NMI’s Guide to Delivering a Winning Training Session

May 14, 2018 — by Lauren Jones0


Picture this.

It’s 2 pm at the end of a busy week and you’re in an industry training session. The room is stuffy, the coffee is weak and watching paint dry would be more interesting.

We’ve all been there at more than one point in our careers. A badly facilitated training session is a grim experience for the learner and even worse for the facilitator.

At NMI, we’re passionate about our subject matter and often have enthusiastic learners attend our trainings. But we don’t rely on those things to drive engagement. Our trainers have a wealth of experience in the education and training sector and have picked up a fair few tips along the way.

So, in case you ever have to facilitate ”Disposing of Household Waste 101” (yes, I once had to run that very course), we thought we’d share our top tips on delivering a winning training session.

1) Consider how adults learn

Adult learning theories, such as Knowles’s 4 Principles of Andragogy, tell us that we don’t passively absorb information in the way kids do. Adult learners have much more complex needs and embody a variety of learning styles. A powerful facilitator will employ different teaching methods such as asking questions, starting discussions or running activities, polls and quizzes.

2) Create an outstanding learner experience

The learner experience encompasses everything from registration to application. If a facilitator misses the mark for any of the components involved in learning, the learner experience is affected, and the level of learning is compromised. Training should happen when people are most productive. As a rule of thumb, morning sessions are good, after lunch is bad. Think about the learning environment. Poor lighting, uncomfortable temperature and insufficient refreshments are all barriers to learning. Keep time. Adult learners will appreciate starting and finishing on time.

3) Manage difficult behaviors

It can throw off the best of us when the group goes silent or someone tries to take over the session. Participants may even become hostile and challenge your credentials. Facilitators must quickly identify and deal with these common scenarios to keep the event flowing and positive. Set ground rules early. Bring quieter people into the discussion. If someone has lots of questions that are disrupting the session, offer to follow up with them afterward. Most importantly, always stay calm.

4) Ask the right questions

Asking questions encourages participation and gives learners a chance to evaluate and develop critical thinking. Asking open-ended questions draws out ideas and allows the learner to elaborate. Intelligent and thought-provoking questions can initiate a discussion and increase participation. Just don’t forget to listen to the answers!

5) Build rapport and increase engagement

Getting everyone involved is the key to a successful training session. If you stand up and talk for three hours, you’re a lecturer, not a facilitator. Icebreakers, energizers and activities are great tools for enhancing engagement and putting everyone at ease.

6) Be inclusive

A truly brilliant facilitator will place inclusivity at the heart of the session. Being mindful of the diversity of learners is crucial to ensure everyone has equal opportunity to achieve the objective. Inclusivity begins in the planning stage. Think about how your activities and tasks might be affected if a percentage of attendees has mobility issues, dyslexia, are hard of hearing or blind. Minimizing jargon and cultural references and making course materials available online will ensure your content is accessible.

Remember, inclusivity is a journey. It is not about being all things to all people all of the time, but about continually reflecting and asking, “How can I do better?”

Facilitation is an ongoing voyage of discovery. Subject matter will change, new scenarios will present themselves. Even if you are delivering the same content each time, no two training sessions will ever be the same. So, don’t expect to be perfect the first time or even the 50th time. Learn from mistakes, hone your skills and continue your own learning journey. Your students are counting on it.


IAB Singapore Rising Stars: Mediamath’s Marrah Africa on Dedicating a Career to Programmatic Education

April 24, 2018 — by Lauren Fritsky0


We are proud of Marrah Africa, Global Expansion Manager at MediaMath, for being recognized as one of the IAB Singapore Programmatic Committee’s Rising Stars. Read a bit about the honor below and the rest of the interview here.

Following the first rising star feature, the IAB Singapore Programmatic Committee continues its hunt for the industry’s brightest talents behind the technology. This series aims to find out how these passionate practitioners got started, the secrets behind their success and what they are doing to drive the industry forward.

Describing herself as an ad tech evangelist, Marrah Africa, NMI senior manager, training and certification APAC at Mediamath, developed a personal commitment to further programmatic education in the region.

