Fostering Inclusivity in the Workforce, Workplace and Marketplace

January 28, 2020 — by MediaMath


Last week, our Head of Multicultural Marketing and Inclusion, Elise James-Decruise, was featured on the Minority Report podcast. The Minority Report highlights people of color, diverse backgrounds, women & the LGBTQ community. Their content focuses on diversity within media, ad tech, advertising and marketing providing insights through the lens of minorities.

Hear how she combines her experience in education with her passion for diversity & inclusion to make the workplace better for everyone:


Shine On! How 2019 IAB Data Rising Star Danielle Dzbanek is Defining the Reporting Behind SOURCE by MediaMath

October 11, 2019 — by MediaMath


As we are putting a stake in the ground to create a 100% accountable and addressable media supply chain through SOURCE, we are proud that the industry is taking notice of the people who are making this initiative come to life. The IAB Data Center of Excellence has shone a dazzling light on one of our own. Danielle Dzbanek was recognized as a 2019 IAB Data Rising Star! She joins a number of data-fanatics recognized for their spectacular work and profound impact on the digital media industry in 2019.

As Director, Analytics, Danielle manages a team whose mission is to empower MediaMath clients by providing accessibility to and transparency into data through custom reporting, visualizations, and advanced analytics that lead to actionable insights that drive revenue. She is also involved in everything from pre-sales through to onboarding, from consulting to reporting and analytics. As part of our SOURCE by MediaMath launch, Danielle and her team are behind the insights reporting and defining how to test SOURCE campaigns.

“When we talk about the need for both tech and talent to clean up the supply chain and help brands reach the height of their business goals, we are talking about talent like Danielle,” said Eric Tutlys, VP, Global Head of Analytics. “She is curious, hardworking and does things without being asked. Part of her innovative brilliance has come from taking on things that are technically outside the scope of her role.”

Danielle is a 2014 graduate of our Marketing Engineer Program that combines extensive professional development, formal industry deep-dives and hands-on experience across roles to ensure that every participant has the demeanor of a leader, knowledge of the most fundamental to the most cutting-edge topics in digital media and, finally, skills necessary to tackle any role, be it trader, analyst, sales or others. After six months spent learning the ins and outs of the industry, MediaMath and its platform, Danielle was given the role of Data Analyst. She then went through a series of almost annual promotions to become a director managing a five-person team.

Danielle has made substantial contributions to the team since joining in January of 2015. Taking the lead on the bulk of revenue captured in North America, Danielle has touched nearly every client on our top 30 list. Danielle is continuously seeking how to streamline client processes, fill critical product gaps and craft an appropriate narrative while solving for our clients’ most critical business needs.

Danielle has been a cross-functional champion, working across Product, Sales, Account, PSO and Solution Engineering, and a truly masterful multi-tasker. Her balance across the team, our clients (new and existing) and our product is remarkable. Through the balance of fire drill response and proactivity, she brings a vibrant, honest approach to getting things done.

As she has evolved in her role, Danielle has almost single-handedly carried MediaMath Reporting into the future. She has been at the very front lines of ensuring that MediaMath’s product-based reporting not only as a means of delivery but also that the products themselves are operating as best they can.

We are proud that the IAB has recognized Danielle as a shining talent in our industry. Learn more about the IAB Data Rockstars 2019 Award.


Growing the Next Generation of Talent to Fuel a Next-Generation Digital Marketing Supply Chain

October 1, 2019 — by Jeffrey Adler


In a poignant AdExchanger post, Carl Smith writes “What the industry collectively needs to do is grow its ranks. We need to attract and cultivate our own talent, otherwise, the digital landscape will be bleak for both agencies and corporations alike.”

We couldn’t agree more. As the industry rallies around creating a cleaner, more transparent supply chain to take digital into the next era, ad tech companies must fully commit to fostering the talent to support it. If they don’t, their recruiting efforts will be limited to the small slice of the population with past digital marketing experience, making it difficult, if not impossible, to cultivate the talent that is critical to helping brands and their partners get the most out of technology. Further, there will be no guarantee that those candidates have the broad understanding of the programmatic ecosystem, up-to-date knowledge of the latest industry trends and well-rounded skillset necessary to thrive. If companies want great talent, they need to invest.

What does investment in talent look like?

