main

DataEducationPeople

IAB Recognizes MediaMath Across Sales, Identity, Data Privacy and Education

February 22, 2019 — by MediaMath0

IAB-Awards-2.jpeg

Last week, MediaMath was honored with four awards at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona. The recognition focused on our work across sales, identity, the GDPR and education—diverse areas of our business in which we are committed to making an impact not just at MediaMath, but in the industry as a whole. We wanted to share a bit about what we’re doing in each of these areas, and our plans to bolster our commitment throughout 2019.

Sales

MediaMath received an Overall Sales Excellence Award for a Small-to-Medium Sales Organization for “exceptional client service, digital advertising expertise and innovation in digital advertising sales.” IAB and Advertising Perceptions surveyed over 500 marketing leaders to nominate and vote on the winners.

MediaMath is committed in 2019 to continuing to use an enterprise-grade, consultative approach to help both brands and agencies use media, data and machine learning in a way that enables transformation at considerable scale. We believe we have both the tech and the talent to back this up. In the 2018 Gartner Magic Quadrant for Ad Tech, we were the leading DSP in the “Leaders” quadrant and were recognized for our completeness of vision and ability to execute. Advertiser Perceptions survey respondents also ranked MediaMath #1 in consultative approach to client relationship and solution design and gave us the highest net promoter score (NPS) out of 22 DSPs. Clients like CBSi are seeing the value of our multichannel media execution while others like REA are using our combined DMP+DSP to more seamlessly manage and activate audiences in media.

Identity

Our Director, Mobile Product Strategy, Floriana Nicastro received a Service Excellence Award for helping IAB establish a common framework for “5 Questions to Evaluate Your Identity Partners.” Floriana is passionate about solving measurement and identity challenges for mobile, pointing to accuracy vs. scale, walled gardens and a lack of multi-touch attribution as obstacles to quantifying true mobile ROI.

MediaMath has several initiatives we’re working on to ensure marketers can both accurately and scalably solve for identity and pull customer understanding into the center for activation across marketing. Our cross-device graph ConnectedID is pseudonymous, proprietary, deterministic-first (with option for probabilistic expansion) and global. Data is exportable down to the log level and can be used in other DMPs, DSPs and platforms so that marketers control their understanding of their customers and can activate it in whichever way they see fit. We are also a member of the DigiTrust ID consortium, which supports an open, neutral ID that will make the Internet experience better for consumers by supporting privacy, reducing page load time, increasing the relevance of marketing messages and enabling the diverse ecosystem of publishers and online platforms upon which they rely.

The GDPR

Charlie Simon, Director, Data Policy and Governance, received an IAB Tech Lab Service Excellence Award for his work in the GDPR Commit Group. In concert with IAB Tech Lab, the Group contributes to and maintains code bases, technical specifications and implementation support resources for the IAB Europe Transparency and Consent Framework (TCF), which was co-founded by MediaMath. Charlie has helped develop and champion the TCF to ensure the industry provides Internet users with greater transparency and control over how personal data is collected. TCF-based transparency and consent-based technologies are baked into DMP, DSP, identity and other core MediaMath products.

Charlie, with the assistance of Alice Lincoln, VP, Data Privacy and Governance, and John Slocum, VP, DMP, led MediaMath’s preparation for the GDPR, leveraging the expertise of the company’s Legal, Product and Engineering teams. Simultaneously, Charlie worked with industry groups and their members to assess and design solutions for the GDPR’s many requirements. That work continues as standards like the TCF and OpenRTB evolve, new laws like the California Consumer Privacy Act are enacted and Internet users’ concerns about data use grow.

Education

MediaMath’s New Marketing Institute, led by Elise James-Decruise, VP, Global Learning & Development, Education, just celebrated its seventh birthday, and what a gift to have received one of the first-ever Education Excellence Awards from IAB. A client and employee education team that offers trainings and certification accessible in person, virtually and via a self-paced online portal, NMI courses cover topics across the programmatic and digital marketing industry and our DSP and DMP, from campaign management to best practices. A past recipient of both the Brandon Hall and Chief Learning Officer Learning in Practice awards, NMI has trained and certified over 19,000 people since inception.

NMI has undertaken a few new initiatives over the last year. The team created a learner-centered environment called NMI Learn that gives clients access to resources 24/7. NMI has also had recent training success with its Bid Masters program, a gamified approach to teaching digital and programmatic that has been rolled out in Asia. It is also looking to further develop curriculum, programs and partnerships to speed up the harvesting of the native marketing tech talent in countries like Mexico.

People

Why We Have Invested in Solution Engineering as a Key Talent Ingredient

February 20, 2019 — by Avi Spivack0

Solution-Engineering-post.jpeg

We all seek meaning in our work, in our jobs, where we spend many hours each week. And even in the world of ad tech, an industry in which one could argue we’re not saving lives (but actually, we kind of are), we need work that inspires us and people who encourage us.