Starting her programmatic career in Mediacom, Africa developed planning and operational process for programmatic adoption for P&G ASEAN, educating internal and client teams across six markets.

Africa believes that a successful marketer today must be both a scientist and an artist. At the heart of successful programmatic adoption is a solid foundation to turn theory into practice through relevant and thought-provoking education. Bridging businesses to the right solutions requires a strong establishment of “what’s in it for me?” and breaking down the complex jargons by speaking through the language of others.

Moving to Mediamath to lead their educational arm, Africa pioneered as the APAC lead for New Marketing Institute, an education program. She single-handedly developed and rolled out the program for the businesses across the region.

“As programmatic is still in its infant stage in most of the Southeast Asia countries, it’s crucial that we need someone like Marrah, who truly understands how programmatic works and the true benefits of programmatic and be able to transfer her knowledge to individuals at group-level. This is how we can grow programmatic together in the region,” shared Anna Chan, regional managing director, Asia of Amnet.

Mediamath and the New Marketing Institute will be one of the contributors to the IAB Singapore’s Adapt and Grow Professional Conversion Programme (PCP) for Programmatic Advertising. The programme, launched in partnership with the EDB & WSG, is developed to help meet the growing need for talent with programmatic advertising skill sets. We look forward to working with rising stars such as Africa at the forefront of the industry to develop the leaders of tomorrow.


Programmatic Training Roadshow in India

December 13, 2017 — by Pranjal Desai0


Programmatic in India is still at a nascent stage. Though the programmatic penetration in India has reached 38%, it is largely concentrated in very specific pockets and it still has a long way to go in terms of adoption. With regional concerns around the complexities of programmatic technology and the need for upskilling in such areas, MediaMath aims to bridge the knowledge gap and help marketers in the region execute more efficient and successful marketing campaigns by rolling out a series of educational initiatives across the programmatic ecosystem in India.

With the help of MediaMath’s training arm — New Marketing Institute — MediaMath ran an agency roadshow covering all things programmatic. The topics covered included ‘Programmatic 101’, ‘Data Driven Programmatic’, ‘Programmatic for Media Planners’ and ‘Programmatic for leaders’. The training was led by the Head of NMI, APAC Marrah Africa, Pranjal Desai (Country Manager India) and Zirca team (Mediamath’s exclusive partners in India). It was extremely well received and we ended up training 200+ agency folks across India.

The objectives of the trainings were multi-fold, the primary emphasis was to provide required knowledge to help align with the latest digital trends and capabilities to our partners.

Salil Shanker, Business Head, Amnet India said “For DAN, this training helped to get the understanding of programmatic to folks beyond their trading desk. Amnet has always encouraged initiatives around training by conducting various internal workshops. The support from technology partners like MediaMath is refreshing and positive for the thriving Indian programmatic ecosystem. Participants were from multiple DAN digital agencies who learnt a great deal of knowledge on programmatic media. Such training helps the traditional digital buyers in understanding the programmatic space more and there by selling and using it more effectively.

Smita Salgoankar, OMG programmatic, said “Continuous learning is an industry obligation. The pace at which we iterate our platforms should match the pace at which we educate ourselves. MediaMath’s training initiatives are helping our teams not only make sense of their platform, but the course of the industry on the whole.”

Secondly, there is a dire need for gaining clarity around the programmatic jargon. There are plenty of terms, buzzwords and acronyms in this space. We need to ensure that everyone involved is speaking the same terminology, allowing the various teams to plan and coordinate effectively. As Rammohan Pai, Associate Director, OmnicomMediaGroup Programmatic said “The training helped the larger team at OMG understand the scope from a non-jargon and easy to understand view, so that everyone finally comes together to understand what the strengths are and evolves their client side stakeholders.”

Lastly, a huge benefit to programmatic rests on the data layer. Data is generally a complex topic and it can be difficult to understand how to make the data work but the training helps to simplify a convoluted concept. Sagar Pushp, Business Head Cadreon, India said “The training was conducted in a very simple yet elaborate manner, taking the audience right from the basics of programmatic to current and future trends, without making it tedious or boring. We saw a great amount of excitement post this with our media planners and client servicing folks.”

