From Pioneering Ad Tech Education to Standing Up Multicultural Marketing

April 2, 2019 — by Elise James-Decruise    

I joined MediaMath in January of 2012, and we launched the New Marketing Institute (NMI), MediaMath’s educational arm, shortly thereafter, with the aim of pushing the educational boundaries within one of the fastest-growing industries on the planet. Towards the end of last year—just a few months shy of NMI’s seventh birthday—I started thinking about the next chapter of my career. I talked to our leadership about the possibility of constructing a role that would allow me to help MediaMath think about and better position diversity and inclusion within the workforce, workplace and marketplace, and inspire others to do the same. This role would also help our company connect with people and brands who want solutions that can “reach a multicultural audience where they are.”

Today, I am proud to announce that I am MediaMath’s first-ever Head of Multicultural Marketing & Inclusion. Under my 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. Why now? Well, it wasn’t that long ago that prospects and customers were a homogenous group, often located in the communities and surrounding areas in which they lived and worked. Today, with the advances in technology and the growth of a multicultural population, companies are expanding their marketing outreach dramatically to connect with their audiences globally, both in terms of geography and customer profiles and segments (including age, gender, race, ethnicity and socioeconomic background).

The Marketplace changes every day, and learning how to adapt, grow and “reach each consumer where they are” is reality in today’s world. Being flexible and open to new ways of thinking about reaching consumers are also important as we launch new products and services and rebrand existing ones. As the consumer market becomes increasingly diverse, companies need to establish authentic connections with multicultural audiences to remain relevant in today’s ever-changing and competitive marketplace. Because multicultural consumers are the fastest-growing segment in the United States, taking a multicultural approach is no longer an option, but a necessity. Agencies and brands that recognize the value diversity brings to their companies and that integrate multicultural strategies into their marketing and culture will make an impact culturally and to their bottom line within their organizations and the ecosystem as a whole.

Although I will be stepping away from NMI, I have left it in the very capable hands of Laura Rodriguez-Costacamps, a long-standing NMI team member who brings incredible skill, passion and warmth to the role. I’m grateful for and humbled by the amazing team of training professionals and subject matters experts throughout MediaMath with whom I had the good fortune of partnering to create award-winning curriculum, and the companies, universities and industry professionals who shared in our commitment to educating the next generation of programmatic marketers globally.

I’m optimistic and excited about what lies ahead for MediaMath, our clients, partners and the ecosystem as we “get comfortable being uncomfortable,” sharing best practices and next practices through ongoing education and thought leadership, centered around the workforce, workplace and marketplace.

Elise James-Decruise

Elise is MediaMath’s Head of Multicultural Marketing and Inclusion. In her role, she helps MediaMath think about and better position diversity and inclusion within the workforce, workplace and marketplace, and inspires others to do the same. Previously, she founded and led MediaMath’s global educational arm New Marketing Institute, which includes internal and external training initiatives, certification, enterprise education and global program development. Successfully transitioning from the financial sector as a global trainer at Thomson Financial (Thomson Reuters), Elise started out her digital marketing career at Right Media (acquired by Yahoo) where she transformed their internal training program and founded Right Media University for the Sales, Operations and Technical Support Teams.