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Employee Spotlight: “I Saw Mobile Coming”

December 2, 2016 — by Amarita Bansal

From a philosophy and religion major, to touring the country following the Grateful Dead and even becoming a professional canoe guide, Michael Weaver, VP, Product Strategy, Growth Media at MediaMath, never thought he’d end up in the advertising field or digital economy while in college.

“In my dorm, there was one person who had a computer that we all tried to share to write papers on,” said Weaver. “But most of my papers were written on a typewriter!”

Now, Weaver is at the forefront of mobile.

He got his first taste of digital through a friend. “In 1993, a friend of mine who was very involved in the new age of computers was talking about the World Wide Web which we were just coming into familiarity with. So we started a little company out of our apartment where we would go to stores and restaurants offering to build a website for them.”

After his first exposure to the digital landscape, Weaver’s college roommate started his own company called BlueStreak. Here, Weaver was able to go to ad agencies and explain that there’s this thing called the internet.

“I’d have to explain to people that they’re going to need a website and, when that happens, they’re going to want to advertise. And when they advertise, they’re going to need to measure and deliver ads,” said Weaver. “So it was a lot of explaining the future to a lot of ad agencies in that role.”

After BlueStreak, Weaver started his own company Third Screen Media because, he says, “I saw mobile coming.” This was pre-iPhone days, pre-apps, pre-universal SMS, but he saw it coming because it was the future and advertisers were interested. Thereafter, it was sold to AOL, which was known as America Online at the time and after a stint at Microsoft, Weaver landed a job at MediaMath.

“Mobile is necessary. It’s 60 percent of the supply right now coming in to the bid stream, so six out of 10 hits on the internet are basically mobile-first. And if you start to skew towards millennials, its even higher,” said Weaver. “So it’s new and it’s exciting, but it’s not new because people are there. And its funny, I think back on talks and how positioning mobile has changed and it used to be messaging. Now it’s just ubiquitous, and it’s there and it’s the primary way people consume media, and that’s only going to increase.”

CultureDIGITAL MARKETINGMediaPeoplePROGRAMMATICUncategorized

Social Countdown to 2017

December 1, 2016 — by Annie Fei

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As 2016 is a coming to a close, the MediaMath team is looking back at the terrific year we’ve had. We’ve had the pleasure of making senior appointments in APAC, attending both Cannes Lions Festival and Dmexco and celebrating our 1 year anniversary at 4 World Trade Center!

We’ll be hosting a Twitter countdown to 2017 by highlighting our favorite moments and milestones of 2016 throughout the month of December, so follow along at @MediaMath, @MediaMathEMEA and @MediaMathAPAC or follow our hashtag, #MMLooksBack2016. You’ll be able to see our year in review and see predictions from our executive team and partners for 2017.

Thank you for continuing to support us in our journey and stay tuned for more to come in 2017!

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How We Recruit Millennial Talent

November 28, 2016 — by Julie Smith

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This post is part of a four-part series around managing a training program, including recruiting, retaining and reviewing young talent.

As the newest generation hits the market, deemed “Millennials,” there has been a shift in what it takes to recruit top talent.  Whether it’s the tech industry, finance, or fashion, the old drivers of money and stability aren’t the only things attracting top talent anymore. To stay current in todays market Millenials wants transparency, culture and flexibility.

After recruiting over four cohorts of MediaMath’s Marketing Engineer Program, we’ve interviewed talent from across the world. Recruiting them isn’t just for the HR team, it’s a full company effort. Whether you are a hiring manager or a recruiter, if you’re looking for ways to attract young talent to your company, check out our tips for drawing and keeping their attention.

• Write a compelling job description

Gone are the days of generic job descriptions. Write job descriptions that reflect your company and your team. Using unclear verbiage, leaving the applicant guessing if it’s the right fit won’t help them know if they’re applying for the right role (and will save you time when interviewing people who ARE right for the role). Consider their background and take into account what qualities makes someone successful in your company, on your team and in this role. Instead of writing “Analysis and research background,” think “Coursework or professional experience with data-driven problem solving and/or quantitative reasoning.” At MediaMath, being data-driven is in our mission so we look for people who have that passion.

• Don’t be afraid to pivot them to other roles

At MediaMath we want people to find the right role for themselves as much as we want top talent to join the company. If we have someone come in for an interview, and they’re a rock star, but not the right fit for the position, we’ll pivot them to other teams internally. While it might take us a few months to find the right fit, what matters is that we do.  I work alongside many of these people each day, and they’ve found roles perfect for their skillset and interests. It’s just as important to interview based on their ability to get the job done as it is that they’ll be successful in the role and on the team. If you have someone who will be working alone a majority of the time, but they talk about being a great people manager and enjoy working with people, they likely aren’t going to be successful no matter their technical abilities.

