Results tagged “Pulsepoint” from IABlog

Despite my silent goal to never again take a multiple-choice exam post college, I found myself on July 31st at the NetCom testing center on West 33rd, preparing to take the IAB Digital Media Sales Certification exam.

The IAB launched this training program over a year ago to help increase the knowledge of digital sales professionals. As a marketing exec at PulsePoint, a data-driven content technology provider, I considered myself lucky to take the exam alongside our entire salesforce. In an effort to continue to adopt and help drive industry best practices, our SVP of Sales, John Ruvolo, instated the requirement that all sales support teams - sellers, client services, account managers, ad operations, and marketing - successfully complete the training and obtain certification.  Now, I must admit - having to carve out time to study on top of the daily grind was a challenge, but as I started digesting the impressive body of study preparation materials created by the IAB, I found myself happy to do so.   


I have worked my entire professional life in the digital media space and truly appreciate that the IAB has provided a training program that deepens my understanding of our industries ever-changing processes, rules and regulations, best practices, definitions and of course…all those acronyms.  Our space evolves at a dizzying pace to (try to) stay ahead of the mind-blowing technology being created every day. Chrome TV, one-click mobile payments, location sharing apps…it’s enough to make you seriously consider one of those ‘digital detox’ retreats. But without that evolution, without the constant influx of fresh ideas and new ways of connecting consumers to an amazing online experience, it would not be the exciting and fulfilling environment so many of us call home every day.

It has been common practice to learn and grow alongside all of this change through a mix of self-education and information sharing amongst colleagues, partners, and friends.  What a relief to have a trusted, accredited program led by our industry body that helps to educate and benchmark our top professionals against rigorous industry standards.  We finally have proof that we know what we are talking about…well, most of the time.

This IAB Certification process is something that digital execs across all business channels of our industry should undergo. I am proud that PulsePoint has embraced the program and offered it to employees beyond direct sellers; we are already exploring ways to incorporate this into all new hire training. Activating this program at the sales level of an organization and beyond can also impact future hiring decisions. It enables us to narrow candidate searches to only the best, most qualified applicants and allows us have even more faith that our teams are making the most educated decisions possible.

In order for digital media to continue being one of the most sought-after industries to work within, we must take responsibility to ensure that those dedicating their livelihood to it have the right tools to be as successful as possible. The IAB has taken great strides in creating a framework within which this critical professional development can happen, and I look forward to seeing it continue to grow.

About the Author


Lindsay Boesen 

Lindsay Boesen is Director of Marketing at PulsePoint, and on Twitter @PulsePointBuzz.

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Are You Customer-Obsessed?

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Consumers today are setting the pace for online marketers and brands, and the digital media technology is out there to listen to customer cues and respond with relevant, engaging communications. But what does it take to be truly customer-obsessed? Is the industry at large living up to the promises of real-time interactive marketing? The unfortunate answer is no. At least at this time.

This week, PulsePoint, in collaboration with the CMO Club and Digiday, announced the results of a groundbreaking study that examines the digital marketing capabilities, top challenges and priorities of nearly 400 senior marketers, agency executives and publishers.


From a capability standpoint, the large majority of survey respondents were comfortable executing multi-channel campaigns across two or more channels. However, the challenges start occurring when marketers are tasked with applying lessons from one channel to improve efforts in another channel (cross-channel). The wake up call revealed by the survey results is that, across the board, a majority of marketers, agencies and publishers lack the capabilities to execute real-time interactive marketing.

In an environment where consumers are freely flowing and engaging with ads and other content on their own terms across channels and devices, the industry at large must evolve to keep pace. The lack of real-time efficiencies is creating a massive “digital divide” between consumers and the current marketing practices used to reach and engage them.

So what is the problem? What are the barriers to this evolution? When we began this research, we hypothesized that we would find inconsistencies and gaps in the capabilities and priorities amongst ecosystem players. As it turns out, this research shows that the industry is largely aligned. However, for an industry claiming to be as customer-obsessed as we are, these results show that we are missing the “relevance mark” set by consumers - largely due to two key challenges.

