Jared Walls: Welcome to The Marketing Stir Podcast by Stirista, probably the most entertaining marketing podcast you’re going to put in your ears. I’m Jared Walls, associate producer and Stirista’s creative copy manager. The goal of this podcast is to chat with industry leaders to get their take on the current challenges of the market. We’ll also have a little fun along the way. In this episode, Vincent and Ajay talk to David Danziger, Vice President of Data Partnerships at The Trade Desk. They discuss the recent release of the Solimar platform, the necessity for Unified ID, as well as Danziger’s love for the Detroit Red Wings. Ajay discusses his trip to New York and Vincent talks about the inaudible sport. Give it a listen.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to another episode of Stirista’s The Marketing Stir. I am so happy to be here, extra happy. We’ll get to why in a minute. So many great things happened the last few weeks here and today, an amazing guest, that’s why I get happy. But ladies and gentlemen, if you don’t know, Stirista, who are we? Stirista, we’re an identity marketing company. We have our own technology, we have our own data, business to business, business to consumer. We help clients utilize that data to get new customers. Who doesn’t want new customers to enrich their data? We own our own BSP, we can do connected TV, we do a lot here at Stirista. Give me a call or email me I should say. Maybe I won’t give my phone number on this podcast, but I will give you my email address, firstname.lastname@example.org. Email me, tell us what you think of the podcast, tell us what you think of me, tell us how we could work together. I’m so happy to be back and I am so happy to have my cohost. He recently had a drink named after him at a recent event. We call him the San Antonio Slayer, I call him my CEO. Ladies and gentlemen, Mr. Ajay Gupta, what is going on?
Ajay Gupta: Hey Vincent, what a fun two weeks we had in New York. So, it’s good to be back at our old jumping grounds at Refinery Rooftop, share a few drinks and also meet a lot of people in New York I had not met before.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Absolutely. We were counting these days down. People who listen to the podcast, they were like, ” When’s he arriving? What’s going on?” It was a great time. You got mixed in a little vacation there, some fun for yourself. But it was all business when you were with me having a good time, meeting new people, some clients, so it was a good time. Yeah, my voice is glad that were gone because all day we have different meetings and happy hours and was it great to see people, people I haven’t seen before. It was awesome. Did you enjoy yourself?
Ajay Gupta: Yeah. No, definitely I think we made up for some of the lost months of drinking there.
Vincent Pietrafesa: That’s it, I know. New York is back, it’s been great. I think it’s going to be truly back when Broadway opens up, all the shows, so that should be fun. But no, it was great to see everyone. Yes, Refinery Rooftop, also Gran Morsi that put on a great event, shout- out to them, our New Jersey teammates, our New York teammates, it was a great time. Tamarind Restaurant, let’s give them a shout- out. Maybe they’ll shave a little bit off that bill next time I’m there. They probably won’t, they’re not listening to the podcast, they’re not in marketing, but it’s okay. But Ajay, like I said, a variety of great reasons to be happy, that A, you are here, and our guest. This guest, I love this guest. I also like the company quite a bit. I love that company that he works for. You might have heard about, I hope you’ve heard of it. If not, you will certainly see of it today. This gentleman knows my wife, used to work with my wife, that’s always great, and we’re happy to have him here on The Marketing Stir. Ladies and gentlemen, let me please welcome the vice president of data partnerships at The Trade Desk, ladies and gentlemen, David Danzinger. What’s going on David?
David Danziger: Hey, Vincent hey, Ajay. Great to see you. Thanks for having me on. Excited about this.
Vincent Pietrafesa: We too are excited. I was hoping to meet you in person when you were in New York a few weeks ago. You were just there just for like a day, you just vanished. But it’s okay, there’ll be more of those.
David Danziger: Oh, yeah.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I know you’re in Tennessee area, hope to meet you in person one day. But it is great to have you, David. So, David, tell our audience The Trade Desk. In our world, we’re so entrenched in that world, we love The Trade Desk. But tell our listeners out there first about The Trade Desk. And then I’d love to hear your exact role within the company there.
