So, what does a day in the life of the Director of Media Operations and Analytics look like?
No two days are really alike. Usually starts with a review of the top line exchange performance and goes forth from there. One of my favorite things about my job is that I can work within my responsibilities and touch every facet of the company. Most of my focus is making sure campaigns deliver optimally, but that quickly transitions to investigations into publisher yield maximization and working with product and engineering to develop new UI features and optimization strategies.
Tell us about your background.
I studied Engineering and Physics at Fordham University and without a job in hand in May, ended up going to work for a direct response marketing company called Traffix. I did sales for 6 months, which was certainly humbling, but very educational. The powers that be saw some potential in me so I transitioned to the mobile product side of the business, which was a better fit, to put it mildly. From that seat, I was able to learn about all types of digital media and get a lot of great experience in customer LTVs and billing operations. It was a very entrepreneurial environment.
You were one of the first 20 employees here at LiveIntent. What first drew you to the company and made you want to work here?
Coming from a company that had once been huge in e-mail, and then struggled with it as the landscape changed – I instantly saw the opportunity that LiveIntent had on its hands. Having been part of a fairly mature business at Traffix, I was excited to be a part of a true start up, yet with a fairly well defined business model. When the team is small everyone has a huge impact on the business and the culture is that of a close group of friends – found exactly what I was looking for without really even knowing it.
What has it been like to see the company evolve over these last two years?
Pretty incredible. We went from 12 people in a room, eating dinner together in our largest conference room practically every night – to over 70 and counting. Watching walls get knocked down to facilitate expansion – both physically and operationally – has been really amazing. I imagine it’s a little like watching a child grow, except that the characteristics of a business and those of a human are somewhat different.
The idea of “Big Data” is prevalent in all facets of the industry these days. Given that you’re the resident expert in all things analytics, what is your opinion on the current usage of Big Data and the yet unexplored possibilities?
I think it is a fun industry buzzword, that simultaneously means much and little. We certainly face issues that would be considered ‘big data’ related – but I don’t conceive them that way. Cloud distributed computing is not to be trivialized – a world changing innovation. But at LiveIntent anyway – we use those tools to answer questions that come out of the day to day and the tools are the means to the end. We analyze billions of transactions every day across hundreds of dimensions to understand our publishers and advertisers better.
Two of your passions are cooking and motorcycles. If you had to choose one to give up forever, which would it be and why?
Cooking – the risk of injury is clearly higher 😉
Do you prefer movies or books, and why?
Don’t prefer one over the other. Different mediums with different strengths and weaknesses – and as I think history shows us, a great many works do not readily translate between them.
OK. So give me your favorite of each.
Let’s go with The Snowball and Goldfinger. Quintessential Buffet and quintessential Bond.
Who is your hero?
My Dad. I wasn’t religious growing up, my parents always said they would let me make that choice for myself when I got older. As I’ve gotten older, there is no group, person, or entity I’ve come across that is better at exemplifying qualities that humans generally should aspire to – patience, honesty, loyalty, empathy, compassion, perseverance.
What are you most looking forward to in the next year?
Probably our new office (crowded!) – and seeing what 2014 has in store for LiveIntent. If anything is certain – it’s that the future is unpredictable.
And Caribbean vacation – first time.