Overwhelming Complexity
We’ve all seen the LUMA ad-tech chart. The fragmented direct marketing landscape of point-solutions from the sell-side to the demand-side add overwhelming complexity to cross-channel execution. Because the industry is currently focused on dealing with complex technologies and multiple channels and platforms, ecosystem players are often operating in functional silos. Further, this overwhelming complexity, coupled with the functional silos used to manage various channels and point solutions, robs bandwidth and results in the consumer perspective often getting lost.

Lack of Unified Measurement
Unified measurement (something the ANA, 4As, and IAB are all actively pursuing through the Making Measurement Make Sense initiative) enables the tracking of consumer journeys and connected customer experiences - this is critical to advance from multi-channel to cross-channel marketing, and the industry at large is currently lacking this core capability. In addition to unified measurement to help marketing, agencies and publishers “connect the dots” for unified consumer-customer views across channels, there is also a need for more full-funnel thinking and better attribution beyond the last click. Planning, executing and measuring from the perspective of targeting and tracking consumers throughout the funnel, enables a broader, longer-term view of digital marketing programs, targeting methods, and brand engagements.

It’s time to further evolve. In this regard, the study uncovered two underlying factors that in large part account for effectiveness, and, when applied in union, work together to overcome the challenges of complexity and lack of unified measurement. Real-time intelligence and unified automation are two evolutionary forces that provide the basis to enhance digital marketing execution, and thus, help bridge the current digital divide.

These two forces are reshaping the digital landscape and, over time, will enable the industry to consolidate around smart “end-to-end” solutions and evolve towards more real-time adaptive markets, with real-time efficiencies, transparency and fair value discovery. These forces will allow the industry at large to truly become customer-obsessed and reach the “relevance mark” set by digitally-empowered consumers.

To see the full results, you can visit the IAB member insights & research library or download from

About the Author

sp_lendenmann_karl.jpg Dr. Karl Lendenmann

As vice president of marketing and analytics at PulsePoint, Dr. Karl Lendenmann is responsible for driving company-wide best practices in key areas that increase the relevance, engagement and value of PulsePoint programs for both advertisers and publishers.


Though well-intended, recent press regarding the so-called “glass ceiling” for women in Interactive Advertising, or “Ad Tech” rubbed me the wrong way. Why? I think it sends the wrong message. It’s factual that there are fewer women in Ad Tech in contrast to other sectors. However, characterizing the industry as promoting glass ceiling type barriers that were common during the single-income household, post-Industrial, Mad Men era of advertising is overreaching. It is also untrue and unfair to the ample number of accomplished, hard working women in our space.


Personally speaking, leaving a research role in the Ivy league and then an account role at a traditional ad agency to move to the space in 1996 was one of the most liberating and role empowering moves I ever made. Gone were the days when the account managers and planners were merely a rung above the mail room and when career development growth and path was slow and irrational regardless of education or drive. Found were the 24-7 digital innovation launch pads - positions that were the wrong fit for many, but the perfect fit for ambitious, energetic, creative, smart professionals of a certain kind. The trade-off? Pretty much everything - but gender was not the barrier. As long as you were willing to work your tail off and focus on the real and not the hype, you had a good job, good pay, good culture, super-smart peers and a long career. It was and still is a high-opportunity space.

Moreover, Ad Tech had and still has many powerful leaders that also happen to be women. And, it’s not just the marketing women as if marketing is not one of the anchor disciplines of all businesses!

Gail Goodman for one. Gail has served as the CEO and Chairman of Constant Contact for many years. Anna Zornosa, former CEO of Topica (and now EVP/GM of Dealix), was another early female to Ad Tech as was one of her key competitors, another female founder and CEO, Janine Popick of Vertical Response. Around the same time, Fran Maier, current board member and President of TRUSTe, was co-founding

There’s more. Think Jeanniey Mullen, now Global EVP/CMO of Zinio - a role that many of us (my male and female peers alike) turned our heads to acknowledge based on its boldness and clout. Jeanniey made a digital name for herself at Ogilvy, as did her super-smart and talented lady-peer, Melinda Krueger (now consulting for ExactTarget). Don’t forget Stephanie Miller. Who could? Stephanie was more or less the face for ReturnPath until her recent departure for Aprimo - where she serves in a similar role. But, it’s not just Ad Tech as we know it.

