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Your DSP Won’t Talk Back to You, but We Will

May 3, 2018 — by Anna Grodecka-Grad0

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Tech doesn’t talk. Ours doesn’t, nor does our competition’s. Yes, tech has certainly come a long way since programmatic began 10 years ago, and digital a decade before it. It helps you make sense of a volume of data no human ever could, connects the dots, assesses billions of impressions, can even train itself to behave like a human—but a human, it is not. It can’t tell you which technology to test next, the next big emerging channel, teach you the most basic to the most sophisticated of programmatic concepts or design a custom solution for you.

We know that even with all this fancy machinery, you still need human expertise to maximize your marketing investments and prove ROI to your business. And we don’t just mean handing you an account lead and calling it a day. The space is constantly changing and so, too, must your knowledge and capabilities. That can only happen with a strategic partner who is in it for the long-haul with you, who can invest the human capital to make your business a success.

That’s why MediaMath has restructured its professional services (also known as ProServe) arm to better serve our clients with the best resources who can give them consultative support, customized offerings and ongoing education. After all, we’re not just a tech business. We’re are indeed a talent company with over 100 professional experts who can walk you through every stage of your programmatic journey.

Take this example case study from our campaign management offering, conducted by our Programmatic Strategy and Optimization team and our Analytics team. Increasing KPIs under the same budget is easy. To do it while increasing scale is not. ProServe showed the client how.

But let’s address the elephant in the room. What does our tech company’s investment in a consultative arm that depends on human expertise mean in the man vs machine discussion? Well, we think machines should take over a lot of the tasks we are currently performing here at MediaMath, and in ProServe in particular. If our goal is to be more efficient, outcomes-oriented and the catalyst for customer delight, we need machines that crunch the data, that power the algorithms, that tell us exactly how to orchestrate a personalized add to the same user across devices.

Technology will continually infringe on what is currently considered “human” work in adtech, just like it did to auto manufacturing in the 70s, and we welcome that. That said, there will always be a need for creative thought and strategy, the need to read the feelings and faces of clients when pitching a new idea or giving a QBR. Those things require a human.

As the technology in our space rapidly improves, the talent will follow suit, shifting to compete more on quant, on outcomes, on higher-order thinking. We look forward to being a part of this shift with you.

EducationPeopleTrends

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

April 24, 2018 — by Lauren Fritsky0

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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.

People

Getting Ready for a Great, Giving 2018 with MediaMath.org

April 10, 2018 — by Michael Quinn0

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I traveled to Nepal last December and had the amazing opportunity to spend time with Seva, our partner charity that is committed to transforming lives by restoring eyesight. While visiting hospitals and meeting patients from different backgrounds and circumstances, I was told a story of a mother of four who was blind with cataracts. Seva discovered her via their remote screening camps and arranged for her to be transported from her mountain village to the local eye hospital. After having operations on both of her eyes, thanks to Seva, her vision was fully restored!

This is one story of many that illustrates how the lost-cost surgeries MediaMath funds can dramatically change the lives of individuals and families in some of the poorest regions of the world.

In 2017, we launched a high-impact eyesight program, in which MediaMath funds one eye surgery for every 20 campaigns run in our programmatic platform TerminalOne.  We also executed our first Global Impact Week in June and secured long-term funding through MediaMath equity.

A highlight from 2017 for both me and MediaMath CEO Joe Zawadzki was talking to our board of directors about MediaMath.org.  We discussed the impact of the organization since its creation only one year prior, how it had made an impact on local communities through donations and hundreds of hours of time spent volunteering, as well as the over 2,000 eyesight-restoring surgeries performed in poverty-stricken regions across the globe.  Upon the conclusion of the meeting, the board unanimously agreed to pledge 1% of equity to MediaMath.org, a bonus to our commitment to dedicate 1% of our time and technology for social good.

In 2018, we will focus much of our 1% efforts on helping great non-profits become great marketers. We believe that this initiative will allow us to make a tremendous impact at scale. We here at MediaMath strive for marketing to be a force for good, and want our clients, partners and the entire marketing ecosystem to be involved and engaged. Won’t you join us?

MediaPeople

Why I Joined MediaMath

February 16, 2018 — by Carlos Sandrea0

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I joined MediaMath in early 2018 after a one-year sabbatical. It was great. The perfect time to decompress, build stronger bonds with my loved ones, and reflect on my life accomplishments. Unfortunately, good things always come in short supply, and a few months in, a question kept creeping in my head: what was my next career move?

