In a series of conversations with the leading confidantes and consultants in the ad automation and programmatic area, Jay Sears, Senior Vice President Marketplace Development of Rubicon Project, discusses trends and issues of the day impacting advertisers and media owners. Here, Sears speaks with Matt Spiegel, Senior Vice President/General Manager Data and Technology Solutions at MediaLink. Spiegel was founder and former CEO of Resolution Media, Omnicom’s search marketing agency, and as Omnicom Media Group’s global digital CEO, he launched its Accuen trading desk. [Editor’s Note: Be sure to read the first two installments of this series: Jay’s interviews with Joe Weaver of Promatica Consulting and Matt Prohaska of Prohaska Consulting.]
JAY SEARS: What do you read to keep up with politics, art and culture?
MATT SPIEGEL: Wall Street Journal, CNN, Politico, Wired, Rolling Stone
SEARS: What do you read to keep up with friends?
SPIEGEL: Facebook, Instagram (there is some reading involved)
SEARS: What do you read to keep up with the advertising technology industry?
SPIEGEL: Wall Street Journal, AdAge, AdWeek, AdExchanger, Business Insider, Re/code, Beet.TV
SEARS: What’s your favorite commercial of all time?
SPIEGEL: I have to give some love to my home town and go with the Gatorade “Be Like Mike” commercial -- the original of course.
SEARS: With regards to advertising automation, what are the three biggest trends you expect to impact companies in 2016?
SEARS: With regards to advertising automation, what are the three most overblown topics that you wish would just go away?
SEARS: Please describe your firm.
SPIEGEL: MediaLink is a strategic advisory firm that works at the intersection of media, technology, entertainment and finance, or as we like to say – we connect Wall Street, Madison Avenue, Silicon Valley and Hollywood. Our clients turn to us because as ex-operators ourselves we marry our strategic thinking with operational excellence.
SEARS: What are the three most common issues you help clients on regarding automation and programmatic trading?
SEARS: The majority of ad technology companies (relatively small, unprofitable or both) have struggled. Of the poor performers, what are the commonalities between them that have contributed to this weakness?
SPIEGEL: A couple of very common issues:
SEARS: A smaller handful of ad technology companies has achieved scale and performed better than the rest. What are the commonalities between them that have contributed to this relative strength?
SPIEGEL: The opposite of the above.
SEARS: Do we live in a “tale of two cities” where Google and Facebook win almost everything, advertisers are dictated to and other media companies fight for the scraps?
SPIEGEL: No, that’s a very “digital centric” view of the world. Both Google and Facebook are extremely impressive organizations that are indeed key players in the industry, but I think the ~$70B “TV” ecosystem has reasons to be counted as more than just “scraps.”
SEARS: Please answer the following statements yes or no.
SEARS: If you could go to the airport right now with friends or family and fly anywhere in the world for vacation, who would you take and where would you go?
SPIEGEL: Today’s answer (because there are plenty of options and I might feel differently tomorrow): I’d take the wife and head to Machu Picchu.
SEARS: If you could create an endowment to fund any existing non-profit you designated, what lucky non-profit organization would that be?
SPIEGEL: Having lost my dad to multiple myeloma a handful of years ago, I’d support the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation, which by the way is focused on big-data meets personalized medicine.
SEARS: What is your favorite restaurant in the world?
SPIEGEL: That’s like picking a favorite child, you can’t do that. On the top of my list: Fat Willy’s Rib Shack in Chicago; Commander’s Palace in New Orleans, and Nobu, anywhere!
SEARS: Thanks, Matt!
Do know a leading ad automation consultant in the ad automation and programmatic area advising advertisers and media companies that I should consider interviewing? Let me know.
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