Call me biased, but I believe it looks like the Marketing Engineer Program at MediaMath. Referred to as MEP, the Marketing Engineer Program is “MediaMath’s solution to the needs of a fast-growing industry…” It’s a three-month paid career accelerator program that runs twice a year and accepts 10 to 15 participants from an extremely diverse set of backgrounds and specializations. Whether it’s mathematicians, writers, industry-changers, etc., our philosophy is that, if we provide the marketing education, then our recruitment strategy can focus on the qualities that guarantee high-performance: IQ, EQ, drive and a collaborative spirit. And, providing an education in marketing is exactly what MEP does.

The Marketing Engineer Program combines extensive professional development, formal industry deep-dives and hands-on experience across roles to ensure that every participant has the demeanor of a leader, knowledge of the most fundamental to the most cutting-edge topics in digital media and, finally, skills necessary to tackle any role, be it trader, analyst, sales or others. This formula is working.

Since the program’s inception in 2014, we have placed participants in a wide variety of roles inside and outside of MediaMath. Past MEPs consistently rank among the highest performers at MediaMath and display increased job mobility and the ability to manage people. Tech companies, agencies and brands of both small and large sizes have benefited from the talent that the program produces. Here are some stats from the latest MEP class:

  • 8 people from underrepresented backgrounds
  • 1:1 female-male ratio
  • 4 Advanced Degrees
  • Backgrounds  in Stand-up comedy, varsity college athletes, semi-professional dancers, military experience, past work experience in print publishing

MEP Alumni:

  • 94% placed in full-time jobs within 30 days, 100% within 3 months
  • MEPs occupy leadership positions at MediaMath across Senior Directors, Directors, Senior Managers, etc. and across Solution Engineering, Programmatic Strategy & Optimization, Client Services, Analytics, Engineering, Product, Supply Partnerships, Biz Dev, etc.
  • Across the ecosystem: Oracle, Teads, Deloitte, Horizon Media, Dentsu Aegis, IPG MG, Publicis, TripleLift, Oakland Raiders
  • NPS Score from alumni: 86

There is so much more to be said about the program, but rather than cram it all in here, stay tuned to our social channels to really see how this group of individuals are gaining and sharing a POV that marketing can, in fact, be a force for good in the economy and in the world.

Learn more about MEP:


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.


Investing in Talent Behind the Tech: A Q&A with our New SVP of Professional Services, TJ Ceballos

September 13, 2019 — by Cameron Williams


TJ Ceballos is a 15-year media experienced titan.

Back in May, we had the pleasure of welcoming TJ Ceballos to the Professional Services team as Senior Vice President, Strategy and Operations. In this role, TJ is helping the company with scaling Professional Services teams, focusing on seamless customer engagements and deepening the commitment to ensure customers get the most out of their investment in partnership with MediaMath.

“Our team is growing and scaling to meet the needs of our clients, who increasingly look to consultative partners to help them navigate the world of programmatic. As the industry is progressing and evolving and as our technology is progressing and evolving, so does the expectation of our clients and partners to have a trusted advisor,” said Anna Grodecka-Grad, Chief Services Officer, MediaMath. “Our continued and accelerated growth requires expertise that will support our efforts on a global scale, and the depth of TJ’s experience is a perfect fit.”

I caught up with TJ to discuss his background, goals for the ProServ Team, as well as how we can continually evolve our marketing programs and strategy to reach and exceed business objectives.

What were you doing before this?

Before joining MediaMath this past May, I was GM of Enterprise Business Development at The Trade Desk. Prior to that, I worked as VP of Professional Services at Operative and VP of Solution Management at Affinity Express.

What made you decide to join MediaMath?

I was so excited about the chance to join MM’s award-winning Professional Services organization. Every organization is a reflection of its leader and this one is no exception. Anna’s commitment to the ongoing optimization of the customer lifecycle was a compelling opportunity. Her vision for the role and the potential impact to the customer experience were too amazing to pass up.

What are your short-term goals for the role?

My short-term goal is to focus on leveraging my experience in building and scaling Professional Services organizations to support the amazing leadership in place. Improve our customer engagement model and drive deeper on our commitment to ensure our customers get the most out of their investment in a partnership with MM.

What value is your remittance adding to MediaMath? To the industry?

A seasoned executive who measures his personal value on a commitment to his customers success by establishing long-lasting relationships.

How do you intend to support MediaMath’s mission to reimagine a modernized supply chain that is transparent and accountable?

I will bring a wealth of relationships and experience in programmatic industry. I will help to shape and architect the services and customer engagements required to deliver this next generation of supply ecosystem.

