Q&A: Elise James-DeCruise — Brands Hold Great Responsibility to Craft Culturally Appropriate Messages

September 18, 2019 — by MediaMath


Originally posted on Branding in Asia.

As MediaMath’s Head of Multicultural Marketing and Inclusion, Elise James-Decruise is tasked with instilling “a strong sense of inclusivity and cultural understanding across its services and offerings,” along with creating greater diversity across the AdTech industry as a whole.

That’s a sizable task as well as a profoundly important path to be on, and one that James-Decruise feels she was destined to take since childhood.

“Raised by two parents who were educators and cared deeply about creating equal opportunities and access for all students, it was only a matter of time that I would naturally gravitate toward a profession in education and D&I,” she told us during a recent conversation from her office in New York.

Now coming up on eight years since joining MediaMath, James-Decruise previously founded and led the company’s global educational arm New Marketing Institute, which includes internal and external training initiatives, certification, enterprise education, and global program development.

Prior to joining MediaMath, after working in the financial sector as a global trainer at Thomson Financial, she held learning & development positions at KMPG and She also worked at Right Media – which was acquired by Yahoo in 2007 for a reported $680 million.

We recently caught up with Elise James-Decruise to learn more about her mission at MediaMath and in the industry, along with her thoughts on how the AdTech world is doing in its inclusivity quest, organizations that she thinks stand out in their efforts, “spreading the digital dividends of programmatic,” and more.

To read the rest of the post please click here.


Executive shout out – Demands for female empowerment | DMEXCO 2019

September 12, 2019 — by MediaMath


Video from DMEXCO 2019 featuring our Chief Services Officer, Anna Grodecka-Grad, as well as Susanne Aigner-Drews (Country Manager Discovery Communications), Claudia Frese (CEO, Marion Mestrom (CHRO Brenntag), Vuyiswa M’Cwabeni (SVP & Strategy Executive SAP SE), and Frederike Probert (Moderator).

“What challenges do women face in business life? What are the framework conditions for empowering women? Which impact does society have on these topics? In this session, successful female managers explain their thoughts on how the business role of women can be promoted and thrivingly changed through society defaults.” Video below:


Six Tips to Build a Culture of Learning

August 13, 2019 — by Elise James-Decruise


This blog post is a part of IAB’s The Advantage: Knowledge for an Ever-Changing Industry series.

I joined MediaMath in 2012 and shortly after, helped launch the New Marketing Institute. The NMI serves as the educational arm of our company, providing training and certification for clients, employees and university students who are looking to transition into the ad tech world. I deeply and passionately believe in the power of learning and development to help people fulfill their potential and in turn, drive their firms and teams forward.

The NMI was created to tackle the education and talent gaps in our company. The purpose of education and training is to bridge the distance between people’s talent and what they need to know to exercise that talent. Since launch, we’ve trained over 20,000 people globally and have been recognized for our efforts by many leading educational groups and industry associations, including IAB.

I’m really proud of the progress we’ve made, and I’m encouraged by the impact we’ve had inside and outside our industry. I receive emails regularly from people wanting to know how to start an educational practice centered around digital marketing and technology at their own enterprise. I give everyone the same advice – creating a digital marketing education hub begins with acknowledging that every individual has room for improvement.

Whether you are a seasoned industry professional or new to the industry, we can all agree that the need to continue learning never stops. With technology — and ad tech specifically — we’re constantly realizing what we still don’t know. We may be experts in specific practices, but we can’t stay experts without training and education.

If you are tasked with bringing Learning & Development (L&D) to the forefront of your company, or you are looking to learn more about what it is like to do so, here are six tips based on my experience:

1. Create a Safe Space

You’ll be surprised what people reveal when you create a space to have honest conversations about their gaps in understanding. Everyone, even the CEO, knows they have blind spots in their knowledge. They all understand that uncomfortable feeling of having those blind spots exposed. If you can create an environment of safety and comfort, you will help more people embrace the function of education.

2. Be Bold and Courageous

This can happen in many different ways, like initiating a conversation about a best practice, a technology, or an unconventional way of thinking. It’s about having the courage to stand up and put ideas out there. Constructing new solutions to both old and new challenges is one of the really cool things about our industry, but having the training to underpin that construction is key to success. Complex subjects like algorithms and artificial intelligence may intimidate some people, but they are not intimidated by education. Professional development is seen as a way to level set knowledge and an investment in themselves.

