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People

Doing Good Better All Throughout the Year

May 13, 2019 — by Kiley Robbins0

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The leadup to summer is a time when people start making their second New Year’s resolutions, trying to pack in as much fun in the sun as possible. Get that body ready for the beach. Eat meals outside. Hang out on the water.

But what about the stuff that doesn’t focus on, well, us? What about using a season outside of the holiday giving period to focus on giving back to something greater than ourselves—our communities, our less fortunate fellow citizens, our world?

We believe a business needs to pursue more than just profit. It should advance the well-being of people and the health of our planet—it should be a force for good. While we find various ways to act on this belief throughout the year, our annual Impact Week that we started three years ago, set this year for June 3rd to 7th, is the one time in which we come together across all departments and global office locations to focus on doing good.

As part of our commitment to Pledge 1%, we created a Volunteer Time-Off policy in 2016, encouraging each employee to use three days a year to volunteer—a way for us to give back 1% of our time! Impact Week is a great opportunity for our employees to use this time to give back to their local communities. During previous Impact Weeks, we’ve seen nearly 500 employees out volunteering for a wide range of causes.

During Impact Week 2018, our employees:

  • Helped prepare and serve hundreds of meals for hungry New Yorkers and people with serious illnesses through organizations including the Food Bank for NY and God’s Love We Deliver
  • Donated 34 pints of blood to NY Blood Center
  • Cleaned up beaches and parks in London and Berlin
  • Facilitated empathy workshops for people with disabilities and blindness
  • Provided career advice to underrepresented students through the Opportunity Network

And across our previous two Impact Weeks, we’ve moved over $60,000 in donations to charities that:

  • Restored eyesight for 25 people with curable blindness who cannot afford surgery via Seva Foundation
  • Dewormed 4,890 children via Evidence Action
  • Provided 5,100 people with food-based fortification for one year via Project Healthy Children
  • Protected 148 people from malaria for three to four years via AMF
  • Provided safe water to 475 community members for one year
  • Provided legal and education support for refugees on the US/Mexico border and around the world

This year we’re excited to make an even bigger impact. We have over 30 events planned across four regions. We will be going back to serve many of the same places and communities from years past, creating ongoing relationships with the organizations that drive important social impact every day of the year. Any one individual can make a difference but seeing what we can accomplish as a company proves that #teamswin.

So, we ask you to join us in thinking about how to do good better not just around the holidays, but throughout the year. Maybe you can pivot those summer resolutions to:

  • Get that body ready for Clean up the beach.
  • Eat Serve meals to the underserved outside.
  • Hang out on the Help provide safe drinking water.

We promise not only your mind, body and soul but also your communities, fellow citizens and planet will thank you for it.

EducationPeople

A Thank You to Our Clients and Partners for the Opportunity to Serve You

May 8, 2019 — by Anna Grodecka-Grad0

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We are fortunate to get to do what we do in this business. We get to work with amazing marketers and their agencies, lending human expertise and acting as a consultant to design the path to their future success. Today’s leading-edge marketers and their agencies deserve from their partners true consultative service and ongoing education because, as my teammate Avi says, this stuff isn’t easy. It’s our responsibility as a tech partner to do more for our clients than ship code and platforms—this has always been a business grounded in people, and tech should only give the people more runway to do amazing things, not replace them.

We are so delighted to have received industry recognition last week in the inaugural AdExchanger Awards for our service to clients. We won in two categories—Best Account Support by a Tech Company and Best Educational Tool or Program for our educational services arm, the New Marketing Institute. Our Professional Services Teams are dedicated to our clients and partners throughout their full digital marketing evolution with MediaMath. From clients’ solution design and onboarding to our platform to the education, services, support, custom solutions and consultation required to execute and continually optimize the marketing programs and strategy in order to reach and exceed their business objectives, our team is there every step of the way.