I’m not one to brag, but because I have the great fortune of leading the Global Solution Engineering team here at MediaMath, finding my sources of fulfillment is quite simple. I can break it down to two: First, bringing strategy, technical direction and delight to every client experience. And second, managing, coaching and mentoring our team of global SEs, knowing each team member is on his or her own journey to deliver as much value and client delight as possible. It’s a virtuous cycle!

But it wasn’t always so easy.

Let me take you back…way back

When we began to invest more heavily in the SE function more than three years ago, we didn’t quite know how to navigate the jungle of ad tech. (Because, hey, this stuff is hard!) We started in the more obvious place of helping to engage MediaMath prospects and convert them into our newest customers, working closely alongside our sales teams, and maintaining the benefit of being NOT Sales (even though back then we were called “Sales Engineering”). We determined that evolving beyond the “sales” moniker was important—words do matter, after all. So, we changed our team name to “Solution Engineering” in order to convey to the universe of current and aspirational client brands and agencies that we were there—in the room, on the Zoom—to help them SOLUTION their way to an understanding of how to fit the marketing stack pieces.

What we’ve seen in the last 40 months or so (the equivalent of 40 years in ad-tech terms) is a combination of market forces that has forced us to continuously adapt. We’ve had to stay nimble in the face of our customers’ needs and requirements—especially when our customers may not know exactly what they want to do and where they want to go. When we started down our new SE path, we observed many brands and agencies thinking about and executing their marketing in silos, on a campaign-by-campaign basis and oftentimes with a narrow mindset around how their investment into different paid/owned channels and technologies could actually operate together more seamlessly. It sometimes felt like they didn’t quite recognize the true possibilities of programmatic (now I sound like one of those ad-tech preachers…). But of course, it was no one’s fault—ad tech has grown up fast, kind of like Tom Hanks in “Big.”

And the future’s so bright…

Fast forward to 2019, and we are in a very different place. Perhaps not surprisingly, the industry consolidation continues to unfold. Our client base, and the brands and agencies with whom we engage, have matured. They are savvier, more data-centric and programmatically capable. Very often they know what they want, be it an integrated marketing stack, a customized attribution methodology or a unique way to take their customer/loyalty scores to influence the intelligent media bidding/buying they are investing in to grow their business.

And this is the STUFF.

These once-complex challenges, wrapped in both technical and business hurdles, are what makes coming to work every day fascinating. And I hope/think my team is reading this, smiling and nodding, because we live for helping our clients solve their “programmatic puzzles,” for shaping solutions that both help our customers feel heard and validate that we’ve built the right blueprint—before we go out and build the house together.

The ninja-like quality of Solution Engineering also means that success demands working across nearly all our internal teams to deliver on our commitments to clients. It begins with Sales, then Account, Client Services and PSO, our Analytics crew, across our Product organization and Support. And then we must find the right methods to engage in an ongoing way to ensure that the original blueprint is something that’s well understood by all teams so the house doesn’t end up without a roof (or better, without plumbing…see what I did there?). This need for inter-organizational teamwork is yet another reason why SE is both so rewarding and challenging.

And that’s the key to continued success as a partner to our clients, as a company and for our team. Creative, passionate team members, working together, to help our clients think in new ways and solve their business challenges while navigating the inevitable obstacles and opportunities—sometimes one in the same—that pop up. For us in Solution Engineering, we remain pumped to continue this journey. Because it will mean more frequent and ever-more-complex customer challenges to solve for, bringing our drive and commitment to each one.

PeopleTrends

MediaMath and the 2019 IAB Leadership Conference: A Rewarding Experience

February 14, 2019 — by MediaMath0

IAB-Leadership.jpeg

In a meeting with Joe Z this week at the IAB Annual Leadership Meeting (ALM) in Phoenix, Arizona, one of our partners dated our relationship by saying, “Seven IABs ago…” It was said with humor, but the fact also communicates the importance of this particular gathering of the IAB and its members to our community. We date our progress and relationships to some degree by the passing of the conferences—and in an industry that moves at lightning speed, that’s saying something.

The IAB ALM was more than an opportunity for marathon meetings. First, it was a chance to recognize some of the great work being done in the industry, including here at MediaMath. Our peers commended our leadership across four areas:

  • A Service Excellence Award to Floriana Nicastro, Director, Mobile Product Strategy, for helping IAB establish a common framework for “5 Questions to Evaluate Your Identity Partners”
  • A Tech Lab Service Excellence Award to Charlie Simon, Director, Data Policy and Governance, for his work on the GDPR Commit Group
  • An Education Excellence Award to the New Marketing Institute
  • An Award for Overall Sales Excellence for a Small-to-Medium Sales Organization

It was like being Lady Gaga at the Grammys (which happened to be trending on Twitter at the same time we were live-tweeting the #IABALM opening).