Thus, I started looking for a new job. Between the kid’s soccer practice, and the piano recitals, I developed criteria to evaluate job opportunities:

1) I wanted a company on growth mode, global focus, and with a clear and attainable vision.
2) I wanted to be part of a product organization. While I was not necessarily looking to be a product manager, I wanted to leverage my experience in this area.
3) Lastly, I wanted a company with a smart, solid and diverse team of leaders and peers. I wanted a company with people I could have fun with, learn from, and value what I could bring.

Fast forward to late 2017 when I get a call from a recruiter working on behalf of MediaMath. While MediaMath checked most my boxes, one was still unclear: what’s the team like? How did they operate, and what kind of work environment would I expect from them? The answers to these questions came surprisingly fast.

Over the course of several weeks, I interviewed both in person and over the phone with many people at MediaMath. Everyone I met were really friendly but at the same time they didn’t mince words. There was a common trait among them, a drive. They knew what they wanted, and more importantly, they knew what they needed help with. And while they didn’t always have answers to my questions, they were always open and humble. And boy, do they move fast. Soon enough, and in the midst of the holiday season, I had a verbal offer, which I gladly accepted.

So, to answer your question. Why did I join MediaMath? The quick answer: its people.

Looking for a new job is never easy. A friend once told me that finding a job is like buying a car. You research the car you want, you test drive it, you may even get the best deal, and chances are…you’re buying it! But in the end, you’ll never know whether or not you bought a lemon until you have it for a while. To me, it is the people you work and spend so much time with that makes all the difference at work. Five weeks in, I am glad to report that things are going very, very well.

No surprises, no regrets.

IntelligencePeopleTrends

MathCapital: A Venture Capital Fund to Support the Next Wave of Marketing Innovation

January 8, 2018 — by Eric Franchi0

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The year 2018 finds us at the beginning of the next wave of innovation in digital. Billions of connected devices, the emergence of identity-based targeting and measurement, new consumer interfaces such as AR, VR and voice and all forms of Artificial Intelligence will make digital marketing more effective and digital media more engaging than ever.

It’s an exciting time to be a marketer, media creator and consumer. But it’s never been a more exciting time to be a startup focused on addressing the needs of this giant, and growing, market. That’s why we are thrilled to announce the launch of MathCapital, an early-stage venture capital firm focused on the digital transformation of marketing and media. We created MathCapital to help identify and support the startups that will become the next generation of industry leaders.

As long-time entrepreneurs ourselves — Joe Zawadzki is founder and CEO of MediaMath, and founder of [x+1], and I previously co-founded Undertone – our team is often approached for advice and investment by startups. This led to notable personal angel investments in names many are familiar with, such as AppNexus, Moat, Integral Ad Science, BounceX and mParticle.

We’re also excited to have the support of MediaMath. While MathCapital is a separate entity, MediaMath has committed resources via its in-house innovation group that has incubated a number of profitable agencies. This group will serve as an access point to MediaMath’s 4,500+ clients, 350+ partners and 600+ employees, helping to accelerate all facets of our portfolio companies’ businesses out of the gate.

We’re a startup of four partners ourselves, so we can’t wait to roll up our sleeves and get to work. Our first investments will be announced here soon, so watch this space. And if you’re a funder who would like to learn more about working with us, please contact us here.

People

How to Make an Impact in a Time of Giving

November 20, 2017 — by Diana Clough0

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For everyone who wants and has given back to their community, this post is for you.

We’re quite lucky MediaMath not only has amazing, collaborative and smart people to work with, but it also has a focus on giving back. Through MediaMath.org, employees can donate to a charity directly from their paychecks and MediaMath will match between 50 and 100 percent. Cool, huh?

Aside from donations, MediaMath.org started something called Impact Week where internal employees bring to life various volunteer opportunities around the MediaMath globe for the entire company to participate in. As one of the founders of our internal Women in Tech group, which empowers women to network, learn and grown in their roles and within the industry, I felt this was a wonderful opportunity to bring underserved female students into MediaMath for a day to hear from and shadow our female leaders so they can learn and see what their futures can potentially hold. We even held 1:1 resume reviews for the students.

The climate for females in the workplace today is primed for opportunity with lots to still overcome, as has been highlighted in the media over the last year, particularly in Silicon Valley. But thankfully, MediaMath is helping to pave the way. Building the skills and confidence to push through any barriers starts young. Our 24 MediaMath volunteers worked with our 20 Opportunity Network students to make for a successful event!

“The answers provided were very powerful and there is one statement that was mentioned that will always stay with me- be resilient and never take a step back when faced with obstacles,” one of the students wrote in an email.

