum to hire me at AOL in the newly formed distribution strategy team.

 

WHAT DOES A TYPICAL DAY LOOK LIKE FOR YOU?

While each day looks different given the breadth of my team’s scope at Conde Nast, I consciously balance out my time between short-term operational focus and longer-term planning. On average, 70% of my time is on core business and 30% on growth opportunities.

 

WHAT’S YOUR WORK SETUP LOOK LIKE? (YOUR APPS, PRODUCTIVITY TOOLS, ETC.)

I love having dual screens for my workstation and a whiteboard to illustrate ideas! Evernote is my go-to for planning and key points before meetings. For day to day collaboration, I use slack and google docs. And of course, I have my main dashboards up to monitor the health of the business.

 

WHAT DO YOU DO TO GET INSPIRED?

Observing how people and businesses innovate with few resources, as well as reading about how successful businesses were built.

 

WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE PIECE OF WRITING OR QUOTE?

I have a ton but highly recommend one book I have read in recent times: The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon by Brad Stone.

 

WHAT IS THE MOST INTERESTING/INNOVATIVE THING YOU HAVE SEEN ON ANOTHER OUTLET OTHER THAN YOUR OWN?

I was really impressed by how Vice Media combines deep investigation on a wide variety of topics with very contemporary and urban storytelling. Love their engaging series on HBO.

 

WHAT’S THE PASSIONATE PROBLEM YOU ARE TACKLING AT THE MOMENT?

Building and executing our digital strategy to hyper-serve our core audience. This translates to a lot of creative thinking and focused resource allocation.

 

DO YOU HAVE ANY ADVICE FOR AMBITIOUS DIGITAL PUBLISHING AND MEDIA PROFESSIONALS WHO ARE JUST STARTING OUT?

My advice would be: Understand supply and demand in terms of audience/content and monetization, leverage data, keep things simple and get comfortable with rapid change.