5 rules to live by at a new job

November 7, 2008

1. Never under estimate anyone (they can probably teach you a few things).

Throughout my career I’ve learned from everyone.  Of course you’ll learn from the CEO, the COO, and the CMO.  I mean keeping your eyes and ears open, and learning from everyone around you.  I learned a great lesson from our office manager Michele Burke during my years at Epic Advertising, back when it was still AzoogleAds. Michele has the uncanny ability to bring levity to any situation.  When we first started at AzoogleAds, Chris Mentzer, Brett Lofgren and Myself sat in close proximity. The beginning days at AzoogleAds were uncertain, and stress filled.  When things would heat up, Michele would invariably walk over from her station at the front desk to pick something up from the printer and make a comment in some new accent she’d just created, getting everyone to crack up.  

Life’s short – laugh a little.  Thanks for that lesson Michele.

2. Listen

Recently I read a book that offered a great note on interrupting people.  In the book the author stated that when you interrupt someone, you’re indicating you think what you have to say is more important than what the person speaking is saying.  Listening is how we learn.  Listening and truly hearing is how we can be a better friend, colleague, husband.  The more I listen to the team at Miva, I guarantee the more successful the entire team will be.  I’m certain that the harder I listen, the more nuances about the business will arise.  I’m dying to dig in and hear what everyone has to say.

3. Speak the truth

I’m obsessed with business audio books.  Because I spend a great deal of my time on metro north commuting to and from the city, it’s my preferred method of entertainment/self improvement. My eyes are usually too tired to read (after staring at a computer screen all day).  I also find that I can plow through a few books a week this way.  Recently I was listening to a book that discusses six sigma. The essence of six sigma is – be truthful in business.  Analyzing your company from a point of truth is invaluable. Understanding the reality of any situation is the only way you improve. Embracing your situation, addressing any issues head on, and moving forward is the only way you grow. We must be truthful to ourselves, our loved ones and our colleagues.

4. Write lucid succinct memos

I struggle with this one, but it helps a great deal. Resist the temptation to ramble. That’s what blogs, and friends are for.  When communicating with your colleagues/bosses write as succinctly as possible.  Don’t complain, don’t waif.  Get to the point, offer solutions. Your colleagues will love you for it.  Their time is just as valuable as yours.  Don’t assume that they need to hear about how you took a full week to aggregate the information your sending. Just tell them what the information is, how it can be leveraged to help make their life easier, and hit the send button.  

5. Compete fair and square

There’s no room for game playing in business.  Some people approach business with a war room mentality. I understand the parallels, but that this doesn’t make it acceptable to cut corners. Give people the opportunity to be fair, and truthful and they will be.  Articulate that you are open to hearing about truth and that you reward good work.  Fairness will become a part of your corporate culture.

5 Secrets to Improve Your Relationship with your Network

October 24, 2008

Working with a performance based ad network can make you a superstar, or can get you in the hot seat quicker than you can say Vonage.

Here are a few tips that will help you as the advertiser get back into the control seat. Networks have a tendency to promise the moon, and deliver a hunk of cheese. Don’t let this happen to you. Work closely with the right partner and you’ll reap the rewards. Give up that control, and they will send you a bag full of useless leads that will kill your entire marketing budget. Be smart – understand your allowable acquisition and get in front of a few different networks. Ask lots of questions and insist on the following – and you’ll be fine.

1. Demand full disclosure and transparency – If your brand is large enough they will offer it. If not, find a partner that will. You need the control of knowing where your ads are running.
2. Request certain hand selected publishers receive a higher payout (at the networks expense – reduced margin) to drive more volume.
A. Make sure payouts are listed privately – so you don’t anger other publishers running the offer
3. Insist that the appropriate checks and balances are in place
A. List the number of leads you’re willing to pay for in a set time frame – ie, if a publisher generates 2000 leads over the weekend, but you’ve capped the offer at 1000 leads – you’re not held responsible – PUT THIS IN WRITING IN THE CONTRACT
4. Set weekly conference calls – If you think there’s nothing to discuss, think again – something ALWAYS comes up
5. Don’t be bullied into unfavorable payment terms – Networks are HIGHLY competitive, and they need your business.

Go get em!

AzoogleAds Re-Brands as Epic Advertising

April 9, 2008

My former employer AzoogleAds Re-Brands. This is a great step for AzoogleAds. I wish them the best of luck.

AzoogleAds Re-Brands as Epic Advertising
New Corporate Brand Identity Encompasses Broad Range of Performance Marketing Services

NEW YORK–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Azoogle.com, Inc., the New York online performance-based advertising network, announced today that the company will change its corporate name to Epic Advertising, creating a single brand for its now fully integrated performance marketing businesses and services. The company will retain the AzoogleAds name as a unit of Epic Advertising, maintaining continuity as an industry-leading, performance-based ad network.

The re-branding will unify the company’s services under one name, strategy and vision for its performance marketing business, both in North America and globally. It also signals the completion of the integration of Bazaar Advertising, the search marketing firm acquired by the company and announced in October 2007.

Epic Advertising encompasses two main units focused on online consumer traffic acquisition: AzoogleAds and Bazaar Advertising. AzoogleAds continues to provide broad-based traffic acquisition services leveraging the company’s leading performance-based ad network business. Bazaar Advertising continues to provide search engine management and marketing services, specializing in keyword discovery, purchase and optimization of online search campaigns. Epic Advertising will market both units as an integrated suite of services to its advertisers, with a focus on direct response customer acquisition and performance marketing.

The Epic Advertising brand will also include the Epic Ad Center (EAC), a do-it-yourself tool-kit for small- to medium-sized businesses that automatically creates display, search and coupon ads on a performance basis. Advertisers are able to target their campaigns geographically, demographically and behaviorally using the ads.