MediaMath.org and Women in Tech are not the first groups to support women in the workforce, but we hope we can help change lives one person at a time, and we’re more than ok with that.  I am grateful for my colleagues giving their time, sharing their experiences and making an impact in one way or another to each of these students as they navigate their futures. As we head into the season of giving, here are a few things you can do to help someone in need, whether of basic needs like food and shelter or mentorship and education opportunities or something in between:

1. Volunteer at homeless shelter
These shelters could probably use more of your skills than doling out meals. Through Volunteer Match, you could tutor students, provide skills training to adults, and even find homes for pets.

2. Feed a hungry family
Family-to-Family.org will connect yo u with an individual family in need. Your impact will last beyond the holiday, as you’ll help provide food, clothing and other necessities throughout the year.

3. Give thanks to a vet
Show your truly personal gratitude by volunteering one-on-one and in-person at a Veterans Center, where you might serve as an escort greeter, transport patients to appointments and perform other duties. See opportunities at the Department of Veterans Affairs.

IntelligencePeople

Taking Digital Marketing to the Next Level with AI and Cloud

September 14, 2017 — by MediaMath1

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By Bob Lord, IBM Chief Digital Officer, and Joe Zawadzki, MediaMath Founder and CEO

Let’s talk about how far digital marketing has come and be proud of that for a moment.

Twenty years ago, it was just an idea. Then, 10 years later, programmatic marketing heralded a necessary move toward a better marketing future fueled by data, powered by technology and driven by math.

Today, advertising can be found across connected screens, all controllable with a touch of a button. Ads get billions of impressions a day, touchable through APIs and UIs, which is something that was impossible just five years ago.

Marketers are breaking down organizational silos where collaboration across brand, agency, tech, media and data is finally seen as not simply necessary, but right. Real-time machine learning is used for more than half of every dollar spent in digital, where a 100-percent programmatic future is on our doorstep. Data-driven marketing is moving from one way to do marketing to the way marketing is done.

Still, the reality is we need to go much further.

If you listened only to the press, you’d hear a cacophonous cry of “fake news, fake traffic, fake metrics.” You hear that the infrastructure that manages the now billions of dollars flowing through digital marketing pipes isn’t up to the task anymore. Pixels, redirects, JavaScript and headers are the stuff of a startup industry, not the foundation for mature marketing at scale. Perhaps worst of all, experiencing that moment when kids see an ad and exclaim, “Ugh, I hate advertising.” This, above all, is a daily reminder that we can and must do more.

If marketers really want to pay off the promise of marketing as an engine of business, the connection of thought and deed—the 3 percent of the gross domestic product that powers the other 97 percent, that enables the free internet, that consumers don’t hate and could even learn to love—to move from rendering banner ads to driving business, they know they need to change.

MediaMath and IBM saw in each other something important: a shared worldview, a desire to do better and the will and capability to make it happen. So we’ve partnered to take the next evolutionary steps together. What does this mean? It means we’ll work to:

  • Develop infrastructure that connects brands, consumers and all of the companies in between in a way that is enterprise-class, open and smart.
  • Infuse AI into real-time marketing decisions across all channels, arming the marketer to do her job better with insights as opposed to reports.
  • Delight the human behind the screen with advertising people don’t just tolerate, but appreciate as entertaining, informative and meaningful.

By providing marketers with a neutral, security-rich computing environment and giving them the ability to maintain ownership of their data through the IBM Cloud, marketers will have the insights they need to deliver the campaigns consumers want.

MediaMath and IBM are building the foundation that makes great marketing that moves at the speed of human beings possible, and we are incredibly excited to see what you make of it.

 

People

The Insider’s Guide to Dmexco 2017

September 5, 2017 — by Emma Williams0

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Dmexco 2017 is set to begin in two weeks as more than 30,000 advertising and marketing professionals from across the globe descend upon Cologne, Germany for a packed two days of presentations, exhibitor showcases, partnership building and networking. I’ve attended the event with MediaMath for the last several years and have learned the ins and outs of getting the most of your short time there. We hope this short guide can serve as a blueprint for a rewarding time at this year’s event.

Getting there and around

Get the train to the exhibition center, not the taxis which take twice as long, and aim to arrive early on the first day—there are massive queues as people activate their passes for the first time. And make time to enjoy Cologne! Some of my favorite spots: the Lindt chocolate experience, the Kolumba museum, the Cologne Cathedral and the Hausbrauerei Päffgen beer house.  