But beyond the accolades, for which we were very humbled, we learned and grew ourselves. Conference speakers communicated the important message that we are in a new age of disruption on three fronts. First, direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands have come of age and are disrupting the markets in which they compete as well as the way in which businesses use data. Second, marketers are demanding to get and know more from the advertising and marketing technology that connects them to consumers. Third, privacy is no longer an issue for the legal department, it is an existential challenge that demands the ecosystem’s full attention.

DTC disruption

The main stage at the conference opened with IAB CEO Randall Rothenberg delivering a flawless and well-constructed presentation of the disruptors among us (check out the IAB 250 Report to discover the most important disruptor consumer brands in U.S. economy). He highlighted that DTC brands are growing in ways that outpace incumbents in their market and doing it using data and digital platforms as well as traditional physical infrastructure and linear television. For the programmatic world, these companies are relatively new to the scene, largely dependent on Facebook because it is easy and it is what they know, but they are seeking alternatives and seeing the benefits of trying out different digital paths to consumers. Over time, we believe they will become key demand-side actors in the space, and we aim to serve them.

After Randall’s speech, he welcomed to the stage the founders of the wildly successful DTC brand ThirdLove. Their presentation was interesting because of how data-enriched their service is and the story they tell about how ThirdLove came to be. First the data. It tells you things that are at first counter-intuitive. The brand’s primary customer is not in cities, and it’s not all millennials. The feedback from consumers drives the brand’s product development and sheds light on things ranging from the need for different color undergarments to reflect different skin tones to the importance of women over age 30 seeing themselves reflected in marketing.

For those of us from MediaMath in the audience, we saw a kindred spirit in the young DTC company. It is up against much larger competitors, taking risks, working as a force for good using its product to help women and girls around the world, and investing and reinvesting in its technology as a tool for driving value for customers and employees.

From digital video to digital identity

MediaMath also participated in two important panels at the conference. Mike Fisher, our passionate advocate for all things sight, sound, and motion, participated in a town hall with SpotX, CBS Interactive, Hulu and Sony Crackle about the future of connected TV and digital video. He broke down the need to address digital and linear differently: “Video is video, but getting the right video creative and using the right screen for the right message is what you have to do…screen size matters and engagement matters.”

While Mike was in one ballroom, Danny Sepulveda was in another communicating our passionate commitment to doing right by consumers and the ecosystem when it comes to privacy. Joined by luminaries in the business John Montgomery from Group M, Townsend Feehan from IAB Europe and Doug Miller from Verizon, the group agreed that the business needs to plan for the new California privacy law as if it will go into effect without changes while respectfully advocating for reasonable amendments to the law for the good of the ecosystem as a whole. The panel was ably moderated by the IAB’s man in Washington and an old friend of MediaMath’s David Grimaldi. The other message that the panel delivered was that the ecosystem needs to invest in, rally around and present a better way to design law that does right by consumers without distorting the data-driven economy in favor of one business model or at the cost of creating barriers to independent ad tech’s existence.

Where to from here

No single part of the ecosystem is independent from the others. We work to serve each other—publishers, marketers, agencies and tech providers alike—and when we do it well, information is not hoarded or trapped inside a garden—it is distributed and shared with respect for consumer privacy to serve their market needs. We at MediaMath are committed to that value exchange and are working hard to deliver it within the construct of a mature, responsive and respectful tech stack.

We also know that education plays a critical role in moving the industry forward. It’s fitting that NMI just celebrated its seventh birthday (seems to be our lucky number). Having had an opportunity to connect with industry colleagues and friends during the conference, there seemed to be shared enthusiasm for our commitment to education and the acknowledgment that this industry is complex and fast-moving. Creating a safe space in which to have bold conversations, recognizing where the learning gaps exist and designing a structured educational framework that drives adoption of new technologies and digital transformation are critical components.

Seven IABs from today, we will still be there, having constructed a digital path to consumers that is simple, scaled and accessible to brands, from those with pop-up stores and a quality product of any size to publishers with engaging platforms on which to reach consumers.

About Lauren Fritsky

Lauren is the Senior Director of Content at MediaMath, responsible for creating, executing against and managing the global, data-driven content strategy that informs key themes and messaging across paid, owned and earned. A native of the Jersey Shore, Lauren graduated from La Salle University in Philadelphia with an English degree that she has put to use as a print journalist, trade magazine editor, professional blogger and now content marketer. After a 3.5-year stint in Sydney, Australia and a 4.5-year stint in New York City, Lauren now lives in Phoenix with her husband and two children. She loves to travel, read true crime books and eat all the dark chocolate.

