main

MediaPeople

CMO Q&A: Joanna O’Connell

August 31, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0

JOC_CMO_QA.jpg

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

Internship_blog.jpg

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.

PeopleTrends

Meet The New Chief Growth Officer

July 12, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0

CGO.jpg

This article originally appears on CMO.com.

The advent of technologies that enable marketing to demonstrate its impact on the top line are clearly a benefit to both the function and the larger organization. But the ability to connect the dots between marketing efforts and revenue generation has shone a spotlight on CMOs and their teams. There is an increasing expectation that marketing will serve as the growth engine for companies.

“We clearly have technologies that allow CMOs to take a level of revenue responsibility they have never had before,” said Debbie Qaqish, partner with The Pedowitz Group and author of “The Revenue Marketer,” in an interview with CMO.com.

Arun Pattabhiraman, CMO of mobile advertising startup InMobi, one of India’s first so-called unicorns, has experienced that shift from marketing being the “make-it-pretty” cost center of a company to its primary driver of growth. A few years ago, marketing was “purely a brand enabler—a creative function that was responsible for shaping the company’s perception globally through traditional marketing tactics,” Pattabhiraman said in an interview with CMO.com. “While that responsibility has only grown, marketing is increasingly collaborating with sales and product organizations to figure out meaningful ways to impact revenues directly.”

At analytics software maker Looker, marketing delivers 90% of overall revenue targets with the qualified leads it delivers to sales, and the appetite for revenue-generating insight is insatiable. “CEOs expect that CMOs can easily analyze exactly how marketing is contributing to the bottom line,” said Looker CMO Jen Grant, in an interview with CMO.com. “When CMOs have access to data, everything changes.”

But while corporate leaders are looking to the CMO for growth opportunities, the marketing function certainly does not own all of the organization’s growth drivers. As many as five C-level executives are responsible for driving new revenues, according to a recent Accenture Strategy report. However, CEOs are most likely to hold their CMOs accountable for missed growth targets.

“The CMO as chief growth officer is a tough expectation to live up to because CMOs have to do it with one arm tied behind their backs,” said Robert Wollan, Accenture Strategy’s senior managing director, in an interview with CMO.com. “It’s a tough job.”

Taking responsibility for revenue generation is a big risk for CMOs, but one with equally outsized rewards for those who can figure out how to navigate this new terrain. CMO.com talked to marketing leaders for their thoughts on how to meet the new growth imperative.

1. Launch An Internal Revenue Marketing Campaign

CMOs need buy-in from the entire organization if they hope to influence those revenue drivers they don’t control. “Marketers can make this shift,” Qaqish said. “But they have to change others’ perspectives about what marketing can be.”

Communication is key to getting stakeholders to cooperate on the growth agenda. CMOs already have the skills required in creating personas and messages that resonate. The head of sales wants to know how marketing can help him meet quotas, shorten sales cycles, or increase deal sizes. The CFO wants to know marketing will demonstrate returns on investment.

“New technology alone won’t do it,” said Qaqish, who has worked with Microsoft to make this transition over three years. “It’s an educational campaign.”

Even at MediaMath, a marketing tech company built on the idea of marketing as revenue-generator, CMO Joanna O’Connell has had to update assumptions about marketing’s role. “You may find that some have very traditional notions of marketing and others have no idea at all how to make sense of marketing,” O’Connell told CMO.com, adding that she has developed a closer relationship with her CFO. “Rather than assuming, show them. Turn skeptics into allies and advocates using data and storytelling.”

2. Break Down Barriers
The more siloed a company’s functions are, the harder it will be for marketers to “put their arms around all the pieces” to spur growth, Wollan said.

“To activate the key combination of creativity and data produced by your business, CMOs must partner with the sales, finance, and IT departments in deeper, more meaningful ways,” said David Gee, CMO of subscription billing company Zuora, in an interview with CMO.com.

The marketing-sales relationship can be tricky. “Building out a framework where marketing begins to impact the bottom line can make other functions feel uncomfortable or threatened,” Pattabhiraman said. “But the more marketers talk openly and objectively and evangelize the vision behind the transition, the more sales teams begin to perceive them as a valuable partner.”

O’Connell said she works closely with commercial and product leaders. “If we understand each other’s business goals, challenges, structure, resources, and assets,” she said, “we can work together toward shared goals.”

For more, read the full article here.