David Danziger: Yeah, you bet. Thanks Vincent. So, The Trade Desk is a media buying platform. So, we function to help clients, both advertisers and more specifically and more commonly agencies with their media buying. So, we started back in 2009 really with a heavy focus at the time I’m on display, but have extended out into mobile, into audio, video, connected television, all the different channels, and increasingly digital out of home. So, media buying platform for agencies and brands to reach their customers. And as far as my role, I’m the vice president of data partnerships at The Trade Desk. So, data partnerships in Trade Desk world, we’ve always wanted our clients to be able to have as much data as possible and be as data driven in their buying processes as they could be. So, for us, that includes audiences, including Stirista, obviously we like working with Stirista, both for B2B and business to consumer data as you noted. So, audience data can be identity data so that we can do cross device and other things, measurement data so that customers can ultimately understand whether what they’re buying is doing what they hope it will do. And with that, different mechanisms that people can bring the best audiences on of their own. And then finally, the last, last portion of data, I should mention the types of partnerships, are contextual and brand safety and measurement partnerships. Actually, you referenced that I knew your wife, that was how I met your wife back at Peer39 and then on DoubleVerify too.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, absolutely. She speaks very highly of you. I want to get into the data a little bit as well. Because of your specific role, David, always understanding what you’re looking for in a data provider. So, we’ll get to that. But before we get to that later on, I want to understand, because we ask this question of all of our guests, how you got into this business, how you got into the marketing business DSP, and then specifically with data partnerships. Because data partnerships, I’m involved in partnerships myself, that’s not a role you go to school for. So, I’m just curious how you got into this business.
David Danziger: It’s a funny question. And hopefully a funny answer because I came out of an MBA program with no experience to speak of in marketing or data. But there was a startup company, this was an Austin, Texas, that had some grads from our program that was doing, this is late’90s, so this was pretty advanced at the time, but they were doing neural network data mining for marketing purposes. And the interview for my internship went something like this, ” So, David, we’re glad you’re interested in the company. What do you know about neural networks?” ” Nothing.” ” What do you know about using data for marketing?” ” Nothing.” I hope I was more creative in the answers, but effectively those were the answers. They offered the job to someone else smartly, but that person at the last minute accepted another internship so they fell back on me. So that was what got me started in both data and marketing. Worked for that company for a while, but then there moved purely really onto the data side with a company called Axiom. Spent the better part of a decade, actually a little over a decade, all in with Axiom. And that got me exposed to data as it was used heavily in direct marketing. But then at the tail end of that tenure, moving into how it was used in online buying because so many of those characteristics carried over as well. So that was the path. But you’re right, I certainly did not go to school with the thought that, ” Oh, I’m going to be a data expert and make a career out of it as it relates to media.” I truly feel like I lucked backwards into it, and it’s worked out very well.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, it certainly, and thank you to that other guy who didn’t show up.
David Danziger: No doubt.
Vincent Pietrafesa: …because we wouldn’t have David in our industry. So, thank you to the other guy, I’m sure he is listening.
Ajay Gupta: So, David, one of the things we keep hearing about in context with Trade Desk, with a lot of press releases is this word Unified ID or Trade Desk ID, and we hear that quite a bit. So, we’d love to just understand what that’s all about and your views on it.
David Danziger: Thanks Ajay, you bet. So, the Unified ID 2.0 is something that it’s being championed by The Trade Desk, but now it’s really part of a broad-based industry open ecosystem coalition, where we just happened to be one part of it. A lot of the capabilities originated and predated work that The Trade Desk was doing as well. But the gist of it is this, when it became apparent that third party cookies were going to start phasing out, so you see Mozilla had phased out third party cookies, apple had done this in safari, the Brave browser had done this. And then the biggest of the big is when Google said that they were going to phase out third party cookies. They originally announced this in January 2020 that they were going to do it in January 2022. It felt like all of us that used cookies in various ways for identity as a backbone needed something that was going to replace it. And organizations like the IAB Tech Lab as well as a lot of other orgs and companies like us, that work in those spaces, started looking for a solution that would take the place of third-party cookies, but also improve upon the capabilities. So, with Unified ID 2.0, which The Trade Desk really started to champion a little over a year ago, from when we’re recording this, we really thought in terms of four things that we wanted it to be for the benefit of everybody in the open ecosystem. All of it, with the idea of continuing to support the idea that ultimately the content that all of us enjoy on the internet is really funded by relevant advertising. And in order to have relevant advertising, you have to have some foundation for anonymized identity. So, what we wanted, the four components, was we wanted something open sourced and interoperable, meaning that it wasn’t proprietary to The Trade Desk and isn’t proprietary to The Trade Desk, but was going to be ultimately free and available to the entire ecosystem. So that was one. The second thing was we wanted independent governance. So it wasn’t, again, The Trade Desk defining what’s appropriate or not appropriate, but a code of conduct managed by an independent body that could govern how data gets used and the identities get used. The third component was that it should be something secure and privacy friendly. So, in this case, it was a hashed and encrypted email identifier. It may extend to other things too, but hash and