About Daniel Sepulveda

As VP for Global Government Relations, Danny Sepulveda joined MediaMath after spending two decades in public service, including work at the highest levels of the US government. In the Obama administration, Danny served as Ambassador and Deputy Assistant Secretary in the U.S. State Department under Secretary of State John Kerry, where he traveled the world working on high-level initiatives including cyber policy, digital economy, internet governance and human rights. Prior to that, he worked as a senior aide to three US Senators, including then Senators Barack Obama and John Kerry. Danny’s role at MediaMath is focused on shaping, implementing and communicating MediaMath’s policies and practices around the consumer value proposition, privacy protection and public policy.

PeopleTrends

5 Key Takeaways from CES 2019

January 18, 2019 — by Daniel Sepulveda0

AdobeStock_164668818.jpeg

The fact that CES takes place at the very beginning of the year makes it a great event for taking a temperature check of the sector and using those insights to set our intentions for the year ahead. Partners, clients, prospects, brands and thought leaders all highlighted the two big trends in our world that we believe are undeniable and unavoidable. One, giant walled gardens are devouring digital budgets and gatekeeping access to audiences to the frustration of everyone else in the ecosystem. Two, the open web faces renewed scrutiny of longstanding structural inadequacies that hinder its growth and also frustrate marketers, publishers, partners and consumers. These two realities leave marketers, partners and independent publishers on the open internet and consumers with two poor options.

We walked away reaching the conclusion that as a participant in the independent digital marketing supply chain as a whole, we and our partners must continue to innovate and serve the best interest of the stakeholders that matter. More specifically, we took the following five lessons away from CES:

  1. The Consumer Electronics Show is a marketing event, and going was more than worth it. CES organizers realized that the advertising and marketing technology community were gathering organically at CES every year and created a dedicated space for us. They called it C Space. And it works. There are also panel discussions on hot topics. According to CTA, 87 percent of Fortune 100 companies had a presence at C Space. Instead of bouncing from coast to coast to meet with key partners and stakeholders, we could do it in one place while simultaneously getting a sense of the larger zeitgeist.
  2. Transparency, relationships and serving those relationships matter as much or more than the technology: Repeatedly, we heard in meetings and in the halls a strong desire for adtech companies to continue to mature to begin systemically serving the needs of marketers and their partners and publishers more quickly and with a true service mindset. We see this as creating “transparency to build trust” in the ecosystem. The sector can no longer expect marketers to spend money on advertising delivery mechanisms and tools that they do not understand and that provide no useful data back to them on meaningful business metrics and where spend goes. Additionally, partners and brands must be able to customize for their competitive needs as well as bring their own investments into play with ad tech solutions across identity, cognitive intelligence and supply. But they also demand personal attention and speedy solutions in response to inquiries. Adtech in general can also no longer expect that publishers will just sit back and allow ad spend to be siphoned off without good cause as it travels through the ecosystem to them. Every actor and partner in this ecosystem matters. We communicated that at CES, and we intend to continue to live it as a company.
  3. Identity is the key to serving consumers, and what matters is serving consumers, not just channels: CES was replete with discussions and deliberations about how to construct identity-based solutions for marketing, even as the pursuit of relatively new channels, from connected TV to cars, was excitedly discussed. We communicated our strategy to enable brands to respect and be relevant to the consumer by supporting the development of a single view of people, not devices, and an observed behavioral understanding. For that understanding of the consumer to be useful, it must be both accurate and portable as well as respect the rights of the user. People were excited to hear that the core of our identity graph is deterministic, while allowing for you to choose to expand further by activating probabilistic as well as brand and partner data. Accuracy in behavioral understanding is also important, which is why our MediaMath Audiences are based on observed actions, allowing us to ensure advertising experiences are mapped to these consumer actions vs. delivering poor, generic, disruptive experiences with too broad, third-party audiences that are not efficient uses of a marketer’s investment. And we are equipped to deliver in the multi-channel environment.
  4. Privacy was everywhere. From Apple’s clever, if not misleading, billboard that read “What happens on your iPhone, stays on your iPhone,” everybody, especially in the government and thought leader discussions, was talking about privacy. Respecting the boundaries of what collection and distribution of information is necessary for effective marketing—without being intrusive or disregarding the wishes of consumers relative to how they want to be seen and approached—is becoming table stakes for adtech businesses. And government is moving to make it illegal to do business any other way.
  5. Teams win. One of the joys of traveling with such a large team of MediaMath colleagues is getting to know each other, our partners and client brands and working together in an intense setting in various environments. In fact, of particular use for building a teams win strategy and one of the oldest ways of affirming relationships is to break bread together. We did that. And for the record, it was delicious.