“MediaMath’s New Marketing Institute lives and breathes the mantra and mission to ‘meet the learner where they are,’” says Laura Rodriguez-Costcacamps, Director, Head of Education Services/New Marketing Institute. “We strive to live up to that phrase as we plan curricula, facilitate training and create videos, documents and resources. Our promise is to empower our clients and partners with the tools they need to be successful through educational excellence. It’s an honor to receive this recognition from the industry and it is extremely validating that we are headed in the right direction.”

But the real win comes in the honor we get day in and day out to serve our clients. Great clients like Uber, whose Programmatic Technology Lead Bennett Rosenblatt said in a fireside chat about taking more control of their media buying at Adweek last fall: “MediaMath began to lean in and run those campaigns on our behalf and began to give us those in-house learnings, telling us what was working and what wasn’t. And that was really valuable for us…Even though we’re Uber and we have 18,000 employees, we don’t have the resources to go super-deep on every campaign. If you’re working with a partner, you should trust them.” And CBSi, for whom we helped run an omnichannel campaign from the branding stage all the way to purchase driving to their “All-Access” subscription service, whose Senior Director, Programmatic Marketing & Monetization, Damon Mercadante said, “With MediaMath, we were able to align on goals across channels that met our overall objective to build up our subscriber base. It’s no simple feat, and the education, expertise and service the MediaMath team provided for us to get to this point have been top-notch.”

While we are a technology company at heart, it’s through tech and talent together that we’ve been able to achieve where we are today, and I’m so excited for the future. Thank you to AdExchanger for this recognition in both extremely competitive categories. Thank you to our clients and partners who recognize the value of personalized services, solutions and support that our teams bring all day, every day and for their commitment to MediaMath.

People

Celebrate Diversity Month: Service, Shared Interests & Ongoing Education

April 29, 2019 — by Elise James-Decruise0

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In celebration of Celebrate Diversity Month, we’re excited about the work that we are doing to foster a collaborative environment through Diversity and Inclusion-related service, shared interests and ongoing education.

We believe an inclusive and diverse workforce will allow us to better exercise our core values and better serve our mission. At MediaMath, #TeamsWin and “Obsess Over Learning and Growth” are two of those core company values. The key to creating institutional excellence is teamwork, and when we build inclusive teams with a range of backgrounds and experiences, the vast majority of the research tells us that we set our employees and clients up for success.

As a global company providing technology solutions and professional services, collaboration and innovation are especially important to our culture as we build products and create experiences that align with our customers’ goals. Diverse ideas generate more problem-solving strategies, ultimately leading to “winning the customer” and “meeting each client/consumer where they are”—goals we strive for each and every day.

Creating work environments in which employees can share their ideas, take considered risks without fear and ultimately be who they are is critical as we embark on this journey. This month, we had an opportunity to collaborate, learn and engage with teams at MediaMath through structured programming and initiatives as well as organic experiences, such as:

  • Obsess Over Learning & Growth
    • We offer GROW Coaching to our people leaders, a tried and tested coaching model. The GROW coaching model stands for learning through experience: reflection, insight, making choices and pursuing them. The power of the GROW coaching model is that it leads to a clearly defined end result.
  • Maximize Joy and Shared Experiences
    • We live-streamed the 16th annual Time 100 Summit, which celebrates a diverse group of change-makers, entrepreneurs, activists and influencers from around the world who are making an impact in today’s society, from our auditorium.
    • We have dedicated Slack channels for Multicultural Marketing and Women in Tech to share resources, encourage group discussion and celebrate one another’s ”wins.”
    • Through our Culture Club and in honor of Earth Day, we got our hands dirty and built beautiful terrariums that we are hopeful will grow along with us here at MediaMath and beyond our four walls.

As leaders, champions and allies, we must think holistically about the impact of D&I across workforce, workplace and marketplace, and what each of us can do to shape our company culture and drive innovation through conversations, programs, partnerships and experiences globally.

For too long, D&I has been something to which companies have paid lip-service. To be meaningful and bear fruit, it must be a company-wide mission where each employee within the organization knows they are valued and, in return, is held accountable for their contribution to the culture. We remain optimistic, committed to the process and cognizant of the fact that D&I is a marathon, not a sprint. We will continue to learn, create spaces to collaborate and partner internally and externally to shape the experiences and content that meets each person where they are throughout this journey.