• Get creative with your company perks and tailor your message

Perks come in all shapes and sizes – they don’t have to be excessive. While the Facebooks and Googles of the world can provide free meals, that’s often not sustainable for most companies. If the budget is tight, focus on creating the right perks for your ideal workforce. A flexible work schedule, casual dress code, a robust onboarding program and internal professional development trainings can add a lot of value to someone starting out their career. Focus on finding what drives your applicants and tailor the discussion to those. Do you they have a family at home? Tailor their schedule to something that works for them. Do they work out a lot? Talk about how they can leave when they don’t have meetings to catch a mid-day cycle class.

• Make the conversation a two-way street

Millennials want to know that their new role is going to help their career grow as much as the position will help the company grow. Ask where they see themselves in five years, if it’s in a manager role, talk to them about the transferable skills they will get in the position and how the role will help them get where they want to go.  For our Marketing Engineers we even change the traditional cover letter to require research and an informative reaction to an industry trend. We want to see that they are not only interested in the role, but their impact on the industry. Make the conversation about more than their ability to complete the job.

• Train your team to interview for the right skills

All interviewers for our Marketing Engineer Program attend a mandatory training. The training doesn’t need to be long. Ours is 45 minutes.  However, it’s important that each interviewer is familiar with the job description, knows the skills and/or competencies required for the position, and understands their role in the hiring process.  This will ensure everyone is on the same page, and lead to a seamless and streamlined interview process. Remember to also include the basics like interview etiquette, applicable employment laws and the hiring process/timeline.

Young talent is important to the vitality of any organization. Whether it’s their drive for innovation, their openness to trying new things, or their exponential potential, Millennials provide a unique skill set and perspective. By utilizing these tools and collaborating with your recruiters, you’ll bring the right talent in at the right time.

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Client Success Story with eBay

November 1, 2016 — by Amarita Bansal

What’s behind a multinational eCommerce retailer’s advertising strategy?

Fabio Esposti, who leads the programmatic display team at eBay globally, discusses what his brand is doing in programmatic and how MediaMath helps them run campaigns worldwide.

Watch the video above to learn more about how eBay’s approach to programmatic has changed over the past few years and how automation with programmatic will play a role in the future.

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Mathlete Values: Make Decisions, Take Responsibility

October 25, 2016 — by Travis Barnes

Last month, MediaMath redefined the values that we hold ourselves to for our clients, partners, and employees. In this series, Mathletes reflect on each of the values that MediaMath has adopted.

MediaMath inhabits a fast moving ecosystem where our employees need the latitude to make decisions quickly and confidently – we’d rather be responsive and occasionally make corrections than miss those opportunities that drive change in our industry.

Mathletes have the freedom to make big decisions because they also take responsibility for how those decisions are implemented. What does it mean to “take responsibility” for your decisions? It’s not taking the fall or losing your job. It is following through on a solution and continuing to work to make it succeed.

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Employee Spotlight: Taking a Leap of Faith

October 20, 2016 — by Amarita Bansal

“I would not have changed my decision for leaving a very stable career at L’Oreal with a great trajectory to make the leap of faith to come to a fast growing company, that’s very dynamic and has afforded me opportunities that I don’t think any other company would have been able to offer,” says Brian Murdock, Director, M&A Integration at MediaMath.

From working for one of the biggest cosmetics companies, L’Oreal, to transitioning into the adtech industry, Murdock started his professional journey on Wall Street.

Studying business management with a concentration on finance and investments at Marymount Manhattan College in New York City, Murdock always wanted to work in finance. Having a knack for numbers, Murdock’s first job was working in the synthetic CDO market. But in 2008, the global financial crisis occurred.

“With the crash of 2008, I actually lost my job and it was a great time for me to really wake up and realize that I didn’t really like finance and what I was doing.”

His next move? Murdock stepped into the world of marketing for the next four years as a brand manager at L’Oreal as he was always drawn to the strategic side of owning a brand as well as having the opportunity to learn the overall component of how a business ran and operated.

“I loved it,” Murdock says. “I was responsible for building the strategy and making sure that the business was going to grow, be competitive and gain market share. And as a marketer, running a very large brand, I was exposed to not only the evolution but the power of digital media and how that plays within marketing.”

Moving over to the programmatic side, Murdock could see the potential with digital advertising and wanted to be part of the game. At the time, he wasn’t looking to change careers but an opportunity arose at MediaMath. “L’Oreal’s’ a big corporation, that’s how they function, and I wanted to take a risk from a career perspective to really branch out and try a smaller company. Try to take a risk as someone young in my career and be part of that transformation that was taking place within the digital environment.”

In 2014, Murdock joined MediaMath in the product commercialization group where he owned the social portion of the business and was responsible for developing strategies to ensure the social business grew as the company scaled. From there, he moved over to the corporate development team where he worked on the company’s latest acquisition, Spree7 — a leading German digital media consulting and programmatic implementation firm.

“In my new role I was to develop a strategy on how the newly acquired business would fit into MediaMath so I actually moved to Berlin and was there for three to four months, implementing the strategy and integrating the business into MediaMath. That was one of the highlights of my career thus far, I worked with amazing people.” Based in Berlin, Murdock was also able to go back and forth to London to go meet with the team there.