MediaMath will continue to put effort in educating the market and building a transparent and efficient platform to help brands and agencies enjoy the full benefits of the programmatic revolution.


No PhD Required: Get Your Omnichannel Marketing Certificate

November 15, 2017 — by Michelle Said0



It’s a concept that is crucial to digital marketing, but can sometimes seem as if you would need a doctorate in order to fully understand it, let alone embrace it.

That’s why MediaMath has partnered with the Data & Marketing Association (DMA) and Optikal to create a certification track based on the core concepts of omnichannel marketing.

In order to understand the field as a whole, marketers need to know the basics of programmatic and the different types of media buying opportunities that are available today. From learning about exchanges to direct buys, marketers who want to be up-to-speed in the programmatic space require the mastery of knowledge regarding different media buying opportunities.

However, once you learn about the other factors at play, you can begin to see how all of these factors are linked together. From there, you can start to understand how mastery over each element creates savvier marketers, which leads to more effective and efficient marketing.

MediaMath’s Senior Manager of Programmatic Education, Michelle Said, Optikal’s CEO and Managing Partner James Fink, and Professor Susan K. Jones have created a robust course track that takes attendees from the core concept of integrated marketing, to understanding the customer journey through an omnichannel lens, to deep subject matter understanding of core technologies across social, video, and mobile.

Modules include:

  • Integrated Marketing
  • Next Generation Omnichannel Marketing
  • Mapping the Customer Journey with Omnichannel Marketing
  • Transmission in Omnichannel Marketing
  • Programmatic Marketing & Media Buying
  • Omnichannel Video Marketing
  • Omnichannel Mobile Marketing
  • Omnichannel Social Media Marketing

Sign up today at this link and take advantage of this self-paced eLearning track.


Marketing Wiki: Omnichannel’s Importance to Consumer-Centric Marketing

September 20, 2017 — by Cassandra Vitelli0


Consumer-Centric marketing is an approach to media that allows marketers to create seamless experiences for customers across screens. Marketing is most effective when it is centered on the customer — understanding their behavior, relationship with the brand, and location in the buy cycle. This is extremely difficult to do well, particularly as customers begin interacting with brands on mobile devices, connected TVs, social media, and emerging touchpoints. In order to create customer-centric experiences, marketers need to purchase their media on all of these channels, as if they were a single channel, with a unified view of the customer and a coherent strategy about how to interact with them across devices.

Why is Consumer-Centric Marketing important?

Years ago when people just watched TV, read print and listened to radio, it made sense to execute one omnibus buy across channels and blast out a single message. In 2017, the average person uses  7.2 Internet-connected devices and that figure is likely to rise as the Internet of Things (IoT) becomes mainstream. In this environment, it’s important not to hit consumers with one message at too high a frequency or present them with inappropriate messages. The benefits of this approach include: 1) unified audience and media management 2) holistic machine-based learning and attribution across all channels and 3) a consolidated source of measurement aligned with marketers’ goals. By contrast, operating with point solutions or channel silos leads to a lack of cost transparency and a fragmented message, among other issues.

What is the difference between Multichannel and Omnichannel?

Just because you put the same creative on multiple channels does NOT mean you are omnichannel. Multichannel means that a marketer is using other channels through disconnected platforms that cannot fully share data. In order to get to omnichannel, marketers should be using a cross-device identity solution and a single DSP to sync their strategies, budgets, messaging, frequency, and measurement across those channels.

What are the problems with realizing Omnichannel?

For the most part today, omnichannel is more an ideal than a reality. Only 14% of marketers say they can track consumers across channels and act on the data they uncover from those interactions, according to L2. In practice, it can be difficult to establish a consumer’s single identity across various devices, synchronize marketing messages across platforms and attribute a sale to the right media and messages. Today, marketers should be laying the foundation of their omnichannel strategy by establishing cross-device solutions, implementing a data strategy to maximize your first party data, and organizing your marketing teams around shared goals and views of the customer


Let’s Make an Ad: Part 2

September 7, 2017 — by Peter Gosling0


In part one of Let’s Make an Ad, we looked at what actually goes into creating an HTML5 ad unit and some of the many options out there. I today’s post, I have done a screen capture showing how to make a simple. animated HTML5 ad in Google Web Designer. This will hopefully show people unfamiliar with the process what it actually takes to make an ad!