Below are a few D&I resources to increase awareness and support your growth throughout this journey.

DataPeople

An Open, Inclusive and Neutral Foundation for Identity vs. a Proprietary Commercial Consortium Foundation: Part 2

April 17, 2019 — by John Slocum0

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MediaMath’s John Slocum recently penned a column for AdExchanger’s Data-Driven Thinking on why proprietary universal identity efforts will hurt, not help, the marketing ecosystem. Below, he shares more in-depth insights on how MediaMath is providing the alternative via an open, inclusive, neutral approach to identity. Read the first part of the series here

A neutral, open-standard, commodity ID is best for everyone

MediaMath is working with DigiTrust to support transacting on the DigiTrust ID. The reasons we joined still hold true. The non-profit, IAB-managed, neutral, common ID is the right choice on which to build our Open Identity offering, where the differentiation is higher in the stack. The commoditization in the DigiTrust ID layer is part of what makes our identity offering open, extensible and portable. We want the base ID to be a commodity—one that everyone can recognize and share to obviate hundreds of third-party tracking tags and numerous performance and privacy-challenging vectors, all while respecting consumers.

Call to Action

  • Publishers who want a neutral, independent persistent and lossless identity should deploy DigiTrust JavaScript to start writing DigiTrust IDs today.
  • Platforms should support the DigiTrust ID and transact on it with MediaMath in the RTB extension.
  • Advertisers who find the promise of a lossless, open and persistent identifier across all vendor platforms compelling should encourage their vendors to join DigiTrust.

MediaMath is co-chairing the DigiTrust ID Working Group and currently measuring ROI in a formal lift study with IAB DigiTrust members. Interested parties should join the DigiTrust Working Group.

Who/what is DigiTrust: a service from IAB Tech Lab?

DigiTrust is a neutral, non-profit, industry-wide collaboration of ad-tech platforms and premium publishers utilizing a standardized user token to improve the consumer online experience. DigiTrust was acquired by IAB Tech Lab in April 2018, and now operates as a service from IAB Tech Lab. The DigiTrust service and technology solution creates a randomly-generated user token, which is propagated by and between its members in lieu of billions of proprietary pixels and trackers on webpages daily.

What problem(s) does DigiTrust seek to solve?

DigiTrust seeks to dramatically reduce the number of third-party requests that take place on webpages and which slow down the consumer online experience.

Why does this problem exist?

Thousands of companies work in collaboration today to deliver consumers personalized digital content and advertising over the Web, across many different devices. Each of these companies assigns its own proprietary, cookie-based user token, which its partners can’t read. That means that to work together in real-time, each company must maintain elaborate systems and processes to synchronize the different tokens used by each of its partners, for each consumer, on each web browser, in every connected device. The conventional process to update those systems and synchronize tokens with each other is called “pixel syncing” (or “cookie syncing”), and this process—because it’s so widely deployed across so many companies—can result in more than 100 third-party requests on a given webpage. This slows down the Web experience publishers offer their consumer audiences and is costly for third-party companies to maintain.

How does DigiTrust solve this problem?

The DigiTrust service creates a pseudonymous user token and stores it within a conventional cookie that may be read and propagated by DigiTrust members. With a standardized token provided to and used by all parties, pixel syncs are rendered obsolete. Hundreds of billions of unnecessary daily third-party pixel sync requests will eventually be removed from webpages—improving the Web experience for consumers—while publishers and their partners continue to be able to work together to deliver consumers rich, personalized content and advertising.

People

Ads Impact: Making Marketing a Force for Good

April 15, 2019 — by Michael Quinn0

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You might wear glasses or contact lenses, but aside from an annual check-up, you probably never think about your eyesight. But for the 35 million people living in developing countries who are blind, this disability can strip them of their livelihood and condemn their families to extreme poverty. The good news: 80 percent of these cases are treatable or preventable. Half of blindness is caused by cataracts, and an individual’s vision can be restored through a quick 15-minute surgery.

