Meet Eric Monian, Vice President of Business Development. A Santa Barbara native and now a Long Beach resident, Eric has worked in almost every stage of the advertising cycle and has served in various different roles throughout his career. From Audience Management to Product Management to now Business Development, Eric has always been drawn to the next big thing. Outside of work, Eric enjoys art exhibitions, staying up-to-date with industry news and spending time with his pets and family. Get to know Eric, his love for the renaissance era, and how he stays true to his philosophy of L.E.D (learn every day) in this month’s employee spotlight!
Big picture, why did you join Amobee?
I joined Amobee some time ago (I am one of the original Adconion Direct Media folks.) When I did join, I was looking to stay in the ad tech space, as it fed my need for new learning opportunities, which ad tech does in spades as it changes so quickly. But early on, there was always the idea of providing a holistic 360, cross-channel view for the consumer. With our acquisition strategy over the years and subsequent product offerings, we are now delivering that view,(while still finding ways to improve), and that to me is exciting.
What exactly does a VP of Business Development do? What’s an average day like for you?
Business Development works across multiple business units of the company as a whole. My days can be quite varied depending on the project I’m working on at the time. Reviewing existing contracts to determine if we want to renew or could leverage better commercials for us. Talking with new companies to see if their data sets or services are a fit for our platform, or there could be some coordination with Product, Account teams, Product Marketing, and Finance as to how best to move forward on existing projects. There is never a dull moment, and never a day I don’t learn something new.
What most excites you about coming to work each day?
It’s a tie between potentially finding that next company or relationship that could usher in a new killer product for the platform or streamlining reporting on our existing products so financially we can get an at-a-glance picture to orient ourselves and understand our next moves based on coming threats or opportunities. Something about effectively streamlining our workflow and communication pathways to get people faster and more accurate information is very satisfying to me.
One of our core values is employee development. How do you keep growing and learning in what you do?
Staying on top of articles from the likes of AdExchanger and AdAge, as well as making use of the people at Amobee, who themselves are very knowledgeable and an incredible resource. This industry is constantly evolving so it’s impossible to grasp everything at first glance, so always be willing to ask questions, even if you think you’re the only one ‘not getting it.’ There’s a great Chinese proverb I think about often: “He who asks a question is a fool for five minutes; he who does not ask a question remains a fool forever.” You have to be willing to be ‘the fool’ for a time in order to grow.
I stand true to my philosophy of L.E.D (learn every day), and I try to apply this in my professional space as well as my personal life. I truly believe that learning leads to thriving.
What stands out to you about the company’s culture and working environment?
Having been at the company for several years, and through several iterations, I would say the one thing that stands out is the optimistic mentality of our people. People that stay and persist, and even new employees tend to have a positive perspective and a ‘can do’ attitude. That to me is very important as no ad tech company can survive without this mindset.
What would you do for a career if you weren’t doing this?
If we’re saying I’m independently wealthy, then I would love to go back to school and continue my education with more degrees (philosophy, learn Italian so I can read Dante’s Divine Comedy in the original language, and zoology, as I’m a huge animal lover).
If not independently wealthy, then I think Project Management suits me, as I enjoy seeing how the various groups contribute to any one project and pushing them forward with concrete steps and deadlines to hit. Oddly enough, my sister is in Project Management so maybe it’s something that runs in the Monian genes.
If you could meet anyone in the world, dead or alive, who would it be and why?
My go to answer to this question has always been Leonardo Da Vinci. He was my hero growing up, as I studied the arts, but was equally fascinated by science (and even considered becoming a doctor). Da Vinci’s artistic, scientific, and overall never ending curiosity about the world around him continues to be an inspiration for me.
What is the first concert you attended?
My taste in music is very eclectic, so it was either a Canadian Cyberpunk band called Skinny Puppy or Jazz musician Chick Corea. Both were phenomenal but for very different reasons. I walked away from both with a greater appreciation for what they brought to their artform.
What are your hobbies or activities that you look forward to doing on the weekends or after work?
I have a stack of books that I am slowly working through on a very mixed set of topics: World View Philosophy, Essays of James Baldwin, The Odyssey, Theory of Magic (sleight of hand…not the card game), and history of Charlemagne. These keep me busy, along with the fact that I’ve always been an animal person (I’ve had about 10+ different species of pets over the years), so currently learning about and taking care of our BichonFrise Poodle name Max, Leopard Gecko named Beatrice, and a Brazilian Black Tarantula named Cleo.
What piece of advice would you give your younger self?
Learn from mistakes, but don’t dwell on them. I came from a perfectionistic household, where mistakes were not tolerated. This resulted in more anxiety and panic over school tests than should be warranted. This also prevented me from trying new things, out of concern of not being the best at them (even though everyone at one time was not an expert in their field of interest). I’d also encourage myself to be more open to ambiguity. It is okay to not know every single detail of every situation.
Any final remarks you’d like to share?
It is important to remember the ad ecosystem space continues to evolve. Things are constantly moving and shifting, but that’s also the excitement that makes this line of work able to push your ingenuity. The key factors are to stay sharp, stay focused, and be ready to tweak and pivot as needed, should the conditions require it.
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