encrypted email so that it could be secure and very privacy friendly. But then the fourth thing and perhaps most important was this idea of the consumer getting better transparency and control over how they could express preferences and opt outs. Whereas in the world of cookies, the overall consumer experience was this pop up that says, hey, do you accept cookies or don’t you? And most consumers have no reason to know really what that is. The idea with this is that there’s a much more inclusive dialogue, where the consumer gets a chance to hear, okay, here’s how your hashed email is going to get used. You’re not going to get spammed, it’s purely to serve you more relevant advertising, do you accept? So those four components are the framework for Unified ID 2.0. And as we work with other orgs around the ecosystem, whether it’s advertisers on one side, publishers on the other side, and everybody in the middle, it creates a mechanism where they can talk with each other and have a clear understanding of identity, where they have to follow that code of conduct, but where they all have the opportunity to contribute to the code, make it better, make the system work better for everyone.
Ajay Gupta: That’s the best explanation of Unified ID I’ve heard. That’s amazing.
David Danziger: Yeah, thank you.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I was like, “I just learned something.” I love it.
Ajay Gupta: We’ll have to save that clip somewhere. So, the other one is related to your answer, David. So obviously there’s a lot of stuff going on with iOS and Google. Are there any immediate impacts that Trade Desk is seeing? And how are you guys preparing for it?
David Danziger: I think we’re seeing some impact, but it’s early days yet. One of the biggest changes is, you mentioned Apples changes with iOS 14, where it too puts front and center for consumers the idea that, hey, do you want to opt in for tracking effectively? Which has a negative connotation. But we’ve started to see where, depending on the timing, how it’s put in front of consumers, there’s differences in how much impact that’s really having, so we’ve seen that. With the other changes with some of the announcements by Google, very little change yet just because hasn’t gone into effect yet. And fact within, I guess the month before we recorded this podcast, they extended the timeline. So, we haven’t really seen impacts yet. But in some ways the writing is on the wall for the idea of giving consumers a much greater say in how their data gets used in advertising and what consumers want known. So, to that end, we’ve really gotten active and continue to try to push quickly as we’ve seen a lot of our colleagues at other companies, other parts of the industry doing the same thing. Whether it’s with Unified ID 2.0 or other forms of targeting that extend into cookie list environments and things so that they can continue to reach consumers with meaningful advertising, even when the time likely comes that cookies go away, that it’s a purely opt- in regime. All of that is ultimately a better thing we think for how advertising’s going to work in the future.
Vincent Pietrafesa: And David, speaking of social posts, we have seen quite a bit around, because I follow The Trade Desk, always interested in what you guys are doing there, the recent version of the release of Solimar, can you talk about that?
David Danziger: Solimar is something we’ve been really, really excited about in the lead up to it. We released it on July the seventh and it felt like a long time in coming and all the different things that were going into it. But with Solimar, we really wanted to do three things, and goes back to something I had mentioned earlier, which is something that The Trade Desk has always deeply believed in from its earliest days, was the idea that the more data you can bring to bear in your media buying, the better it can be. And then as another part of that, the more media buyers and traders, if you will, if you think in terms of real time bidding comment, the more traders can think about how to achieve their goals versus shifting budgets around, the more successful advertisers are going to be. So, we put that together, that was maybe and winded intro to tell you, here were three of the things that we really wanted to do with Solimar. The first was to make it very easy for advertisers to use their own first party data and bring first party data into The Trade Desk for media buying. That’s something that I think Facebook and Google have done a phenomenal job within platforms to enable first party buying. When we think of the most powerful data of all, first party data and what a brand has and knows about their clients, about their customers, that’s really the most powerful of all. So, we wanted easy ramps there. The second component was the idea of making buying goal- based. So, we start every campaign in Solimar with the buyer describing what the goals of the campaign are, which lets us put what we call co-op for our artificial intelligence solution. Let’s start to layer artificial intelligence in to help them achieve those goals. But the buyer can override the artificial intelligence anyway, which is a good thing. Sometimes we think it’s going to be better in most cases, but humans are great at hypotheses, computers are great at computing. So, we try to let both parties do their best. So, start with first party data, layering goal- based buying. And then the third part that’s really interesting and a big step forward. We feel like with Solimar is bringing real world measurement very deeply and intertwined into the platform. So where historically a lot of the measurements for online campaigns were based on measurements like viewability or not much fraud or things like that or clicks or things that were interesting proxy measures but not ultimately what a chief marketing officer cares about, we brought real world measures from partners into it. So, did buying actually increase? And we use partners who can measure its skew level data, things like that for that part. Did an auto customer actually show up on the lot to check out the auto? So, things like location data that can come into that. And other things like that for real world metrics to actually identify the success of campaigns based on the client’s original goal.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I wanted to piggyback on that, Solimar being new, a lot of these different features. But for years, when I talk to people, when I’m on the phone with clients, a lot of people are mentioning The Trade Desk in such a great way. It has been synonymous with excellent solutions, what do you attribute that to?
