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Under the Hood with Lotame’s Ross McMillan

This week’s “Under the Hood” employee spotlight is with Ross McMillan, Lotame’s Senior Sales Manager in EMEA. He’s helped clients in many different industries deploy data management platforms, and he says the keys to success with a  DMP lie in education and allocating the right internal resources. Read on for more advice. 

What does a day in the your life look like? 

My role at Lotame is varied, and I juggle my time speaking to publishers, agencies, trading desks and marketers. The Lotame DMP is flexible and facilitates a variety of use cases to help different businesses, and it is my job to understand the intricacies of what problems our customers are looking to solve and demonstrate how the DMP can solve this. My day varies from speaking to customers who are at the early phases of exploring what a DMP is, understanding complex use cases right through to ensuring contracts are tailored to our customers’ requirements.

If you could give one bit of advice to somebody new to the AdTech industry, what would it be?

Read, and ask questions. The industry we work in is complicated and forever changing. It is important to read the trade press and keep abreast of how the market is changing and what your customers will want to know and hear about. Asking a customer about the challenges they are facing and how their business is evolving is the best way to understand this.

What is the most interesting or creative use case you have seen of a DMP or with data?

We have a range of customers in EMEA doing great things with the platform. One of our travel clients in particular is using the platform to profile customers based on their search patterns of different destinations around London and their mode of transport. This then allows them to help inform their out of home partners of the types of audiences reachable in key stations and destinations, personalize their website for users and also deliver advertising across their site.

Are there any industries you are noticing a lot of success with or interest in a DMP recently? Has this changed over time?

Lotame has had a long standing heritage in working with publishers and continue to do. Within the EMEA team however we have certainly seen a shift over the last 12-18 months and are seeing a lot more interest in our solution from the demand side of the market. Marketers and agencies are now much more interested in taking control of their own data and understand their customers to a much deeper level. There has historically been a reliance on 3rd party data over the last few years and marketers who want to gain an edge over their competitors are now deploying a DMP to collect and understand what their own first party data looks like in order to interact with their customers in unique ways. We have seen this particularly within the travel, retail, auto and entertainment sectors of late. That’s not to say our technology can’t help other verticals.  

How is the DMP used differently in EMEA than the rest of the world? Or do you notice any trends that are different between geographic regions?

I think the key differences between EMEA and say the US is the scale. We operate in markets with smaller populations meaning that both the buy and sell sides of the market need to very creative in how they use the DMP in order to maximize the value.

The privacy regulations within the European market are also different to the rest of the world so we need to be aware of the new and ever changing regulations which that brings.

What do you think is the most important thing a new client needs to understand to be successful with a DMP?

Deploying a DMP isn’t an overnight success and by deploying a DMP it won’t suddenly solve all your troubles and start making you more money instantly. It requires investment from a resource perspective to understand the nuances of the platform and to glean the nuggets of gold that will make you successful. It also takes times to educate your staff internally about how your business is going to change and adapt because of the DMP.

For instance, if a publisher is now going to shift from selling channels or contextual buys to selling audiences the sales team take time to adapt and also the customers of that publisher will need educating on the new proposition and why it is better for them to buy in that fashion. This whole process is important but needs the whole business to get behind it and to adopt it fully.

What is your favorite part of your job?

I like to think I’m a pretty personable bloke, so I love getting out of the office to meet our customers and build strong relationships with them. The best bit about our job though is hearing all the positive stories from clients and how our technology has added value to their business by either driving incremental revenue or saving them money on their marketing activities.

What is your favorite memory from your time working at Lotame?

Being in the commercial team it is always nice to get your first win and sign your first deal. It is also nice to get your first win and get a customer to move from a competitor product!

However the memories that stick out most are when Lotame all get together as a business and share success stories and have fun together. Seeing our founder Andy Monfried dancing in the centre of a circle to “Jump Around” by House of Pain will be a long standing memory!

Tell us something we don’t already know about you.

I grew up in Australia and am still a keen follower of all sport involving the Aussies. There have been numerous arguments in my household over the rugby which sadly England seem to have the edge at the moment.