Interview with Geoff Hoffmann, CEO, North America, Adstream

Geoff Hoffman, CEO, North America, Adstream

“Analytics and ROI, which is becoming highly valuable, is the new currency in Content Management.”

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Tell us about your role and journey into AdTech.

I have been working with Adstream for more than 4 years, leading the APAC and Americas regions. With Adstream being a global business, it takes you to countries far and wide. I came into Adstream after spending many years in the media advertising space. The theme here is that I have been involved with brands and agencies for many years. Now, I am more so at the end of the advertising ecosystem where previously I was a little further upstream in the media mix.

How is the ad industry different from what it was two years ago?

The demand and need for brands to be able to track, trace, manage, distribute and control their content has become a must-have, not a want. Brands and agencies are looking for more seamless, efficient ways of managing content in the daily demands of business. The importance of moving an ad from point A to B has stepped to a whole other level with the demands around security, transparency and reliability.

What is the current state of media automation? How does Adstream deliver on its ROI promises?

This is an evolving industry, however, we do believe in a lot of ways we are leading it with some of the world’s largest global brands as our clients. Part of the Adstream DNA is about being able to display to our brand and agency clients the data surrounding their assets (ads). In doing so, global brands are making decisions on production investment as they are able to understand what is working for them vs what is not. As the industry evolves, we are building in a more automated ad workflow process.  Clients want to have the ability to perform most day-to-day functions with one click.

How do you choose, promote and sustain your markets for business development?

We still operate globally on a face-to-face business development model. We like to have a lot of touch points with our potential customers. That being the case, we participate in a lot of events, large and small. We are everywhere from Cannes to small industry conferences in New Jersey. We definitely find value in sitting in with our customers where they are, hearing their needs and concerns and then building marketing strategies around that. Our employees are all also former agency and brand folks who came in knowing how to connect with our target customers.

How much have the Marketing and Advertising Operations changed since the arrival of Automation and BI/Analytics tools? How do you leverage these tools at Adstream?

That’s a loaded question! Adstream takes BI and Automation to heart when designing our next product or innovating on current offerings. We have a very robust analytics tool in our ad delivery offering whereby clients can see all the data associated with a campaign in one dashboard. We are continually innovating, and, as 2019 approaches, you will be seeing some improvements to our Library UI including more automation and a digital tool that will revolutionize the distribution game.

Which Marketing and Sales Automation tools and technologies does Adstream use at the moment?

We have a healthy Marketing and Sales stack, which includes tools such as Salesforce, Pardot and Talent Management to name just a few, however, our in-house proprietary products have been specifically built over the past years to support the brands and agencies as we know them. As this industry has evolved, so have we due to our offering in the market. We use our own platform to organize Marketing assets and connect our Marketing, Sales and Product teams.

What are your predictions on the most impactful disruptions in Marketing Technology for 2018-2020?

I believe that the need for managing content is only going to increase. As brands continue to be challenged in disseminating across more and more channels to reach their targets, their content and having it in one single place of security becomes a demanding need. With the market being as fragmented as it is, organizations are overwhelmed with all of the different needs of content.

In managing this as the deluge of content continues, brands and agencies are looking for companies like ours to help manage through this challenge. Delivering an ad from point A to point B as a one-time action is becoming redundant, even passé. If the ad (asset) is tagged correctly with the right metadata, you have an amazing amount of control what you can then measure and track to see how it performs. This results in better, more informed decisions for the next campaign.

What startups in the technology industry are you watching keenly right now?

Anyone really… who is playing in AI or blockchain space due to the potential synergies it can create for our customers. With some of the recent technology available to us, we can start to report out on a particular brand, celebrity, talent etc. that sits in an ad. Analytics and ROI, which is becoming highly valuable, is the new currency in Content Management and with the right tagging up front, you can have a very powerful offering.

How do you prepare for an AI-centric world as a business leader?

This is no different to any other change or shift in the industry. It is about having your business being able to understand what it is, how it works and, more importantly, how can we help our customers. Our goals and drivers for our customers are always about meeting their needs and if AI can help with that, great.

As a business leader, I have seen companies shift strategies quickly to meet the new buzz, which can sometimes derail business and customer strategies. I have no doubt that AI technology will have an impact on our business internally and externally for our customer base. We will respect what it can offer, but the customer will always need to stay at the center of everything we do.

How do you inspire your people to work with technology?

To embrace it — considering tech is evolving at such a rapid pace and our customers are looking for more relevant tools to help them be more effective, it is our responsibility to our customers to be innovative to help and support their needs. The only way to do that well is to be immersed in the tech we use.

One word that best describes how you work.

One word? Sorry, I can’t. Put your customer in the center of everything you do. Maybe “solutions” if I had to.

What apps/software/tools can’t you live without?

My news apps from specific countries around the world.

What are you currently reading?

Hit Makers: The Science of Popularity in the Age of Distraction

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Always have the customer at the center of what you do.

Tag the one person in the industry whose answers to these questions you would love to read?

Oh wow, tough. There are so many to choose from. I will pick Aaron J. Ain, Chief Executive Officer at Kronos.

Thank you, Geoff! That was fun and hope to see you back on MarTech Series soon.

Been in senior sales leadership for 12 years. Have led teams in size up to 1150 people. Been involved in all transformations in leading sales teams in changing markets, changing propositions to go to market.
Have strong skills and a proven record in all aspects of sales from talent attraction to hiring, training, leading, performance mngmt, succession planning etc.
Have achieved a multitude of goals in a heavily focused people management model. Minimising variation, minimising attrition, creating an enviroment of highly successful people and overall executing on targets given.

Specialties: Analytical skills in measuring performance and financials.
People management through years of experience and a multitude of leadership courses.
Strong skills in managing consumer / customer expectations
Senior Leadership
Senior change management

Adstream logo

The world’s leading advertising digital asset management, workflow and distribution company.

Adstream provides innovative tools for managing the production process in advertising.

Founded in 2001, Adstream pioneered the delivery of broadcast advertising content via broadband. Now we are the world leader, digitally connected to over 79,000 media owners across broadcast, print, audio and digital.

We deliver over 1,000,000 ads per year to more than 141 countries, storing every asset we send and serving over 27,000 customers through 37 regional offices. Our technology allows the user to easily transcode files, create reels, create project folders, manage approvals and report on all activity.

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The MTS Martech Interview Series is a fun Q&A style chat which we really enjoy doing with martech leaders. With inspiration from Lifehacker’s How I work interviews, the MarTech Series Interviews follows a two part format On Marketing Technology, and This Is How I Work. The format was chosen because when we decided to start an interview series with the biggest and brightest minds in martech – we wanted to get insight into two areas … one – their ideas on marketing tech and two – insights into the philosophy and methods that make these leaders tick.