David Danziger: Well, thank you for saying that. I feel like it’s… We love to hear that and it’s great to hear. I think there were a few things that I would attribute it to. One is that we did have, as I noted, really early emphasis on data and bringing data to the fore. That reflects well, not only on us and our clients, but also on the data partners that we work with as well. Because obviously the better the data, the more successful our clients can be. So that’s one thing. Another thing that I would attribute it to is, if you will, the self-serve but hybrid model of customer service that The Trade Desk brings. And by that, I mean probably 90% of our customers are hands on keyboard themselves, where they’re actually executing the campaign. So as a result of that, we really put a heavy emphasis on the right software capabilities being in place for a user, whether it’s a power user or somewhat less capable user to do it well. But the hybrid that I mentioned is that, for all of our clients, we’ve always had a business development component for it, but then account manager client service, and trader expertise, where we help them along the way, even if we’re not hands on keyboard for them. But we help team teach them to be successful along the way. So, teaching and learning as part of what Trade Desk customers get, I think has been a heavy part of that success as well.
Ajay Gupta: David, coming back to the Solimar platform, is that something you see as a replacement for some of the third part onboarding solutions in the future?
David Danziger: It could be, but it actually builds on a lot of those actually. It has some of the API capabilities that enable some of those third-party solutions to come to the fore. So, we partner very closely with our friends at LiveRamp as one mechanism for onboarding. But the other thing that’s a helpful benefit related to Unified ID 2, is that common language where any clients who have emails can hash them, transition them into Unified ID 2s which can be ingested into the platform for buying. So, I don’t know that it necessarily really takes the place of, but more helpfully sits alongside, I think, other third-party onboarding solutions. A lot of our clients are very embedded with other third-party onboarding solutions, and we want to help them be successful as well. It’s good for all of us.
Ajay Gupta: That all makes sense. Sounds like these days, especially with all the changes going on, a multiple company approach is the best way to extend the reach.
David Danziger: Yes.
Ajay Gupta: So, one of the things, besides being a partner to Trade Desk, we have also been using your Edge Academy to onboard, especially some of our younger employees that are not from the industry. Would love to learn more about how did this come about and the background for it.
David Danziger: Thank you for asking about that, Ajay because we always love getting to talk about it. Actually, it probably dovetails on the two questions ago about part of what we think has made The Trade Desk successful. When we were getting going in 2009 and the next few years beyond that, one of the things that was really apparent was that there were a lot of people coming into our industry for whom the concepts of programmatic buying, real time bidding, and even higher end concepts within marketing were newer territory. So, the Edge Academy started as, in all candor, the earliest origins for some internal training at The Trade Desk. As new employees join The Trade Desk, we would do these sessions to explain, how does real time bidding work? What does it mean that there’s 100 milliseconds for what happens at the publisher side to come across into an ad exchange for a bid request for determination by the DSP on what to bid using third party data, how much to bid, all of that happening. That core technical underpinning was one piece of it, but then the broader concepts of why it works, how to make advertisers better, all of that became part of Edge Academy. So that not only as a mechanism for, how do you use The Trade Desk? Because for a long time, that really wasn’t a piece of it at all. It was really all about, how do you use the components of programmatic to really get better outcomes for your clients in a meaningful, measurable away? So that ultimately helps all of us that are in programmatic deliver better results for clients as programmatic continue to grow.