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2019 Cannes Recap

August 1, 2019 — by MediaMath


MediaMath has made its 8th annual visit to the south of France for Cannes Lions 2019. We are still reminiscing about our truly inspiring week on the beach discussing the most cutting-edge advancements in the advertising industry. Relive some of those memories with us by watching our new recap video to see how we are leading the industry to an accountable and addressable media supply chain and learn more about our new strategic partnerships announced during the festival.


Helping Grow More Women Leaders in Tech

July 17, 2019 — by MediaMath


In Singapore, women hold only 21% of senior management roles and 8% of corporate board membership, as reported by Diversity Task Force in Singapore. And the consequences are dire:

  1. Companies are losing out. We’re all individuals and can each bring different talents, skills, and experiences to the table. Having diverse senior management means more innovation and stronger capabilities in designing solutions for the company.
  2. There are not enough role models and mentors for future leaders. If there are more women in leadership roles, other women can also see themselves in those positions and would also be able to build bigger networks.
  3. The gender pay gap will not be addressed. At the rate we are going, it will take 217 years to end gender-based disparities in pay and employment opportunities. This is highlighted each year by Equal Pay Day, a symbolic day that symbolises how far into the year women must work in order to earn what men earned the previous year. This year in the US Equal Pay Day fell on April 2nd.

Last quarter, we attended Dream Collective’s Emerging Leaders Program. The event provided awareness, tools, and techniques for improving leadership skills.

Here are some of our key learnings from the workshop:

  1. Career success is 60% exposure and only 10% performance. Performance and a great work ethic only count for 10% of whether or not we will succeed in our careers, while a whopping 60% is attributed to the exposure that we get (and 30% to image). While a solid performance foundation is necessary, focusing on ensuring that we are getting internal and external exposure is also necessary to drive success.

Numerous studies such as this 2015 research from the University of Kent in the UK have shown that women are compensated on their track record (performance), while men are compensated on their potential. According to this McKinsey report, this difference in how men and women are evaluated can be blamed on embedded institutional mindsets. These structural barriers—or, put plainly, discrimination—when it comes to hiring and promoting makes it clear that men and women are judged by different criteria and rewarded differently for the same accomplishments.

  1. EQ trumps IQ. A common trait across successful leaders is understanding what motivates others and relating to them in a positive manner. Qualities such as empathy, self-awareness, and self-regulation are all factors that affect how successful people are likely to be in their careers.

The good news is that we can improve our EQ. One example of a method to engage self-regulation that we learned at the Emerging Leaders Program is the “Respond, Don’t React” method. While a reaction is instant, a response is based on information from both the conscious and unconscious minds, and will typically yield a better outcome than a snap reaction. Responding with a certain tone, words, body language, and sentence structuring can really make a positive difference.

  1. Negotiate, negotiate, negotiate. According to the “Women in the Workplace 2018” study by McKinsey and, women are negotiating salaries and asking for promotions at the same rate as men. The problem is they are less likely to be successful. We learned some solid steps for negotiation, the most notable being that one should always have a Best Alternative to a Negotiated Agreement (BATNA) in mind. Essentially, have a second-best outcome at hand before you enter any negotiation.
  2. Personal branding is key! Everyone has a personal brand, whether we make an effort to work on it or not. Maximizing aspects of our personality and presenting ourselves in the best possible way is very important to succeed, both within our external and internal network. Ensuring we have a good social media presence and networking are two efforts that can be very effective. Using social media tools enables us to increase our professional visibility on those platforms. Networking by building relationships and staying connected to other leaders is extremely important as there is so much to learn and share.

It will take a lot of work to bring these ideas into practice, but it must be done if we want significant progress—not just for our own careers, but to create more and better opportunities for women in the global workforce.

Marta Barrera is a Senior Sales Manager at MediaMath. She currently manages a portfolio of blue chip clients and key agency partnerships across South East Asia. During her free time, you will find her scuba diving around Asia or simply enjoying a glass of wine with friends.


Shifali Ranawaka is an Engagement Director with eight years of experience in programmatic. She works in the Singapore office at MediaMath across a range of agency and direct clients. Shifali enjoys cooking, painting and indulging in terrible reality TV.



Multicultural Marketing Playbook

June 12, 2019 — by MediaMath


The multicultural market will represent $4.6 trillion in total spending by 2020. Multicultural youths are the future of the U.S., growing by over 2.3M every year. Marketing to influential ethnic groups requires a deep understanding of their specific cultures and the roles these cultures play within their daily lives. But how do marketers do this in both a strategic and a tactical way?