Seva is an international non-profit that partners worldwide to prevent blindness and restore sight. Seva works in over 20 resource-poor countries, focusing on communities where a small contribution goes a long way. In these areas, the average cost for a surgery to completely restore a person’s eyesight is just $50.

To raise awareness of Seva’s efforts during the busy holiday season last year, MediaMath and our partners, Rubicon Project and Oracle Data Cloud, contributed their time and technology to run a campaign aimed at driving email sign-up and visits to Seva’s Gifts of Sight catalog. Publishers Gannett, InMobi, AccuWeather and CafeMedia generously contributed $100,000 in donated media to the campaign, which also tested which audiences and creative messaging resonated with donors.

Thank you to each of our partners. We look forward to continued collaboration to demonstrate that marketing can be a force for good.

PeopleTrends

4A’s Decisions 2020: To Be a Better Partner, You Must Partner Better

April 9, 2019 — by Lars Feely0

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We heard the call for agencies to “evolve” at Decisions 2020 two weeks ago (and in the media coverage around it), just as we’ve heard it from Marc Pritchard and other industry leaders in recent years. We know our agency partners must be exhausted over their growing “To-Do” list of things to improve upon—be more transparent, deep-dive into data and insights, give up and just go home because all brands are just going to in-house eventually anyway.

Phew. It’s a lot.

Here’s the thing—just as brands need the right consultative partners across the spectrum, so do agencies. This stuff ain’t easy—the technical part of it, new tools, new channels, plus keeping on top of industry shifts, privacy laws, consolidation. We all need help. We need each other.

To our agency friends, we’re asking to help us help you.

Almost a year ago, we started building a new Global Partnerships team focused on accelerating the success of our key partnerships to achieve client outcomes. “Partnerships” can mean many things, but in our world, it focuses on our relationships with agencies whom we sell both to and with like Havas, major business channels through which we sell our technology, such as IBM, and consultancies like McKinsey. Across these groups, we aim to continue to provide solutions around data, identity, supply and optimization and build bespoke, joint products to drive outcomes for their client base, just as we do for our brand clients.

And what about this whole in-housing thing? Funny you ask, because we put out a whole playbook on it nine months ago. As a technology company that serves both brands and agencies, we know that “full” in-housing is currently uncommon and tough to accomplish. The operational complexity of media buying often makes the scaled and specialized workforce of an agency a requirement, and institutional knowledge also benefits the agency’s clients. In fact, we have identified four models for brands that want to take more control of their tech, and agencies play a major role in three of the four. One of those three models is what we like to call a “triangulation” (or “Happy Commune” in our playbook) in which brand + agency + tech partner have an equal seat at the table in driving strategy and operations.

And more research is on the way. We are excited that our very own Head of Global Partnerships Jim Sink was interviewed for a whitepaper the 4A’s and 614 Group are putting out on programmatic best practices later this quarter. We anticipate that this paper will share critical insights on the interplay between tech and talent and how brands and agencies can best partner to drive success.

To recap:

  • Yes, agencies have a lot of work to do, but they can get by with a little help from their friends
  • In-housing is happening, but not without the help of agencies
  • Inform yourself with the latest insights and research from industry subject matter experts to guide your partnership approach

Partner on, friends.

DataPeople

An Open, Inclusive and Neutral Foundation for Identity vs. a Proprietary Commercial Consortium Foundation: Part 1

April 8, 2019 — by John Slocum0

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MediaMath’s John Slocum recently penned a column for AdExchanger’s Data-Driven Thinking on why proprietary universal identity efforts will hurt, not help, the marketing ecosystem. Below, he shares more in-depth insights on how MediaMath is providing the alternative via an open, inclusive, neutral approach to identity.

MediaMath believes that any industry-wide ID solution needs to be standard and commoditized to gain broad adoption across our intensely dynamic space. The standard must be neutral, not pick winners and be free from risk of change in control and strategic or competitive conflict. It should not be profit-driven but rather designed for reinvestment in the standard for the good of the whole.

Commercial consortium ID solutions perpetuate the fragmentation in identity and are unreliable.