Going in with an agenda

Dmexco is an innovation hub in our industry, and you should think of the event as a follow-up to Cannes. In Cannes, you work out which strategic priorities you want to pursue with partners. At Dmexco, make sure there are actions from these discussions that both parties are following up on to reach joint success before end of the year.

Also, choose ahead of time the topics you want to learn about and pre-arrange meetings with the suppliers with whom you really want to talk. Try to speak with five new suppliers each day so you can learn about what other people in the industry are doing.

Refueling and recharging

Note that the layout for Dmexco has changed this year. They’ve swapped stands in halls 6 and 7, so plan ahead for the exhibitors you want to visit and where they will be. Also, keep in mind where you can get refreshments and recharge your laptop or phone throughout the day. There are cafes and kiosks in the boulevard and food carts outside between halls 6 and 7. Or, pre-pack a lunch and snacks to avoid the queues for food, which are often quite long. Don’t forget to sneak out for some sunshine in the gaps in between the halls—it’ll help reenergize you and improve jetlag.

Networking how you’re most comfortable

Dmexco attracts such a large number of attendees that it can be quite intimidating to approach some of the larger booths. If you prefer to network in a more casual setting, attend the parties on the first night so you can have more of a relaxed conversation.

Attending sessions

It might sound simple, but with such a short two-day time window, many people wind up hanging out in the exhibitor hall (or sleeping in after a night out) and miss out on some rich, informative content sessions. Aim to go to at least two sessions a day, and if you can’t get into the main content sessions, try to catch some booth sessions which are free (and don’t forget to visit MediaMath at D041 in Hall 6). Two presentations that are worth checking out are:

Planning for next year

Pre-book your hotel room for next year’s Dmexco while at this year’s event to get accommodation near the exhibition center.  The dates will be announced to exhibitors on Day 2, so ask around.

MediaPeople

CMO Q&A: Joanna O’Connell

August 31, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0

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This article originally appears on DMN News

What led you to a career in marketing?  Was it an early decision or a more recent event?

I’ve been in the space for over 15 years and started my career in the digital agency world as an integrated media planner/buyer ,so I’ve been able to see first-hand how marketing has evolved over the years. I love math, and I loved being exposed to — in those early days of digital advertising — math playing a foundational role in marketers’ decision making. And that was more than a decade and a half ago! The critical importance of math has only grown since then.

Have you always been a marketer, or did you train for a different role prior to that (and if so, what)?

Technically, I’ve come full circle in my marketing career. I started my career as a media planner/buyer, which was an invaluable experience. I really cut my marketing teeth there. After working my way up, then launching ATOM Systems, Razorfish’s programmatic trading desk in 2008, I became a research analyst at Forrester and AdExchanger and am now CMO at MediaMath. I reached a moment in my career when it became clear it was time for me to move from connecting with the industry from the outside to shaping it from within. That’s what propelled me to take my current role in the fall of 2015 — to move from thought back to action.

If you could pick out one thing you find most challenging about marketing, what would it be?

Treating customers as people. We get so caught up in personas, buyer types, in data and targeting that we often forget to treat them like we would ourselves want to be treated as consumers. What compels you to click an ad or open an email? What needs do you have that a product or service could solve? What resonates with you emotionally? What do you love in ad experiences? What’s just downright annoying or creepy? This is how our customers are thinking. And so should we marketers.

How important is it for anyone joining your team today to be comfortable with data-driven marketing?

It’s very critical. Marketing done right is powered by data, but it’s also about finding the right place and time to show a marketing message that’s relevant. Smart marketers realize that it goes beyond just having a lot of data — it’s about having the right data, extracting signal from noise. it’s about granular segmentation, yes, but it must be smart, meaningful segmentation. Targeting is great, yes, but are you finding those targets in the right moment? On the right device? With the right element of your marketing story in their buyer journey?

What’s the single most important component of your marketing stack (by description and/or vendor name)?

We believe in eating our own dog food and so are big users of our own technology! Our own omnichannel platform, our data management platform, our proprietary audience data asset, our own curated, premium media environments — we use all of these in concert to deliver great marketing and support our sales team’s efforts. In short, these tools let us communicate with our own prospects and customers across channels, formats and devices throughout their buyer lifecycle.

If you weren’t a marketer, what would you be?

I’m an animal person, through and through. I’d be a dog trainer or volunteer full-time at an animal rescue. Spending all day with animals sounds pretty darn good to me.

EducationPeople

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

August 18, 2017 — by Harrison Krasner0

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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.