“MediaMath is a very dynamic company. And as we have grown so quickly, it’s very interesting to be in a global role at a global company because it has afforded me the ability to travel to other offices. I’ve loved being able to visit different offices around the world – seeing how different they all are but still having the same values and core components that make MediaMath such a great company to work for.”

CareersCultureDIGITAL MARKETINGMediaPeopleUncategorized

Mathlete Values: Win/Win Wins

October 11, 2016 — by Travis Barnes

Last month, MediaMath redefined the values that we hold ourselves to for our clients, partners, and employees. In this series, Mathletes reflect on each of the values that MediaMath has adopted.

Success in this world is not a net-zero game, but finding ways to grow your business by offering advertisers ways to improve the return on their spend can translate to better value for publishers as well. In the most basic formulation, win/win wins.

 We take the same approach to how we work with each other within our teams – it is very difficult to coerce anyone to do something they do not want to do. Rather than expending the extra effort to get someone to do something against their interest, find a way to make them benefit from your desired course of action. What works for business relationships works for interpersonal relationships, too. People are happy to help you win when it helps them win.

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Mathlete Values: Innovate to Scale

September 27, 2016 — by Travis Barnes

Last month, MediaMath redefined the values that we hold ourselves to for our clients, partners, and employees. In this series, Mathletes reflect on each of the values that MediaMath has adopted.

How do Mathletes innovate to scale?

Innovating to scale requires thinking about how to make solutions work across geographies and anticipating problems that have not come up yet. It’s knowing what to focus on and how to empower other people to innovate in useful and productive ways on the edge. 

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Five Lessons Learned: A Look Back on Marketing Engineer Program’s Five Cohorts

September 21, 2016 — by Julie Smith1

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MediaMath’s Marketing Engineer Program (MEP) is about to graduate its fifth cohort on September 23rd. We have learned a lot about establishing and refining a training program over the past two years.  When MEP launched in June 2014, it was a six-month rotational program. However, it has evolved into an intense 12-week curriculum-based training program, with just under a four percent acceptance rate. Now that it has grown into an international training program, it continues to produce future leaders within digital marketing.

In honor of graduating over 50 marketing engineers, we decided to reflect on the biggest lessons learned since its launch two years ago.

• Everyone wants to make an impact (that doesn’t change in a training program)

Trainees wants to know that the work they’re doing is contributing to something, anything really. Every project and every assignment should have a purpose. Focus on real world scenarios so that trainees can apply the content quicker and understand how their decisions impact real people.

• Meet the learner where they are (because everyone learns differently)

This approach is one that the New Marketing Institute has always kept at the forefront and with our Marketing Engineer Program, it’s no different. We do this with a blended learning approach, creating different experiences for different learning styles. For instance, if the cohort is learning about uploading pixels, we’ll lead a training session, have them shadow a Subject Matter Expert (SME) and follow it up with a team project.

• Feedback is a gift (and a two-way street)

We start by teaching MEPs how to give and receive effective feedback. Starting with this foundation helps build a culture of constant feedback as well as a sense of empowerment. We continue to collect feedback from MEPs throughout the program, learning what works and what doesn’t, in efforts to make changes to future programs. Invest time into collecting honest, tangible feedback on a constant basis.  

• A longer program isn’t necessarily better (focus on hitting the right objectives)

Over the past two years we’ve taken the program from six months to 12 weeks. A shorter program has its benefits – trainees enter the workforce faster and trainers spend fewer hours in the classroom.  But it can also come with its challenges – increased participant workload and less time to meet desired learning objectives. By continuously reviewing and refining your learning objectives you can align projects, shadowing and trainings to the end goal and you can help trainees understand the content faster.

• Team building is imperative (establish the culture upfront)

Throughout the program we help MEPs identify how their strengths and weaknesses affect how they interact with each other and the world around them. By understanding themselves, they can become a more effective team member, and ultimately a more effective team. Techniques include trainings on MBTI, emotional intelligence, goal setting and effective feedback.

The process of launching a program hasn’t been simple, but it has been worth it. While the program has never looked the same, we have our participants to thank for making it stronger. We’ll be releasing more lessons learned in our millennial talent series coming out this fall. Stay tuned for more tips on recruiting, retaining and reviewing young talent.

CultureDIGITAL MARKETINGMediaPeoplePROGRAMMATICUncategorized

Mathlete Values: Obsess About Outcomes

September 14, 2016 — by Travis Barnes

Last month, MediaMath redefined the values that we hold ourselves to for our clients, partners, and employees. In this series, Mathletes reflect on each of the values that MediaMath has adopted.

How do Mathletes obsess about outcomes?

Like most of our company values, these are both a promise to clients as well as an expectation for ourselves. TerminalOne optimizes advertising spend towards media that actually improves a business’ bottom line. In the exact same way, we value actions that drive actual results for our business objectives and the business objectives of our clients. As employees and as partners, we obsess about outcomes. If it doesn’t affect the outcome, it doesn’t matter.