IntelligenceMediaPeople

Why MediaMath, Why Now

June 21, 2017 — by Lewis Rothkopf0

whyMM.jpg

We’re living in challenging times. Publishers are fighting to win back media spend that has largely fled to a small handful of players. Buyers are fighting to make sure that they don’t run against unsafe — or untrue — content. And ad enablement platforms are fighting to justify the share of media dollars that they take out of the ecosystem. The result is an overcomplicated, often irrational framework that sits between marketers and consumers.

We would all agree that there’s got to be a better way.

In my view, buyers aren’t shunting the lion’s share of budgets to those few players because they necessarily want to king-make an oligopoly — rather, buying on those properties is easy to do, and carries an ostensible halo of brand safety. If you believe that premise to be true, then it naturally follows that if another entity were to offer equivalent levels of ease, brand safety, addressability and scale, it would create a compelling alternative for media buyers to consider.

Historically the task of curating inventory has fallen to individual exchanges and publishers. What that effort offers buyers is incomplete at best — it checks the safety box but doesn’t necessarily address ease and scale. Seeing this behavior across the industry, MediaMath is radically innovating around media curation and addressability.

In my conversations with members of the MediaMath leadership team, I was immediately struck by how much respect the organization has for the supply side. The company makes its money by selling to advertisers, of course, but is keenly aware of the critically important role that high-quality inventory plays in its ongoing success. Having run supply businesses at display, video and mobile platforms, I saw an acute connection between the passion I have for empowering publishers and making digital advertising simpler, and MediaMath’s core values.

Most would agree that programmatic in its current form needs improvement. MediaMath’s first major step was to introduce the Curated Market product — easily accessible premium, audience-informed, hand-picked inventory with a brand safety guarantee. Next comes addressing operational inefficiencies inherent to OpenRTB — bidding against yourself, dynamic floors, low win rates and unnecessarily high eCPMs. Taking these steps will permit the company to meet buyers’ needs while helping restore budgets to a diverse array of premium publishers.

We’re here to make programmatic a cleaner, safer, simpler, more cost-effective experience for buyers, and to help publishers take back control over their futures. I couldn’t be more honored to be a part of this team, and to work with so many of you as partners.

MediaPeople

Q&A with Rahul Vasudev of MediaMath

June 19, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0

CA_qa.jpg

This article originally appeared on Campaign Asia

MediaMath’s APAC MD spoke to us about the company’s value proposition, its approach to ensuring a healthy ecosystem and where the industry is heading.

Last week, MediaMath announced that it had secured a new US$175 million senior credit facility, led by Goldman Sachs, in partnership with Santander Bank. The new line of credit will support MediaMath’s growing scale of the business, including the refinancing of existing debt facilities and to fund its ongoing growth objectives. Campaign talked to Rahul Vasudev, the company’s APAC managing director about how the independent programmatic company differentiates its approach in an ecosystem where DSP services are becoming increasingly commoditized.

Last week, MediaMath was named as a market leader by Forrester. In your view, what are the attributes that led to that recognition?

Being named in the latest report really gives us a lot of pleasure and excitement because the state of the industry today, a DSP platform is expected to have a minimum US$100 million coverage in order to be considered for the Forrester Research report, says plenty about how the ecosystem has evolved since MediaMath started. And within that report, the kind of things they are looking for — such as ‘do you have a strong identity graph?’, ‘do you have a strong ecosystem play?’, ‘are you able to bring more tools to your clients who want to solve so many problems?’ — there are so many things that marketers need to worry about. And so the report by Forrester speaks of the need that a platform be able to handle all these different things, to make programmatic marketing genuinely good as a response mechanism for the clients. The fact that there are only 11 significant or noteworthy players in the ecosystem is good, and within that, MediaMath has a good reputation in the market. People have heard of us. So being one of the largest ones and being mentioned in the report is great. Forrester to their credit actually conducted thorough diligence, going in and taking presentations from every vendor. This was to understand the capabilities, the future product vision, what releases are forthcoming, what clients say. And it was great to see that we like our clients as much as the clients like us back.

What is unique about the approach MediaMath takes in order to serve its clients?

So, a large part of our business comes from agencies. And MediaMath was one of the first ones to introduce The Triumvirate Advantage whereby the advertiser, the advertiser’s agency, and the technology vendor as a whole play the greatest role in making anything happen. Because not every client or brand has the capability in-house to make it happen. And on the brand side, the focus is on creating products and striving to create better products for the end customer — as opposed to getting involved in the media space and the learning investment it requires. I come from a media agency myself and people there are constantly in learning mode with regards to what Facebook is doing, Google is doing. There is so much to learn and it’s unfair to expect that someone sitting in a silo somewhere will stay up to speed with the industry. So the brand, the agency, and the technology together — we consider it to be the ecosystem for us. 

