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Verve CRO Erin Madorsky Outlines Revenue Goals Around Data, Video, Even Beacons

We’re on the move, we’re doubling down on location as a core value of mobile marketing, and we’re tripling down on our end-to-end mobile platform approach," Madorsky says.

This past May, Verve changed up its leadership bench with the additions of Erin Madorsky as Chief Revenue Officer, and Joseph Galarneau as Chief Product Officer. Those personnel moves were sandwiched between Verve’s hiring of Mark Fruehan to the newly-created role of EVP Enterprise & Platforms and the acquisition of Receptiv, an in-app mobile video advertising platform.

Madorsky joined Verve after a decade at Time Inc. parent Meredith Corp. integrated marketing unit Viant, where she was most recently Senior Vice President of Sales. Now that she’s settled into the role, we asked her what she’s been focusing on and where attention is headed in the latter half of 2018.

GeoMarketing: What initiatives and goals have you been focused on since taking on the role of CRO this past spring?

Erin Madorsky: The focus, starting this spring, in so many ways turned on Verve’s acquisition of Receptiv, which happened in May. At my desk, and throughout the organization, the mission became deep integration — to bring Verve’s teams together with Receptiv’s teams, to bolster the strength of both offerings and leverage those strengths for our clients’ campaigns as quickly as possible.

The sales narrative around this step is enormous for us — an end-to-end platform in which superior location data meets cutting-edge video formats. It’s evolutionary for the company. My opportunity as a new CRO with Verve started with the chance to help craft this story, and I can’t imagine a more exciting way to step into the role.

Is there anything from your past sales leadership post at Viant that has influenced your approach and strategy as CRO of Verve?

Absolutely. Viant provided me the opportunity to deeply acclimate to the data-driven marketing ecosystem. It was an amazing classroom, where I got to see first-hand the benefits of utilizing first-party data to sharpen a brand’s view of consumer behavior across both online and offline spaces. At Verve, I now get the chance to develop these approaches even further — connecting brands to consumer-first moments of engagement, video and display, leveraging powerful premium programmatic options, and expanding on how we deploy mobile location data across the whole spectrum of on-screen interactions that consumers expect and demand.

What do you see as Verve’s primary selling tools? Programmatic self-serve focused on geo-targeted ads in real-time? Traditional sales focused on enterprise and large app publishers? Online/Offline attribution?

At the core of all the very strong and helpful tactics you’ve just mentioned, there’s a central value to what Verve does: our Velocity platform enables our client base to leverage newly enhanced programmatic, first-party data-driven, and mobile-video capabilities in transaction models that focus on flexibility for brands. A primary selling tool in our kit is that we are building industry-leading levels of viewability and consumer engagement. Long and short of it, right there. Everything else is about catering to a potentially infinite range of brand objectives.

Does Verve have any cross-platform sales programs?

Yes, the power of cross-platform will be a central focus in coming quarters. I’m a big believer in the idea that, as consumer dependency on mobile devices continues and increases, the value for marketers from our Velocity offering is the opportunity to build a message and measurement strategy that leverages the central function of mobile in cross-platform connectivity. I’m a huge proponent of advancing data and device-level linkages and, to this end, we will be launching a digital out-of-home partnership as well as advancing our ability to help marketers find valuable customer segments within the connected-TV space.

Verve has incorporated the use of in-store signals like beacons when it acquired Roximity about two years ago. Do you see beacons as having value in Verve’s ad sales strategy?

It’s a good time to ask about beacons! Gartner has just recently put them back at the heart of the conversation when it comes to analytics, which is a critical way of approaching beacons, one that far exceeds the early promise of first applications that focused on in-store offers and experiences while the consumer shopped. Not that we should, or ever would, abandon what we’ve learned about in-store beacon-powered customer experiences, but there’s so much more to the technology than that one set of benefits.

Beacon data is basically precision mobile data, and the measurement implications are enormous. It’s extremely accurate and not easy to capture, but handled capably it’s one of several elements that distinguish our approach to location — and it has been since at least 2016. Beacons and the measurement advantages they create are part of what sets our Velocity capabilities apart — and the re-envisioning of beacons is creating significant opportunities for our brand partners already.

As you look to the fall and 2019, what are some areas of focus you expect to concentrate on?  

If kicking off with the Receptiv acquisition and adding cutting-edge video options to our Velocity platform was an ambitious way to come in as CRO, my goals going forward are even more aggressive. We’re on the move, we’re doubling down on location as a core value of mobile marketing, and we’re tripling down on our end-to-end mobile platform approach. We’ll expand our footprint in video — rewarded, out-stream and pre-roll inclusive. Our data approach is on the move, too, expanding beyond location thanks to device-level data that not only defines existing audiences but it can also help identify new segments that are great matches for brand messaging. And the horizon is also full of projects around shopper marketing, QSR franchise capabilities, and tier-two and tier-three automotive. All of this intertwines with what we’re working on when it comes to device management, too.

In short, no brand should ever have to sacrifice one strength for another in their tactical deployment of media investment: no messy third-party data— you have to clean it up to use it — no corner-cutting measurement methods, none of that. Premium is the standard. Nothing else centralizes consumers with a commitment to meaningful mobile experiences in the way that we do. On the sales side, from my desk, when it comes to the narrative we bring to the market, we’re happy to set the example around these specific principles for the industry.

About The Author
David Kaplan David Kaplan @davidakaplan

A New York City-based journalist for over 20 years, David Kaplan is managing editor of GeoMarketing.com. A former editor and reporter at AdExchanger, paidContent, Adweek and MediaPost.