MediaPeople

MediaMath’s Floriana Nicastro on Being a Woman in Tech and Where Mobile is Headed in 2019

January 17, 2019 — by Lauren Fritsky0

Flo-MarTechSeries.jpeg

The interview originally appears on MarTechSeries.

Tell us about your role and how you got here. What inspired you to be part of the programmatic industry?

I started in a mobile ad network to drive their first programmatic offering. I was fascinated by the technological exploits around data and measurement, and the early promise of reaching the right audience, at the right time, in the right place. I quickly moved to MediaMath — already pioneering the way — and I have never left! As the mobile channel lead for MediaMath, I’m working with both our product and sales teams to build a strong mobile offering that is aligned with client expectations and market evolution, as well as helping advertisers reach their business outcomes.

As a woman in tech-heavy ecosystem, what message would you give to other women, especially in the Marketing and Sales functions?

Ask for what you need to do your job — from coworkers, from teams, or from your boss. Stand up for yourself and for your team. Don’t let anyone cut you off — your voice is as important as anyone else’s. Don’t underestimate your ability ever. Be bold. Align yourself with strong women who will mentor and guide you. I have had a few mentors at MediaMath who have been instrumental to my growth.

How is your role at MediaMath different from the one you had when you joined the company? How did you prepare for the disruptive tech industry?

Mobile has been evolving so drastically, and MediaMath itself so fast, that my role has changed tremendously. From sales to product, from marketing to partnerships, it is like owning a little business within the business.

You can’t really prepare for disruption; you must learn to embrace and manage chaos. You have to be really agile in the way you operate and simply move forward, assembling every piece of the puzzle one by one — keeping in mind the big picture you have for driving the business forward.

What trends are you seeing in mobile programmatic right now? 

Mobile is not a channel anymore, but it is the channel of the other channels. Mobile is becoming the centerpiece of overall advertising spend, not only to reach where consumers are, but to build the bridge between online and offline (DOOH, TV, audio, desktop, mobile).

Read the rest of the interview here.

EducationPeople

The IAB Cross-Cultural Marketing Day: Reflections and Implications for MediaMath and the Ad Tech Community

December 27, 2018 — by MediaMath0

IAB-Cross-Cultural-Day.jpeg

MediaMath’s mission is to deliver marketing everyone loves. As a multinational company operating across borders and cultures, and in a nation as diverse as ours, achieving that mission requires understanding and meeting consumers on their terms and in the words and context that they appreciate.

As we explore identity and audience segmentation amongst increasingly customized products and services in a fractured media landscape, it is incumbent upon us as an advertising technology company, and as a larger community, to ensure that we think hard to understand the challenges and opportunities that cross-cultural marketing poses. Cross-cultural marketing is concerned with recognizing and understanding the attributes of different cultures and how to address them responsibly. The industry trade association the Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) is leading efforts in thought leadership and working to convene folks around those themes under its Data Centers of Excellence, which our CEO Joe Zawadzki co-chairs.

As part of an initial effort to educate ourselves and MediaMath on the matter, as well as show our support for the great work the IAB is doing, we attended the IAB’s Cross-Cultural Marketing Day 2018. One of us comes from a training and education background and the other from product and client services. We also come with our own personal life experiences. Through these different lenses, we both learned an immense amount regarding the relationship between culture and marketing and what we believe are corresponding consequences for the advertising technology ecosystem at large.

Although the presentations generated more questions than answers for us, we were enthusiastic to engage in the conversation, learn more and infuse our own work at MediaMath with an appreciation for the role that diverse audiences can play in helping us meet our mission. The speakers, the audience and the subjects addressed at the IAB event were in and of themselves truly diverse. We commend Orchid Richardson and the Data Centers of Excellence for putting together the event, creating a safe space to have courageous, innovative and bold conversations about multicultural marketing and best practices that will drive business outcomes.

The panels asked thought-provoking questions and presented concepts and data regarding how different communities interact with and access marketing. Among the communities identified were the LGBGTQIA+ community and the Hispanic/Latino community. In each of these, there is a degree of self-selection that people communicate through the media they consume. None of these communities are monolithic, and there are segments within each umbrella category that will require different messaging. But because people organize themselves in this way, we know that they desire distinct messages, goods and services tailored in a manner different from the general population. It is necessary that we, as a community, deliver a consumer-first approach to marketing—deciphering exactly what the consumer wants and ensuring that our efforts are inclusive, designed to both elevate and celebrate diversity, and ensure measurable business outcomes for marketers.

At MediaMath, we believe Diversity & Inclusion touches all parts of the business, with three distinct pillars: Workforce, Workplace and Marketplace. This event highlighted, the third, diversity and inclusion in the delivery of advertising in the Marketplace. We will continue to partner with our colleagues, industry professionals and Diversity & Inclusion champions in our continued efforts to learn, share best practices and amplify the work that is being done within our industry to meet each person where they are along this journey.