Vincent Pietrafesa: I remember seeing it. And like Ajay mentioned, several of our own employees were utilizing it, I remember seeing people. I don’t know if it was free before because it’s certainly amazing content you could easily charge for. But I know The Trade Desk, during 2020, the pandemic offered that at no charge. And that was great for people. Talk about thought leadership just like here, learn about the industry gets certified in a variety of different classes, different methods of this industry. So that was great. I definitely want to mention that. I know it’s still out there for people to check out, but I remember seeing that. So, we thank you for that.
David Danziger: Well, thank you. It was big for us too because I know you guys experienced this as well, where you had a lot of people joining your companies during the period where they couldn’t under normal circumstances. You might have a buddy system or a mentor system or manage a new employee where they’re looking over the shoulder and learning how to do different things in that way. In the absence of that, we felt like this was actually one thing during the COVID period where we really could help everyone get up to speed, even if they couldn’t be sitting with somebody right next to them to ask questions, things like that.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Absolutely. And David, let’s talk about data. Let’s talk about that as far as partnerships because I don’t want every data provider listening to this to reach out to you and bother you. I’d only want ones that you might be interested in if at all. Go easy with David. But as far as looking for the right data provider, what do you look for?
David Danziger: It’s something that I think has changed a little bit over time, but some of the core tenets are very similar. And the way we think of it is, there’s a combination proactive and reactive part of it. So, the reactive part in some ways is very easy, which is a lot of times we will have clients say to us, ” Hey, I’m really thinking of doing X, Y, Z. And I’ve heard about this company that’s doing interesting things in that regard.” So, in those scenarios, it’s client driven and we’re reacting and reaching out under more about what it is that a particular data company might bring. But the proactive part I think is, I sometimes say the strategic part, which maybe, I don’t know if those really are interchangeable in this context, but the proactive part, we’re usually looking for someone that fills a niche, either one, from a geo epic standpoint. So if we’re looking to move into a new market or have recently moved into a new market, one of the things that we really want to be able to do is offer a fairly full suite of capabilities in the same way that I mentioned at the outset, that we think in terms of audience data, we think in terms of identity and cross device, we think in terms of contextual and brand safety, and we think in terms of measurement. We want those same capabilities, maybe not day one when we start in a given country or market, but pretty close following on so that we’re not talking about these incomplete solutions where we’re saying, ” Hey, this is the best way to do marketing. Oh, but we don’t have the offline measurement part, we’ll get back to you on that.” We really want to be able to bring all those things in. So, one part is the geographic part. And then that dovetails on the second part I alluded to in the first part, which is the capabilities within a given geography. So, if we’re lacking identity capability in India, as we go into India, then we want to find partners that can do that. If we’re doing new things in Italy, which incidentally those are two of our newest markets that we’re going into. If we’re doing that, we want to find great Italian data partners. So, we think in terms of things that fill geographic or capability needs. And then one more thing that I’ll just mention quickly is if there are some differences as relates to particular channels that are emerging as strategic, that’s the other thing we look for data. So, if we think about in the current environment, everybody you mentioned it in your intro for Stirista, we do this with connected television being an increasingly important part of the business and buying. There are certain types of data that are most powerful for connected television and understanding how to help shift linear TV dollars into CTV dollars and have them well targeted. So, we look for the data sets that fill a niche strategically in the channel area as well.
Vincent Pietrafesa: And I just want to piggyback on something there. Because the international piece, that’s something that comes up quite a bit about international, filling those gaps. Talk a little bit about that, David, where are you’re expanding both data sets, The Trade Desk as a company.
David Danziger: That’s been one of the, I will say personally has been one of the most exciting things to be part of as The Trade Desk has continued to grow. Because we certainly started as a US company, but now we really think of ourselves as, and it sounds a little hokey but it’s very true, as a global company that happens to be headquartered in California. So, with that, within a few years, we had opened offices in London, Hamburg, Singapore, Sydney, and continued to expand. We put a lot of emphasis on what we see are really growth markets in Asia. We see great opportunity in Indonesia, so we’ve had an office there for about five years now. Korea, Japan, China is something that we’ve invested in for a long time. Europe is a great market for us as well. And I feel a little ridiculous referencing a market is Europe because the reality is, as you guys well know, that it’s an entirely different thing operating in UK versus France versus Germany versus Spain versus Italy and so on. So, we actually have offices now in each of those five markets that I mentioned as well. We do a lot of business in south America though we have yet to actually put an office there. So, remains to be seen some of the other places, but international expansion continues to be really exciting in a key area for us too.
