For this week’s Employee Spotlight, we sit down with Andréa Waite, Vice President of Agency Partnerships. Andréa brings an extraordinary combination of deep media agency and ad tech platform experience. She is known for her creative problem solving and building meaningful partnerships through strategic and operational understanding of her clients’ business needs and the evolving industry landscape. A born-and-raised New Yorker, Andréa grew up in Corona, Queens and moved to NYC’s Financial District during her undergraduate studies and lived there for about 20 years. Learn more about Andréa and her journey in adtech in today’s Spotlight:
Tell us your about role at Amobee
My role at Amobee is VP of Agency Partnerships, where I lead the IPG and Dentsu business. I am focused on solving my clients’ biggest challenges by leveraging Amobee’s award-winning platform solutions, which uniquely helps brands optimize the consumer journey across all audiences and channels—from linear TV and CTV/OTT to social and digital—including cross-channel unification, measurement, insight amplification and much more.
Tell us a little about your experiences prior to joining Amobee and how they have prepared you for your role here?
I spent more than 13 years with large global media agencies in senior leadership roles, working across many functions: strategy, buying and new business, including three and a half years in mainland China. After my agency tenure, I accepted a role with AOL / Verizon Media where I led the Dentsu partnership for three years. Having this ‘hybrid’ experience of global agency and platform business development has truly prepared me for my role at Amobee. I have a deep understanding of how agencies operate. As such, I can often anticipate and recognize areas of opportunity for partnership and mutually beneficial growth. My super-power is simplifying complex issues; I have a knack for quickly getting to the root cause of a problem and uncovering the reasons why it exists. That clarity enables me to identify and customize our solutions to meet our clients’ needs.
Did you always know you wanted to work in advertising?
I knew I wanted to be in marketing since I was in high school. Then, in college I narrowed it down to advertising. From there I specifically chose media. The funny story is, during undergrad I took a Media Planning class having no idea what it actually was. I worked full-time during college and was happy the class was part of my marketing major and even happier that it fit into my hectic schedule. I immediately loved it, while everyone else hated it…so I knew I was on to something! I joined a media agency a week after graduating, and on day one, it was clear I made the right choice.
What has been your favorite thing about joining Amobee since you started?
First and foremost, the team–everyone has been so amazing. You’d think joining a company remotely couldn’t be a warm and welcoming experience; well it is! My onboarding was as seamless as it gets. Everyone has been so gracious and helpful. People took the extra time to get me up to speed, understanding we don’t have the luxury of popping over to one another’s desks. There is a feeling of team and collaboration, no matter what org/group you belong to. Everyone wants to win together. Second, I am impressed with our solutions. Of course I did my homework before joining, but you really don’t know until you dive in. I feel confident about the strategic choices and bets Amobee is making and how much care and passion there is around solving for the industry’s biggest challenges.
Big picture, why did you join Amobee?
For this next chapter, I knew I wanted to stay close to ad tech given where the industry is headed. As Amobee continues to unify, simplify and optimize the complex and fragmented media planning and buying landscape, I was excited at the opportunity to be part of that journey. It is a unique and interesting time for our industry, and it takes a truly innovative approach to lead the next generation of advertising technology. And that is exactly what Amobee is doing: moving the industry forward.
What most excites you about reinventing advertising?
What excites me is the ‘what’ hasn’t really changed. You can pick up a marketing textbook from 40 years ago and the majority of the concepts and strategies still hold true. It is the ‘how’ that is being reinvented. Amobee is thinking about that ‘how’ the most holistically. The reinvention is about moving from this moment of overwhelming complexity, to leveraging technology how it was meant to be: making it easier, faster, and smarter!
What is the best advice you have ever received?
As a multi-ethnic, NYC inner-city kid with a funny accent and a whole lot of sass, joining our industry almost two decades ago when diversity and inclusion was not as important of a priority, I struggled in the beginning with how to act at work. I was a minority in a number of ways, and was worried about being unfairly judged or type-casted. I then came across this advice: be LIKE yourself in professional settings. This meant, yes, I may need to ‘tone it down’ in certain work situations, but the key word is ‘tone,’ not ‘turn off.’ There is a way to stay authentic to yourself while also balancing your various day to day work dynamics. I decided not to conform, not try to fit in, and have people appreciate me for me.
Have you picked up any new hobbies in quarantine?
Baking! And trying more sugar free and low carb recipes. Anyone who knows me would say that sounds completely off-brand; however, with older in-laws nearby we are trying to be healthier. I have ventured into this new sugar-free and low-carb baking world and am really enjoying the creativity and risk involved – I mean will it REALLY taste good?! Good news, most have!
Any final remarks you’d like to share?
We can all agree, no matter our own personal experience this year, it has been tough and difficult to adjust to on some level. What has helped me best is thinking about what I want the ‘headlines’ to be when I look back at 2020, as we all memories condensed down to quick snippets. And for me, I want the headline to be about having so much more time with my family, time that I would never have otherwise.