With so many options being proffered as open, accessible, scaled identity ‘consortium’ solutions, it’s weak that the product of the solutions being offered to the siloed, fragmented identity landscape is—more fragmentation, trading out proprietary cookies for proprietary ID solutions. The proposed solutions operate purely on proprietary tech, controlled by for-profit vendors, benefiting those vendors directly. The proposed solutions do anything but level the playing field; they fence it off, create a gatekeeper and charge a hefty admission fee.

The vulnerability to instability in a proprietary solution is evident already. Anyone who invested in keying and transacting on the AppNexus ID, with APN the primary domain supporting the Ad ID Consortium, now has to re-key their device ID entirely because APN left Ad ID last September. That demonstrates to advertisers, publishers and platforms that the risk of entrusting your fundamental connection—your digital last mile—to consumers, on proprietary, for-profit components they don’t control, is too great. To anyone still keying off another platform’s proprietary offering, it might be good to have a Plan B.

MediaMath can and will sell you our proprietary identity solutions—ConnectedID and EnrichedID. They are differentiated, scaled, hybrid, global, fully integrated throughout our platform, open on the front end and portable. We invest significantly in developing these products with a single goal that is to create client value. They are not standards, they are not free and they are competitive. We think it’s worth being clear on this point—you get what you pay for!

MediaMath will not sell you what we believe is the right new standard ID that aligns with our principles because it’s not ours to sell. We will present to you our principles and hope you find them cogently assembled. We will also propose to you the solution that we see aligning with these principles, and support your investigation into the same.

The failure of the AD ID Consortium is the canary in the coal mine.

Ad ID joined DigiTrust in 2018 because Ad ID was clearly feeling the pressure of serving its founders’ interests above members,’ while competing on multiple fronts with those it sought to recruit as members. Ad ID’s decision to join DigiTrust confirmed the market’s need for a neutral, independent device-level identifier. MediaMath has been committed to neutrality and independence since we helped to found Ad ID (then Open Ad ID) before deciding to leave when the effort veered down a path incompatible with broad adoption.

We are experiencing more fragmentation than ever before as device and channel proliferation continues unabated. Consortium members competing directly against each other and their claimed consortiums adds confusion for marketers. MediaMath strives to offer clarity and solutions. We can do better.

Check back next week for Part II of this series. 

MediaPeople

MediaMath All Fronts Event Shows What the Future of TV Can Look Like

April 4, 2019 — by MediaMath0

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Last week, MediaMath hosted a successful event focused on the future of TV with clients and publishers at its 4 World Trade headquarters. Premium TV publishers spoke about their connected TV and OTT offerings, highlighting the differentiators in their content, viewership and app environment, and learned more about MediaMath’s TV offering.

“The role that we’ve taken in the TV space is really to be the connection point between buyers and sellers, to take premium TV content, surface it, make it available to the buy-side in a way that the sell-side wants it to be made available,” said Mike Fisher, our head of advanced TV and video. “So we’re never going to be arbing or re-selling or black-boxing anybody’s inventory.”

DISH Media EVP Kevin Arrix, who spoke at the All Fronts event, highlighted the ability for advertisers to use its Sling TV data to deliver unique targeting and reporting that ties into ROI and attribution. For the industry to truly see the benefit of that type of application of data, the supply side needs to “get connected and get integrated” to what the demand side is doing.

“The demand side is saying ‘I like this company, I like MediaMath I like their UI, I like their platform and I am going to run my marketing dollars through to this platform,'” he said.

Being that connection means being as transparent as possible, according to Fisher.

“We do believe that transparency is the most important thing for TV because we want to make sure that the networks and the publishers in OTT are giving us access to the best of the best content. What we’re doing is further enhancing it with audience targeting, enhanced measurement, attribution reporting…basically tying back everything that a client is already doing in the online environment to TV.”

But it’s about consumers, too, and the ability to deliver engaging, entertaining content across screens in a privacy-compliant way.