This is an exciting time to work at MediaMath (and within the marketing and advertising industry more broadly) as we are pushing the needle towards an ecosystem that ensures the digital transformation of the practice leads to outcomes and outreach that are healthier, more inclusive and more compassionate. This ultimately leads to a greater understanding of diverse cultures and communities than our analog past.

As a rapidly-growing and quick-moving company still on a fast and high trajectory, we are encouraged by the work that is being done across the IAB and look forward to what is next. In the meantime, we have made a commitment to become a part of the solution, sharing our progress and partnering with our workforce, clients and partners to make marketing that everyone loves.

About Elise James-Decruise

Elise oversees internal and external training initiatives, certification, enterprise education and global program development at MediaMath through the New Marketing Institute (NMI). She joined MediaMath in January of 2012, bringing with her 15 years of experience managing, facilitating and building targeted training programs from the ground up. Successfully transitioning from the financial sector as a global trainer at Thomson Financial (Thomson Reuters), Elise started out her digital marketing career at Right Media (acquired by Yahoo) where she transformed their internal training program and founded Right Media University for the Sales, Operations and Technical Support Teams. Elise maintains a strong presence on the board of prominent industry and L&D organizations such as the IAB and ATD.

About Rebecca Sharpe

Rebecca joined MediaMath in December of 2017 as Director, Programmatic Strategy & Optimization, a role in which she leverages MediaMath’s TerminalOne (T1) DSP and components of MediaMath’s DMP to oversee a portfolio of agency clients and lead a team of top-notch traders to architect and evolve programmatic omnichannel media strategies. She has consulted on brand marketing, data strategy and segmentation, as well as advanced analytics such as media mix modeling (MMM), multi-touch attribution (MTA) and Lift Measurement (including A/B and multivariate). Rebecca is an experienced Digital Strategy Director with a demonstrated history of working in the ad tech and mar tech industries, with a core focus on information management, omnichannel media strategy, measurement and research.

People

ALLiance Panel Reflections and the Path Forward

December 21, 2018 — by Ross Greenberg0

LGBTQIA.jpeg

“Hi. My name is Ross, and my pronouns are he/him/his.”

Now, why did I specify that? Everyone who knows me knows I identify as male and have likely not been misgendered recently (if ever). I offer up my pronouns upon introduction in solidarity and recognition of those who don’t identify as their perceived gender. Breaking news: Gender is a spectrum and the binary of male or female is outdated, incorrect and incredibly exclusive. Did that sentence overwhelm and confuse you? Well, buckle up because this is just the tip of the gender identity/sexuality spectrum iceberg. Welcome to my TED Talk.

When I first founded ALLiance (which is MediaMath’s LGBTQIA+ employee resource group) I intended for it to be a resource for those within the LGBTQIA+ community and their allies within the company which, over time, we hope and expect to be everyone. We kicked off in a big way with the 2018 Pride Party, which was incredibly fun and very well attended, but was just the beginning of what I saw ALLiance being able to offer to this company. Last week, our second major event took place, which was a panel I held in the kitchen. I welcomed back two former MediaMath employees, Tom Aulet and Nicole Scalamandre, as well as the Senior Software Engineer at Bravely, Cade Friedenbach. These three people spoke candidly, openly and personably to a small audience of MediaMath employees about their experiences being out in the workplace.

Topics discussed included the idea of gender-neutral bathrooms in an office, more inclusive language used both internally and with our clients and how to handle a co-worker coming out or transitioning. In short, it was about creating a workplace that is welcoming and inclusive of our community.

Questions from the audience included “What does the I and A stand for at the end of LGBTQIA+?” (intersex and allies or asexual) and “Why do people refer to themselves as they, them or their?” (to remove the gendered aspect of pronouns with which they do not identify). The panel obviously answered some pressing questions and allowed those present to hear directly from people within this community about how this aspect of their lives comes into play at work, but also started a conversation within the company—one that hopefully continues and grows from this event.  These seemingly simple questions required an event to create a space for people to feel safe asking them.  And answering them is part of creating an environment where we all learn from each other.

There are some actionable takeaways from the conversation that companies like ours can start implementing immediately to create an open, inclusive workplace. One is adding your pronouns in your email signatures. This is a small change that we can all make to remove any misgendering or confusion around people’s names and/or gender identities. Another is working on our communications, both internally and with clients, by removing the “he/she” from all our communications as a simple, yet effective, way to ensure no one feels excluded from any forms, emails, etc.

