Adam Chandler is the Chief Revenue Officer of Martini Media, an audience buying platform that reaches the affluent online. Previously Adam spent 8 years at Yahoo! and has also spent time at NBC and PointRoll. We recently spoke with Adam about his experience in the media industry and his current role.
The Makegood: Adam, you worked in print sales before starting your career in digital, as an account executive at NBC Internet in 1999. Can you tell us what it was like to go from working with a very established medium to a new media at that time?
AC: It’s interesting to see the trajectory of digital ad sales since I started my career. As an account executive at Reuben H Donnelley, I sold yellow page advertising to local advertisers. It was a great training ground for sales filled with challenges – but different challenges, as you were selling to small businesses who didn’t believe in advertising nor had marketing budgets to spend. Today, selling locally has become mainstream with the rise of companies such as Groupon and LivingSocial.
The late 90s were an exciting time to work at NBC Internet. The dot-com bubble brought a “gold rush” of spending in digital media. However, the perceived mass movement to digital was actually blown out of proportion as the companies most committed to digital advertising were dot-com companies that eventually went out of business. Established companies with much larger ad budgets such as Procter & Gamble were not spending in scale (or at all) in digital, so there was an inflated sense of optimism that digital was going to be robust.
I began working at Yahoo! in 2001 — right after the dot-com bubble burst. We were tasked in rebuilding the digital business from the ground up by focusing on the established companies who hadn’t embraced digital during the boom. We faced different challenges because while the marketing budgets were there, we still had to convince businesses to make the shift from TV and print to digital. We had to prove that digital was measurable and that it created brand impact. The business quickly grew, and during my time at Yahoo! I watched digital spending jump from less than 1% to 10% when I left the company in 2010.
The Makegood: As Chief Revenue Officer of Martini Media, you lead the sales team. Can you tell us about some initiatives that you are currently working on?
AC: At Martini Media, I oversee the sales and account management, marketing, public relations and creative teams. I get to work on brand building for Martini and find solutions for how to create demand for the company in a very crowded, noisy digital display marketplace. I collaborate with our sales team to position Martini as an alternative to the commoditization today in digital advertising options.
I make sure the team has the most innovative technology that sparks clients’ interests, from social and display solutions to custom content creation and immersive ad units. Our goal is to create the most engaging, multi-faceted digital programs big brands can invest in, and I’m proud our strategy is paying off.
The Makegood: In the end of 2011, Martini Media closed a $13MM round of venture capital funding with the intention of growing the company. Are there any specific initiatives that we can expect to see as a result of the investment?
AC: Martini Media will use its most recent round of funding to continue investing in its proprietary analytics and data platform, as well as its targeting, social media and differentiated multimedia technology. The company will also use the financing to scale corporate operations and focus on research & development to make sure we’re coming up with the most powerful solutions possible.
The Makegood: Are the any recent successful campaigns that you can share with us?
AC: In the current supply heavy digital market, typically established media companies secure upfront, longer term investments at the beginning of the year. Martini is now securing upfronts this year from major brands representing the finance, telco / wireless and automotive verticals. These brands have locked in long-term strategic partnerships with us to guarantee access to scarcity – something common in the broadcast TV market. We’re especially proud of this because as a young company, the opportunity to confirm upfront investments is significant, and a confirmation that brands want a dialogue with Martini’s consumers.
The Makegood: Thanks, Adam.