With so many players in the DSP ecosystem offering services that are not exclusive to any intellectual property laws or patents, how does MediaMath differentiate itself from the commoditised remaining players?

A few things set us apart. Obviously, our internal company culture, our beliefs, our philosophy. What makes us come to work every day. The original intent was as John Wanamaker famously said, “50 percent of marketing is wasted, I just don’t know which 50 percent.” Our CEO Joe Zawadzki remarks that this is a terrible tagline for an industry to have. So that drives us every single day to help make sense of what is and what isn’t working. We come to work thinking, ‘what can we provide now as a set of tools, capabilities, ecosystem integrations, as a set of identifying who your customers are, who your best customers are. The best customers are those you should be willing and able to pay more for and knowing who you should be willing to pay less for. Knowing who gives you what kind of return on marketing. Some will give you a $1 return and some will give a $100 return. Your sweet spot lies somewhere in between, where there is the largest gain for the largest return. And…people are just not able to do it. So that’s kind of like the driving philosophy behind why MediaMath was formed, why we come into work, what problems we are trying to solve. Obviously, we are trying to solve these with lots of small problems like, there is a lot of inventory that is being bought and targeted at bots, fraudulent traffic and bad players in the ecosystem. How can we prevent that? So that’s one way in which we solve that to remove 2 percent of that 50 percent that’s not working.  So I think that is something critical in driving us. Our clients [advertisers and agencies] care about giving a great customer experience. They want to know that you, the customer, are viewing communication at the time you are most receptive to it. And that the viewer is only seeing content, ads, and offers that is relevant to them. If we step back a few years ago, companies had to deal with a plethora of mobile companies, video companies, and social networks. And the aggregators just added to the noise. Marketers with time came to grips with it, accepting a reality wherein they would deal with 17 vendors to reach one customer. But if you are the customer, they are having a terrible experience because three mobile companies are not talking to each other and they are each showing one person a brand ad 20 times when on the client side the frequency is capped at five impressions per unique viewer. So marketers want a tool that is sophisticated enough to allow their brand message to reach the customer as an individual, as a person who has genuine tastes, and be able to serve them the right content at the right time, and at the right price. Because if I represent a shampoo company and you represent a luxury car company and both of you are trying to reach Priya, you are probably willing to pay S$100 for her and I am willing to pay S$0.50 for her. We should be able to distinguish the two, else it’s an unfair right. So, as MediaMath, how do I become intelligent enough as a platform to enable our advertiser to understand ‘at what user, at what price?’ is relevant. 

And you’re able to go that deep with every single campaign, every single vertical, and category?

Exactly, so that’s where we have arrived. We’ve been in tools and our focus on machine learning is I think is one of the things that sets us apart. So the first one was like omnichannel, like truly omnichannel—reach the customer across all channels irrespective of walled gardens, siloes, individual strongholds that might have been built.

Read the full article here via Campaign Asia.

PeopleTrends

Cannes 2017: Programmatic Takes Center Stage

June 14, 2017 — by Joanna O'Connell0

joanna_cannes.jpg

Think back to 2007. George W. Bush was president. The iPhone just hit the market. The Cannes Grand Prix award went to a series of magazine ads for Tide Ultra laundry detergent.

I wasn’t at that show, but I would guess that programmatic wasn’t a huge topic of discussion.

But in 2007 MediaMath was actively thinking about a reinvention of marketing — with math and technology at the core.

And here we are, ten years later, in a very different marketing reality. And I think it’s amazing.

At this year’s show, I predict I’ll hear a lot about programmatic since today, two-thirds of U.S. display ad spending is being bought and sold programmatically. It is meaningfully infiltrating otherwise “traditional” media including audio and, critically, television and programmatic advertising technologies are increasingly connecting with marketing technologies to deliver seamless experiences across paid, earned and owned channels.

But I also look forward to discussions about the trends that will shape the next ten years. For my part, I’d love to hear and talk about: predictive analytics, new frontiers of addressability and a new definition of creativity that is built as much around distribution and targeting as what we typically think of as “creative.”

Predictive analytics

Machine learning is already making its presence known in our everyday lives: think customer-facing bots, robo advisors and Google searches. Now imagine a personal assistant that knows you so well it can curate your email, schedule your meetings and recommend you pack an umbrella when you leave home as rain’s on the horizon.