“We know the goals of our clients. They’re looking to reach the people they that care about, they need to do it in a way that the people at the other end of the screens appreciate,” MediaMath Founder & CEO Joe Zawadzki says in this Beet.TV. interview.

PeopleTrends

Stop, Collaborate and Bid Shade: Two-Way Communication Crucial for DSPs and SSPs

March 18, 2019 — by MediaMath0

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As every major exchange has switched to first-price auction, in which the winner pays precisely the amount that he or she bid, bid shading is being used more and more as a technique to avoid paying too much. Our MediaMath Product Lead Sara Skrmetti was interviewed by AdExchanger last week on our take on the practice. Skrmetti drove home the point that MediaMath wants both DSPs and SSPs to take a collaborative approach to bid shading.

“Two-way data sharing [will] make both shading solutions smarter and complementary,” she said. “If we work separately and don’t inform one another’s approaches, we might end up negatively affecting advertisers’ performance, so this two-way communication is critical.”

As Skrmetti explained it, if an exchange aggressively bid shades when an advertiser wants a high win rate, the advertiser will be negatively impacted by that higher loss rate.

To find out more about our take on bid shading, download our whitepaper on the industry shift to first-price auctions.

People

MediaMath Honors International Women’s Day 2019

March 8, 2019 — by MediaMath0

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International Women’s Day serves as a time to pause, honor and celebrate women and everyone who works to promote an equal and inclusive environment, as well as those who empower and provide guidance and strength in the workforce.  To give #IWD2019 its proper attention, MediaMath hosted a panel at our NYC headquarters centered around the theme of #balanceforbetter.

Balance is a common topic of discussion among working women. Balancing a successful career, family, social life, healthy lifestyle, religious/spiritual pursuits and more is quite an undertaking and often a constant battle for anyone with an appetite for a rewarding career. The panel’s focus of #balanceforbetter reviewed tips and tactics for achieving work-life balance and how we can all work better together to achieve this sought-after state.

As Anna Grodecka-Grad, Client Services Officer, pointed out that balance is key to keeping yourself sane and maintaining a larger perspective. Anna encourages her colleagues to think about the choices they make every day and carefully observe how these choices affect how they feel. As Anna suggested, this includes being mindful of balancing both proactive and reactive work in your role.

To support our growth and success as a growing global company, we are also prioritizing a more balanced workforce. As Anna clarified, “We hire with a focus on diverse talent. We’re always looking to hire more women. We always look at the balance and diversity of teams across regions.” Balance, when it comes to gender inclusivity or any kind of diversity initiative, requires having a representation of multiple perspectives.

To exemplify the benefits of a more inclusive workforce, we hosted two male Mathletes on our panel—Chris Balzan, VP, Global Head of Professional Services, and John Labriola, VP, User Experience. Including diverse perspectives allows for a more holistic view. Chris provided guidance on how he motivates and inspires his team during times of instability by simultaneously examining high-level priorities and individual difficulties. John also pointed out how imperative it is for a leader to exemplify balance in his or her own life, as reports often take cues and mimic their respective manager’s behaviors.

Taking that idea a step further brings up questions of how to grow and support a global, more balanced workforce that embraces and actively encourages diversity and inclusivity by providing opportunities for us all to find the balance we need. Amanda Magnusson, IT Project Manager, suggests that you ensure one of your goals each quarter is personal. Anjali Arjungi, Senior Analyst, Engineering Support, also recommends that individuals spend about 80 hours a year dedicated to personal and professional growth.

Our panelists also discussed the importance of finding mentors in the pursuit of a more balanced lifestyle. Laura Colona, VP, Global Communications, advises to look outside your current company and tap into the brainpower of former colleagues and industry connections. She also suggested the positive benefits of having a male mentor, as a male mentor can provide a different perspective, which comes in handy when you find yourself sitting at a table of men as the only female.

Examples include policies such as unlimited paid time off as well as internal mobility (both cross-departmentally and regionally). MediaMath also promotes an inclusive and diverse workforce through our ALLiance group (supporting the LGBTQA+ community) as well as Women in Tech. We welcome you to join us in our support of a more balanced and diverse ecosystem.