In 2019, I will work with our leadership team and our MediaMath family to continue this conversation within the company and beyond. We will welcome department heads and SLT leaders into the conversation to better spread the philosophy of inclusion and a welcoming way of thinking and operating. Beyond ALLiance in the workplace, we want to work with our talent teams to attract more LGBTQIA+ community members and their skills. We also plan to explore how we can leverage our trade associations to execute thought leadership around how the industry as a whole can do better in both the workplace and in the marketplace.  MediaMath is at the beginning of a journey to inclusiveness, and the first step is being open to growth. Dare I call to mind one of our new values? Let’s Obsess Over Learning & Growth together, shall we?

PeopleTrends

Looking Back at a Game-Changing 2018…and Planning for a Big 2019

December 18, 2018 — by Joe Zawadzki0

JoeLookingBackPost2018.jpeg

As our MediaMath family members gather around dinner tables and living rooms with their natural or chosen relatives this holiday season, they will undoubtedly be asked how it’s going at work. They may yet again have to explain what it is we do in the world of digital advertising and how, yes, we help marketers connect with consumers all over the world across all kinds of digital screens but, no, we are not one of the bad guys who keeps track of your private thoughts or who your friends are or stalks you, Grandma—that’s another company.

To help inform those holiday conversations, we thought we would jot down some quick thoughts about how things are going here at MediaMath. In short, it’s been an amazing year—full of ups and downs and pretty much everything in between. This year, we raised a significant investment of capital to help us position our technology, talent and partnerships well to ride the sometimes choppy waters of digital marketing and to continue growing and competing at the highest levels in 2019.

We’ve made significant strides building towards our product vision across identity, AI and supply over the last 12 months. Those terms are somewhat “inside baseball.” But put simply, it means we are progressing in how we help marketers and their partners recognize consumers on their digital devices, reach them efficiently and appropriately, show them the most relevant messages and enable them to drive real business growth. 

Our identity work centers on creating a global, open, enterprise-class, pseudonymous solution that puts the consumer first, backed by support for the IAB’s DigiTrust initiative and partnerships with some of the world’s most trusted and innovative technologies. We are continuing to refactor the supply chain for how an ad gets from concept to screen, with several key initiatives under our Curated Markets product line to foster accountability in media procurement and drive performance across premium supply, including our Guaranteed Viewable Market launch, updates to our native product and a commitment to stop working with SSPs with shady auction practices. We have rolled out further innovations across linear and connected TV, digital out of home and audio to extend the power of programmatic to new and emerging channels. On the AI front, we are optimizing our advanced machine learning algorithm, The Brain, now connected to IBM Marketing’s Watson AI tech to bring more quantitative horsepower into the marketing field, as well as showcasing our platform’s eagerness and readiness to allow other technologies to enrich it and enable clients’ capabilities that have been built on top of it. By partnering with the other platforms in which marketers invest, we can together help our clients reach their customers more effectively in ways those audiences—namely, us as consumers of content and buyers of goods and services both as customers and as clients—appreciate. Look for updates here in the first half of 2019.  

It sounds both technical and lofty, and it is, but it is also super exciting and will have real-world applications that will help make marketing that everyone loves.

On the talent front, we elevated some of our best internal rock stars into new leadership slots this year. Take Wil Schobeiri, who is now running a growing and joint tech and product team under one banner. This is a key point of investment and attention because, at our roots, we are a tech company producing tech products. There have been other promotions too, such as Jenna Griffith, now our Chief Operating Officer, Anna Grodecka-Grad, our Chief Services Officer, and Franklin Rios, our Chief Commercial Officer overseeing both our corporate development and client operations teams globally.

We also hired new talent like Jim Sink, our SVP of Global Partnerships tasked with forging stronger relationships with our agency, channel and consultancy partners; Danny Sepulveda, our VP of Government Relations who is helping to shape and communicate MediaMath’s policies and practices concerning privacy and consumer protection; and Jackie Vanover, our VP, DSP, who is driving our platform innovation to help our clients find their audiences at the right time, for the right price, in the right place, with the right message, to delight and drive their business forward. We’re aggressively looking to hire more great talent as we continue to fill and create new roles in our growing endeavor. (Just in case cousin Eileen is interested, send her this link. We hear she rocks.) And to help evangelize and build upon our tech to meet the needs of both brands and agencies, we both revamped our Professional Services team to further optimize clients’ use of our platform with more robust campaign management, education and consulting offerings and developed new and strengthened existing partnerships with major players like IBM, Oracle and Akamai across our product pillars.

What all that upgrading and evolving results in is our continued position as a top choice for clients seeking an independent, transparent, software-based multi-channel platform with a robust product vision and roadmap. Translating for non-ad tech insider Uncle Jim, that means that while many marketers at the world’s biggest brands and agencies are going through big media companies like Facebook and Google to send advertising to people, we have become the preferred choice for those marketers who want to work with a purpose-built technology company like ours that is focused on their needs and that connects marketers and people—and everyone in between—in a way that is open and enterprise-class. That’s why we got highest-in-class grades (the parents should like that) from industry watchers like Gartner and Advertiser Perceptions.

