Matt Syrett is what we here call a FOMP (Friend of MProfs). A regular writer for the site, Matt will also be leading his first virtual seminar next month, on online branding. As Matt says, the seminar "attempts to distill my six years of experience building brands online into a concise 90 minutes." Not an easy task, but Matt's unique and varied background suggests this seminar will be both interesting and informative.
Ann: You know, there are quite a few Matt Syretts in Google. Will the real Matt Syrett please stand up?
Matt: Most of them are me, or were me. I have five life lines on my hand and my career shows it. I started as an archaeologist studying social complexity. I then became a geographer working with computerized maps and GIS. This work allowed me to get involved pre-Web with Internet development, which enabled me to ride the Internet bubble of the 1990s as a technology director.
Somehow, in the middle of all that, I also developed high-resolution 3-D modeling of urban environments and got mixed up in advertising.
Ann: How so?
Matt: Once I got involved in advertising through its technology, I was drawn naturally and immediately into the strategy and practice of advertising. I could not help myself and I have never looked back.
I like to think that I was born to be an ad man. It just took me some time to realize it.
Ann: Much of your writing ("The Psychology of Advertising Failure," "Why We Fail at Intimacy...") is critical of the way advertisers and marketers approach their work.
Matt: I think that all my writing at its heart is critical. My writings are born of my frustrations at seeing things done wrong.
I think the biggest problem with our current approach is that many practitioners sleepwalk through their work. They just don't think through their actions and so make messes of their advertising. It is not a way that I like to do business, so I write about it to work through my deep frustrations about the situation. It's cheaper than therapy.
Ann: What's floating your boat these days?