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February 11, 2014, Article

Article

MediaMath's Michael Lamb on Shaping the Future of Digital Marketing

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Michael Lamb is the newly appointed Chief Commercial Officer at MediaMath, a digital marketing technology company that enables marketers to connect with consumers individually. Lamb spent ten years at McKinsey & Company, a global management consultant firm. The Makegood recently spoke with Lamb about his new position at MediaMath, and his thoughts on the industry.

The Makegood: Congratulations on your new position as Chief Commercial Officer. What made MediaMath your number one choice?

Thank you. Actually, MediaMath was my only choice.  There was no number two; there wasn’t even a search.  The opportunity to join MediaMath as CCO is the only opportunity that could have possibly made me leave my previous position, and it’s the only place I’d take on the role.

I have always had tremendous admiration for what MediaMath is doing and great personal trust in the executive team.  I am passionate about the change in marketing that MediaMath is driving.  That, coupled with the feedback from the marketplace, gave me confidence that MediaMath presented a tremendous opportunity to have impact. 

The Makegood: What skills do you bring over from McKinsey & Company that will help you excel at MediaMath?

I believe my understanding of the digital marketing challenges of today – from all sides – and the technological and operational solutions built to address them will be of most use to me here.  I bring a deep and broad understanding of the mindset of the large scale marketer – what they are trying to accomplish with digital marketing, the challenges they face along the way – including internal pressures, the best practices they are attempting to uphold, and a deep appreciation for the strategies they have in place to manage all the moving pieces.  This knowledge and understanding directly translates to my ability to provide guidance into how best to use MediaMath’s solutions.

 The Makegood: With the recent rise of programmatic marketing and big data-based decision making, what problems do you see coming up and what do you think is the best ways to fix them?

In general, the issues faced today are quite similar to those in the early days of digital marketing.  The biggest difference, however, is the access to more robust, industrial-strength technological solutions with which to address them.  The scope, scale and speed at which we can execute now is exponentially greater – something that would have been hard to imagine ten years ago – yet the demands and standards we hold ourselves to are only getting higher.

 The prevalence of data-driven, automated marketing presents a tremendous opportunity to determine how to apply programmatic practices across the entire digital ecosystem.  Direct response marketers were the first to truly take advantage of these technological advancements, but programmatic and data-based decision making can and should apply to the full range of marketing challenges for the full range of marketers.  It’s an exciting time as we better define “goal-based marketing” and help our customers weave in such approaches to achieve their marketing objectives and adopt the tools to do so in a quantifiable way.

 The Makegood: With all of your experience at McKinsey & Company as well as [x+1], you are regarded as an industry veteran. What recent trends have you noticed that you hope to take advantage of at MediaMath?

 It’s been really fun to return to this space after nearly ten years away.  It strikes me that the theory of the case is largely unchanged – addressability, accountability, automation, etc.  What’s changed is the scale and scope of the ambition, as digital has gone from a novelty best managed by experts to being the backbone (and generally accepted future) of the marketing plan.  This means that a marketer can no longer afford to be arbitraged; she can no longer afford to spend all her time managing vendors and tools.  We need to provide a single normalized toolset, so that our clients can focus on driving results with their data, their strategies, and their creative.

 The Makegood: Now that you’ve started at MediaMath, how do you hope to grow the company’s influence while also adding to your personal legacy?

 I’m joining a great team here at MediaMath.  If there’s anything I can hope to do, it’s to accelerate the company’s vision; help our customers use MediaMath’s tools to their fullest potential, and spread the use of these techniques across a broader set of marketing goals and media types more quickly.

I am personally motivated by the opportunity to be an integral part in shaping the future of digital marketing.  For MediaMath, this means elevating our sights beyond ad tech, to enterprise marketing, and forging new connections with the most senior and talented marketers of today.

The Makegood: Thank you, Michael.

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