At the same time, we’re also finding ways to make marketing an actual force for good. We are part of the Pledge 1% movement, meaning we’re donating 1% of our time, 1% of our technology and 1% of our profits to support causes that we all care about. (To find out more about the ways in which we’re making this a reality, see our holiday card here). And because we know that those dinner table conversations inevitably turn to concern over how people’s information is being used, stored and distributed, we are working with our trade associations to more clearly understand as an industry how we can evolve to better present our value proposition to consumers and give them greater control over how they are observed in the market. These efforts range from helping construct the IAB’s Transparency and Consent Framework for the GDPR to working with the FBI to take down a global botnet.

We are riding the crest of a wave of technology that is changing the world of advertising and how people relate to the brands they love. It’s great. 

So, after all that, from our family to yours, we hope everyone has a great holiday and prosperous new year. Now, back to dinner.

DataPeople

Identity Questions for 2019 and Beyond

December 3, 2018 — by MediaMath0

identityadweek.jpeg

Personalized marketing depends on the ability to identify consumers. But how marketers go about identifying consumers is complex in today’s ecosystem. An Advertising Week panel led by MediaMath VP of strategic business development Ellie Windle pondered this topic. With an eye to changes in 2019, panelists discussed the GDPR, connected TV and the dynamic nature of establishing identity. The panel included Michele McCray-Howard, director, media partner solutions at Macy’s; Molly Parr senior director, data platform product management for Disney DTC; and Wendy Verschoor, product manager at Akamai Technologies.

Regarding the GDPR, Parr said, “I probably spend 40 percent of my time talking to privacy and legal. Everything needs to be put through that gauntlet and the lens of ‘Will our guests be happy?’” Parr said the holy grail is to please both guests and advertisers.

Meanwhile, the topic of connected TV came up several times. Panelists noted a shift in media consumption in which viewers are seeing TV as a source of on-demand content rather than as a broadcast medium.

“Identity can help you serve better content and ensure that where you’re buying your spots is where you want to be,” said McCray-Howard. “What we’ve been learning from our tech partners recently is you could be buying on network and then find out you’re on a kids’ TV show.” McCray-Howard said better data will prevent the serving of ads to inappropriate audiences.

Another conundrum for marketers is how to establish identities across platforms. Parr said a common misconception is that identity isn’t static. “We don’t go out and figure out identity and we’re done,” she said. “It’s a constantly trained model.”

People

This Giving Tuesday, Can We Do Good, Better?

November 26, 2018 — by Michael Quinn0

DGB-Blog-Globe.jpg

On Giving Tuesday, there is a 24-hour period in which our society temporarily shifts its focus from consumption to generosity as we hear about the amazing charity work that individuals, companies, foundations and philanthropists are funding around the world.

As the person who runs MediaMath.org, a relatively small philanthropy department with a big vision, I am privileged daily to decide which causes we support. In a sea of worthy causes and charities, what elevates one over another?  What criteria are people in my situation using and how do they make decisions? Some are choosing to support extreme poverty, others their local theater and others universities that have more resources than many countries. What gives? Giving is personal, but coming from a highly data-driven company, I feel that we need a more organized and methodological approach to our giving. How can we enable our resources to have the largest impact?

Here is an idea, using three simple steps:

  1. List all the causes/problems in the world, then rank them objectively by priority and scale of the problem.
  2. Next, list all the nonprofits that work in each cause area, then rank them by effectiveness* in solving these problems. (*Not efficiency; that’s a separate thing.)
  3. Finally, overlay how much funding each charity gets from various sources.

What we end up with could look something like the below image, before layering on the funding amounts. Of course, it is an oversimplified idea, but even thinking through Step 1 would be valuable for many donors. Getting to Step 3, you could easily see which areas are over- and underfunded, and where your resources might make the greatest difference. Where would homelessness in San Francisco be on the scale compared to malaria, which still kills 1,000 children under age 5 every day, and how much funding are both getting from donors?

This simple framework could help us be more informed about our donations, instead of giving randomly, which is always based on good intention, but often not as impactful as we would like.  

So, this Giving Tuesday, I’m challenging us all to “Do Good, Better”—whether you’re a corporate philanthropist deciding where to gift millions or an individual with $100 to donate.

Below are examples of how MediaMath has leveraged our 1% Pledge to “Do Good, Better” by seeking out high-priority problems, and the effective charities with proven solutions to these problems, making maximum impact with our resources, using our heart and head. We suggest The Life You Can Save, whose mission it is to “raise annual donations to highly impactful nonprofits that reduce suffering and premature death for people living in extreme poverty,” as a great place to start.

We hope you can join us—not only on this Giving Tuesday, but as you consider your philanthropic efforts throughout 2019—in doing good, better.