Ajay Gupta: David, I think one of the remarkable things you guys have done that a lot of your competitors can’t or have been unable to do is just expand globally. I think a lot of them are focused on the US and can’t really handle both the data needs as well as the regulation that comes with expanding. So, kudos to you guys on that.
David Danziger: Thanks. It’s been exciting.
Ajay Gupta: So, what’s the ideal customer profile look like for you, both within US and as you expand into other new marketplaces internationally?
David Danziger: It varies a little bit, but there are definitely some things that I would say are common among the ideal customer. The Trade Desk started with and has continued with a philosophy that agencies, to a large degree, are still really central to the buying experience for media. There was a period five, six years ago where it felt like you would read a new story every day in Ad Exchange or MediaPost, what have you about brands in housing their media buying. In some cases, that was the case. But in other cases, it was really a different way of managing the vendors that they were actually using to still execute the buys. So, our premise was always that media buying ideally gets simplified, but the reality is it’s got, in many ways, more complex just in terms of the analytics that are brought to bear, the mechanisms for measurement, the proliferation of channels, optimizing across all of that. And most brands want to focus on doing the things that they do well, which is creating and packaging, soap, toothpaste, automobiles, if you will, their core competencies. So back to your question, what’s a natural place for The Trade Desk or a best customer profile for The Trade Desk? Starts with agencies, but more and more works with brands who want to understand the technologies their agencies are using. So, we work a lot through agencies, we work a lot with, I would say, more sophisticated media buyers typically. Because I think we would be the first to admit that our platform, while we’ve done a lot to improve the UI and make it easier and easier to use and starting from a goal base and executing, it’s not necessarily the simplest. But that’s partly because we want the buyers to have a lot of control to tweak the automated components and say, ” Hey, I think I can do better using this.” So it tends to be a little bit more sophisticated buyer and more and more, we want somebody who is thinking in terms of not just the metrics that they’ve historically learned about for online marketing, but thinking more and more about, Hey, what are the ultimate things that are going to make my client successful all the way up to the chief marketing officer level, who doesn’t wake up thinking about viewability, doesn’t wake up thinking about clicks. But he or she more likely wakes up thinking about, ” Hey, am I actually achieving my marketing results?” So, starts with agencies, onto brands tends, to be sophisticated buyers, those who are thinking about big picture real world results.
Ajay Gupta: David, we talked a little bit before the podcast started about the world opening up and traveling a little bit more. But it’s been a little while, so how have you adapted both personally as well as within your department and company in this remote environment and not being able to see clients and partners?
David Danziger: I’ll be the first to tell you that I was jealous actually when you and Vincent were talking at the outset about the recent work in New York, getting together with clients, with partners, and most of all with the team. I think it’s fabulous that we’re getting ready and starting to have that experience. But for us, it’s certainly been interesting as I think it has been for a lot of companies figuring out what’s going to work. One thing that I think worked well for The Trade Desk was we have been a video culture for virtually the entire time I’ve been at The Trade Desk. Albeit, the video has improved dramatically with Zoom, but we were actively using Zoom pre- pandemic. So, it has helped facilitate, I think realistically, a sense of comradery and teamwork that you can get. It’s still not the same as being in the office with somebody. I think all of us can legitimately admit that. But when I see you Ajay, when I see you Vincent, and I feel more like I know you than if we were just talking on the phone. So, video culture is one thing that I think has served us very well. But at the same time within The Trade Desk, I think right at this stage, roughly a third of our team, of our employees have come to The Trade Desk in the time since the pandemic started. So, they are just now getting the opportunities in most of our offices to get to meet their teammates in person. One thing that we’ve tried to do though, that I think has helped as well, the Trade Desk has always annually held a palooza, where our whole company gets together in one place. And obviously it’s some fun stuff and social things, but there’s a lot of strategy, there’s a chance to get to know your teammates from other parts of the world and other functional areas, things like that. And while we couldn’t all be together, we have continued to have paloozas where we do some of the same presentations, have those conversations, have workshops have get to know your mixers. But I think anyone who feels like it’s the same is missing the boat. So, I’m very much looking forward to getting back out with partners, getting back out with clients, getting back out with teammates. Zoom with partners has been great as far as it goes, but it’s not the same as getting in a conference room and in front of a whiteboard or breaking bread at a restaurant or having beverages, any of those things that really seal the personal connection that can make partners work.