Up the corporate food chain in critical roles at the Big 3 and/or at the agency-partner level, there are more examples gracing the corporate board rooms with their acumen, value and style! Marissa Mayer, Vice President of Location and Local Services, is one of the more public faces of Google. Mayer’s been there since the nineties when she was one of the first engineers hired by the big G. Then, there’s Wenda Harris Millard of MediaLink. In my humble opinion, Wenda deserves a special call out. Why? Because some of the current male Ad Tech CEOs are playfully referred to as “Wenda’s kids!” Also in the C-suite, look to Google again. Sitting in that hot little Head of Privacy role, yep, another lady - the fabulous Anne Toth!

On the publishing side, there’s Amra Tareen, the former founder and CEO of, a company that, in full disclosure, sold to ours earlier this year. Guiding publishers that need to survive the shift to digital is Laredo Group founder and CEO, Leslie Laredo.

Covering it all? Rebecca Lieb, one of the most respected and sometimes feared editors-in-chief. Now an analyst with Altimeter Group, Rebecca was known for her bullish dedication to writing stories versus the type of press release-like articles that self-respecting journalists half-laughingly refer to as “wet kisses.” We are all fortunate she continues to cover our space. Other notable female analysts that have a long history of serving and analyzing Ad Tech include Forrester Research’s Shar Van Boskirk, Joanna O’Connell as well as Altimeter Group analyst Charlene Li.

Pam Horan does the organizational role well as she leads the OPA. Other organizational leads include Nancy Hill at the 4As and Peggy Conlon over at the Ad Council.

Now, I will be honest. While there are women in great Ad Tech roles, I haven’t done my math on the exact ratio of women to men in our space nor do I care to. Again, I think it sends the wrong message. From primary experience, I can tell you that there are two areas in digital tech that I hardly see any women - the water cooler and the office pool. But, don’t take it from me. Here’s what three of the leaders mentioned above have to say about this topic!

“When I took the reins of ClickZ, I did so from its two founders, one of whom is Ann Handley, still an influencer in digital marketing at the helm of Marketing Profs, and (like me) an author of books on the industry. Over the years, my career and visibility has also been promoted by female colleagues, like the powerful Sue Bratton, who built the ad:tech conference into a juggernaut. I just joined the Altimeter Group due in large part to my unbridled admiration for the company’s brilliant and inspiring founder, Charlene Li. We women in digital marketing and Ad Technology know one another, collaborate and support one another not because we’re chicks, but instead out of real respect and mutual admiration. Anything less? That would be sexist.” - Rebecca Lieb, Analyst, Altimeter Group

“50% of the population has a great deal to offer tech businesses and boards. It’s about time we tapped into the broader perspectives and experience women bring especially given their overall buying power and influence. ” - Fran Maier, President, TRUSTe

“In my roles as Global EVP and CMO of Zinio and VIVmag, the worlds’ of publishing, advertising and technology watch our every innovation with great interest. And you better believe that the customers are watching and commenting too. No matter what the goal, challenge or opportunity is, I have come to rely on great advice from a group of female executives who provide insight and advice with candor. Women like Hope Frank, CMO of Webtrends, or Renata McGriff, Pioneer and Co-Founder of CARETALK are just two of the many successful and entrepreneurial women who service as role models as they understand that education, mentoring and support will lead to greater rewards to the community.” - Jeanniey Mullen, Global EVP and CMO of Zinio and VIVmag.


To close, why aren’t there more women in digital advertising? I wonder if it’s actually more of a branding issue. Medicine and other science-art based careers became fashionable once they were made attractive to women. On that note, perhaps what we truly need is the return of Rosie the Riveter, that wonderful, infamous Ad Council campaign that was used as the most successful advertising recruitment campaign in American history. Should we use email, social, display, search or content?

About the Author

sp_mcgilvray_lana.jpgLana McGilvray

Lana McGilvray is chair of the IAB Lead Gen/Email Committee and Vice-President, Marketing for PulsePoint. You can reach her via email or follow her on Twitter @LanaMcGilvray.