MarTech Interview With Brandon Rea, VP of Sales at Vibrant Media

Brandon Rea, VP of Sales at Vibrant Media chats about the growth of contextual advertising in this short Q&A with MarTech Series:


Welcome to this MarTech Series chat, Brandon, tell us about yourself and your role at Vibrant Media.

I started my career in media at Beyond Interactive in 1998, which was one of the first “interactive advertising” agencies. After we sold to Mediacom during the dot com bubble in 2001, I moved over to the vendor side and have been selling ever since. I’ve represented publisher direct, DSPs, mobile adtech data and video as well as AR/VR at an individual contributor and executive level. My fondest memories of my career were at Vibrant Media from 2007-2013. I’m excited to return to Vibrant as VP of Sales. The company has really modernized the tech focusing on scale, transparency and precision in the contextual advertising space.

We’d love to hear more about Vibrant Media’s recent innovations and targeting solutions…

Vibrant has recently unveiled the Quintesse platform that offers contextual planning tools, targeting and intelligence. Using natural language processing and computational linguistics, the new platform precisely identifies specific content from over 1 million domains with billions of individually contextualized URLs. This gives advertisers plenty of scale to find the custom environments relevant to their unique message. We are able to give clients the option of buying via direct managed service deals or through Deal ID across any of 240 DSPs.

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How are you seeing the overall market demand for targeted practices evolve in today’s business climate?

I’m finding more and more brands and agencies are leaning into contextual advertising. Meetings have been stacking up as marketers want to leverage real time contextual intelligence to inform the targeting and insights of their campaigns. There is some urgency building around the need to future proof their targeting tactics by identifying ways to reach their target audience without 3rd party cookies.

What in your view should marketers/advertisers be looking at today to enhance their targeted process/practices?

Voice of Customer. Brands have access to so much data to inform their marketing departments on how to message but more custom insights come from focus groups that can quickly become out of date. By gathering contextual signals on audience data targeted campaigns, they can continually refresh their understanding of what interests and topics their audience is passionate about. This offers Brands a better way to determine not just where to find them but what contextual environments are best for what types of messaging.

As the market evolves and brands get ready for a cookie-less future, what are some fundamentals that they should retain?

Fundamentally, brands should continue to try to think like their consumers. Context truly matters. At what moment is a particular message suitable? Leave behind predatory audience-based buying habits that force messages onto users when they are least receptive.

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Five thoughts on the future of data in B2B advertising, marketing and adtech?

While we may be going through a little change, the future looks very bright. I think it boils down to these 5 things:

  1. Mindset: if I’m a BDM in charge of purchasing IT equipment, why would I be interested in learning more about a product while playing Wordle outside of work hours? Just because I’ve sent a signal doesn’t mean it should be taken out of context. We need to consider the mindset the user is in when serving them an ad.
  2. Pro Privacy: The creep factor that I’m being followed or my conversations are being listened to is a big issue that weighs heavily on most people today. The pro privacy future will be quite interesting, brands need to start instituting changes now to be ready.
  3. Net New Audiences: I believe “standard contextual” will be a thing of the past. Every brand has their own niche and the ability to customize their approach to find new audiences is very exciting. Every platform should be able to provide marketers with a custom segment to meet their individual needs… down to the placement level!
  4. Timing: Historical data is a double edged sword. While it’s nice to know where people have been previously, consumers have a lot going on and once they’ve made a decision, it’s time to shut off the hose. Marketers are wasting their dollars on old data that can be 30, 60 or even 90 days old. This will soon be a thing of the past.
  5. Informed Intelligence: Data is nothing without some foundation of context. While adtech will look to leverage compliant 1st party data to find a relevant audience, they need to consider matching that with a contextual layer to ensure their ads are impactful.

Some last thoughts, takeaways, before we wrap up!

Contextual or real time addressability really hits hard on the golden rule of right place, right moment. I’m excited as both a consumer, and a marketer, to see more relevant ads surface and ‘creepy’ ads that give our industry a black eye, start to disappear. Oh, and by the way, MarTech Series is my favorite publication! Make sure you like and subscribe! 🙂

Home - Vibrant Media

Vibrant Media addresses the full range of agencies’ and marketers’ contextual data and privacy-safe advertising needs.

Brandon Rea is VP of Sales at Vibrant Media.

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