Back in April, we announced our commitment to investing in multicultural marketing and inclusion at MediaMath with the appointment of Elise James-Decruise, founder and former Head of Education for our New Marketing Institute, as our first-ever Head of Multicultural Marketing & Inclusion. Under her remit, MediaMath intends to assess and grow current diversity and inclusion programs and develop and strengthen external partnerships with clients, trade associations and the ecosystem more broadly in our efforts to cultivate and advance multicultural awareness, growth initiatives and thought leadership.

Today, just two days before Elise will present at the IAB’s Cross-Cultural Marketing Day in New York City, we have launched the playbook “10 Steps to Improving Multicultural Programmatic Campaigns” to help programmatic traders consider the entirety of their cultural audience’s journey—the actual “hands-on-keyboard” way to make multicultural marketing a reality.

Download this guide to learn:

  • Best practices pre-campaign, during campaign setup and for in-flight optimizations
  • Free tools for doing analyses and understanding differences and interests among cultures
  • Certain cultural nuances to consider when running marketing campaigns

Also watch our Twitter feed to catch real-time tweets from the Cross-Cultural Marketing Day and Elise presentation!


MediaMath Expands into South Korea

June 5, 2017 — by Amarita Bansal


This article originally appears on Mumbrella Asia. 

Adtech firm MediaMath has opened an office in South Korea after signing a deal with local reseller Wishmedia.

The launch marks MediaMath’s 43rd country of operation and follows a period of expansion across Asia Pacific, with new offices opening in India, Singapore, Tokyo and Australia.

MediaMath has revealed who will be leading the office or what clients they will handle at this stage.

The announcement:

South Korea saw a programmatic spend of $237 million in 2014, and is poised to be the biggest real-time bidding market in the region by 2018.

As the region continues to adopt programmatic marketing as the way to leverage data and advanced digital technologies, MediaMath believes that Wishmedia’sfamiliarity with the local market, combined with its network of potential clients, and expertise in the use of MediaMath’s technology solutions will help shape the future of marketing in the country.

Rahul Vasudev, managing director of MediaMath, Asia Pacific, said: “We believe Wishmedia is the ideal partner as they share our philosophy, believe in our vision and have the experience to lead the way here in South Korea.”

Richard Kyungkoo Lee, CEO of Wishmedia, added, “Leveraging our deep partner and client network, we are excited to implement MediaMath’s solutions in South Korea and advance the digital marketing landscape of in this market, while supporting MediaMath’s goal of delivering intelligent marketing solutions across the globe.”


Got Millennials? How to Attract Top Talent—and Keep Them

January 10, 2017 — by Elise James-Decruise


This byline originally appeared on

Over the past few years, millennials have developed a negative reputation as the lazy, self-indulgent “me-me-me generatiom.” However, when you look at the facts, that picture couldn’t be further from the truth. It turns out the majority of millennials are actually workaholics with no plans to “job hop” who don’t even take their allotted vacation time.

Millennials have moved past Gen. X to become the largest generation in the American workforce. According to a Pew Research Center analysis of U.S. Census Bureau data, the number of millennials in the workforce – currently 53.5 million – is only expected to grow as millennials currently enrolled in college graduate and begin working. Companies need to take notice of this generation and understand what it takes to not only recruit the best talent in the group, but keep them happy.

Throughout all industries – from tech and finance to hospitality and fashion – the traditional offerings of money and stability will no longer cut it when trying to attract the top millennial employees. Instead, organizations need to offer transparency, culture, and flexibility. To recruit elite talent, the entire company needs to be involved – not just the HR team.

If you’re looking for ways to attract young talent to your organization, check out the below tips on drawing and keeping their attention:

1. Write a Compelling Job Description

Now that it’s easier than ever to post jobs and search for positions online, a generic job description is no longer enough. The description of any open position should reflect the company and the team.

If culture is important, that needs to be clearly included in the job description to ensure the right person is applying for the right job. If the post is vague, it makes the applicant question if the job is right for them – and it wastes the time of the company when employees are stuck interviewing someone who isn’t right for the role.

If you are not looking for a typical job candidate, you need to consider the qualities that would make an applicant successful in your company, on your team, and in this specific role; then write a description based on them.

2. Don’t Be Afraid to Pivot People to Other Roles

Sometimes you interview a candidate who blows you away – but it turns out they aren’t the right fit for the specific position to which they applied. Rather than not hiring this impressive talent, try pivoting them to another team internally.