How do you view the intersection of talent and tech in the industry?

Success in programmatic is predicated on finding the right balance of man and machine. The ideal scenario is to map your entire offering and map the responsibilities of both to drive successful outcomes for your customers.


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:


Quantum leap — why this theoretical physicist now works in martech

August 23, 2019 — by MediaMath


This blog post was originally published on

Ever thought of making a career change? Anna Grodecka-Grad did — from a tenured position in quantum physics to scalable programmatic advertising. Now, she holds a suite of skills of which other executives could only dream.

This article originally appeared in The Nurture Issue.

There is a very specific kind of person in this world, and they are few and far between. The kind who appear as though everything comes to them without effort, like life has predetermined a winning path for them. Anna Grodecka-Grad is one such person. Except she’s not. What you don’t see when Grodecka-Grad makes her career — spanning science, technology, mathematics, programmatic and executive relations — look easy is a long-crafted and ferocious appetite for knowledge, an impregnable drive for improvement and the tenacity and grit required to get there.

In her past life, Grodecka-Grad spent her time publishing papers titled ‘Indirect spin dephasing via charge-state decoherence in optical control schemes in quantum dots’ and ‘Influence of acoustic phonons on the optical control of quantum dots driven by adiabatic rapid passage’. With a PhD in theoretical quantum physics and close to a decade studying and teaching in tertiary academia, she decided it was time for a seachange.

In 2013, Grodecka-Grad began her new professional journey with martech, programmatic and data management company MediaMath. Today she is responsible for clients’ activation onboarding, ongoing services, consulting and support, custom solutions and integration as chief services officer.

Marketing caught up with Grodecka-Grad to discuss her views on the future of work in the marketing technology and programmatic landscape, the changing role of data within complex organisations and how she translates the skills brought from theoretical physics to our industry.

To read the interview please click here.


I’ve Been to DMEXCO 17 Times—This Year, We’re Fixing the Media Supply Chain

August 19, 2019 — by Jens Bargmann


In 2002, DMEXCO was called OMD (Online Marketing Düsseldorf) and took place at the Rheinterrassen in Düsseldorf instead of Cologne. It consisted of two smallish halls which you could cross from one end to the other within five minutes. There were 36 exhibitors and 1,700 visitors—our current MediaMath booth would have been the biggest of the show by far. On Day 2, nobody showed up before noon because everyone was out till 5am in the morning partying.

Back then, most of the exhibitors were web portals like, and, indicative of what the media supply chain looked like. There were also the main German publishing houses like Springer and Gruner + Jahr which were starting to participate online. The supply chain was much smaller and mainly limited to these players. Ads were bought on an IO basis, via fax.

DMEXCO has come a long way in large part because the adtech landscape has exploded. Now, every type of company under the LUMAscape is represented. In 2015, DMEXCO became the global digital marketing show nobody in the industry wants to miss, with 881 exhibitors and 43,000 visitors. And yet, all this growth later, American and British visitors still cannot cope with the unwieldy name DMEXCO for Digital Marketing EXpo COlogne and instead continue to refer to it as “DEMEXICO” although it has nothing to do with the beautiful country south of the US…

But back to the future.

When I started my career in product management at Lycos Europe in 1999, nobody had any clue what they were doing in digital marketing. It has now disrupted the way in which brands engage with consumers both online and off. However, it’s rapid growth has also meant that we built the Internet without much standardization and purpose. This has led to a host of untended consequences such as fraud and intermediaries that don’t add value. And everyone has been impacted—not just brands, but agencies, publishers and consumers, too. It’s gone on for far too long, and now brands are losing money as consumers tune out and turn off from advertising altogether.

That’s all changing. During this year’s Cannes, MediaMath and partners including Rubicon announced a collective initiative to create a cleaner, safer media supply chain in which advertisers will be able to see the ROI across all of their supply efforts, more accurately plan and forecast and only work with partners who have their best interests in mind. And we’ve been hard at work all summer putting product, process and partnerships against this big effort.

We are excited to share more about the work we’ve been doing with others in the industry at this year’s DMEXCO. And what better company in which to do it than brands like Deutsche Telekom, Mondelez, Visa, Henkel, Samsung and IBM.

A lot has changed in 17 years. Come DMEXCO 2020, I look forward to discussing with attendees how this new, cleaner supply chain work has improved business results for brands and publishers and given consumers incredible experiences.


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.

To read the rest of the post please click here.


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.