AMA: Denise Colella

AMA: Denise Colella

The Denise Colella AMA is happening on December 10th 2019 at 10:00AM PST (1:00PM EST)

Denise Colella serves as Senior Vice President, Advanced Advertising Products & Strategy, NBCUniversal. In this role, Colella is responsible for driving the strategic roadmap of new advanced advertising products and portfolio offerings that comprise the company’s Audience Studio: data capabilities, programmatic capabilities across all platforms, OpenAP and addressable advertising. She reports to Krishan Bhatia, Executive Vice President, Business Operations & Strategy, NBCUniversal.

Colella has nearly 20 years of global experience in the advertising technology marketplace. Prior to joining NBCUniversal, she served as Chief Executive Officer of Maxifier, a leading technology platform for digital advertising performance optimization, and originally joined the company in 2011 as the Chief Revenue Officer.

Previously, Colella also served as the Chief Revenue Officer for AudienceScience where she led all of the company’s revenue producing operations in the US, Europe and Asia. From 2007-2010, she was Vice President, International, at Right Media, a Yahoo! company, where she developed and executed on the company’s international expansion strategy for its advertising exchange. She also held senior positions at DoubleClick, as well as its offline division, the leading transactional cooperative database company Abacus.

Colella earned her Bachelor’s degree in Commerce, Finance and International Management from Villanova University and a Masters of Computer Systems Management from the University of Maryland. She is fluent in Japanese and enjoys spending her free time with her husband, two children and crazy dog. For fun she travels the world running marathons.

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Denise Colella – Transcript

AMA with Denise Colella @ SVP, Advanced Advertising Products, Strategy, NBCUniversal

December 10th, 2019

Hi everyone! Glad to be here with you! I’ve been around online marketing a long time. Starting with Doubleclick back in 1999 and now at NBCUniversal. My team handles digital programmatic, but my group is also responsible for bringing digital-like, data informed capabilities to TV. I’ve lived and worked in Japan and London, and I’ve helped launch businesses around the globe. I’m big on work-life balance and recently I’ve survived cancer and a stroke, so I talk alot about having bench strength at work. I’m also on the board of She Runs It, which helps women in media and marketing at all stages of their career. I’m here, so Ask Me Anything….

Hi! Denise, what would you say are the top 5 challenges that Publishers Ad and Revenue Ops teams face from advertising analytics perspective?

Top 5 challenges–

  1. CCPA
  2. Yield–managing all the different channels
  3. Finding talent
  4. Vetting all new partners and tech
  5. Jeeping up with changing dynamics in the industry and downstream providers

Hi,  curious how your team manages consumer insights and market research before making decisions.  Is it purely traditional focus groups, leveraging platform tech, how are you doing more with less these days?

All of the above. We are blessed at NBCU to have great consumer research facilities as well as access to a lot of data. But more data isnt always better so vetting the data is important.

Welcome Denise! Amazing to have you here, and your story sounds very interesting! I’d love to hear more about how you balance work/life and what “bench strength” means to you. Right now my work life is incredibly busy and stressful and I’d like to learn how a successful woman like yourself has learned to set boundaries and keep perspective.

It took me a major life event to realize the value of bench strength, first the birth of my kids, and then getting sick. The short answer is we are no good to anyone trying to do it all. There’s a good book. I think its called Dropping the Ball. We have to have people we trust who we can hand the reigns to when the time comes to step away. Everyone thinks theyre going to be ok until they aren’t. Find someone you trust and cultivate the relationship and their skills

Hello, thanks for doing this. You’re work title seems very vague to me. What exactly does a SVP, Advanced Advertising Products, Strategy do?

We look for new ways to advertise to our consumers. Then we develop the tech to make it happen. Way back when it was developing banner ads, then email, then video ads. Today it is developing the tech so we can personalize ad streams and make the watching experience more enjoyable.

Hi , This might be a bit too broad but, What is your #1 advice you like to give to online marketers and what bad habits do you see online marketers making you wish they would stop?

Good question. We have to get better at remarketing. How do we marry transaction data with targeting so we don’t hammer people with the same product they already bought.

Hi Denise! Glad you survived. I also had a blood clot in the brain and it has changed the way I prioritize my work and life. (<– that’s me giving you a high five) I recently launched a physical content planner for marketing teams. I’d love to know from your experience, (a) what would be in it to convince you to use it, (b) what has been your biggest advertising challenge given the landscape changes all the time (it feels like).