Download a copy of Google Web Designer here:

Interested in other options? Read part one of Let’s Make an Ad here.


What I’ve Learned as an Intern in the AdTech Space

August 18, 2017 — by Harrison Krasner0


As someone who had always dreamed of working in the technology industry, I became more and more excited as my first day as an Intern at MediaMath’s Marketing department approached. As much as I was excited, I was just as nervous and moments of self-doubt started to creep in. I thought to myself “is this over my head?” and “what the hell am I getting myself into?” As I stepped into the lobby of 4 WTC for the first time, I got even more nervous! What if I can’t contribute to my team, thus the organization as a whole? What if I just don’t get it? But all my “first-timer” nerves quickly dissipated as I started to throw myself into various projects.

In a workplace that seemed so foreign to me as a result of my prior experience in traditional marketing and an education in liberal arts, I instantly felt like I belonged when MediaMath’s President, Mike Lamb, tapped my shoulder and said, “so you’re the famous marketing intern!” This gave me the confidence to truly dive into my work head first.

I made it a priority to talk to as many people across all departments — talking to others gave me perspective into how the organization operates as a unit and gave me insight on the types of initiatives people at MediaMath were working on.

I began to notice the size and power of the network I was working with and challenges that previously seemed impossible and daunting became exciting problems that needed solutions. I took on three major projects, including optimization of our website through Google Analytics and other UI analysis software, competitor and industry landscape analysis with a large focus on analyst relations reporting, as well as researching industry events that would be of value to MediaMath for sponsorship and participation. By the end of my internship I felt like a true contributing member of the marketing team. I will never be able to thank them enough for equipping me with the skill sets necessary in order to grow as a critical thinker and team player. Additionally, I was fortunate enough to participate in the annual MediaMath Marketing Summit in which our global team (including team members from London, Paris, Sao Paolo, and Singapore) met in NYC to workshop how the team functions. To sum it up…

MediaMath taught me the importance in:

  • Attention to detail
    I made it a point to pay attention to the small details — whether it was proof reading emails or working on complex excel sheets — in efforts to avoid any cracks or errors.
  • Effective communication skills
    Ask clarifying questions, listen, and be as upfront and communicative as clear as possible to understand everything around you and effectively work with the people around you.
  • Effective collaboration skills 
    Working well with others is part of the culture at MediaMath. After all, there is ‘strength in numbers.’
  • Truly learning from mistakes, making adjustments, and moving on
    Don’t get hung up on mistakes that cannot be changed, learn from them and adjust the way you work accordingly.
  • Effort and hunger
    Bring the same amount of effort to every project, no matter how large or small the project is because every project has more of an impact on the larger organization and culture of a company.
  • Staying curious and always learning 
    There is always room for personal growth — staying up-to-date with industry news, trends and training programs allows you to work much more effectively and grow professionally.

When I accepted a role as an intern, little did I know that I would be immersing myself in a transformative learning experience with greater depth and breadth than I had ever experienced before. With a great balance of meaningful work, mindless fun, and constructive structured learnings, I can confidently say that my time at MediaMath is something I would never trade…for anything.


Why Don’t Schools Teach Programmatic?

July 18, 2017 — by Elise James-Decruise1


As graduation season rolls around each year, I often attend career fairs with recent grads who are interested in a career in ad tech.  I can expect to come across some bright young people who are eager to work, learn and offer new perspectives. What I don’t expect to see is deep knowledge of programmatic.

Programmatic is now a 10-year-old technology. And more than two-thirds of display ad spending is conducted programmatically. It’s also slowly becoming a bigger part of the way that traditional media, like TV and print, is bought and sold. It’s not a stretch to say that a decade from now, all media will be transacted programmatically.

Yet, I continue to see college graduates who know little to nothing about the topic. This is why I launched New Marketing Institute (NMI) five years ago – MediaMath’s education arm that offers courses and certification programs to train aspiring digital marketers on programmatic techniques and technologies. It’s our mission to solve for the skills and talent gap in the adtech space and though there are some encouraging signs that colleges are also looking to address this gap, schools in general need to step up their game.