We’re just at the dawn of the near limitless applications of such machine-driven intelligence and marketers are just starting to realize its possibilities. As I’ve said before, integrated data coupled with omnichannel execution can expose patterns of behavior that marketers can use to predict what customers want and when, but the applications of this capability are still in their infancy. This can and will be game-changing for advertising, which has been built on the idea of mass exposure and communication instead of micro-targeting and personalized conversations, but is no longer bound by those traditional bonds.

Addressability

Predictive analytics are the fuel for addressability at scale, that is, the process of honing the right message to reach a consumer at a specific point in the purchase cycle on a channel, format or device that can both receive and give data. That’s a fancy way of saying, two way conversations are possible between brands and their prospects and customers. Now is the time to start preparing for a future full of entirely new addressable channels: TV is the obvious example, but imagine when a consumer can have a conversation with her refrigerator about what brand of milk she should buy!

Creativity

A new way of contemplating advertising requires a new contemplation of creativity. Advertising has always been premised on the idea of catching attention. But when the medium is no longer novel in itself, then the message must do the heavy lifting. That worked just fine when one brilliant TV commercial was enough — but in a highly fragmented world where consumers have increasingly high expectations, it’s just not enough anymore.

Because the concept of true addressability at scale is still so new to so many brands, the idea of bringing real creativity into this mix still feels far off for many. But as consumers get better at tuning out non-relevant advertising, ad creators will need to up their game — getting closer to the process of data-driven media planning and buying, understanding and mapping to deep segmentation, contemplating the implications of real-time optimization against business goals as messaging is contemplated… really, thinking about the medium and the message in the same thought, rather than as separate questions.

Next stop 2027

The last 10 years have ushered in nearly wholesale change in advertising and, more broadly, marketing. I would expect that the landscape of 2027 will be even more starkly different. It’s possible, for instance, that we will no longer be carrying our smartphones with us everywhere because we’ll be wearing smart glasses or some other device that we can’t imagine now. It’s also possible that VR will be so popular that it will really seem like a (normal) alternate reality for many. Now, for a second, think about what either — let alone both — of those things would mean for marketing! Head –> explodes.

What we can predict is that the industry will not stagnate. This is why I for one love this business — it’s never dull. And I can’t wait for another week’s worth of discussion at this year’s Cannes about how we all innovate, invent, reinvent or blow up today’s norms in preparation for our next reality.

For more insights on programmatic’s past, present and future, check out our #10Then10Ahead Content Hub!

People

Adtech Company MediaMath Secures $175M Credit Facility

June 7, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal0

credit_image.jpg

This article originally appeared on TechCrunch.

MediaMath, a company offering tools and data for automated ad-buying, announced today that it has secured a $175 million credit facility.

The deal was led by Goldman Sachs, with participation from Santander Bank.

The company says this financing will fund its continued growth and allow it to refinance existing debt. (MediaMath’s 2014 funding round included $105 million in debt.)

In a note to MediaMath employees, CFO Stacey Bain said this doesn’t mean the company chose more debt “instead of” an equity funding round: “In fact, this line of credit allows us to be flexible in terms of how and when we decide to raise another round of equity, ensuring we get the best deal for MediaMath.”

And while the IPO market seems to be improving for tech companies (including, perhaps, adtech), Bain also wrote that this isn’t setting MediaMath up to go public: “Right now, we like operating privately and we’ll explore an IPO when and if it makes sense for MediaMath.”

The company says it now has nearly 700 employees and works with all of the major ad holding companies.

“We’re thrilled to work with Goldman Sachs and Santander, who are equally ambitious to support the growing scale of our business today, and motivated to support the needs of a reimagined and increasingly sophisticated supply chain in the future,” said CEO Joe Zawadzki in the funding release.

People

MediaMath’s Career Journeys Program

June 6, 2017 — by Lone Jensen0

careerdev.jpg

“A career path is rarely a path at all. A more interesting life is usual a more crooked, winding path of missteps, luck and vigorous work. It is almost always a clumsy balance between the things you try to make happen and the things that happen to you.” — Tom Freston, MTV cofounder

At MediaMath we appreciate that career paths are often crooked and winding. Each new role, experience and assignment can be a destination or a stop along the way. Our life journeys don’t always occur in a straight line. Often, the most rewarding careers take us to new locations, create adventures in projects we never encountered previously and teach us about ourselves and other people.

