8 Questions With Erin Madorsky, US Chief Strategy Officer at MiQ

Erin Madorsky

Erin Madorsky / US Chief Strategy Officer at MiQ

Tell us more about your role, what it looks like day to day, and how long you’ve worked at MiQ?

I’ve been at MiQ for 3.5 years, where I now serve as the U.S. Chief Strategy Officer. I like to think of it as a role similar to an orchestra director. We’re agnostic with the platforms and partners we work with to meet marketers’ objectives, and we’re equally agnostic around the origin of innovation. Ideas, capabilities, products, and solutions come from so many varied locations in our business. I seek to enable creativity while making sure there’s alignment across departments, ongoing refinement of ideas, and a sharpening of execution that maximizes efficiency and results. How we grow as a business depends on how we grow our utility to clients. In my role, I seek to expand that utility through connection to commercial teams and direct accountability to product and marketing. I approach my work with a focus on the delivery of marketer needs now, but with attention to the future. On a daily basis, I aim to balance vision and execution that factor into consideration both external industry and internal MiQ dynamics.

Where do you think advertisers are missing opportunities?

It surprises me to still see programmatic relegated to a siloed segment of investment that is tactically executed as only lower-funnel performance, disconnected from overall marketing strategy. It feels like a missed opportunity. Nearly everything digital can be transacted through programmatic pipes, but that does not mean programmatic is synonymous with pipes alone. The development of data and data science in this arena makes it so much more impactful than impression transactions. Programmatic should be considered far earlier in the planning process with integrations into creative, social, data, and marketing science workstreams.

Advertisers also miss opportunities to get more from their digital investment when they permit lazy measurement. While it’s challenging to overhaul, fixed use of traditional metrics does not take advantage of all that is possible for measuring full and true impact of digital spend. Attention, engagement, incrementality, and lifetime value are all examples of ways to get more from your media. Adapting internal compliance processes to enable privacy-compliant data sharing is something that should be prioritized for similar purposes of improving measurement as well as developing smarter strategies from the outset.

How do you personally stay on top of developments in this fast-moving industry?

I look for patterns and connect new information to existing points of familiarity. LinkedIn is one of my favorite industry platforms. Sensing shifts, trends, and moves by paying attention to the individuals in our community is more rewarding and effective than headlines alone. Carving out a percentage of time per month to meet and network with people is also a really impactful and enjoyable way to stay informed. Separate from that, I’m an active consumer and observer of what’s going on around me outside of work. Ad tech reflects so many dynamics of society. It is fun to observe and predict how changes in my day-to-day life as a consumer will find their way into our industry.

What advice would you give to digital media teams?

Stay open-minded, be willing to experiment, and challenge past assumptions. There is a lot of noise in our industry and a lot of potential partners to sort through, which sometimes dulls the desire to explore new thinking. But digital is defined by data and its ease for setting up testing frameworks, so developing an always-on “test-and-learn” agenda and experimentation budget is really important for the identification of new approaches or people who can help you achieve objectives—and even sharpen success metrics.

What do you think of the role of education in the field?

Education is a personal passion of mine and one of the reasons this field has been a great fit for me. Our backbone is technology, whose rate of change speeds up every year. You cannot possibly be effective as a marketer or a solutions provider to marketers without the ability to keep learning and to educate others on the rapidly changing relationship between consumers, tech, media, and their nexus. It’s critical on both the buy and sell side to dedicate a percentage of headspace to ongoing education.

Any bold predictions for what the industry will see in 2023?

I’m not terribly bold.

I feel our industry has patterns, and those patterns are somewhat predictable. We fragment and then consolidate. Technology and content arm wrestle. We predict doomsday and then innovate around any obstacle.

That being said, here’s what I see right now. Public offerings have slowed, and earnings reports are mixed. Spend tightening will definitely put more pressure on companies to deliver real value, and I’m optimistic that the pressure will bring out our industry’s best and not just desperate battles to steal share. I think those with real tech prowess and service models of strength will continue to rise. I predict we’ll see some ongoing M&A activity of note from the major tech and media companies as well as those who take a “Phoenix Approach.” I also think the relationship between tech and publishing is something to watch right now. And I anticipate we’ll find more industries launching a media play similar to what the retail sector has done. The consumer is king and anyone with access to them has an opportunity to leverage both their data and eyeballs for multiple purposes.

What most excites you about your work?

I’m very results-oriented, and seeing an idea come to life and make an impact at scale immensely motivates me. Equipping teams to better succeed and enabling their ability to increase results is probably the most rewarding part of work. I also love the process of thinking about client and brand strategy, identifying the distinction between consistency and customization of needs, and translating both of these into capabilities that make a scaled difference to all involved.

If you weren’t working in digital advertising, what would you be doing?

I’d be in academia as a professor of art history. There is something so exciting to me about analyzing and interpreting culture and creative processes. Everything in history is a narrative of some form. I love the process of gathering data to build and defend an argument as well as the process of helping inform the way people think about or perceive something.

Erin Madorsky

Erin Madorsky / US Chief Strategy Officer at MiQ

Based in New York City, Erin Madorsky is a natural problem-solver whose love of learning brought her to digital advertising more than 15 years ago. In 2019, she began working at MiQ, a programmatic media partner for marketers and agencies.

Erin’s background in sales and rev ops continues to inform her current work as Chief Strategy Officer for MiQ’s U.S. operations. Her diverse experience and optimistic perspectives offer a lot of insight for digital marketers. Below are edited excerpts of our conversation.

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