AOL Advertising has hired former MediaMath marketing executive Marta Martinez to the newly-created position of Head of Sales Strategy & Operations.
With AOL's mixed display results the past few quarters -- third party network dollars continue to surge, while spending on "premium" owned & operated properties strive to be better than flat -- the company has done a number of departmental rebrandings and reshufflings.
As a reflection of its strengths, and of where the general online ad market appears to be going, AOL has been speaking a lot more about the importance of "programmatic." And by hiring Martinez, who was previously MediaMath's SVP for Business Development & Operations and its CMO, AOL is working to expand its Advertising unit's bench strength to showcase its understanding of, and commitment to, programmatic sales methods.
"Marta is a true innovator in the world of online advertising, with a proven ability to translate complex advertising technology solutions into tangible benefits for marketers and agencies,” said Jim Norton, SVP, Head of Sales, AOL Advertising, in a statement.
Martinez's new role calls for her to lead and manage sales strategy and operations functions for AOL Advertising, including business operations and planning, designing ad effectiveness programs, and orchestrating a range of tailored advertising products for specific clients.
Among the other things Martinez will likely have a hand in is helping AOL pursue more “white label” services in the ad tech space. This could involve services that utilize AOL's recently acquired retargeting offering Buysight, or its demand side platform, Adlearn. Secondly, AOL has said that it plans to fully roll out supply side platform services over the next few months, though it is unclear if that will happen through in-house development or through an acquisition.
In an interview with AdExchanger following the company's Q4 earnings release earlier this month, CEO Tim Armstrong said that it still looks like early days in terms of defining what the available ad stacks will ultimately look like. He believes, though, that AOL's wide reach and success with its third party network display offerings can help shape what's coming, even as Google and Facebook battle it out for display dominance and other companies like Rubicon Project look to serve both sides of the ad exchange sales/buying divide.
" Our work right now is on unifying the ad stack," Armstrong said. "Over time, there has to be a consolidation on the operational side, as the tech stack becomes more integrated." Martinez and AOL have their work cut out for themselves.