High five right back. I look for strong products that scale and can be used for a variety of use cases. Our brands always have different us cases for tech. B) My biggest advertising challenge has been privacy. Its a must and varies by country when you are launching an intl product

Hi, do big advertisers work directly with your team or are you more on the product development side?

Product management and dev. But i talk to clients all the time through our sales team.

Hi Denise, glad to hear that you beat cancer AND a stroke, you are a fighter! Wish you all the best for the future as well!My questions:1.) What is your biggest pain point in your everyday work that could be solved by software?
2.) What are your top three marketing strategies that work even without a huge (or any) budget? Many thanks for taking the time to do this AMA with us! 🙂

  1. I dont type as fast as i used to, and dictation software stinks.
  2. Top 3 marketing strategies–well, target. Its important if you dont have a big budget to aim for precision. Then, use your last campaign to advise your next. Finally, target safe longtail. It’s the same eyeballs

Any recommendations for someone about to start on programmatic with a solid email and PPC track record?

Look at the IAB materials!

Hi   Welcome! I would love to know what advice you would give to those starting out their marketing career and looking to grow? (I will also have to check out She Runs It – looks really cool!)

Def check out SRI! And find a mentor. It makes navigating the career path much easier.

Hey there. I run marketing and ecommerce for Leesa. Curious your thoughts on how CTV is going to evolve from an attribution perspective and the extent to which it will overtake linear as the predominant destination for ad dollars?

I think we have to stop thinking about linear vs. CTV. We have to think in terms of audience. It’s the same content, just a different pane of glass. Where it differs though is co-viewing. You have to get that right.

Hi, thanks for taking the time to do this AMA! I currently work as a Digital Operations Manager. Would you recommend I make a career shift towards programmatic and why?

If you like it. Don’t change because its something you think you should do…you may be miserable. But do familiarize yourself with the automation side of things

Can you tell me how in-depth knowledge of IoT is necessary for applying it in Digital Marketing?

Depends on what part of digital marketing. In TV, not much, yet.

How much room do you think there is for specialization in marketing? I’m really passionate about content marketing, but less so about other marketing aspects. Your title seems really specific, which is awesome, but I’m wondering how much pressure there was for you to become more of a generalist.

There’s a ton of room for specialization. Just in my group I have programmatic experts, data , client solutions, developers, content developers, ops folks…the list goes on. I was never pressured into being a generalist. I would say the opposite is true

Hi, what are you thoughts on influencers marketing, especially regarding performance/growth? How do you think creators should get paid? 

It’s so important to today’s generation. I don’t know that I’m the best person to say how they should get paid

Hello Denise, thanks for caring and sharing. I’ve been around advertising for a long time and for 15years (internet born) I’ve heard TV is dead. It’s not and superbowl keeps selling out and rates are going up. What’s your thoughts of how TV continues to grow in the next 10 years?

It’s definitely not dead. But TV as we know it has changed. We need to think about it less as the box on the wall, and more as video content delivered through whatever medium makes sense to the viewer.

Hi Denise! Is there somewhere that you’d suggest a female website publisher should go to possibly find a short-term mentor re: technical things w/online publishing.

I would check out she runs it. They have an incredible mentoring program. there is also an organization in New York called digital divas.

Hi Denise, I’m just getting into digital marketing and so far, I’m loving it. What’s your take on someone who’s trying to make a career change into digital marketing, should they work for a big company (start from the bottom) or go out and start finding clients that they can help? (goal is to have my own agency). Thank you!

I don’t know if there is 1 right way to go about it. I think it depends on your interpersonal skills, and also whether you like staying in your swim lane or touching everything. Personally I started out in startups, but I also know very successful professionals that did it the opposite way. Just never get comfortable!

Welcome so great to have you here! I’m really excited to learn more about She Runs It – definitely something I’d like to get involved in. I’d love to know in your experience what would be your top piece of advice would be for finding a good mentor?

Love that question! Finding a good mentor is like dating. If you don’t feel comfortable, keep looking. It is incredibly important that you feel like you can be candid with this person or else you’ll be wasting your time.

Hi , thank you for providing so much valuable information for all of us. my question is about segmentation particularly how to apply it to the b2b world.for example if the company I’m working at (software house), which target Startups and SMBs with separate type of services.do I make the segmentation about the decision makers, influencers? or by the industry, company size, niche, revenue, etc.? or both?I know b2b is still people in the end. I’m very confused and I need help.

it depends on what type of segmentation you are applying. You can use both parameters, but it depends on how small it will make your segment. You don’t want to hyper target and make it difficult to reach any audience. A good vendor would help you develop your segment considering all of those points

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