Since so many people follow a circuitous career path, MediaMath has decided to elevate career development in new ways via the MediaMath Career Journeys Program.

Across the organization our people are asking good questions about career progression. They share exciting stories about their own career development at the company. Each person tells a different story and have unique definitions of what career success means to them.

To help our employees follow the path to self-discovery via their career, we often move people to help develop a more holistic impact on the business and will explore creating new roles that maximize individual potential.

How it works

Personal interaction between our Voyagers (employees) and our Navigators (managers) is the heart of the program. In addition, we have simplified career planning and will continue to challenge our people to make the most of their journeys.

MediaMath’s Career Journeys Program reinforces the notion that career conversations are not merely promotion conversations and that “up” is not the only way to grow. In particular, the program helps our people to do the following:

  • Define interests:  Where do they want to go and why?
  • Assess Reality:  How ready are they, what is realistic and what resources do they have?
  • Create Options:  What do they want to see and do?
  • Develop Plan: Who do they want to travel with, how will they get there and what do they need to pack?

We are excited to take career development to the next level and further enable the bright people at MediaMath in creating wonderful career journeys for themselves.

Learn more about our career opportunities here.

People

Making a Good First Impression Is Knowing It’s Not Your Last…

May 31, 2017 — by Gloria Basem0

good_impression.jpg

This byline written by Gloria Basem, Chief People Officer at MediaMath, originally appeared on Fortune

For good or ill, humans often make snap judgments. We place a lot of stock in preparedness, remembering someone’s name, attire, posture, firm handshakes, tone of voice, and word choice. These are important, but to really make a successful first impression on someone, you should treat the initial meeting as the beginning of a relationship.

Here are a few ways to start off on the right foot:

  • Be curious

When it comes to first impressions, asking is more important than telling. Interviewers and clients want to know that you’ve spent time learning about the company, but they also want to tell you about their company. Even if you believe you know the situation, asking them to tell you about the company’s history, culture, challenges, and opportunities will help you learn more, as each person has a unique perspective on the situation. In taking this approach, you’ll make them feel special and they’ll trust you more.

  • Find a connection

Before meeting someone new, research them on LinkedIn. Past companies and alma maters can provide a number of conversation starters. But be careful about referencing people in common until you know the nature of the relationship they may have with that person.

When meeting someone in their office, look for visual cues to help build a connection. I always look for photos, children’s drawings, unique décor, and books we may have both read. While the person leading the conversation is often responsible for creating the small talk before the discussion, you can help take the pressure off and therefore establish a good rapport.

  • Tell stories

When it comes time to share information about your own experiences, tell concise stories that demonstrate how you would handle similar situations in the future. Telling great stories can help others relate to you and your thought process. Try to include humor to make your stories more engaging.

  • Be positive

Never underestimate how important it is to smile and project friendliness and optimism to everyone you meet. If you talk negatively about past colleagues or employers, people will worry that you’ll do the same about them someday. Furthermore, people are attracted to those with a can-do attitude. If you’re going to be working with them every day, they’ll want to know that you’re a positive presence in the workplace.

  • Don’t talk about your old job

Interviewers certainly want to know what you have done in the past, but your first day is not the time to tell people how you did things at your old company. That said, make sure to share any lessons learned from your old job that are applicable to your new one. If you take the right approach, your new colleagues will feel like you’re invested in your new company.

People

Ask Digiday Careers: The Non-Technical Skills That Ad Tech Companies Look for in Candidates

May 5, 2017 — by Lauren Fritsky0

Digiday-Careers.jpg

How do adtech companies balance technical skill and creativity in the talent they hire? For Digiday’s recent Careers column, Jenna Griffith, SVP, Head of Professional Services for MediaMath, weighs in.

At MediaMath, specifically at entry-level positions, the skills that we are looking for are not tremendously different than other industries. First and foremost, we look for people who are smart, passionate, and nice. There is no ‘ad tech knowledge’ mention in there purposefully. I often find bringing people in with expertise in other industries to be helpful — different perspectives can add a tremendous amount of value when focusing on client service. Yes, employees need to learn the technology in order to understand how best to apply it. But the technical aspect is much easier to learn than learning how to creatively approach a client problem and return a solution. One of my favorite interview questions is asking a candidate to teach me something, anything, about which they are passionate. I have learned about rugby, quantum dots and electronic music — each of these people had little adtech experience at the point of hire, but are now some of our most highly valued employees given their passion, creative mindset, and attention to detail.