Partner Spotlight

5 Questions with MediaMath’s CEO

February 17, 2016  |   Guest Author

[Editor’s note: We recently sat down with Joe Zawadzki, Chairman and CEO for MediaMath, to get his thoughts on the future of marketing and the challenges CMOs are facing right now. This blog is a compilation of those conversations. MediaMath is a gold sponsor of #RampUp16.]

  1.     What marketing trends do you predict will be most prominent in 2016?

There are three key trends for 2016:

  1. We’re going to see the rise of true programmatic marketing: integrated audience management and omni-channel execution at scale, marrying advertising and marketing with connected technology.
  2. There will be greater adoption of a programmatic-first approach, where the entirety of media spend is informed by programmatic and machine learning-driven decisioning and optimization that results in smarter spend. This is all in the name of reaching, knowing, and messaging your customers in better ways. It’s about delivering a more seamless, relevant user experience that drives true outcome-based results.
  3. Traditional walled gardens – platforms where advertisers can get their data in but cannot get it out – will start to open their walls and cooperate with a selection of unbiased partners like MediaMath.
  1.     What do you think is the single biggest challenge CMOs are facing today?

Resolving the tension between scalability and innovation.

You have a bunch of processes that are scalable, such as buying broadcast TV, and then innovative programmatic methods that lead to far more precise and more efficient audience targeting.

How do you keep your feet in both camps?

How do you make innovative things scalable and scalable things innovative?

  1.     How will they overcome it?

Start with your goals – the business goals – and not your marketing metrics. Work backwards.

Think of it as analyzing investments from a pretax versus after-tax perspective with transaction costs included. Returns can look wildly different with those two different lenses. Marketing is the same way.

Think about how different answers are produced with a sophisticated multitouch attribution model versus last click.

Think about how you make different decisions about where to invest if you include the cost of fraud, or based on value instead of price.

What you are trying to accomplish from a business perspective totally changes your marketing approaches.

  1.     Can you tell us about a CMO who inspires you?

We have a belief in the higher purpose of marketing.

People think about marketing as a megaphone and demand generation channel. What’s as important is being the voice of the customer coming into the organization. Think about what the customer needs from your product.

Marketing is seen as an external activity but a lot of it is internal. You must teach your people to be advocates and champions of the worldview and organization that created it, not just the product/service.

Recruiting everyone to become marketers, not just the marketing department, is critical for alignment and amplification. It’s as much about putting things into the organization as pushing them out.

Our CMO, Joanna O’Connell, represents that mindset in spades.

She has a point of view for where the market’s going, informed by her time at Forrester, AdExchanger, and Razorfish building the first trading desk–transparent, disclosed.

She’s a seeker of truth, —she actually wants to come to the right answer. That’s refreshing.

We have other CMOs who have similar attributes. Liza Landsman from is awesome.

Her title, Chief Customer Officer, is a visible manifestation of her belief that marketing needs to be responsible for the customer experience, all the way through product design and promise.

My hope and fervent belief is that this will be the way the whole world thinks about the role in the years to come!

  1. Why are you attending RampUp 2016, and what are you most excited for?

RampUp has historically been the place where the industry insiders go.

It’s the practitioners’ conference, so it tends to create deeper dialogues and real ideation around improving partnerships, which is rare to see at conferences attended by people new to the space or with less complementary worldviews.

Check out this MediaMath and LiveRamp conversation featured on the MediaMath blog this week!