If Xandr wants to live up to its promise and create a programmatic marketplace for the TV industry, it’s going to have to convince agencies to buy what it’s offering.
The AT&T-owned company recently hired Jay Askinasi for the job, and he joined Xandr in early February as VP, head of digital and agency partnerships. Askinasi hails from Publicis Media, where he was global president of investment solutions.
“It’s important for us to service agencies in a way that aligns with the way they’re working,” he said. “We’re setting ourselves up to be easy to use and buy from.”
Part of the challenge will be to navigate agency buying teams, which are still siloed by channel, and working out the kinks around who is in charge of buying connected TV. While some agencies leave that job to programmatic teams, others keep it with traditional TV buyers.
That requires Xandr’s sales team to speak a different language based on the team’s skill sets.
“Making sure the team that can understand what it takes to cut an upfront deal but also an always on, programmatic deal ID is something we spent a lot of time on,” Askinasi said. “We don’t want the 'Who is holding the budget?’ question to stop people from working with us.”
He spoke with AdExchanger.
AdExchanger: How will Xandr approach working with agencies?
JAY ASKINASI: When I was on the agency side, I thought about which companies were easiest to work with. Who did I not need to call three different people to get answers?
The best way to service our customers is by organizing around agencies and holding companies. We’ll have a national lead for each holding company that will oversee the business and think about client-specific needs within each agency. Underneath those folks will be sellers, both by market and by agency. We have folks that will be dedicated to all of the Xandr products across each agency in a holding company that rolls into an overarching structure.
Continue reading »