As much as you want the right person for the right role, sometimes you need to take a step back and recognize it’s important to have the top talent in your company in general. If you go this route, patience will be necessary as it can take several months to find the right fit. If you have the flexibility to pivot, millennial candidates will be excited by the opportunity to learn through experience until you ultimately find the perfect placement, and your company will benefit from obtaining a stellar employee.

3. Get Creative With Your Company Perks

Company perks that make the difference in retaining employees go far beyond a happy hour on Fridays or free meals. Millennials don’t expect excessive perks that aren’t sustainable for most companies, but they do want something tailored to them and their passions. Focus on creating the right perks for your ideal workforce.

If you find out what drives your applicants, you can alter the discussion around those specific perks. Do they have a family at home? Offer a flexible work schedule. Fitness buff? Provide free classes or allow them time to catch a midday workout when they don’t have meetings. Even internal professional development training can be valuable to someone just getting started in their career and help convince millennials to join – and stay at – your company.

By taking these steps, you can make your business much more attractive to millennial applicants, which should prove very beneficial to your organization: Millennials will represent nearly 75 percent of the workforce by 2030.


The Year of the Sophisticated Marketer

December 30, 2016 — by Joe Zawadzki


If 2015 was the year of adolescence for MediaMath, 2016 was accelerated maturity into the responsibilities of young adulthood.

This year, we evolved from an adtech company to an enterprise software and services provider, because the latter is what the market is demanding. Marketers are more sophisticated than ever. We are entering a “post-channel era” where CEOs, CMOs and CFOs are as obsessed as we are with data and outcomes.

With technology at their fingertips to enable 1:1 marketing at scale, with real-time execution, direct connection to consumers and the ability to measure business results over publisher inputs, marketers are increasingly motivated to “make it so.”

Those are our clients. MediaMath’s customers index toward the more sophisticated, and we’ve built our business to cater to them. This drive to move programmatic out of test budgets or a portion of their media investments sometimes requires new business models or team configurations to do so— our work with Coke and MediaCom out of Mexico is a great example of how this can be done with success. Marketers like the folks at MediaCrossing have moved from siloed channel approaches to true single platform allowing omnichannel execution. And with the pipes to hook together paid and owned media systems through great partners like IBM and Oracle, marketers are extending conversations they start with known customers in email across channels and the marketing funnel. From our founding, MediaMath has partnered with these most sophisticated marketers to push the boundaries of programmatic marketing. We want to continue to be seen as a leading “Visionary,” the category in which we were recognized in Gartner’s Magic Quadrant for Digital Marketing Hubs in January.

In the context of this growing client and market maturity, we made some changes internally that were both exciting and daunting.

Early in the year, we unveiled a new product business unit structure around our data, media and intelligence products, bringing our product teams closer to the client. Our data team, which successfully launched our proprietary data business, formerly known as Adroit, then Helix and now as part of MediaMath Audiences, in January and released into general availability our real-time DMP capabilities Adaptive Segments and IQ in November, is helping marketers leverage more of their first-, second- and third-party data sources (including deepened and new partnerships with data providers like Acxiom, PushSpring and Cuebiq) and shape the analytics around them.

Over top these new product business units, we’ve ramped up our professional services capabilities to enable clients to unlock the full potential of programmatic with talent and expertise.  Our New Marketing Institute, which is now officially in all regions with its expansion into APAC earlier this year, continues to help clients close education and talent gaps through their certification and training offerings and the Marketing Engineer Program. We also revamped our technology organization, appointing Wilfried Schobeiri as Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and Steve Steir as our new SVP of Engineering. Wil will drive our technical vision, ensure scalable growth of our systems and push the productization of our API and technology platform while evangelizing our technology both inside the company and externally to the market. Steve will make sure our global engineering team is aligned on the goal of continuously improving people and products.

Coming out of this new product structure, we have the right people in key roles across teams to move the company and mission forward. And there’s a renewed commitment to ongoing evolution and mobility that should smooth the migration of people and resources to the focused set of initiatives that need them at various time periods, varied as needed across geographies. We continue to strive to be a place where people at all stages of their careers want to work, and also encourage those individuals to give back in meaningful ways through the launch of our philanthropic arm

From a financial health perspective, our enterprise business grew just over 20 percent in our most mature market of North America and to over 100 percent in LATAM, along with (a return to) overall profitability. And we did that while taking something really good—a fast-growing and high-contribution business unit in Adroit—and blowing it up to free up the amazing talent and differentiated data assets inside to accrue to the benefit of all of our clients, globally, to become something great. Even more intestinal fortitude was required to shift our buy strategy for “batch supply”—Upcast—to build, in order to position it to grow by triple digits in 2017 as mobile and video did this year.