Vincent Pietrafesa: No, I definitely agree. I like that palooza, what a great name. David, can you talk about some of your previous experiences at Axiom and Merkle? It’s companies that we know, they’ve both been on the podcast that helped you develop early in your career to where you are today.
David Danziger: Yeah, absolutely. I feel incredibly lucky actually to have had the experience at Axiom and at Merkle. Which incidentally it was at those places where I first met Ajay along, first got to know Stirista. And that speaks to part of what I think the experience with Axiom and Merkle brought for me. So, the first thing I’ll say is I mentioned I had spent over a decade at Axiom. And some of the talent at Axiom just phenomenal and spread out into other parts of the industry. That combination of being around people who are so extremely intelligent. And Axiom, I think probably a lot of your listeners who are sophisticated marketers already know, but Axiom was one of the real pioneers in consumer database marketing, originally one of the first list compilers in a sophisticated way. So that expertise in both identity and consumer data with so many of the principles that came out of direct mail translating into the online world. Those were so helpful for me in terms of a foundational level of understanding of what it is that marketers care about out and how technology can help deliver it. Then with Merkle again, incredibly intelligent group of individuals. The thing that was a little different at Merkle, I think, that was helpful was Merkle was more of a hybrid agency focus as well. So, while there was great database technology and data- centric approach, very much more an agency model of thinking about things. And now, of course, part of the agency of the Dentsu Family. But that mindset helped me understand more about what agencies were thinking about and what buyers are thinking about as well. So, both of those experiences were extremely powerful as well as the people I got to meet along the way that helped get me where I am.
Vincent Pietrafesa: David, something I’m curious about within your role, is your role talking to people on the front lines on the sales team, understanding maybe some of the data of needs of the clients, and then you reacting that way? Or are you always on the hunt for the next great inventory or is it a little bit of both?
David Danziger: There’s elements of both. And it’s changed as The Trade Desk has gotten bigger and candidly as the data partnerships team has and bigger too. So early on, I was leading the data partnerships team and at first it was just me and then a small group of us. So, there it was very much whatever needed to be done at any given moment. So sometimes it was client facing, sometimes it was on the hunt for data partner. But as the team has grown and as the needs have grown, I would say the roles that each of us play get sliced a little bit more thinly and more focused into different areas. So, my focus over these last couple of years has really been with the holding companies that have acquired data companies. So, think IPG with Axiom, think Publicis with Epsilon, think Dentsu with Merkle. And then those that haven’t like Omnicom WPP, WPP’s done some acquisition, but all of them are trying to make better use of data from assets that are either core to what they’ve got or sets that they’ve rented in some way. So, helping them with their data capabilities and how that can get used inside The Trade Desk. And then the other part has been growing our international footprint. Those two things have really been my focus over the last few years as we’ve sliced more thinly. But within that, I get a lot of chances to interact with clients and partners, both new and existing, and do it on a more global fashion, which has been really fun and fantastic.
Ajay Gupta: David, last question from me, it’s our signature question. So, I’m sure with your title, you get tons of LinkedIn messages and unsolicited emails. So would love to know what annoys you and what really gets a response from you.
David Danziger: It’s a great question too. Because I try to be open- minded on LinkedIn, mainly because we’ve all been there, where for whatever reason you want to get in touch with this particular person and ask a specific question or in some way start to network. So maybe that gets a little bit to what I like and I don’t like. If someone can very quickly identify realistically why they are reaching out and that it’s in some way relevant to me, I’m inclined to respond and at least try to communicate and maybe set something to understand, is there something here for us? Whether it’s The Trade Desk and what this person’s offering or personal connection, something there, is there something there? But if it’s clearly just a blitz email that they’re sending to everyone that has no relevance, I feel like, come on this… The other thing at this point, and this is probably not fair. But if I see it’s somebody where I have two connections in common or something like that, immediately my antenna goes up and I’m like, ” Come on, who is this person? Did they choose me out of a hat?” That feels unlikely. But that’s maybe not fair, but I don’t know. Is that close to yours, Ajay? I know you should be asking the question, but I’m curious, is that similar? Do you do it?