Traditional marketing is still the norm at universities

One major reason for this lag is that four-year schools especially have a classically rooted philosophy when it comes to education. Students usually enter college at around age 18 when their minds are still being formed. Rather than jump straight into acquiring technical skills, young people need to first learn how to think critically and analytically. In other words, they need to learn how to learn.

While I’m receptive to that argument, I don’t understand why colleges are teaching the basics of Don Draper-era marketing when the world has changed so much. The next generation of CMOs for instance will likely be data jockeys who apply their skills to marketing, not marketers who learn data.

My other objection is that this isn’t the way schools prepare others for the world of work. Even 20 years ago, journalism program students learned how to write articles, how to interview people and how to edit. Medical school is all about learning the intricacies of the human body via the real-life experience of interacting with real patients. Why are we teaching students the Four P’s, but not teaching them what real-time bidding is?

Signs of change

 Most four-year institutions are very bureaucratic. It takes years to implement new programs. This pace works against change in two ways: First, it means changes come slowly. Second, it means that professors often logically conclude that by the time they start teaching about the current state of programmatic, it will have changed.

While there’s truth in this, it hasn’t stopped some universities from adapting to a dynamic marketplace. One shining example is Penn State, which last year launched a minor in Digital Media Trends and Analysis, an initiative led by Lee Ahern, an associate professor in the Department of Advertising/Public Relations. Ahern is also an active NMI advisory board member where we work together to provide insights and serve as a resource globally for new ideas and trends in digital marketing. I’m looking forward to seeing the first graduates of that program hitting the workforce this year.

Elsewhere, the industry has stepped in. For instance, the IAB offers professional certification for digital media buying and planning.

And then there’s NMI, which has taught digital marketing certification and training courses to more than 11,000 participants across the globe. To further our commitment to programmatic education, we created the Marketing Engineer Program in 2014 – an immersive and dynamic training program to give future marketers a unique opportunity to gain technical and professional skills that are equired to be successful in an ever-evolving industry. Since it’s launch, MEP has expanded it’s 12-week training program, launching MEP Berlin this year.

Both NMI and MEP are designed to provide career opportunities in programmatic to individuals across all backgrounds and is based on the idea of “meeting the learner where they are” by understanding each learner’s needs and motivations. It’s my belief that educating young people in programmatic will ultimately make the ad tech industry more diverse and bring in new thinking. It also helps level the playing field and bring new opportunities to students who might not have known that they could have a future in ad tech.

That said, I haven’t lost faith in our educational system. Two-year colleges tend to be more nimble and can integrate new technologies into their course offerings quicker than their four-year counterparts. Finally, most marketing programs advocate internships as a vehicle for learning about the industry.

These are all encouraging signs. It may be that academic programs will always fall a bit short of marketplace needs for whatever reason. Many coders didn’t study computer science in college and those that did, often found that they learned programming outside the classroom.

That may be the case with programmatic too, but I expect that to change. While it will always be important to learn the fundamentals of marketing, I know educators want to prepare their students for the current job market as well. That’s why it’s heartening to see academics already filling this gap.


Programmatic and Science: A Leap Forward with Joe Zawadzki

May 26, 2017 — by Michelle Said0


Joe Zawadzki is the CEO of MediaMath, and is a respected pioneer in the online marketing industry. With his deep experience in audience targeting and optimization, ad networks and exchanges, and real-time bidding, Joe is regularly invited to speak at industry conferences, roundtables, and major events. On today’s conversation, Joe discusses where programmatic marketing is headed, how AI will affect the industry, and the rise in popularity of header bidding.

Listen here now!


Breaking Down the Programmatic Umbrella: What Is A Private Marketplace?

May 18, 2017 — by Michelle Said0


Previously in our educational video series, Breaking Down the Programmatic Umbrella, we explored programmatic marketing and the public auctions that represent the open exchange. This week, we consider private marketplaces, and what makes these auctions unique from their public counterparts.

Stay tuned for more videos to be released weekly as we explore the programmatic umbrella in-depth!

Watch below!