What else is to come in 2017? Here’s what I know: the market for what we are doing is getting bigger and the number of credible competitors is getting smaller. Smaller point solutions—from channels like video to standalone DMPs—are getting bought, validating the need for the integrated, transparent enterprise solution that we have been building for close to a decade. Audiences addressable through all forms of media, the centrality of machine learning—these ideas are being embraced after 10+ years to move from fringe notion to “obvious.” We are in the business of transforming marketing through tech and math, and we know where the market is going and are increasingly able to shape its direction.

And yet we will do more. The need for supply chain hygiene will cause some to call for a return to the halcyon days of advertiser, agency and publisher in the same way that the challenge of attribution had many retrench to engagement or reach metrics alone. Thankfully, we have truth on our side. In 2017, we as a company and as a catalyst for the cause must focus on belief and proof, and show it in the data and the results.

To do that, we will continue to invest in innovation and even more in scaled operations and infrastructure, partnering with the most sophisticated marketers and the diverse ecosystem that supports them.  We have an amazing team and the industry’s most powerful platform—the table is set. Now it’s up to us.


MediaMath’s Next Tech Investment

December 14, 2016 — by Wilfried Schobeiri4


If there’s one thing I’ve taken away from my experiences in the tech industry, it’s that fostering better technology for our clients and building a great environment for our people go hand-in-hand. Since my startup,, was acquired by MediaMath in 2012, I’ve dedicated myself to evolving the state of our technology while advocating for a “people first” culture by continually testing our level of comfort in the pursuit of continuous improvement.

Now, as MediaMath’s newly appointed Chief Technology Officer (CTO), I want to take it further by driving our technical vision, ensuring scalable growth of our systems, and pushing the productization of our API & Technology platform while evangelizing our technology both inside the company and externally to the market.

My focus has been on building teams with a culture driven to experiment, move quickly and communicate clearly while building the best technology products possible to our customers. But I won’t be doing this alone. I’m thrilled to have a partner in MediaMath’s new SVP of Engineering, Steve Steir, who values the idea of investing in people first, in order to build great technology. Steve comes from VCE with a long career leading engineering teams, and like me, he’s passionate about recruiting the brightest minds he can find and unleashing them on the technical problems at hand. His proudest accomplishments are the cultures that he has established that made work fun and invigorating.

Together, we are going to redouble our efforts to put people at the front of the software development lifecycle.

Our philosophy is simple: people are most productive when they are happy. We believe it’s the job of our managers and executives to make and keep our people happy by fostering an environment where the work is rewarding, impactful, and friction-free. To make sure that our global engineering team is aligned on the goal of continuously improving people and products, I’ve created a manifesto to achieve exactly that:

  • Be honest – Ask questions, call BS, embrace feedback and recognize success.
  • Experimentation requires embracing failure ­–  Success requires experimentation, and experimentation requires failure.
  • Be Relentless about efficiency ­­– Automate everything. Eliminate busywork and overhead. There is a delta between work and production, reduce this delta!
  • Failure is a constant so build resiliently ­– Optimizing against MTTR (mean time to recovery) is more important than optimizing against MTBF (mean time between failure). Automation and impact isolation makes this possible.

Now to the tech.

Over the last few years, we’ve refocused our approach to development by aligning ourselves into service oriented teams, each developing their own microservices, while investing in internal platform substrate to reduce friction and sprawl. We expect this approach to ultimately lead to a more flexible and interoperable API product, benefiting API and UI clients alike.

As CTO, I’ll be driving our technology forward with three main themes in mind:

  • Open Platforms – Modular. Composable. Self serve. MediaMath believes in the value of the connective ecosystem, realized through transparency and interoperability. Everyone benefits when our product is built API-first.
  • Scaled and Dependable Technology – as a global company, we need to have the resiliency and stability to support enormous levels of throughput and budget. Our customers rely on us to power their businesses, and as engineers and technologists, we must keep them at the front of our mind at all times. Operational Excellence is paramount, and we spearhead this via “DevOps” applied and a great SRE practice.
  • Usability – we meet our most sophisticated clients at the level that they work at. We also need to meet our clients that are new to programmatic where they are, with easy to use, packaged solutions that solve client solutions out of the box.

With that said, a transformation of this scale for an engineering team of more than 230 people is a huge task for me and Steve but we share a relentless focus on assembling the best engineering talent in a culture that promotes creativity, efficiency and empowered decision-making.