Recently, the company announced its international expansion throughout Europe, Latin America and Asia-Pacific, and it expects the name change to facilitate that drive. The company plans to continue this expansion throughout 2008.

“This symbolizes an exciting evolution for our company,” says Don Mathis, President of Epic Advertising. “Until now we were known primarily for our performance-based ad services in North America via our AzoogleAds brand. Our new corporate name will help to showcase all of our services as a seamless offering to advertisers, highlighting our multi-channel approach to performance marketing. As our company moves forward as a global enterprise, we’re working to take performance marketing to the next level.”

About Epic Advertising:

Epic Advertising (www.EpicAdvertising.com), founded in 2000 as AzoogleAds, is an elite, global performance marketing company, providing advertisers with superior customer acquisition marketing services. Leveraging its industry-leading performance-based ad network under its AzoogleAds subsidiary, and its search engine marketing capabilities under its Bazaar Advertising subsidiary, Epic provides advertisers with direct response marketing services with a world-wide reach that are second to none.

Epic Advertising utilizes proprietary and patent-pending optimization and targeting technology, and leverages a network of tens of thousands of publishers, to generate extremely high volumes of top quality consumer traffic for its advertising partners. A pioneer in both the online performance marketing industry and in Internet advertising integrity assurance, Epic Advertising brings an intense focus on achieving the highest ROI yield, and scales its solutions by leveraging vast quantities of data, its proprietary targeting and search technologies, and its unparalleled industry expertise.

Epic Advertising is headquartered in New York, with offices in Toronto and San Francisco. The company is privately held and backed by private equity firms TA Associates and Stripes Group.

Zanox, Inc

December 31, 2007

Starting on January 7th I begin an exciting journey as the VP of Ad Sales at the only multinational ad network Zanox, Inc.

I loved working with the team at AzoogleAds, and I look forward to this next challenge for my career. Zanox has offices in 14 countries, and generate leads for advertisers in over 30 countries! This is sure to be an exciting new year!

AzoogleAds – iMedia HotSpot – First post!

November 19, 2007

Blockbuster, Inc. named AzoogleAds as its Search Engine Marketing “Agency of Record.”

October 29, 2007

NEW YORK – Azoogle.com, Inc. (www.AzoogleAds.com), the New York-based online marketing solutions provider, officially announced that Blockbuster, Inc. named AzoogleAds as its Search Engine Marketing “Agency of Record.” The account is managed under Bazaar Advertising, a division of AzoogleAds.

This announcement comes on the heels of the successful integration between AzoogleAds and recently acquired Bazaar Advertising, a San Francisco-based search engine management and advertising technology company. This move calls further attention to the company’s expanded suite of search marketing services and ability to work with leading, top tier clients.

“Our strategy is to continue to grow our client’s customer acquisitions by coupling science and technology with real direct marketing savvy, not through incentive offers or gimmicks. The results we are seeing so far from the Blockbuster partnership shows that we are doing just that,” says Randy Nicolau, CEO of AzoogleAds.

About AzoogleAds:

AzoogleAds (www.AzoogleAds.com), founded in 2000, is an end-to-end online marketing solutions provider for advertisers, publishers and online affiliates. Initially a pioneer in performance-based marketing, AzoogleAds generates the highest volumes of quality traffic through its affiliate network, its proprietary search technologies and optimization, its in-house CPM/CPA/CPC Media Buying and the company’s unparalleled industry expertise. The AzoogleAds team delivers the most comprehensive and cost-effective strategic online marketing campaigns for advertisers and publishers of all sizes and across all industries through innovative technology and unrivaled knowledge in search and performance based marketing and media buying.

AzoogleAds is headquartered in New York, with offices in Toronto and San Francisco. They are members of the IAB, Mobile Marketing Association (MMA), Shop.Org, the DMA and the Congressional Internet Caucus Advisory Committee. The company is privately held and backed by private equity firms TA Associates and Stripes Group.

AzoogleAds Branches Into SEM with Bazaar Acquisition

October 3, 2007

AzoogleAds Branches Into SEM with Bazaar Acquisition
By Fred Aun, The ClickZ Network, Oct 2, 2007

In an effort to morph AzoogleAds into more than just a performance-based affiliate advertising specialist, the company has acquired Bazaar Advertising, a San Francisco search engine management and advertising player whose technology impressed AzoogleAds’ executives.
The decision to go beyond its niche in CPA-based affiliate networking has already proved fruitful for the New York-based company, said chief marketing officer Michael Sprouse. He said AzoogleAds, which handles affiliate advertising for Blockbuster Video, recently convinced the movie-rental giant to also use it for SEM.
“That’s really the one that we are most excited about so far,” said Sprouse. “We work with them in our affiliate business in big way. After a period of a few weeks, we really proved to them that we could manage their search as well and we are already in the process of running these campaigns with them.”
AzoogleAds also now offers media services, said Sprouse. “We built out a media buying team internally and we are doing media buys for a handful of pretty big clients. A lot of this stuff is in the early stages and we’re really excited about it.”
But when it came to search engine management, AzoogleAds decided acquisition, rather than internal expansion, was the better route. Sprouse noted Bazaar, a company that had about 20 employees, had “mostly small players” as customers, so the acquisition wasn’t about buying a client list.
“It was really a technology and optimization play for us,” he said.
Terms of the acquisition were not revealed, nor would Sprouse talk about new clients, other than Blockbuster, of the firm’s fledgling SEM practice. AzoogleAds now has about 120 employees and offices in New York, Toronto “and now San Francisco,” said Sprouse.