MediaMath Reorgs Around Expanded Service Offerings

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Update 1/27: MediaMath said some employees were let go in December, but insisted those layoffs were not related to the executive reorg. The company said 13 were released in total, and seven were hired.

MediaMath’s executive shuffle Friday, originally reported by Business Insider, was meant to improve its ability to sell enterprise technologies and services, said CEO Joe Zawadzki and President Michael Lamb.

The company said it would not lay off employees because of the restructuring.

“The biggest change is in the services side,” Lamb told AdExchanger. “We’re establishing for the first time the concept of value-added services.”

These include an ad ops offering for clients that need help with trafficking and quality control and an analytics offering that MediaMath has used in-house and which will soon be available to clients on a contract basis.

“To make people successful on top of our enterprise technology requires enterprise-class professional services,” Zawadzki said.

In building out these services, MediaMath hopes to avoid conflicts with agencies – which are major strategic partners. The company particularly hopes to avoid duplicative services.

“That’s when you have channel conflict and confuse your customers,” Lamb said.

Lamb declined to break out MediaMath’s revenue splits between platform-based and service-based revenue.

“The quantification today is hard, because so many services are implicit in the technology contract,” he said, though he hinted at where he’d like the company to be. “We do take guidance from the big enterprise software companies, where it’s 20% to 25% of overall revenue.”

He emphasized that even as MediaMath extends its services offering, it does not intend to get into the media-buying business that ad nets championed.

MediaMath has also taken steps to make its UI more accessible for clients and prospects. Rival ad tech company The Trade Desk, which went public in September, has had immense success acquiring agency contracts partially because of its streamlined interface. MediaMath has often said its feature-rich offering necessitates more complexity.

“In some settings, relative to The Trade Desk, it produces a user experience that can be more difficult and less well-suited to the high-volume reality, where you don’t care if every campaign is 100% right,” Lamb said. “You just care if all of your campaigns are 80% right.

“We’ve made a real commitment this year to address the end-user friction, to look at our experience and find all the places where [those features] add to the workflow burden of getting things done, and to get them out of the experience.”

The hope is to eventually put those additional decisions into the hands (so to speak) of machine-learning algorithms – an area overseen by former MediaMath tech President Ari Buchalter, who will become chief adviser.

Lamb said MediaMath continues to hire in product, engineering and sales, has 30 open positions and plans to add “150 gross hires in the course of the year.” The company has about 700 employees.

“In terms of talent mix, we have a clear point of view on what it takes to work with a client the way I described,” Lamb said, “and it’s different than some of the profiles that have been historically successful in media or programmatic sales.”

The exec shakeup in part includes:

Zawadzki remains chairman and CEO and oversees CFO Stacey Bain, Chief People Officer Gloria Basem (both new hires), Chief Investment Officer Dan Bisgeier (new role) and general counsel Peter Piazza.

Lamb, who went from president of commercial to president, reports to Zawadzki and oversees all product, sales and marketing. New roles under his oversight include Chief Strategy Officer Dan Rosenberg, Chief Product Officer Jacob Ross, CTO Wil Schobeiri and global head of key accounts Erich Wasserman (MediaMath’s co-founder, who was previously its CRO).

 

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