Meet Gregory Waller, Amobee’s Director of Programmatic Media. A California native and proud San Diego State University Aztec, Greg started at Amobee as an intern and worked his way up to become one of the most respected and knowledgeable individuals within the organization. Learn more about Greg’s journey, his advice on how to succeed as an intern, and his take on how to make this “new normal” a bit easier.
What exactly does a Director of Programmatic Media do at Amobee? What’s an average day like for you?
The focus of the delivery team has always been to hit our client’s KPIs, ensure their budgets are spent in full and maximize the margins for Amobee. As the Director of Programmatic Media, it’s my responsibility to ensure my team can achieve these goals. The team and I have revised our best practices for campaign setup and optimizations to adapt to the changing landscape of programmatic media. We’ve created numerous reports and dashboards to keep us more proactive. We constantly alpha/beta test new console features to ensure functionality as well as provide feedback on future features.
It’s hard to describe an average day, since the only part of my day that is consistent is the small book of business I manage. The majority of my day is spent working on projects or escalations that come up. That’s probably the most enjoyable part of the job, no day is the same.
The ACCSS team is fairly new to Amobee, can you briefly explain what prompted the need for this team?
My experience here has always been about focus and innovation. We learned that with our own DSP, we have two very different customer sets that need to be supported and serviced differently. While ACCSS is a new team, the people that make up the team have decades of industry experience, knowledge and learning.
Our customer set looks to us to be consultants, masters in the space and partners in business. It’s fun to be a part of conversations that still push for innovation and solving for changing business challenges for our agency and brand direct clients, all while using the Amobee DSP to deliver on those executions.
You started as an intern at Amobee, can you tell us more about your experience and how you got to where you are now?
I was a senior in college when I applied for a summer internship at Amobee (formerly Frontline Direct). I was in my final semester at San Diego State University and it was a great experience for me. I had my internship for three months and was offered a full time position once it was completed. It initially started off as just managing suppression files for our email business and that eventually led to getting my own email lists to manage and mail. One of the skills that made my internship successful that is still applicable today is being adaptable. Twelve years ago I was trying to learn as much as possible and being willing to take on any task that was asked of me. That eventually led to other opportunities with delivering social and eventually programmatic media.
What makes Amobee the right fit for you?
It comes down to a couple things. The first one is I enjoy working with my team, peers and manager. We interact consistently and on a daily basis and enjoying who you work with definitely makes things easier and also feel a little less like work at times. The other is opportunity, we work in digital advertising and things are constantly changing. Being able to work my way up from an intern and leading a team of programmatic delivery managers has been a great experience for my professional career.
At Amobee we value employee development, how do you keep growing and learning in what you do?
One thing that stuck with me, during one of our training seminars is you learn the most when you’re slightly out of your comfort zone, but not in full panic mode. Don’t be afraid to put your hand up when a new opportunity or project comes up that gives you a chance to learn something different or new. Don’t overload yourself but if you, find yourself in a good spot to take on other responsibilities — see what’s available.
Digital advertising is also always changing and evolving and there are a lot of good resources and communities out there online. I try to browse AdExchanger in my free time or see what’s trending on the adops Reddit.
Many global Amobee employees are still working from home. Do you have any work-from-home tips for success you can share?
One of the first things I learned was to create a routine. Even though we sometimes do work after hours or weekends, I lost the transition from being at work v being at home. Establishing a schedule helped recreate the transition I would get when working in the office.
Have you picked up any new hobbies in quarantine?
I wouldn’t say I got new hobbies, I just go more into my existing hobbies. One of my wife’s favorite foods is steak and I’ve gotten more into cooking because of it. Since restaurant dining seems to be coming and going, I’ve gotten a kit that allows you to replicate some of the dry age steaks you can buy at restaurants at home. This allows us to still have a nice weekend date night until the restaurants allow in seat dining again.
As a leader working in adtech, do you have any advice for anyone looking to pursue a career in your field?
Colleges now offer courses that cover online marketing, but there’s still a ton of information available online. There are a lot of videos you can find on people giving demos or training for numerous platforms and a lot of them are free and you can find them by easily searching Google.
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