Ajay Gupta: Yeah, I think-
Vincent Pietrafesa: You’ve got to flatter Ajay, then that’s what he does.
David Danziger: I feel like the two of you are some of the master connectors and networkers partly with this, but just in your roles too. And Ajay, I’ve known him close to a decade if not more at this point on things like this. So, I’m curious, is this how you view it too?
Ajay Gupta: Yeah, I think I stopped you on a trade show floor and harassed you the first time. But I think the biggest thing I see now is the younger salespeople don’t want to put in any effort at all. As soon as they connect, they send you something very salesy. They are not looking at you, they’re not really sending custom messages. And we have the same struggle with our salespeople as well. They’ll say, ” Well, we sent out 2, 000 emails and didn’t get a response.” It’s like, ” Well, did you custom even one of them?” So, I do think it’s a little bit of a lost art form just because it’s so easy now to send messages out.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Yeah, I think so. And I’m more of a personal approach and you would think I have a nice network and I appreciate my network. But surprisingly, as people think, oh, you’re so outgoing, you seem like you just let anyone in. No, I’m the same way, David. For me, you have to have 40 connections or something or a customized message. I’m very one- on- one, I like that connection on my own. So, you’re in the normal, it’s crosstalk.
David Danziger: That makes me feel better.
Vincent Pietrafesa: No, absolutely.
Ajay Gupta: Actually, somebody from Oracle reached out to me and it was such a nice custom message just to SDR. And I said, ” Hey, we’re not really looking for your solution. But if you need a new job, this is the perfect message.”
Vincent Pietrafesa: And SDRs are one of those things where they’re on the front line, often times it’s an entry level position where they’re just trying to do their job. Oh, I’m nice to everyone. It’s just a matter of I like to keep where I could say, ” Oh, hey David, meet so and so.” That sort of connection.
David Danziger: I have a hard time picturing either one of you being not nice to someone. I know there are people in our industry where they may not be nice every time, but with you two guys, I have a hard time picturing it, I guess.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh, we appreciate that. Thank you so much. So, David, let me get to know you just for a couple minutes here before we have to go. I love these podcasts because they go so quickly because I feel like we know you. But personally, what do you like doing? I know you’re a Lion’s fan, so did you get the Jared Goff Jersey yet or you’re still holding onto that Matt Staffer? I know we lost Ajay with that comment about football, but tell me what you like to do for fun.
David Danziger: You got the wrong sport, well, I’m a Detroit fan though. I have-
Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh, you flipped. That’s right, you’re a Tennessee fan now.
David Danziger: I’m a Red Wings fan. I’m a diehard Detroit Red Wings fan, which is-
Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh, that’s right. That’s a hockey team, Ajay.
David Danziger: That’s a knock on the lions. But I just never have been.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Oh, good, good.
David Danziger: Detroit Red Wings fan. But other things that I like to do, I’m married, I have three kids who are all university age or just emerging out of university, so I spend a lot of time with those guys. But I love reading, I love running. Those are the things I like to do. I know that’s a super exciting answer, running and reading.
Vincent Pietrafesa: With the Red Wings, that’s exciting at least. But no, that’s it. Hey, what am I doing nowadays? I’ve got two kids and I’m hoping the New York Giants have a good team, and that’s it. And it hasn’t been great the last six years with the giants, with the kids, it’s been great.
David Danziger: crosstalk. Every year is new. Every year is new.
Vincent Pietrafesa: Exactly. 0- 0 record. Everyone’s undefeated. David, this has been absolutely amazing. We really appreciate you spending some time with us. Keep up the amazing work at The Trade Desk. Check out The Trade Desk, check out the Edge Academy, go to the website there. That’s David Danziger, he’s the vice president of data partnerships there at The Trade Desk. I’m the vice president of B2B products here at Stirista, Vincent Pietrafesa. That’s Ajay Gupta. This has been another episode of The Marketing Stir. Thank you so much. We’ll talk to you soon.
Jared Walls: Thanks for listening to The Marketing Stir podcast by Stirista. Please like, rate, and subscribe. If you’re interested in being a guest on the podcast, email us at email@example.com. And thanks for listening.